Visualization of Money Flows between DAO Wallets

Since we are right now discussing the DAO’s new request of funds to the working groups I think it would be a good opportunity to analyze how the DAO has spent it’s money so far.

First of all, how much money has the DAO received so far?

Money In

There are multiple ways to tell this story, measuring value in ether, or dollars, at the current time or then. The method I will be using will be to account only for USDC, ETH (and WETH) transfers and measure them at the day of the transfer.

Almost 100 million dollars. That’s taking all the ether and USDC transactions coming into the address wallet.ensdao.eth at the time of their transfer. That of course doesn’t tell the whole story: it ignores all the ENS tokens it holds (valued at over 90 million right now but of course that would change if the DAO tried to sell much of it) and because lots of these were transferred in ether then that total value is also relative.

Most of the money came originally from the old registrar controller. But both the old and the new still have a large income of money. Here’s the current incoming flux of ether for the new and active registrar controller:

You can see that the Registrar controller has an incoming flux of roughly 30 thousand dollars per day, which amounts to almost a million dollars per month! And that seems roughly stable, despite the variations on the larger NFT market.

Money Out

Now if we measure all the outgoing transactions, then we see that the DAO transferred out almost 70 million dollars and still has 16 to spare in its wallet (again, not counting ENS tokens).

Endaoment and ENS Labs

Most of that money has been sent to the Endaoment, in two tranches. I am also ignoring a large transfer of 10k ethers made to Cow Swap (as per EP3.3) because it also had a corresponding incoming transaction of equal value. You can follow up the Endaoment composition on this Dune Dashboard.

The second largest slice is the “unspent” portion which represents $16M still on the wallet (this adds ether and USDC so it varies).

The third largest slice is for ENS labs, here represented by the address coldwallet.ens.eth as “ENS Labs Cold Wallet”, which is the target of the receiving stream of that was approved in EP14.

To clarify, EP14 was $4,197,500 for the year 2022, but more importantly it approved a stream of $11,500 daily to ENS Labs, which can be revoked at any time by either party. Here are all the transactions that sent USDC from ENS DAO to the ENS Labs wallet:

Date Value Link Notes
April 1, 2022 $1,291,135.63 EtherScan EP8 - Reimburse True Names for expenses and tax obligations
July 16, 2022 $2,263,565.15 EtherScan EP14 - Funding ENS Labs Stream
November 10, 2022 $1,349,519.16 EtherScan stream: 117 days * 11,500 $/day
April 28, 2023 $1,938,319.17 EtherScan stream: 169 days * 11,500 $/day
July 4, 2023 $770,817.11 EtherScan stream: 67 days * 11,500 $/day
July 31, 2023 $310,862.92 EtherScan stream: 27 days * 11,500 $/day
September 7, 2023 $436,045.35 EtherScan stream: 38 days * 11,500 $/day
October 6, 2023 $335,314.82 EtherScan stream: 29 days * 11,500 $/day

Working Groups

Here is the budget of the working groups broken down.

First of all, for all it’s governance overhead, it’s important to note that while most of the ENS governance calls are related to Working Groups budget and steward selection, that they all combined have received about half of what ENS Labs have and a fraction of what is sitting unspent on the wallet.

Second it’s curious to note the sheer amount of transactions sent by these groups, transactions under 100k are not even listed otherwise it would be extremely busy – and 100k is a lot of money!

Also a third point of note is that by far, the largest line item on each group is actually the money they did not spend. In all cases, they have remaining in their wallet more than they have sent to any individual address.

Ecosystem is the largest working group and most of its largest line items are actually sending to other contracts who then forward it elsewhere. Like the Small Grants or Gitcoin grants, these are just ways to offload the governance of funds to other entities, like Gitcoin or the Small Grants program.

Ecosystem stewards provided me with even more detailed categorization which allowed me to put this tree map chart of money flows

It’s important to note that money out is not an expense: I have not tracked the funds inside the pods, how much they were sent out and how much of them remains in the pod (which are still in control of stewards)

Metagov on the other hand has larger individual line items. The biggest is Karpatkeys fees, paid to manage the sizable endowment. Notice these are only tracking “transactions that were paid” for the total life of the DAO: fees incurred and not yet paid, or expenses accounted for but not sent, etc, are not shown. The third largest slice is the Governance Pod which was listed as the “governance” line item in the working group’s budget. I am still clarifying what it does and what its purpose.

Public Goods is the smallest group and it reflects on smaller checks. Its largest check was sent to Gitcoin and the second largest is the the Scholarship program, where it selected 6 ENS scholars all over the world for a yearly stipend of $1000/month in a super fluid stream.

Community working group is a defunct group that was abolished after one term and sent the remaining funds to ecosystem.

Some conclusions:

DAOs can be a great tool for financial transparency as every cent that the DAO can spend has to be accounted, approved and can be transparently audited on chain. But of course, in order for that to work we need to actually look at it.

  • Large amount of small tickets It’s interesting to notice the large amount of small checks in the groups. On one hand it means that the groups are doing a good job spreading funds through many different initiatives. On the other hand, a large amount of small checks can be harder to audit and it also means that a group that has a significant contribution to ENS as developers don’t have the chance of getting bigger funds in similar scales as ENS Labs has. I hope to expand that point in a future point.
  • Unspent funds Most working groups have a large amount of unspent funds. I believe these should be taken in consideration when making requests for new funds. For example the Ecosystem working group is requesting 400k in new funds while they are sitting on over 600k unspent in their wallet.
  • Auditability tools I’ve done this analysis by downloading the data from ether scan as CSV and playing around in Numbers. Ideally we should be able to build Dune Analytics dashboard and other visualization tools that help visualize these. For example, while the ENS Labs stream has been approved in a vote, I had not seen the full usage of funds until now, and I don’t believe there’s any working dashboard for it.
  • Possible warnings I believe that exercises in using on chain data like these are important defense mechanism for the DAO. As more money keeps flowing, we need to make sure all the data is auditable and we have the right tools to make sure the funds are being properly allocated.

Thanks for working on this and sharing, @AvsA!

I’ve always been an advocate of transparently reporting DAO expenses. As DAO secretary, following in 2022, I compiled one of the first working group spending summaries. I was thrilled to see this carried forward by @limes following last term, and I expect it to continue.


  • The Endowment as an expense: From an accounting perspective, this would fall into the asset category. Also, with the Zodiac module used, the DAO still has root control over the multisig that holds the Endowment. Listing this as an expense does not seem accurate.
  • Endowment Value: The correct amount is ~56M with the second tranche deposited, not 160M.
  • Unspent as a usage: This may be a semantic discussion, but by my definition, unspent is not a usage.
  • Establish a reporting period: I understand this post is meant to be an exploration of data, but I would like to see more rigid reporting periods defined. Any time closer to the beginning of the term – when working funding traditionally occurs in a lump sum – will distort funding utilization. If utilization was based on the fiscal cycles, it would be a more accurate representation of utilization term over term.
  • A large amount of small tickets - This is to be expected. The purpose of the working groups was to delegate the more minor spending decisions to trusted, elected individuals who are still accountable to the delegates.

Again, super great to see this type of reporting. I just hadn’t had a chance to provide feedback yet.

A note on the labels: I’m more flexible on labeling working group funding as all expenses because it is approved spending (let’s assume the DAO won’t get this back). Still, in reality, anything in the three main working groups multi-sigs, by authority of smart contract, belong to the DAO and could be clawed back by vote.


Thanks @Coltron.eth !

Well it might be a wording issue. I renamed that as Money out. It’s a visualization of money flowing from the wallet.ensdao.eth into the endowment wallet. Both belong to the DAO but the flow is what I’m visualizing. It also happens on multiple working groups: when Ecosystem sends funds to Small grants, they are still in control of it, it wasn’t “spent” either.

You’re correct. I checked my data and found some duplicate transactions on the data. I’ve fixed the image, thanks for pointing that out.

Again it’s a visualization of money flows, not expenses, so money that did not flow but still can is very important.

I agree. It would be great if we had more automatic tools to visualize it.

Yes. That’s the goal of working groups. I’d like to take some time to be able to categorize these smaller funds sent, so we can visualize it better. For that, the data sent by you and Slobo has been greatly useful.

Thanks for everything!


@AvsA Thank you for the clarifications!

+1 on the automation. I’d like to see a live aggregated inflow vs outflow report that ignores transfers between internal accounts (wallets) where the DAO still has custody.

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@AvsA It’s also worthy to note that the funding stream to ENS Labs also includes a total of ~3.2 million ENS token streamed from the timelock controller. Lets just give the ENS token an average price of $8. Which would indicate a value of ~$26 million of ENS Governance tokens transferred out.

I did not include that analysis because the time lock also encompasses a lot of vesting tokens, meaning that these are already owned by the ENS labs, just they didn’t have access before.

It is essential to have visibility of the big picture. Thanks for putting this together, @AvsA.

Agree that would be super valuable to have more automation/tools to give more transparency and to take better decisions as a community.

Analyzing the last two terms (T2 2022, T1 2023) the costs have increased and also the impact on ENS and the Ethereum community, looking forward to see the results of T2 2023. Having the “spending” per day metric like for ENS Labs would be great.

Another metric I’m curious to see is the treasury management, for the cost and earnings coming from strategies vs just holding the assets (like it was before).

I see some good space for investing in more builders and long-term initiatives, and I also see a good opportunity for marketing. These actions could give a big return in the long term, probably it’s a topic for other discussion!

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Hi @alextnetto.eth !

You can find all present + historical Endowment /treasury management related stats here: karpatkey

This is updated monthly-- you can toggle for the month on the top right corner of the dashboard. (cc @karpatkey )

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Hi @katherine.eth! Thanks for the reply and link.

@5pence.eth provided me some useful links to get the data I needed to have an accurate understanding.

With links below, we can see that Karpatkey fees until now sum ~77ETH and farming results around $550k

Spreadsheet from Mar - Jun
Spreadsheet from Jul - Sep
Fee payouts thru a multisig just for the purpose of paying those fees
Dashboard for Karpatkey
Updates reports on forum

A suggestion for @karpatkey would be aggregating this data on only one spreadsheet or ideally having it on the dashboard (the fees + months before Jul) for more transparency.

I appreciate all the work being done!


Is this a typo?

In an earlier version of the post I had a graph which miscalculated the endowment amounts.