[TEMP CHECK] ENS Steward Vesting Proposal

Nobody is misrepresenting anything.

Great feedback, pleased we made this a temp check so this can be updated in the ‘final’ proposal - The top paragraph agree can remove, the second paragraph I think it’s worth keeping (just reframing).

Happy to include a rule update/change, but as discussed in the Meta-Gov call sounds like we don’t need any direct update :saluting_face:

I’ve given more thought about it and here’s what I’ve gathered:

  • Given that we are not moving forward with the metagov budget into an EP due to the result of the last vote
  • Given that we are all in agreement that vesting is a good idea for all future ENS grants and future steward compensation (I’ve mentioned in both my ENS distribution proposals)
  • Given that this is not a general rule change on vesting but rather a decision on applying to a single action

I would suggest you change your proposal in a few key aspects.

  • Abstract: we don’t need to reference the metagov funding thread anymore. Instead I would say something like this:

“In 2023, the term 4 of the Metagov working group made a guidance on the forum post that the next term should be compensated with 10k ENS, in two tranches given at the end of each semester. This guidance was required because we had recently passed a proposal that prohibits Stewards on making compensation decision for themselves and only setting the standard to the next one. While the value and manner of distribution is the same as it was in term 4 and 3, which had passed, due to the limitation of time, that particular suggestion was never put to a ratifying vote on the DAO. Current Metagov has stated that they will propose that a vesting schedule be proposed for the next term, as it’s their role on rule 11.6.”

“We want to propose to retroactively change the term 4 guidance to include a 24 month vesting, to all stewards starting this term.”

I’ve tried to describe the whole situation the most neutral way I could.

Maybe the options should be:

“Yes. Apply vesting to the current term”
“No. Keep the 2023 guidance.”

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I would add that the proposal explicitly references the Term 5 compensation guidelines. This would enable delegates to accurately discern for themselves whether to continue following the Term 5 guidance or not.

that’s not quite right, distribution of liquid tokens was not approved for term 4, it is something stewards did voluntaristicaly

not everyone agreed on the amount of compensation in that long thread

so my thinking the options should be:

“Distribute tokens. Apply 3 years vesting”
“Distribute liquid tokens”
“Don’t distribute tokens, keep only USDC denominated part of compensation”

this way everyone who had some opinion back in that thread can choose appropriate option

all stewards from all working groups should abstain from this vote, because even if you are not MG group, this vote still affects your position indirectly by setting a precedent


All of this discussion here, if you look around, there is a very clear precedent within banking system. It used to be case that cost of loan was very opaque, there was some percentage, then there were comissions, fees etc etc, eventually regulator made banks to disclose REAL cost of loan expressed in percentage.

This discussion here, is exactly the same, we are talking about disclosing REAL salary of Stewards, it doesn’t matter what is the structure of that compensation - it cannot be opaque. Especially given the fact that ENS is public good. Everyone needs to understand how much Stewards are compensated and for what services.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that it was an oversight not to have obtained explicit buy-in from the DAO on compensation plans via a social proposal. In hindsight, I believe the Working Group should have put forth this issue to a vote.

I have also suggested including this amendment in the forthcoming bylaws, as well as considering other key feedback points that emerged from the Meta-Governance Funding Request discussion. To avoid a conflict of interest, I have proposed that a nonpartisan individual should execute the compensation guidelines defined by the Meta-Governance Working Group.

The Term 4 Meta-Governance Working Group has outlined the full steward compensation, detailing the amount each role receives in USDC. Reading this table, I can discern steward compensation and it is clearly defined.

IMHO, this proposal should only address the governance distribution, and whether or not to apply vesting to the current term. Therefore, I would suggest that the voting options should be as specific as possible:

  • Option 1: Apply vesting to governance distribution for the current term.
  • Option 2: Approve governance distribution as per Term 5 guidance.
  • Option 3: Abstain

Why would you want to put to a vote only part of the package, if anything then the whole compensation package should be put to a vote with appropriate options allowing delegates to strip or modify parts of the package as per discussion

Let’s make the best use of our energy by focusing on the issue at hand: should vesting apply to Term 5 governance distribution or not? Call me naive, but I believe we should adhere to the Term 5 Guidance proposed by the Meta-Governance Working Group. While it’s not perfect, we should focus on applying what we’ve learned to the discussion on Term 6 Guidance instead of fault-finding.

Do you truly believe that this is the best use of the delegates’ time? Instead, I would suggest letting stewards cook and focus discussion on governance distribution in general.

Additionally, I’d like to clarify my position. Although the Meta-Governance Working Group is responsible for defining compensation standards, I believe the absence of a social proposal to approve Term 5 guidance reflects an oversight by the entire DAO. This is a conclusion that I have drawn from recent discussions, not one that I’ve held onto. This oversight will be addressed in the forthcoming addenda to the bylaws.

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Its a very simple poll

Compensation is made of

  • USDC part only as per this schedule totalling to this as expressed in USDC
  • USDC part + liquid tokens in the amount of X per stewards totalling to this as expressed in USDC
  • UCDS part + 3 year vested tokens in the amount of X per stewards totalling to this as expressed in USDC

it requires literary zero time for extra analysis on delegates parts

In the next voting window Metagov plans to put the budget up but with a separate vote for the ENS and USDC budget. It will be, in essence, a ratification of the previous comp guideline. This proposal should be only about either to apply vesting in this one term.

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voters should be allowed to decide whether to include tokens at all, there were quite a few voices in that discussion that highlighted 25000usd per month is way too much of compensation

I don’t want this conversation to get circular, but if you decide to omit that question in the poll, I will be forced to put additional social vote to cover for that point

Indeed, this discourse has become circular.

It is not accurate to denominate voting power as United States Dollars (USD), as stated above. It is denominated as ENS, per the Term 5 compensation guidelines. Voting power is a form of non-monetary compensation which grants recipients the option to:

  1. Directly exercise or delegate voting power.
  2. Exchange voting power for other assets, such as ETH, USDC, and yes, even greenbacks.

There is an explicit difference between interpreting governance distribution events as a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) event and understanding them for what they primarily are: the DAO’s mechanism to decentralize the ENS Protocol. This discussion should focus on deriving the procedures through which we can further reinforce this mechanism, rather than interpreting these events purely in terms of monetary implications.

Yes you are correct, there is a difference in interpretation for functionality and use as a means as voting weight.

At the same time, the DAO does not distribute on a CGT event. That differentiation occurs and can only be decided by the member holding the tokens. This is strictly a personal decision made by the holder and without any influence from the DAO or market maker influence or perceived exta-particular monetary benefit from such influence. There is a stark distinction in the shift from one to the other.
The standard should be known

Discernible Asset State Guidance

Asset State

    1. Taxable Financial Instrument
      (depending on country or residence)
      Includes native FIAT currency in a Nation that has authority over it’s financial instruments
      Member or holder Responsibility, does not have direct connection to the DAO
    1. Governance Utility Token ( does not represent taxable item while in holding for Governance purposes. i.e, voting weight or influence)
      Includes Digital Tokens that reside in the EVM obtained by distribution of the originating power without invoking a predisposed price before or obtained by person(s) after a distribution event by means of exchange for market trade value.
      Officially a DAO Governace Tool and free from Taxable Financial Instrument Authorities


    1. Member uses fiat or other currencies to trade for governance tokens.
      Taxable Financial Instrument → ( asset fulcrum, i.e, trade, swap or convert to | Change of Asset State Use ) → Governance Utility Token ( asset functionality use, i.e, purpose of voting or influence of policy within governance. Does not facilitate a transaction that would result in the monetary gain or loss of a single persons or other dependent.)

Reciprocal Process


    1. Member exchanges their Governace tokens for FIAT Instrument
      Governance Utility Token ( asset functionality use, i.e, purpose of voting or influence of policy within governance. Does not facilitate a transaction that would result in the monetary gain or loss of a single persons or other dependent.) → ( asset fulcrum, i.e, trade, swap or convert to | Change of Asset State Use )

You can turn it upside down left to right, if it quacks walks and looks like a duck - then it’s a duck. Having state of the art education in the field of economics and years of experience slicing and dicing various financial instruments in my mind it’s just another monetary incentive.

To trully consider it for “voting purposes” Steward should be dissalowed to spend it.

I think @AvsA got a point when he is saying that if some third party like DAO is controlling the tokens for voting purposes delegating them to Stewards, then voting agent is on “the hook”. That’s a valid argument. I don’t know how to solve it.

But liquid or even vested ENS tokens is just money, whichever way you put it - its 25kUSD / month compensation. Which is a huge imbalance in community.

Okay, so in your view, the DAO should maintain ownership over voting rights and solely delegate those rights to stewards, developers, contributors, etc. Is that right?

I am concerned that if voting power is merely delegated instead of granted outright, delegated tokens could simply be revoked through a social proposal, a concern I had shared with @Griff. This is reinforced by the fact that the current distribution of voting power is too damn high.

On the one hand, I understand the consternation — what would stop recipients from ‘cashing out’ and abandoning their responsibilities as stewards? On the other hand, what would prevent incumbent delegates from revoking delegated tokens if the new voting bloc ‘votes the wrong way’, effectively cutting them off at the knees?

It appears that the debate has evinced a classic Prisoner’s Dilemma situation, where each party, acting in their own perceived best interest, risks leading to an overall worse outcome for both parties (i.e., governance moratoriums).

Personally, I believe vesting is a good compromise, and it could be stipulated that the DAO retains the right to stop vesting should recipients act in bad faith. Besides, we can’t expect stewards to participate in governance forever. The ENS Protocol will outlast each and every one of us, so the least that can be done is to pay it forward and assure that the ENS DAO takes care of high-value, high-impact contributors, just like those same contributors take care of the DAO.

I agree with this.

Also, can we abstract from the back and forth base solely on opinions? What we lacked on past terms vote was information, for delegates and the rest of the folks.

So, does anyone have a model, reference or guidance of any other ecosystem/DAO that have implemented in the past anything like this and the correlation in governance and DAO health? Otherwise, I would simplify it with what @AvsA propose, because no matter what good intent or how many years in x field anyone has, if it doesn’t come up with data and potential outcomes then it’s just repetitive text.

Personal opinions without any point of reference gives too much ground for bias, and it was my understanding that temperature check are for be informed and gather feedback, but we keep falling into the same of us commenting over and over.

I’d like the opinions of the DAO delegates who voted no, like @brantlymillegan, @superphiz etc, because they can offer valuable insights.

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Great discussion as usual! +1 to all of @AvsA’s posts and comments above - will integrate this with the current Temp Check and put it up on the forum as a social proposal over the weekend. Giving the proposal enough time for further discussion before it goes up for a vote during the next voting cycle in April, where the vote is:

  • “Yes. Apply vesting to the current term”
  • “No. Do not apply vesting to the current term in line with the 2023 guidance”
  • “Abstain”

Most other discussion/feedback is similar back and forth to what was discussed in the previous steward comp post, but as always any/all discussion is good!


There are a couple of other considerations:

(1) Job mobility (2) Risk / Accountability

(1) Job mobility - I benchmarked those numbers vs some other professions. For example brain surgeon would be earning similar annual salary. Should something to go wrong in a given hospital that hypothetical brain surgeon would just leave his place of employment and most likely find another hospital to work for fairly quickly. This is not the case for ENS DAO Stewards. This tells me that this aspect of compensation is broken.

(2) Risk / Accountability - typically high salary drag high risk with it. Brain surgeon or senior accountant within a firm might be found liable for certain actions and even criminal charges can be brought against. That is the price you pay for high salary - accountability. There is literary zero accountability for Stewards. I had to make a fuss on the forum just to get some basic info bylaws provider. It’s become norm to ignore questions at all. If anything bad happens Stewards will just walk away with zero consequences.

These are just a few more angles from which this compensation scheme is broken.

You continue to evaluate this based on the current price of the ENS token. Compensation was not set when the token had its current price, it was set when it was much lower. If you are treating ENS as a financial asset, you need to acknowledge that it comes with risk; it could as easily have diminished in price as increased. That is the way non-monetary rewards work - participants accept both downside and upside risks.


then why are we exposing our Steward to any kind of risk at all, let’s just denominate all compensation in USDT - that way there will be no ambiguity. Everyone would understand how much money exactly they are getting and if they choose to do so, then they can convert their salary to ENS token for voting purposes.