AGP idea: modify the AGP-10 Community Funding DAO so only the Aragon Co-op can create new votes

There was a concern brought up about the current implementation of the AGP-10 DAO that makes it easy to attack with spam proposals in the hopes of overwhelming honest voters, causing confusion, and draining funds from the DAO. This hasn’t happened yet but the longer the DAO exists as-is the more likely that someone will try to mess with it (if only as a proof of concept).

I propose an AGP that would modify the permissions in the AGP-10 DAO so that only the Aragon Coop DAO can create proposals. For this to be viable it would require cooperation from the Aragon Coop DAO to take on this responsibility. They would also need to install an instance of the Agent app so that their DAO has the capability to create votes in the AGP-10 DAO. And the workflow for creating AGP-10 DAO proposals would be modified slightly so that proposal authors would convince the Aragon Coop DAO members to approve creating a vote for their proposal in the AGP-10 DAO.

So before writing a formal proposal I would like to put this idea out there for consideration not just from ANT holders broadly but from Aragon Coop DAO members specifically. Is this a good idea? Are you (Aragon Coop members) willing to help facilitate the AGP-10 governance process and curate worthy proposals?

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John, I think this sounds like a great idea. It can give the cooperative a near-term collaborative activity, and it shouldn’t take that much of one’s time if one checks the forum here and there. I also like that it will allow for playing with the Agent app!

I would say perhaps there can be a vote in the Aragon Coop DAO to see who votes “Yes” to contributing to the curation process.

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Woah, nice idea John, like it. Agree w. Yalda that this would be a good task for Araco (or whatever we’re actually titled - there’s another potential vote pending:).

I’m not sure it’s quite as straightforward as is being suggested above though - there’s actually a very large amount of tacit knowledge expected here, in terms of tooling and communication/community - and also responsibility.

I spent the evening going through various coops principles documentation last night (I’ll upload my notes on the MVM thread as per our convo yesterday) and one thing they are all very clear on is that contributions (or what Loomio describe as ''transacting") requires a sense of ownership and reward for those participants (with both terms often interlinked). Can I head off any possible accusation of this being ‘well what’s in it for me’ by drawing attention to another principle found in all successful coop examples I’ve encountered, where a focus on sustainability (of the coop and surrounding community) is key*.

So yeah - this all sounds great – what’s in it for us? :slight_smile: **

*as someone who’s spent 15 years in and around free libre open communities of practice, I’ve seen waaay too much burnout already.

** Am also aware that perhaps this is for the coop to decide itself, being equally aware that people contribute their time and skills for many different reasons and desired outcomes.

Still, it’s a great idea @light, thank you for suggesting it…

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If the frame signer integration were available I think this approach would be fairly straightforward, without it there is a pretty significant technical burden associated with using the CLI to interact with the Agent app to create the votes (though perhaps a basic script/wrapper could be written with minimal effort to make that easier).

though perhaps a basic script/wrapper could be written with minimal effort to make that easier

Building a frontend just for that would be cumbersome and time consuming IMO but writing a custom script to initiate an agent intent to open a vote in another DAO can be done in a day or two.

That would be super specific to this use case but can help anyhow.

If this proposal pass I can take a day to write and publish it for sure.

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Thanks for bringing this up. I can think of two main options, I’m not sure what is best and there may be other options I haven’t thought of, let me know what you think:

  • Agree on a sum up front to pay the co-op for reviewing proposals and build it into the AGP or a separate AGP (“Modify the AGP-10 DAO so only the Co-op can create proposals and also send XXXX DAI per quarter to the Co-op as remuneration for their curation services”).

  • Agree on a sum “out of band” that could get paid by proposal authors directly. When proposal authors make a proposal they could pay a flat fee or % of the proposal value to the Co-op. This would more closely link the amount of work done to review proposals with the remuneration value. The proposal author could build the cost of the fee into their proposal so they get it back if the proposal is approved.

This doesn’t take into account how the remuneration is divided within the Co-op but that can be a separate conversation within the Co-op community.

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Yep, like these options. Perhaps we could do both proposals:

  1. A separate APG to provide some working coop capital
  2. “Modify the AGP-10 DAO so only…”
  3. Agree a sum out of band - which would afford appropriate attention from coop participants to each proposal.

We’ve had a quick roll-call and 20+ coop members appeared through the ether lickedy-split - we’re proposing various tasks (all really positive). Item 3 on my currently very bare bones constitution is in regard how we allocate dividends for contributory transactions from CoAO common property (any surplus cash).

So the idea that there could be funds for the coop itself, as well as specific project ‘maintenance’ (% of value) for specific work by members with specific well suited skills, fits the above conceptualisation very well.

(at some point, hopefully soon, we/I wont feel the requirement to constantly add “but all this is dependent on agreement from our members”, at the end of every post:)

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I like this proposed modification as an interim solution to the spam problem. However, given the coordination necessary on the Aragon Coop DAO side it might take more time than we have (3-4 days) to get their approval:

Here is a counter-proposal: at the first sign of trouble, open a proposal in the Community Funding DAO to send the remaining funds back to the Aragon Association multisig (this will need to be done again on April 30, at the time of the next scheduled deposit). So far people have been playing nice with the DAO but it’s good to be ready with a defensive measure should something not nice happen.

Then between now and ANV-3 we can work on an agreement that would give the Aragon Coop DAO exclusive proposal-making abilities in the Community Funding DAO as described in the OP in exchange for some curation fee as @Julian describes. Once an agreement is settled on and the Aragon Coop DAO implements the Agent app to make it possible, an AGP can be drafted for ANV-3 to patch the Community Funding DAO until the court is ready to serve as the spam prevention mechanism.

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Hey @anteater, appreciate the feedback on this. Is there anything you’d like us to do over the next couple of days regarding this (or anyone else, please feel free to suggest some/any-thing)?

If it would help I’d imagine we (@lkngtn really) could setup a quick vote re coop taking this role on, from our informal discussions everyone’s up for this. Does appear that setting up the Agent App is not currently that straightforward (though admittedly we haven’t actually got together and tried).

I do appreciate that requesting over half the quarterly budget is outside of the CFDAO’s expected scope, though perhaps half that, 3600DAI, would be acceptable? This would provide some motivation for a couple of coop members (most likely myself & @sepu85) to kickstart the Cooperative DAO’s currently lacking required momentum.

The funds would be used to implement our side of the above…

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~28% of the Community Funding DAO’s budget going to admin/ curation still seems quite high.

Getting paid a % of the value of each proposal as mentioned above seems a better way to match compensation with the value delivered. If a proposal is 500 DAI and the Coop agrees that 5% is a fair rate for curation then the Coop would get 25 DAI for that proposal from the author in the form of a curation fee, then the author would build that fee into the proposal and get it back when they’re paid by the DAO.

If the proposal is spam, then the Coop DAO still gets paid the fee for the curation work done but the spammer gets nothing (assuming the spammer is dumb enough to still try and submit the proposal in the first place).

What do you think?

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Hi again,

Yes, this makes sense to me re coop acting as potential spam-guard. 5% also seems about right as a fair curation fee too.

I do strongly believe the coop requires a capital investment kickstarter, though it does appear evident from community feedback that the CFDAO is perhaps not the right source for this potential funding.

Please let me know what (if anything) I can/should do to assist in making this AGP-ready.

Cheers for your input @anteater, appreciated…

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Yeah, this idea was submitted a bit last minute considering the coordination involved to make it a success. I agree that planning this for ANV-3 makes more sense and the “defensive measure” you suggest here seems reasonable in the short term.

I think what is left is for the Co-op to agree under what terms it will accept the curation responsibility. If 5% of the value of each proposal sounds like a good starting point to you as a fee for curation services, the next step would be to take this to the wider Co-op membership and possibly have them vote to ratify this (or whatever y’all do to make group decisions :smiley:) . And then we can work to integrate the Agent app and put forward an AGP for the next vote that makes it official.

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We actually hold a digital seance on keybase to summon the spectre of Robert Owens (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Owen), by placing our hands on the Ctrl Alt Shift [+] @ ~ keys, while chanting our emergent 8-point cooperative principles. Answers to all questions arrive via the cryptographically secure inbuilt chat protocol.

Works really well (so far)

More seriously (folks) - even this flags up an interesting conundrum - how to make and keep the coop responsive and agile - this really feeds into some practical questions I’ve been attempting to work through recently :thinking: – we so require some trusted representation :superhero:, and I don’t think we have 3 months to wait. This is all useful stuff, thanks again both

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Thank you so much for bringing this up. It’s an essential point that’s often stigmatized or not given enough attention, esp in the blockchain space. Change is hard and takes time, and any successful change needs to be sustainable :slight_smile:

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What if instead of the Aragon Cooperative controlling CFDAO funds, the Aragon Cooperative curated a list of CFDAO proposals for ANT holders to vote on on a regular basis?

  • this would provide the service of screening spam so that the ANT holders are not overwhelmed
  • it would also encouraging those who create funding proposals to get feedback/support from the Aragon Cooperative, but would also encourage engagement with the broader Aragon community to get feedback and support on proposals
  • it would cap the influence/bias that a small group could have on the community while simultaneously providing a valuable signal to guide ANT holder decisions

To make this a win/win for the Aragon Cooperative a system could be created that rewards the Cooperative proportional to the amount of curated proposals that ANT holders approve.

  • A naive method would payout a percentage of a base reward based on the amount of curated proposals that ANT holders agreed with. This could be calculated directly or quadratically.
  • A more interesting method might be a split between an accumulating base payout per approved proposal multiplied by the % alignment with ANT holders (these could also be direct or quadratic). This would incentivize the Cooperative to curate only proposals that ANT holders will deem valuable, while also encouraging the Cooperative to actively engage with and support the communities ideas to make sure that the maximum number of viable proposals are created.

Overall, the goal is to create a mechanism that incentivizes the Cooperative to engage with the Aragon community to support the creation of proposals that ANT holders agree with. If ANT holders agree with the curation/suggestions of the Cooperative, then there will be a large payout. If ANT holders disagree with the curation/suggestions of the Cooperative, then there will be a small payout. A mechanism like this would align incentives in a positive-sum game between funding proposal creators, the Aragon Cooperative, and all ANT holders.


To make this more concrete, let’s look at some examples:

Basic model: a fixed total reward paid out as a % of the alignment between the Cooperative’s curation and ANT holder votes.

  • ANT holders vote to fund 5 of 10 potential proposals, which includes the 4 supported by the Cooperative. This means that the Cooperative was 4/5 in alignment with ANT holders. The Cooperative would receive 4/5 of any potential reward.
  • ANT holders vote to fund 2 of the 10 proposals, which includes 2 that the Cooperative supported. The Cooperative is 2/4 in alignment with ANT holders. The Cooperative would receive 2/4 of any potential reward.

To incentivize community engagement and active participation you can make the payout be an accumulation of all aligned payouts multiplied by the % of alignment. In the above examples this would look like:

  • ANT holders vote to fund 5 of the 10 proposals, which includes the 4 supported by the Cooperative. This means that the Cooperative was 4/5 in alignment with ANT holders. The Cooperative would receive rewards for curating 4 proposals (simple addition or quadratic curve) multiplied by 4/5 (the alignment % with ANT holders).
  • ANT holders vote to fund 2 of the 10 proposals, which includes 2 that the Cooperative supported. The Cooperative is 2/4 in alignment with ANT holders. The Cooperative would receive rewards for curating 2 proposals (simple addition or quadratic curve) multiplied by 2/4 (the alignment % with ANT holders).

I hope this makes sense, but if not please let me know and I’ll do my best to explain! Also, if you find errors with this model or have suggestions for improvement I’d love to know :slight_smile:

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To be clear, that’s more or less what I’m proposing. Funds would continue to be transferred from the AA to agp10.aragonid.eth, the only difference would be that only the Aragon Coop DAO could create new proposals for ANT holders to vote on.

To make this a win/win for the Aragon Cooperative a system could be created that rewards the Cooperative proportional to the amount of curated proposals that ANT holders approve.

Right now the proposal (to keep it simple while satisfying the need to compensate curators for their time) is for proposal authors to pay a “curation fee” to the Coop equal to X% of the proposal value. The Coop will get paid this fee regardless of if a proposal passes or fails because either way, review work will have to be done. I don’t think the Coop’s compensation should be contingent on the proposal ultimately being approved or rejected by ANT holders because their role here is not to “curate proposals that are likely to be approved” but rather to “weed out spam and likely malicious/ fraudulent proposals”. I wouldn’t want to incentivize them to reject a proposal simply because they think it will be valid but unpopular.

I’m struggling to understand why in your example ANT holders are voting on 10 proposals but the Cooperative is only “supporting” 4? When the curation role here would require the Coop to approve all proposals that make it onto the final ballot for ANT holders to vote on.

Basically under this proposal the Coop would be playing the role that the AA currently does for the AGP process. Hope that clarifies things!

The idea is that the Cooperative would play a curation role, but not a decision making role. This way anyone from the community could create a proposal for ANT holders to vote on, but the Cooperative would provide a signal as to the proposals they feel are the most valuable (along with explanations as to why). This would cap the influence/bias that a small group could have on the community while simultaneously providing a valuable signal to guide ANT holder decisions.

It would also encouraging those who create funding proposals to get feedback/support from the Aragon Cooperative, but also the broader Aragon community. Aragon is a really really cool project, but having explored the project/community deeply in the last few weeks I’ve noticed that there’s a relatively small group that dominates all the discussions and decisions. It would be great to engage the broader ANT holder community to create more awareness/engagement around Aragon. If ANT holders aren’t engaging I think that points to a a broader marketing/outreach problem rather than a managerial problem. Giving a small group control over the funding of grassroots community projects seems like it would make the community more narrow and tight-knit rather than opening it up. I was trying to propose a model that incentivizes engagement between all the relevant stakeholder groups (community members, Cooperative members, ANT holders).

The specific problem that is being solved by this proposal is to prevent a bunch of spammy or malicious proposals from showing up in the agp10.aragonid.eth voting app. Your proposal does not solve this problem. I don’t consider our proposals to necessarily be mutually exclusive either, but I think it adds a layer of complexity and responsibility for the Coop that is outside of the scope of what I am proposing.

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The problem of limited community engagement is a problem we have now. The problem of spammy proposals is a problem we might have in the future. I think it’s better to create engagement and have a dynamic community than restrict participation due to fear. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be that hard for the Cooperative to release a blog post explaining the proposals they support, why they support them, and link to the exact vote# for each proposal. ANT holders read the article, open the DAO and find the vote#, and cast their vote. It would work and it would encourage more people to participate. This is a current solution to a current problem.

In the future, I think a more robust solution to spammy votes, that could also generalize across the Aragon ecosystem, is including a filtering function within the Voting app. This way, as DAOs are deployed to a wide variety of usecases communities would have an option to filter and curate votes as they please. This is going to be essential if Aragon DAOs are going to be a tool that solves human coordination problems at scale. This is a future solution to a future problem.

  • Edit 2: 1Hive is starting to explore solutions to reduce spam in community DAOs here.

Edit: also, I don’t know how closely you’ve been following the Cooperative, but engagement has dropped off a cliff lately. We desperately need to improve engagement and community UX. That means encouraging more openness and communication with all the different stakeholders in the Aragon ecosystem. Engagement is a huge problem in the blockchain space at large, but esp within the Aragon where DAOs are all about communities. Communities only exist if people engage and participate. We need to make it worth people’s time and energy to show up and contribute. Giving a group like the Cooperative control (rather than influence) creates a game where the incentives are to reduce participation within the Cooperative so that a few voices will dominate and control the process. I don’t think that’s what’s happening, but from a game theory perspective the incentives are there. Let’s not reinforce that bias. Let’s create systems that encourage openness, communication, and engagement.

Like I said, I don’t think that your proposal about increasing engagement conflicts with my proposal to prevent spam. They can both be implemented without conflicting with each other. So if you want to create a new thread with your proposal for the Coop to signal and increase engagement that is fine. But currently you are derailing this thread by bringing up unrelated issues. You can say that you don’t like this proposal for whatever reason but once you start talking about other unrelated (if important) problems and solutions to those problems you are verging into off-topic territory.

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