Addressing the Conflict of Interest in Nomination of Candidates for the Security Council

ArbitrumDAO is currently in the process of electing 6 new members for the March 2024 Cohort of the Security Council out of 44 candidates who have applied for the role during the Contender Submission phase.

Section 4 of the Arbitrum Constitution, outlines that those with ‘affiliations with direct Arbitrum competitors’ are not eligible to join the Security Council:

No candidate with conflicts of interest that would prevent them from acting in the best interests of the ArbitrumDAO, Governed Chains and/or The Arbitrum Foundation should be elected to the Security Council. Potential conflicts of interest could be, but are not limited to, affiliations with direct Arbitrum competitors, proven histories of exploiting projects and others.

Two candidates who are affiliated with Polygon Labs have applied to become part of the Security Council (here and here). Therefore and in accordance with the ArbitrumDAO Constitution, the two candidates will be removed from the elections during the compliance stage.

Furthermore, the ArbitrumDAO Constitution states:

The DAO may approve and implement a Constitutional AIP to change the rules governing future Security Council elections, but the AIP process may not be used to intervene in an ongoing election.

Should the ArbitrumDAO wish to change the Constitution in the future and remove the ‘affiliations with direct Arbitrum competitors’ provision, then it’s worth noting that such change may be possible only after the current elections end and only take effect for the next Security Council elections in ~6 months time (September 2024 cohort).

What is the Security Council?

If you are unfamiliar with the Security Council, you can read more about it here:

Tl;dr thread:

Security Council Elections 101: Security Council Elections 101

ArbitrumDAO Constitution: The Amended Constitution of the Arbitrum DAO | Arbitrum DAO - Governance docs

What makes a good candidate?

Choosing the right Security Council members is crucial to the security of the Arbitrum ecosystem due to the authority granted to them. Accordingly, delegates should elect candidates wisely, and consider the Security Council’s responsibilities and values, as well as key attributes to look out for when evaluating candidates, as described here: Security Council Members: Duties and Principles

There was a Governance Call on March 25 to discuss the attributes that make a good candidate, and for candidates who have applied for the role to pitch their profiles. This meeting recording can be accessed here: Security Council Elections - Who are the candidates? (2024-03-25 15:05 GMT) - Google Drive

Delegates can vote on candidates here, and nominated candidates with at least 5.4M votes will progress to the Compliance Check phase


While I understand the decision to keep inline with the constitution, I think this post fails to address why does the ArbitrumDAO believe there is a conflict of interest in this position specifically? We can argue if Polygon is or not a competitor, however I believe that is not enough justification to merit a conflict of interest.

The job of a security professional is one with little gratitude, but there is a huge level of camaraderie, especially in web3. People like Mudit Gupta and many others in the security space have gone out of their way to help protect, save & recover millions of $$$ in all kind of projects and organisations in web3, regardless of who they work for and what is the project’s activity (reason we applied in our own individual capacity).

I absolutely only see this as a win-win, having the smartest and most ethical people in the security space as part of your council, but I guess that is not how ArbitrumDAO sees it.

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