[temp check] ENS Governance Distribution Program (v2.0)

I would personally approach it a bit differently, but I guess ye, something like this. I was thinking along the lines more like “projection” analysis, just show what the voting landscape would be given current stewards, some assumptions about changes in stewards and changes in stream providers. Just a simple excel table I think, nothing fancy, but make some sort of justification to the number.

Thanks for the proposal @AvsA

While I am generally happy to see voting weight being distributed more amongst value aligned delegates, the proposal lacks technical specifications on how something like this should be implemented. Since partial delegation is currently not supported one way would be to send tokens to separate escrow contracts and put a fixed duration on delegation similar to the approach by uniswap

Additionally I would also like to encourage setting aside 20-30K ENS tokens to be distributed between a set of emerging or professional delegates which can be invited to submit an application and a snapshot vote can decide which of the top ‘x’ ones should be given this opportunity.

Yeah, that’s what I had in mind. Basically the same analysis but after projecting for changes in vote distribution due to newly delegated tokens.

It’s actually interesting to see how these numbers from 2022 compare to today. Today we need the top 15 delegates to reach 1M quorum. The current top delegate, fire eyes, has 216k votes, which would put him at 8th place back then. I wonder if this represents people who sold ENS and didn’t delegate, if it’s about ENS in DeFi and bridges which can’t be used to vote or if it represents people who delegated to smaller candidates. It certainly explains why it’s harder to reach quorum today than it was a few years ago.

A multidelegate contract is in the works.

Delegated power or vesting? Because I think we need to be very careful and thoughtful on how to distribute delegate power and specially who keeps the power to remove that power from them. That’s why that bit has very simple hard rules: you must be elected without your own vote, you get it at this date and is removed at this date automatically, etc.

I suggest a 6 month or 1 year delegated voting weight. Any compensation would require some actual work imo. Taking the example of my delegate platform we would certainly benefit from revokable voting weight which is owned by the DAO to prove ourselves here. Since I am proposing this for new delegates, even if they vote for themselves it will not matter much since most of the voting supply is currently controlled by a few wallets.

It’s not clear to me why this would only happen annually; if it’s automatic, why not give it at the time of each grant?

The one advantage of a periodic review is that it could allow performance assessment of grantees, and therefore allow the grant to be proportional to impact or alignment.

I like this idea. Would it be retroactive?


We could have a overall limit of 150k total, meaning that the delegated power would amount to 150k (including the votes they already had) but not more than this, so a delegate over that amount would not get any more.

There are cases in which money coming out of the wallets should not also be a ENS match: for example a steward getting a travel reimbursement for ETH Denver, or a purchase order for shirts to said conference. These should not be matched unless we want a random graffiti artists to be a major delegate, so I think metagov could do a sanity check before sending the ENS. We could also do it biannually (twice a year, not every two years).

I think it would make sense for it to be, but respecting @Griff 's mentioned limit for total delegation.

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I’ve been reading previous post and this post, just want to add another point on liquid unvested ENS token distribution. Here I attach heat map of tokens performing YTD VS Bitcoin. What this tells us is that there are very few tokens which outperformed the major duo of BTC and Eth.

Historically all governance tokens be it Uniswap or something else were the worst performers ever. What this means is that if you are truly rational market agent, then it makes sense to sell all unvested ENS tokens the moment you receive them, otherwise that’s like bleeding money everyday on this allocation in your portfolio, there is just no point.

In theory of corporate finance, there is notion of “premium for control”. In other words there is certain delta on top “fair valuation” attributable strictly to the very fact that instrument offers you control over some entity. However I don’t think any of that is priced into ENS token right now, and maybe will not be priced into the medium term even.

So I just don’t see how ENS unvested distribution can ever be for “voting purposes”.

Over the past few days,I think there may be some confusion and misinterpretations of terms that are interchangeable but may set different contextual precedents in discussion…

I would like to suggest that we define each of these terms to be used in their own respects. While each term may seem to have similar meaning, the specificity and manner in which they are used is important.


  • Rewards are financial incentives provided to members for their unsolicited contributions to the ENS ecosystem.
  • These are typically one-time payments made in recognition of a specific action or contribution that was not explicitly requested or contracted by the DAO.
  • Rewards are denominated in USDC and are based on a standard metric established by the DAO.
  • The purpose of rewards is to encourage voluntary contributions and participation from the community.


  • Compensation refers to regularly scheduled disbursements made in USDC for services that have been rendered and are expected to be rendered within a designated time period required by a specific position.
  • Compensation is subject to DAO approval and is typically associated with ongoing roles or responsibilities within the DAO, such as those of stewards or service providers.
  • The key aspect of compensation is that it is tied to a formal agreement or expectation of continued service to the DAO.


  • Distributions is a broader term that encompasses any financial disbursements made by the DAO, including rewards, compensation, payments, funding streams, and grants.
  • Distributions can be one-time payments or ongoing disbursements, and they can be made for a variety of purposes, including incentivizing contributions, compensating for services, funding projects, or supporting initiatives that benefit the ENS ecosystem.
  • Distributions are made in USDC and are subject to the approval and oversight of the DAO.

Funding Streams

  • Funding Streams are allocated budgets designated for specific purposes or projects within the ENS ecosystem.
  • These funds are distributed to support ongoing operations, development, and initiatives that align with the DAO’s objectives.
  • Funding streams are managed and disbursed according to established guidelines and are subject to periodic review and approval by the DAO.


  • Grants are financial awards provided by the DAO to individuals, groups, or organizations for the purpose of supporting activities,
  • projects, or research that contribute to the advancement of the ENS ecosystem.
  • Grants are typically awarded based on a competitive application process and are intended to foster innovation, collaboration, and growth within the community.
  • Stewards of the Working Group soliciting for the grant can provide further clarification on requirements and outcomes

ENS Matching

  • ENS Matching is a program designed to incentivize contributions to the ENS ecosystem by matching the monetary value of contributions with an equivalent amount of ENS tokens.
  • This matching is subject to a vesting schedule, typically over a period of three years, to ensure long-term alignment and commitment from contributors.
  • The ENS Matching program aims to reward and retain valuable contributors by providing them with a stake in the future success of the ENS ecosystem.

Inertial Delegated Votes

  • Inertial Delegated Votes refer to a mechanism that allows for the continuation of voting power for a certain period after a delegate’s term has ended.
  • This is designed to ensure stability and continuity in decision-making within the DAO.
  • Delegates who have completed their term retain a portion of their voting power for a specified duration, allowing them to continue participating in governance and contributing to the DAO’s long-term vision.

ENS Matching

So essentially:

  • Meta-Governance will review monetary transfers (ETH, USDC) annually
  • Review includes main DAO wallet, Working Groups multisigs, ENS small grants program, etc.
  • Match every $1 received with $1 in ENS, valued at grant time.
  • Funds granted subject to a vesting contract: 3 years total, 1 year cliff.
  • Immediate delegated voting power with granted ENS.

I appreciate the idea of tying governance distribution to ‘skin in the game,’ as reflected in the monetary value accrued over a single term. In theory, this approach seems meritocratic. In practice, however, I question whether the Meta-Governance Working Group should be solely responsible for evaluating the distribution method yearly. Perhaps partnering with a third party to administer the program might be more effective.

Given that stewardship is not a permanent position, lasting only one year with potential for re-election, the workload may be overwhelming for new stewards who are unfamiliar with the program to manage alone.

Exactly. I’d like to see this proposal enhanced with a plan for execution, including the technical specifications required to do so.

Nice thought, but the token price is volatile, and vendors may not recognize the validity of this argument if the price is low. It could even backfire, providing vendors with a justification to charge more should the price of $ENS be low.

Besides, we should encourage people to hold the governance token in regard to its utility as a voting tool. Using the token as a point of negotiation may have unintended effects.

Okay, perfect. Vested tokens should be unruggable unless there is a motion approved by the entire DAO.

Inertial Delegated Votes

Okay, this addresses the “sovereign voting power” versus “delegated voting power” discussion we were having in another thread (cc @Griff). Essentially, it creates a two-tiered system of suffrage where the base voting power (sovereign) is enhanced by inertia (delegated). This is an interesting feature, and I can imagine how it could also be considered an incentive for participants who are deeply involved in the ‘governance game’.

In the case of “inertia”, I believe it is acceptable for individuals to be delegated tokens without having outright ownership of the vote.

Voting Power Distribution

Thanks to @santinomics.eth, I was able to access data from their ENS DAO Governance Dashboard. This enabled me to conduct a simple data analysis and create a box plot illustrating the current power distribution within the ENS DAO Governance.

Sample of the top 1000 delegates. Source: Delegate Rank and Voting Power

Insights from the data:

  • The average delegate voting power is approximately 3796.65, far below the minimum 10,000 voting power threshold to put up a social proposal on Snapshot.
  • Over half of the delegates fall below the 50th percentile, which means that, from this sample, more than half of the delegates have a voting power of less than 421.90.
  • The standard deviation (σ) of 18148.14, indicates a significant spread in voting power.
  • The power distribution in ENS DAO Governance is significantly skewed, with 139 delegates who have disproportionately high power.

The overwhelming majority of delegates are demonstrably disenfranchised, a key factor, I argue, in voter apathy. Many might ask, “Why vote if my voice doesn’t matter?” Along with proposing an ENS governance distribution program, we should also envisage a more egalitarian representation of delegate voting power.

I don’t think that delegating the aforementioned responsibility to a third party will do any good. It will just end up being another overpriced expense, and stewards are already being paid enough. However, if Meta-Governance MG stewards dropped some of their responsibilities and focused more on the management of this, it might be different. But I don’t see that happening. For example, if the DAO had an event coordination specialist who handles booking flights, hotels, and travel plans for all the conferences, I’m sure that would lighten the burden.

Maybe the DAO should distribute governance power without any constraints. I mean, we are all adults, and what recipients decide to do with their governance will be a direct reflection of their alignment with the project. That will be telling in itself. Maybe that’s what needs to happen anyway.

There is clearly a bloat in the price-to-vote weight of impact per token. If people are to receive tokens for their past contributions, I don’t see the logic in saying, “Thank you, here is your reward distribution, but we are still going to lock the tokens up.” Otherwise we wouldn’t be requiring the tokens to be caged.

There will always be an inevitable discrepancy between the price per token and the vote weight itself. As much as we try to find complex mechanisms to convince ourselves that the vote weight is more important than the price or vice versa, at the end of the day, it will always be partial to the opinion of the holder. Putting any restriction on such distribution to protect one of the two token faces doesn’t make much sense to me. Or maybe a solution would be to allow a penalty for partial token withdrawal pre-cliff.

Something about giving responsibility but also restricting that responsibility–the logic just feel strange to me.

These are some good points to consider while thinking about distributing voting weight. I wonder if allocating more voting weight to any of the 139 delegates with disproportionately high power will actually help in combating voter apathy.

@accessor.eth makes some good points on defining the differences between comp, matching and delegation. If the goal of this proposal is to distribute voting weight, this can be done purely as a delegation instead of vesting or any other forms of distribution to all parties including contributors, stewards or delegates. A rational actor will simply dump tokens upon unlocks as @SpikeWatanabe.eth accurately points out.

In terms of concerte next steps, i suggest:

  • identify delegates who are actually active in governance (eg: voted on atleast x% in past 6 months)
  • filter to see how many of these are underrepresented, (eg:who have less voting weight than the average active delegate)
  • create a list of top ‘x’ delegates who qualify along with the voting power to be distributed to these delegates
  • Agree on a time period for this experiment (eg: receive delegation for 1 year) & delegate the tokens instead of granting, distributing, rewarding or compensating anyone
  • Post a evaluation criteria along with ways to measure success of this experiment
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But this could be done on a payment-by-payment basis, right? There doesn’t seem to be any obvious benefit to batching it.

I believe that we should move towards a more egalitarian distribution of voting power. Thus, the focus should be on targeting and engaging the delegates who fall below the third quartile ( <667.92 voting power) — I myself belong to this rank.

For example, there are plenty of developers in the ecosystem (our unsung heroes, in fact) who have demonstrated valuable contributions to the ENS Protocol. In addition to the nine service providers selected for streams, Meta-Governance should take responsibility for identifying and distributing governance power to those individuals building on ENS.

Yes. We should continue the discussion regarding definitions here: Seeking Feedback on Bylaws GAP Analysis: A Call to Stewards, Delegates, and Contributors

I have been thinking a lot about this recently and have concluded that instead of regulating the $ENS token, we should acknowledge it for what it is, ipso facto: both a currency and a measure of a delegate’s influence and voting power. It should serve as an incentive in both regards.

That’s why I believe @avsa’s solution is elegant; it was created with respect to this. Although I personally believe that delegates should primarily use their governance tokens for their intended purpose, I cannot deny the temptation to sell. I think that this is a feature, not a bug, and any ‘rational actor’ will understand the opportunity cost when they exchange their influence in governing the ENS Protocol for liquidity.

Sure, I partially agree with this motion. If a solution hasn’t already been built for this, I suggest using Axiom to look up historical onchain data to filter out delegates based on your and others’ suggested criteria. However, I’d argue that tokens should be vested and delegated according to avsa.eth’s proposal.

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Amazing proposal!!

Wasn’t there a discussion about how many times one steward can be elected/reelected? What was the verdict of that discussion? And how or does that affect this? I can’t seem to find that discussion…

I agree with this!


I proposed a couple of mechanisms to regulate that, there was no verdict, the discussion got thrown off the track a bit, but I’m planning to bring it back to light again, maybe in a different amended post, incorporating some of feedback we managed to gather at a time.

EDIT: This place is maze :slight_smile: , takes some true forum warrior to navigate around here!


Hey Cap, we can discuss this at length in the bylaws thread@Lemma are currently collecting feedback and preparing to submit a first draft of the DAO’s bylaws for community review.

Would you consider contributing this issue to the bylaws discussion? At present, there are no rules stipulating the length of steward terms, and I believe it would be beneficial for the DAO to address this as we prepare the bylaws for a social proposal.

I am looking forward to the next steps in the ENS Governance Distribution Program. AFAIK, there have been no dissenting voices in the discussion thread, and it sounds like this proposal is being well received by the community.

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I forgot to press reply!

This brings important consideration to the method of which governance token distribution is measured. I would assume that there is a master log that is available between the stewards that should be; if not exact mirror of what reflects all ENS DAO wallets, a more comprehensive detailed record of each incoming and outgoing payment. Specifically one that notates who the payment is being sent to as well as particularly describing it’s purpose. I also assume that one exists already,

If such master sheet does not exist (which it should), then expect that contentions may or may not arise from recipients or not-recipients in regards to distribute amounts. Also, if under the condition that a master sheet does not exists, I would suggest this two options in providing further clarity of information that (in my opinion should be public already)

  • make the document publicly accessible for viewing on one of the many websites ENS has information.
  • Develop a schema and code reference for non-revokable attestations for publishing along with each outgoing payment, with any further details as to the who, what, when, whys. Base would be a great option for this, rather than mainnet.

This will prevent any objections towards calculations of any future weights or other distributions granted.

One year ago, I put this topic the forum. It sparked good conversation but did not receive as much attention that I was hoping for. But now it shows the importance of participation in DAO discussion or contributing development work, deliverables or just supporting the DAO in any way that you are able

In this topic I find this the most true of all the responses

Three months ago, which at the time was ten months after original posting; I added this remark

@estmcmxci This is my substantially compelling reason. So I can continue to promotoe discussion around this very topic.

edit sorry @nick.eth didn’t meant to reply to your response.

Hmm very interesting accessor.eth, do you think that some well supported temperature checks that have translated into actual proposals could be also considered for an ENS Governance Distribution Program?

Is it possible to have an onchain forum planned to be deployed in the future that can be verified as per onchain analysis and would incentivize participation?

For me the 2FA and email, instead of just SIWE has made a bit troublesome to easily login to the forum and for the sake of convenience sometimes I discuss on socials and/or talk directly to the person/communities, e.g. https://x.com/amboscoboinik/status/1768714800530436193?s=20

This is where official conversation takes place. There realy isn’t other platforms outside of private messages between parties that discuss in-motion line item.

Your last time you accessed this forum was 6 months prior to your most recently log in data. So other than the ample time to solve that issue, I really have no other suggestion.

The metrics are not set in stone. This isn’t my temp-check and I’m not sure if I understand your question.