Aragon reached an amazing milestone this past weekend with holding the first official vote on Ethereum’s main network, using the technology stack that has been under development for nearly two years.
But as an avid community member and supporter of the Aragon vision, the statistics of the first vote are a bit worrisome to me.
Let it be known that I have always had a personal bias against token-weighted voting for the majority of decision-making use cases, and maybe this is an example that can lead toward an evolved voting model for the Aragon Network as well…
- ~44 accounts voted out of 20,154 holders ==> If 1 address = 1 person, that is = 0.22% turnout
- 2.63% of the total ANT supply (1040515.47716 ANT) voted Yay; compared to 0.01% of ANT for Nay.
- Based on the token holders that voted, 99.97% = Yay; 0.03% = Nay. The proposal was passed, as the minimum approval of 67% was met.
- To flip the vote in the “Does Not Pass” direction (where Yay < 67%), you only need ~$287k USD (1040515.47716 ANT * 0.5 * $0.55). This is not that much for whales or exchanges that get the calling or urge to act like an authoritarian or a troll. [EDITED THIS FOR MATH CORRECTION]
- Think about the bad publicity when the app itself cannot pass proposals that are valid and wanted by the majority of the Aragon community!
- The Aragon Association holds $4.2m worth of ANT. I assume this ANT is allowed to vote? I’m curious why it didn’t participate in the AGP-1 vote (because it would have overwhelmed the vote or I guess because it’s on a cold wallet that makes it hard to do so at the moment?)
- Although if there is a similar voter turn out in the future, the Aragon Network can be controlled by the two board members of the Association: Luis and Jorge I’m sure we all trust you two, but I think this is the opposite of decentralization, right?
Proposal: Cooperative Model
(This is where my bias begins to shine, as I am part of a Cooperative and also a Nest grantee )
The community of Aragon contributors is quite large now with Aragon One, the Aragon DAC and all of the teams funded by Nest. Why not create a non-transferable token (Aragon Community Token - ACT) and grant one to each individual that is ACTively building Aragon. Then we can really see what the knowledge-contributing stakeholders of the technology think about AGP-1, and also any future proposals?
As people leave one of the teams, or are not actively contributing to Aragon, their ACT voting token can become burned. So it’s non-transferable, yet burnable by self or via an ACT vote. Similarly, as new teams get added to the Flock or Nest, ACT tokens will be distributed.
The activity status of each ACT holder is evaluated on a 6 month cycle by the ACT Collective, and self-burning of one’s ACT token is recommended after 6 months of inactivity. It will be too much at this early stage to rely on or enforce the use of the Planning Suite to track activity, so this proposal is a more bare bones, lean approach that doesn’t involve changes to development processes.
Even if the Aragon Network decides that token-weighted ANT voting will reign supreme, I think ACT voting signals will be valuable data points, even if they are non-binding votes. And the sooner these signals can be gathered, the better.
Lastly, I know AGP-1 was just approved, but I think 48 hours may be too short a time for proposals, especially if these votes are only occurring on a quarterly basis. I would suggest considering the vote being open for a longer duration, such as two weeks.