Quit Shooting the DAO/Foundation in the foot

The $ARB token has been live for nearly 6 months and the DAO controls ~43% of the token supply.

It is my opinion that the DAO is overcorrecting and limiting the ability of the Foundation and larger Arbitrum ecosystem to be successful as a reaction to the controversial AIP1.

I find it frustrating that there have been no grants passed or incentives assigned to grow the ecosystem.
The Arbitrum ecosystem has seen such amazing growth without any token incentives/grants, but we cannot stay competitive without well thought out incentives that are beneficial for both the DAO and larger ecosystem.

For instance, last month there was Camelot proposal that should’ve passed. The liquidity mining incentives would’ve attracted new users to the Arbitrum ecosystem, supported liquidity for Arbitrum projects, and benefited the DAO by growing the ecosystem. Most delegates said they support the proposal but are voting “No” because there are grant frameworks that are being worked on. These grant frameworks are a few months away. Worth mentioning that two of the largest delegates Abstained from the vote.

As a DAO we seem to be stuck, but we have such an amazing community that could do so much more if we empower them. So committed to process we’re not willing to act. It’s frustrating and as a large delegate, I’m making this post to hear how others are feeling. The lack of progress has been frustrating. We went from amazing momentum to nearly none.

Perhaps the way forward is giving the Foundation some more agency?

Would love to hear peoples thoughts/comments.


It seems to me that simple solutions breed centralisation, centralisation breeds complex solutions that end up killing decentralisation at the root.


  1. it is better to wait once for formalisation by grants than to solve everything all the time “ad hoc”
  2. It is better to keep DAO-principles at once than to give a lot of power to the Foundation
  3. It is better to learn to develop without grants and then growth with grants will be quite good

I was able to participate in many DAOs and realise that their value is in communities, not foundations.


General Agreement, Clarification, and Support

I saw this too. And as much as I tried to say that we should take some risks early and get things moving, the DAO voted otherwise. This is a tough hurdle to get over.

This can be frustrating. It would be great to know if these delegates thought that we didn’t need to rush or that they weren’t opinionated on the subject.

Our Plurality Labs proposal hasn’t finished it’s Tally period yet, but it was approved as was questbooks’. I think we are making measured steps forward as a DAO. Once we get going you will definitely feel the momentum come back. Next week we will have some big announcements coming to start driving things forward.

The foundation has complete agency outside of the DAO being able to replace its directors. They could launch a liquidity incentive program tomorrow without asking us and it would be legitimate via authority versus the DAO needing to find legitimacy through consensus.

Legitimacy through consensus means large delegates need to see a data-driven justification for the spending they do. They need to see a legitimate process setting domains and priorities for funding. There isn’t a shortcut for this kind of work. Below, I will outline how to spark action.

Discovering How to Get the DAO Moving

I facilitated a session last week including participants interested in figuring out how to pass a liquidity incentive proposal sooner than later.

The resulting action steps were for:

  1. Someone to writeup the session for the forum
  2. Put together a working group

Neither of these happened. The participants need someone to be granted authority to drive this work AND that person needs incentive (pay) to do it!

I offered to facilitate the session as a delegate, but didn’t want to commit to further action because it is 1) out of PL proposal scope 2) to see how the participants would drive it forward 3) bandwidth constraints

Since then we learned that Plurality Labs proposal has passed. The actions we will be taking to help build out a framework will be covered in the Long-term solutions. However, we were able to drive some progress this week on the short-term scope with the knowledge that Plurality Labs proposal is passed.

To get caught up with the conversation, the overview will include:

  1. A Review of Last Week’s Workshop
  2. The Short-Term Solution Effort
  3. Plurality Labs Role in Building a Liquidity Incentive Framework

A Review of Last Week’s Workshop

Starting with Assumptions and Concerns

Aligning on the Session Purpose

What Questions Need Answering

We started this by brainstorming what questions had to be answered. We then merged these answers into six overarching questions. You can see the original questions on the black stickies to the left of the question box.

Twenty minutes was spent answering and discussing these questions. Then, voting was used to heatmap the answers of high importance. With a newfound shared context, we felt comfortable moving forward to the beginning of a solution phase.

Ideation for a Process to Pass a Proposal ASAP & Next Steps

The Short-Term Solution Effort

After poking the fire, the workshop group decided we do need someone to drive the effort. I offered retroactive funding to be made available from a future grant program to get this important work moving if we track hours worked and outcome.

@tnorm has made multiple meaningful contributions during this process and has been active on the forum. The group was in support of him driving this work forward. His goal is to have a proposal on snapshot within 2-3 weeks. We also hope he can provide questions which need to be asked of the DAO for creating a long-term framework.

Plurality Labs Role in Building a Liquidity Incentive Framework

A long-term framework for liquidity incentives must:

  1. Justify the decision to provide liquidity incentives & how much
  2. Identify the principles the DAO has
  3. Be seen as coming from a neutral arbiter
  4. Identify a quantitative methodology for defining success
  5. Minimize the need for delegates to individually grant incentives to protocols

All of these things require multiple rounds of sense-making to gather data that guides and justifies framework decisions.

Plurality Labs has been working on a September Arbitrum #GovMonth promotion which will incentivize token holders for participating in sense-making. (Announcement coming soon! Stay tuned!)


Hi @Sony!

I fully agree with you that this is the ideal time for ArbitrumDAO to refine and accelerate its processes in order to strengthen the ecosystem. However, any progression must be built on a solid base. It is imperative that we manage our resources well and focus our efforts on areas that will have real impact. Proactive governance is crucial in this journey, and it is paramount to manage incentives carefully to avoid funds falling into the hands of mercenaries and farmers.

Also, the communication gap between ArbitrumDAO and Arbitrum Foundation is a concern. For this reason, the @seedlatam team, led by @cattin, has proposed the introduction of a Governance Facilitator role. This position would serve as a liaison between the Foundation and the DAO. We are confident that this role could have a positive impact, not only in speeding up processes, but also in improving them.

We are committed to laying a solid base at the DAO. We aspire to have it manage a vast number of proposals and, at the same time, become a hub for the main protocols and builders of the Arbitrum ecosystem.


It’s quite relieving to see someone finally raising their voice.

The reality surrounding the Arbitrum DAO is that the destiny of every vote rests in the hands of a mere half-dozen delegates. This is public and very obvious for almost anyone to reference.

Individuals like @olimpio and @ChainLinkGod, who carry the delegate title, seem to contribute minimally, if at all, to the progress of ongoing deliberations.

A puzzling stance is also taken by Treasure DAO, proclaiming they’ll exclusively cast votes aligned with their own interests. But doesn’t this stance contradict the very essence of being the largest delegate? It’s a point warranting heightened attention. Treasure DAO by itself can decide the outcome of almost all votes - what happens when Treasure want incentives? Should only delegates involved in the gaming ecosystem vote, taking the same position as Treasure?

Moreover, while acknowledging the nascent endeavours of these grant framework collectives, it’s imperative to underscore their vested interest in these matters. The prospect of claiming up to 20% of a grant framework as “cost” is undeniably a lucrative proposition. Naturally, these individuals would expend considerable effort to ensure that ARB grants are funneled through their frameworks. While I do not imply that these people would bottleneck the DAO for their own gain, one must question all scenarios and conflicts of interest that come into play.

Perhaps people think that the DAO has the luxury of waiting, but I can assure you that other ecosystems are making the most of this opportunity. Arbitrum DAO is sending a very loud signal to all builders and chains.


The point of us designing a framework is that the funds wouldn’t need to go through a Plurality Labs managed program.

What it will provide is data showing how the DAO feels about certain tradeoffs. Many large delegates don’t want to wield their vote irresponsibly. They want to find out how the DAO feels before casting a vote which may swing the decision one way or another. They may feel that this is more important than speed to the action.

You could also believe that they aren’t taking their responsibility seriously, however, I have gotten engagement from both TreasureDAO and Olimpio leading up to the Plurality Labs vote and I don’t think either could be seen as avoiding responsibility.