Approximately three weeks ago, just before the conclusion of the Accelerating Arbitrum proposal, I shared a perspective on these forums about being highly confused about the state of the DAO and the decision-making process for protocols to engage with us. This concern was particularly pronounced as many influential and respected delegates advocated for a clear framework before any further action was taken on liquidity incentives or similar programs.
Since then, we’ve seen effort through a community call and the diligent efforts of the liquidity incentives working group. I’ve wholeheartedly participated in these discussions and have even reached out to various delegates open to dialogue. Some significant delegates have refrained from engaging in the framework design process, which means that the drafting and ratification will take much longer than most expect. This isn’t a critique of the committee’s efforts (please see Disruption Joe’s recent post which includes an update on work done in the last workshop) or the delegates; it’s merely an observation that there is a high chance we spend weeks or months discussing and preparing only to discover that the proposed framework doesn’t resonate with their vision. Having already heard various delegates articulate diametrically different views on what a framework should look like confirms this is not a simple process and will take time.
While I hold a strong belief that a formal framework will eventually prove beneficial for the DAO, my apprehension today stems from the practicality of implementing such a framework within a timeline that aligns with the pressing demands dictated by the rapidly evolving landscape. This landscape encompasses the dynamic activities of other Chains and their respective DAOs. These entities are making swift strides—established ones bolstering their native protocols while emerging chains attract projects away from Arbitrum with the lure of incentives, grants, and new users. While it might be tempting to frown upon protocols seeking opportunities elsewhere or to envision a scenario where our exceptional builders can thrive on merit alone without incentives available on other chains, the reality is that we should instead look at how the ambiguity on builder support within the ecosystem might influence their decision-making process.
I propose a pragmatic approach: the DAO is the framework, at least until a formal one is established. The DAO is endowed with the authority to manage its affairs. It acts as the evaluating committee, the approving body, and the custodian of funds to be distributed. Our existing multi-stage process, involving Proposal, Snapshot, and Tally voting, over a recommended 4-week process, inherently supports this notion. It’s incumbent upon delegates of all scales to proactively participate in discussions, provide timely feedback on proposals, and drive this process forward. Importantly, those crafting the framework will benefit immensely from the insights garnered through these discussions and votes, meaning we will get to the framework quicker and more reflective of the DAOs intent.
The present course might deviate from what people anticipated when raising their hands to become delegates. Nevertheless, this is the need of the moment. I hope we can rally around our shared responsibilities without a ratifying vote, however, if needed, a proposal could be framed as follows:
Collectively, the DAO expresses its agreement and issues guidelines to delegates, urging them to consider, evaluate, and ultimately ratify or decline individual proposals for liquidity incentives and grants based on their intrinsic merits.
Moreover, the DAO seeks the Arbitrum Foundation’s assistance in providing the community with timely feedback regarding any proposal’s adherence to the Arbitrum Constitution, administrative guidelines, and overlaps with the foundation’s activities. In cases where discrepancies arise, the Foundation could propose potential solutions.
These guidelines shall persist until such time that the DAO chooses to revise them—potentially, although not necessarily, in alignment with a formalized Framework.
This approach empowers us to drive the progress we urgently need while laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive Framework that captures the vision and aspirations of all DAO stakeholders.
We are Arbitrum, and we need to act now.