First of all, thanks @luis for bringing forward this proposal and for taking the initiative! With former AA teams having successfully transitioned out of AA by Feb 28th 2023, each of them with their own public roadmaps, we have had a reduced bandwidth to discuss about tokenomics and treasury deployment.
I fully agree that it is time for AA to focus on solving the underlying issue you highlighted, and I’m looking forward to focus on solving those as Executive Director of Aragon Association and AA Committee member. I am glad that the proposal kickstarted so many contributions from long term ANT holders (who surprisingly have very short term accounts in Discourse). Looking forward to further discuss about tokenomics and how to further contribute to the long term success of the project.
I would like to clarify a few topics, as I’ve read some confusing messages in the thread:
- Aragon Project treasury is currently held by an association (AA) incorporated under Swiss laws. As such, both the General Assembly members and AA Committee members are bound to such. We can discuss long about different ideas and topics, but AA is bound to applicable swiss laws and the universe of potential solutions that can be implemented is restricted to what is legal there. This is probably easy to understand for everyone, regardless of their legal background.
- As @luis comments, it’s ultimately up to AA to decide on a course of action. Aragon Project should not be conflated with Aragon DAO. After the transition there will still be “offchain” entities within the ecosystem that fall outside the DAO, that will help protect the project and promote its development. The DAO is a core component for executing the mission (as it ultimately should control the protocol that DAOs rely upon), and as such, a means towards an end, but it’s not the end itself nor the “whole”. I understand this may be cause some confusion to some people (specially those who think that a Discord server is a DAO)
Having said this, it’s important to bring attention to this reply on the thread and also this:
My point here is that the Aragon Association should not commit to a buy-back, as this may result in a re-qualification of the ANT tokens.
If AA did a buy-back, it would have to be aligned with the further development of the project and could not be communicated beforehand. So, unless the law changes in Switzerland, we’ll have to play by those rules.
I really like the proposal in its general terms. I believe it can provide incentive alignment to all set of stakeholders. My 2c on it:
Aragon Dev DAO
Would the Aragon Dev DAO really need 50% of the 20% yearly unlocked treasury? Probably not, at the current burn-rate. I would suggest using a cost-based method based on expected runaway as opposed to a fixed % of the yearly unlocked treasury.
Fully agree on tying fund allocation in with objective and value driven method (NSM based), as this allows the protocol to progressively reduce the dependency on core teams. In fact, the Strategy to Become a Governance Hyperstructure that AA published in Q3 2022, and that is actively being pursued by current Aragon Guilds, was created so that protocol functionality could be extended by external teams. A NSM-based approach to funding teams that push forward towards achieving strategic goals is highly aligned with that.
This said, I also believe current Aragon Guild teams should be able to work with a laser focus on execution in order to get there . We can’t possibly compete with Web2 startups if we are not able to have laser focused teams. We must protect that focus (not at the expense of accountability) for the long term success of the project, as without active teams working on the advancement of the products and underlying protocol and components, there’s no long term value creation. As @alex-arca points out here, we expect that with the new product direction spearheaded by aragonOSx and Aragon App we should start to see meaningful change (and adoption, which precludes value creation). For this reason, I would recommend setting aside enough runaway for those teams to be able to execute, to give them time to execute on their roadma, kickstart value accrual to the new protocol, and create the framework to allow any third-party team to leverage on the modularity of the new stack to further enhance it (and get paid for it based on value added)
I am a bit concerned on the veANT model (specially if for the Aragon DAO). When we had to decide between wANT and veANT, after analyzing the pros and cons of the latter, we ruled it out due to several causes:
- The contract is difficult to manage, highly prone to errors and unexpected issues.
- If we wanted to continue with progressive decentralization, this was not an option. Locking people in means we would forever use this contract with almost no exit option. Given the amount of work to be done, locking ourselves into veANT without studying other options or doing something that made more sense for us didn’t seem logical. We can always enter, but once inside, it’s impossible to leave.
- It’s not composable. You can’t do lock-related things from contracts, for example.
- Withdrawal mechanisms are not included and need to be implemented in Vyper. The (back then) AA tech team was asked for a deployment to be ready by February 28th, and there was no way we could make it in time.
- Locking is expensive.
- The issue with whitelisting: most of the largest token holders used smart accounts, the process of whitelisting them through the DAO would involve using EVMCrispr every time someone with a multisig wanted to wrap. And the whole DAO had to vote to accept it or not.
I definitely liked the long term alignment veANT offered, but the cons outweight the pros at the time we made the decision. However, I recognize the circumstances may be different now and that the benefits may outweight the cons.
I would like to bootstrap a broader conversation on the pros and cons of the veANT model, as this is as convex as a decision can get, which may have significant impact for future tokenomics models. For instance, the decision to upgrade ANT v1 to ANT v2 that was done in 2020 (with proper reasons) introduced certain design constraints when designing Aragon DAO, as ANT v2 did not have the MiniMe token functions (and therefore it could not be used out of the box for delegate voting, needing wrapping).
Would love to get everyone’s opinion on those pros & cons so we can have a constructive debate on the matter.