[Public Good] Delegate to a Public Access, Public Good Citizen Enfranchisement pool through Event Horizon (Penrose)

Summary

Event Horizon (Penrose) is a public good. It is a public-access metagovernance block. With the aim of enfranchising the tens of thousands of small voters and onboarding new DAO voters and contributors, this proposal suggests we delegate (not grant) 120K ENS to a public access voter enfranchisement pool. This delegation gets mobilized by Voter Pass holders functionally giving underrepresented DAO citizens multiplied voting power and therefore non-monetary incentive to express their voices.

Arbitrum DAO voted via snapshot temp check to delegate 7m ARB (and grant 50k ARB) to Event Horizon making Event Horizon the 15th largest delegate in the Arbitrum ecosystem. This proposal accrued over $150,000,000 in unilateral support from the Arbitrum delegates. This proposal aims to expand this public good to the ENS ecosystem. This delegation can be revoked by the DAO with an on-chain vote at any time.

The Gitcoin DAO has recently passed a proposal supporting Event Horizon, thereby making our Citizen Enfranchisement pool the #6 delegate on Gitcoin.

We also request an annual grant of 4k ENS to help the team maintain and expand this public good in addition to retroactively awarding the team for the fully-functional product thus far built out of pocket over the past several months.

Problem

Today, typical ENS wallet participation rate floats at significantly less than 1%, often with less than 200 voters for on-chain votes. However, there are thousands of individual voters who participate in each vote despite having effectively no meaningful say. They should be rewarded with a voice. Moreover, there are thousands of incredibly talented community members who are very capable of adding to the collective cognition of the ecosystem, but simply lack the capital means to have a voice and are left discouraged from voting at all. Not voting when you only have, say, $500 worth of ENS doesn’t make sense, it’s a drop in the bucket. Sitting out governance proposals is, unfortunately, the rational decision but collectively makes everyone worse off. The strength of the DAO is directly related to the number of participants having their voices heard by the community. The governance platform and vote multiple that Event Horizon gives to these citizens incentivizes greater participation: our average participation rate is 30%.

Mechanism

ENS Citizens interested in governance may mint a free, soul-bound Voter Pass NFT which allows them to take part in mobilizing this voter enfranchisement pool subject to an additional Gitcoin Pass requirement to prevent sybil attacks to be implemented soon after delegation. As detailed further below, this model:

  1. Grants a clear and meaningful voice to statistically low capital DAO citizen voters regardless of their financial means
  2. Incentives participation with additional governance authority, not inflationary rewards
  3. Incentives participants interested in governance itself, not financial gain

DAOs today rely exclusively on individuals and company entities to serve as network delegates. However, this isn’t the only option. While individual delegates certainly add incredible value to the ENS Ecosystem, so would a governance allotment dedicated to the greater body of smaller citizen participants.

In this regard, Event Horizon slots into the ENS ecosystem in a similar fashion to a standard delegate. However, rather than the block voting based on the decision of one individual, it votes with the collective cognition of hundreds of individual voter pass holders.

This serves two functions:

  1. It provides a clear and designated voice for smaller, citizen voters.
  2. It drives participation through a game-theoretic process called Implicit Delegation.

One of the greatest barriers to participation is a lack of voice due to lack of capital. Implicit delegation and public access governance changes this. Implicit Delegation is a model by which the full public governance block mobilizes in favor of the consensus of those who do vote, thereby implicitly delegating the authority of those who don’t vote to those who do.

When participation is low… each voter receives a larger slice of the public access pie. This means the fewer people there are voting, the more incentive there is for someone new to come and participate.

When participation is high… there are more voters splitting the same pie, however, citizen participation is high, which is a win for the ecosystem.

Implicit Delegation represents an effort to offer a new paradigm around means of influence. A shift from today’s entirely capital-centric to a more citizen-friendly, participation-centric model.

Where Direct Governance allocates influence along the lines of capital, and Explicit Delegation allocates influence along the lines of popularity (which often reflects capital), Implicit Delegation allocates influence to those who care most: people showing up to vote. Because the carrot is governance voice itself, implicit delegation attracts governance-interested citizens, not capital-interested citizens; more on that below.

Because the entirety of the block is always mobilized, those who are most vested are rewarded for their participation by having a larger share of the voting pie. In this regard, Event Horizon’s model leans into a systemic lack of participation to create a solution.

Rationale

Delegation rationale:

120K ENS would place the Event Horizon community as the 10th largest delegate. Based upon significant dialogue with existing delegates and stakeholders across the DAO ecosystem, we think this places a fair amount of power into the 3rd pillar of governance, namely citizens (the other two being organizational and individual delegations) without being large enough to flip any typical proposal.

This proposal reflects two of ENS’ presumed core values:

  1. Democratization: By constructing a dedicated block of governance authority with lower capital barriers, our community greatly expands who gets a seat at the table.

  2. Public Good: Like ENS, Event Horizon is a public good. By making the thoughts and ideas of this broader swath of individuals heard, we further broaden the spectrum of possibilities for the evolution of our ecosystem.

Grant rationale:

  1. While we initially didn’t want to ask for compensation, several delegates pointed out that doing this magnitude of work for the DAO for free sets a bad precedent for future builders. It sends a message that “do not build here, your work is not valued by the ENS community”. It’s also simply not sustainable for us to maintain this public good forever without some help from the DAO. So despite our initial hesitation, and multiple refusals to do so, we now think it important to ask for some compensation.

  2. The request grant sum is in line with the recently passed Arbitrum proposal. This grant will be used to cover various operating expenses including front end changes, server costs, a $6k/year Snapshot subscription, in addition to engineering costs related to expanding this public good in various ways including a direct pipeline from voting to forum + Discord posting all on Event Horizon’s front end. The primary aim of this grant is to not only maintain a seamless UX for voter and contributor onboarding in a sustainable fashion, but to expand this pipeline beyond voting alone.

  3. Maintain functionality through any changes in ENS governance process – 1.5K ENS

  4. Maintain and further expand voter onboarding UX (forum/Discord integrations, misc. UX polishes) – 1K ENS

  5. Bi-annual reporting including KPIs such as voters, participation rate, voters above key threshold amounts (say $1K worth of ENS), etc. – 1K ENS

  6. Forking the Franchiser contract (more on that below) – 500 ENS

Benefits compared to Token Incentivized Governance:

While token rewards for participation hold legitimate merit and are an intuitive remedy for low turnout, it has limitations.

1. Misaligned Incentives: Token-based incentives attract returns-interested parties. However, when it comes to governance, participation is most valuable when it comes from those interested in participating not payout. Implicit delegation directly appeals to these individuals as it rewards those who participate, not with capital, but with greater voting power.

Added Thought Capital: in line with the notion above, there are likely thousands of community members each holding both strong ideas and valuable contributions for the ecosystem, but simply lack enough voice to justify participation. Through Implicit Delegation, any community member of the ENS ecosystem has an opportunity to have their voice heard, bringing thousands more minds and ideas to the surface.

2. Inflationary: While token rewards drive participation at the expense of inflation, Implicit delegation simply leverages its game theory model to increase incentive to vote in the form of a greater voting share. This does not cost the token any inflation, nor the treasury any ENS.

3. Non-scalable: Token-based rewards are finite and require a constant drain of ENS funds to continue driving participation. As the ecosystem scales, and more participants join, greater and greater sums of ENS will be needed to continue fueling growth. Implicit delegation has no cost, and its balanced game theory functions with no burn. As more citizen voters join, more ENS could be delegated to the community block, however, again, this is not a cost as the ENS tokens are still retained by the treasury.

Specification

Past Performance

The above is not just theory. The Event Horizon community is already active on Ethereum providing metagoverning public goods to Uniswap, AAVE, Compound, ShapeShift, and Arbitrum. In fact, in several recent Uniswap votes, the Event Horizon community was the 10th largest voter in the Uniswap Ecosystem. Event Horizon has also recently voted as the 8th largest delegate in recent Aave votes. Gitcoin DAO just voted to make Event Horizon the 6th largest delegate in the DAO via delegation.

While there is still quite a gap between Event Horizon and the larger delegates in the larger DAOs, interestingly enough this position serves as a line of demarcation between individual delegates above, and citizens below. This dynamic does, however, highlight a call to action. Raise the long tail a bit, and bring in more voices. Sure, voting isn’t the full picture of DAO decision making, but it’s a great place to start. Individual, organization AND citizen delegations are all valuable and mutually inclusive, three symbiotic pillars for a strong ecosystem.

Since its inception just a few months ago, the Event Horizon protocol has processed >300 metagovernance proposals and placed over $40,000,000 of governance authority and enfranchisement directly into the hands of the citizen voter, a feat not seen anywhere else in the DAO space. This is $40,000,000 of voice amplification for the low-capital, high-conviction citizen which would never have been possible prior to the Event Horizon’s product. Across all proposals for which the Event Horizon Community has participated, the community’s cumulative voter footprint is on pace to exceed $100,000,000 this year.

Some more metrics worth highlighting:

Number of Metagovernance Proposals Passed ~300
Our community members have participated in and passed over 300 metagovernance proposals, each corresponding to various DAO proposals.

Voter Participation: >30%
Over thirty percent of our community members have participated in our metagovernance proposals. Some participants have voted as many as 63 times in under 5 months. Check out the latest info on our leaderboard: EventHorizon.vote/leaderboard

Average Authority Mobilized per Participating Passholder: >$130,000 (and counting)
For the cost of $3 in gas, each participating passholder has mobilized an average of just over $100,000 in Uniswap and AAVE authority governance authority across all metagovernance proposals passed.

Average Authority Mobilized Multiple: >44,000x (and growing)
The average pass holder minted their voter pass for ~$3 in gas. When compared to the $130,000 in average authority mobilized, each member has mobilized over 40,000x their gas cost of admission in blue-chip governance authority.

Mechanisms

| Step 1 – Duplication: Once a delegation is established, Event Horizon begins automatically duplicating all base DAO (in this case ENS) proposals within its own voting portal.

| Step 2 – Metagovernance: Retail voters may mint a free voter pass and begin voting to decide how the retail enfranchisement pool is mobilized in the base DAO proposal.

| Step 3 – Base DAO Voting: 24 hours prior to the closure of the base DAO proposal, the Event Horizon metagovernance proposal closes. Event Horizon then automatically pushes the consensus decision established by the retail community during the metagovernance proposal into the base DAO proposal.

Steps to Implementation

The primary step to implementation would be the delegation and grant of ENS to the EventHorizonCommunity.eth . The delegation will use the Franchiser contract explained below.

After the initial delegation and grant from the DAO, Event Horizon handles everything from there. Event Horizon will facilitate and maintain all elements of the pool from pass minting to metagovernance.

Again, this delegation would not be a grant and funds would remain in the DAO-controlled wallet. Consider us a delegate + service provider like any of the other talented delegates and service providers currently supporting the ENS ecosystem.

Technical Implementation

In order to implement this proposal, it is required that we create a DAO-controlled Franchiser contract. The contract owner would be the DAO timelock and it would allow the DAO the power to delegate and undelegate tokens that it sends from the treasury to the Franchiser. In order to create an official and safe implementation of an already proven Franchiser contract, Event Horizon will, with the help of the ENS grant, fork the Trail of Bits audited Uniswap Labs implementation [github] of the same concept. If this proposal passes Snapshot, we will post a follow up Snapshot to cover the to be determined costs of audits.

The contract has simple functions:

  • Fund: allows the DAO to send tokens to contract and delegate to a single address

  • FundMany: allows the DAO to send tokens to contract and delegate any amount to multiple addresses

  • Recall: allows DAO to pull back funds from Franchiser effectively undelegating and returning tokens to treasury from a single delegate.

  • RecallMany: allows DAO to pull back funds from franchiser effectively undelegating and returning tokens to treasury from multiple delegates.

It is worth noting that all tokens sent to the Franchiser will remain a part of the DAO’s balance sheet as it has full control over the contract. The delegated tokens never leave the DAO’s ownership.

Additional Considerations

In order to operate safely and responsibly, on Arbitrum we asked to create a ⅗ oversight committee with veto power. However, given the recent and popular veto.ensdao.eth delegate, this would be redundant. As such, the Event Horizon voter enfranchisement pool could be easily vetoed in the unlikely event that the need should arise for whatever reason.

Sybil Considerations: it is important to note that the delegated ENS is by a large margin a minority voter amount. Any potential risk of Sybil influence over the public-access block would under almost all conditions not amount to a sum of authority that would be capable of passing a vote absent incredibly significant broader support from other delegates and the broader ENS ecosystem participants. E.g. A rogue vote is virtually impossible.That being said, we will be implementing Gitcoin Passport requirements for ENS metagovernance shortly after initial delegation to mitigate this risk.

Poll options

Yes

No

Abstain

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