[Social] [EP2.2.5] Selection of an ENS endowment fund manager

Final results: Karpatkey is the winner.

Edit: Updated with correct numbers for NOTA

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Point taken and this has been echoed by others. I also mentioned I would like that in Twitter. To start slow.

As @nick.eth already pointed out in Twitter we have full control of execution, size and distribution: https://twitter.com/nicksdjohnson/status/1595200052418314241

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Thank you to everyone who participated, and the care you all took in your voting choices.

The next step will involve the Meta-Gov Working Group working with Karpatkey to produce a refined version of their proposal that’s ready to be presented to the DAO and executed.

Given the feedback we’ve received during the process, and the concerns of many who ultimately voted for None of the Above, I expect that the size of the endowment will be the subject of much discussion. We all want to build something that everyone can get behind.

The Meta-Gov working group is also working on a pair of proposals that will help lay out day-to-day treasury operations for the DAO, ensure it has a substantial runway in stablecoins independently of the endowment, and reduce the DAO’s exposure to volatility.

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An interesting day for ENS!

Firstly great to see high voter turnout and community discussion, a very important proposal.

A few considerations:

  • Firstly, still in the camp the Ranked choice voting was not the correct option here, considering a majority voted ‘none of the above’ and had no option other than to rank (and therefore vote, for winners) - *For example here: If Brantly had changed his 2nd place vote from Karpatkey to Avantgarde, None of the above would have won, in addition, the lack of visibility and understanding around the voting process impeded the governance process.

  • Secondly, the refinement of the Karpatkey proposal should happen in public (perhaps with community calls / input) - since there has been no onchain proposal or open input about the refinement of these proposals.

  • Thirdly, as Nick alluded to; the size of the endowment is still very open. I’d propose starting Karpatkey with a fraction of the 80% (say, 5-25%) allowing us to spend the first 6/12 months in a testing/data collection phase, to then later on looking to deploy more of the treasury all going well.

Lastly, there should be discussion and processes established around potential failure states or changes to the endowment, for example if the manager does not fulfil their obligations to the DAO, or the DAO wishes to change strategy, how is this achieved.

Excited to see the ENS DAO continue to achieve new things! :fire:_ :fire:

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A plurality (more than any other candidate but less than a majority) of first-votes were for None of the Above. Under IRV, if a majority had been cast for None of the Above in the first round, voting would have ended immediately with it as the winner.

This is untrue. Brantly’s first vote was for None of the Above, and since it was not eliminated, his vote counted throughout the process. His second and third choices would only have been considered if NOTA was eliminated.

To address the broader issue of people being forced to pick candidates after NOTA: note that in this election no choices after NOTA were considered, because NOTA was not eliminated; the results are exactly identical.

If we instead take the state from about 6 hours before the conclusion of the vote, when NOTA was in third place:

we can simulate the effect of disregarding all choices placed after NOTA:

The results are what you would expect: all the outflows from NOTA are gone, meaning those voters had no input in the selection of the eventual winner; instead, the round 2 results decide the outcome. Voting this way doesn’t give NOTA voters an increased chance of winning, it just means they do not have a say in their subsequent preferences.

We’re definitely committed to working in public, but it’s not viable to offer the DAO - or random commenters on the forum - input on every individual choice. We would never actually reach a conclusion. A more viable approach is for the MG WG stewards to work with Karpatkey on an initial proposal, which is put to the DAO for feedback and refinement; that process can continue iteratively until all serious concerns have been addressed.

Karpatkey will need to speak for themselves, but I doubt they would be willing to offer the same terms to manage a $2.6M fund as they offered to manage a $52M fund. I also don’t think that managing $2.6M for 6-12 months tells us anything much useful about either Karpatkey or the investments; the time horizon is too short and “past performance does not guarantee future returns” as investment professionals are fond of saying.

In my mind, the minimum sensible size for the endowment is all of the unearned revenue (presently ~$19.8k ETH). This is money we cannot spend, which needs to retain exposure to ETH (unless we change the accounting basis), and could be used to earn a modest return on very low risk investments such as a diversified basket of staked ETH (if in ETH), or lending via AAVE etc (if in USDC). It makes little sense for us to sit on it and do nothing with it, and diversification into several low-risk options such as different staking providers insures us against tail risks from those providers.

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Well said @nick.eth :clap::clap:

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Just wanted to echo what others have said about preferring to start small, with a maximum of 25% of our current treasury. I don’t feel comfortable subjecting such a large portion of our treasury to additional contract risk in one go, or to just one set of contracts. Perhaps we could even split the management between more than one entity.

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Thank you for all the hardwork from the metagov stewards and everyone getting involved in voting.

I wanted to also express my unease with current DeFi landscape putting everything into one bucket. Aave yesterday had bad debt, it was small, but shows even the blue chip DeFi protocols are not without risk. Contagion from the FTX fallout is still being felt throughout the ecosystem. I would also be supportive of a smaller size of a fund as an incremental step to making the endaoment a reality.

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So this was the first time RCV was used for governance in ENS?

If the results are followed this means Karpatkey will be used exclusively to manage ENS funds.

Here is my question.

If only the first choice was used in this vote. Who would have won?

Second point.

Perhaps given the closeness of this vote a subsequent vote should happen for a majority to decide a simple question:

“Whether to approve or deny Karpatkey as the sole ENS Treasury manager” to eliminate RCV complexity in the result here.

I think the people who wanted Karpatkey are happy, where as people who wanted NOA or any other manager probably are not so why not do one further vote to confirm that a majority of ENS votes will approve Karpatkey when faced with a choice of Nothing, or Karpatkey.

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there will be another vote on a specific Karpatkey proposal, but it sounds like you want a separate vote?

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I am not convinced that Karpatkey vs. NOA (vs the 3 ranked choices) would win.

In fact if I was putting this forward I would have listed the RCV as the 3 choices and then once the final TM was chosen asked the DAO whether to go forward with Karpatkey or not at all.

It is not clear to me here when once the choice to TM was narrowed that Karpatkey would win approval vs. non approval. I honestly don’t know and believe governance should be given the opportunity to weigh on on the final choice yes, no, abstain.

It may be karpatkey garners more support, or they may be turned down but I think it would make everyone feel better if the final result is put to a yes, no, abstain type vote to formally finalize the will of the DAO. IF and god forbid this IF, something screws up with Karpatkey and funds are lost or stuck then governance won’t be looking back trying to lay blame regarding issues with this vote. Up to those in control here to decide, now that the DAOs attention is focused to formalize the finality of this with one more yes/no/abstain vote or to run with what they got.

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It wasn’t, we’ve used RCV for all steward elections, and other social proposals before. This was just the most complex one we’ve done in terms of impact / variety of choice.

Yea to re-iterate, there will have to be at least one more (on-chain) DAO-wide vote to actually execute on the final proposal no matter what, and that one has to be simple majority (since that’s how the governor smart contract works).

I don’t agree with that. I think ranked choice voting did its job here. If someone voted NOA their vote stayed with NOA through the process. If they chose a loosing candidate as their first choice and NOA as their second choice it would have expanded the vote for NOA. The majority of people wanted “something” over nothing and preferred the winner over nothing. Ranked choice voting did what it was supposed to do here.

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Responding to above.

Roger that, bad understanding of the system is on me, but given i’ve been heavily focused on this and am still getting confused, it only makes sense that many other people would be to. Not a good thing for such an important vote.

To be clear what I’m highlighting is that NOTA had the most 1st place votes, despite not winning on a proposal that was comparing options not a yes/no vote (which never happened).

The WG stewards have already had a fair amount of control here, just wanting to make sure a working group which hasn’t been explicitly tasked or equipped to govern treasury management decisions doesn’t have too much oversight over a large portion of the ENS treasury.

I would lean more conservatively for the first ever deployment of funds at this scale. Also think that no person or working group’s decision should be the defining terms here, rather an open discussion with the broader community.

This is still a huge percentage of the ENS treasury, with 0 experimentation/testing before such a large amount of the treasury is deployed to external management.

As a follow up, as a ENS delegate with 100k votes we’re able to create snapshot votes that could outline some of these requirements/ideas in soft vote form (similar to the proposal just passed).

Finally, and something that wasn’t addressed is:

Still confused as to how the DAO voted on the proposal without any understanding of what happens in failure states of the manager.

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To clarify, we are not putting everything in one bucket. Karpatkey’s proposal is well diversified, and they will not have custody over our funds, only the ability to allocate them.

As @avsa has demonstrated, Karpatkey was the condorcet winner of this vote- meaning that they win every heads-up match between them and another candidate. They’re the clear winner regardless of voting scheme.

Yes, that is how vote splitting works, and why FPTP is a bad system.

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I don’t think this is what you meant (I believe you mean that you would be more comfortable if this work was run by people that had been chosen because they are finance experts, etc.), but just as a reminder to those who might misread this:

MG WG was explicitly given authorization and direction to do exactly this on behalf of the DAO in EP 2.2.4, which passed basically unanimously. (In fact, per that proposal, they didn’t even have to run this vote. They were authorized to just choose someone themselves and throw it on-chain)

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I’ll clarify and say, one bucket as in one fund manager, with a large amount of funds being placed in the trust of them.

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Hey builders! Does anyone want to add his quote to the article? If so PM me.