Financial Proposal: Demoing a Tao Voting DAO

This proposal has been written collectively by @lee0007 representing AN DAO, @alibama from dTech, @paul2 from Gardens, @Zeptimus from TEC, and @sembrestels from Blossom Labs.

1. Proposal Summary

We request $35,000 to fund the development of a delegate-enabled DAO (demo) and community education, estimated to require 8 weeks.

Originally developed by the Aragon One team the AragonOS ecosystem has significantly advanced in the past 12- months to support multiple DAOs. By tailoring the existing Aragon code we can provide proven governance tooling for delegated voting and propose to:

  1. Deliver demo for a Tao Voting, delegate-enabled DAO. A fortified DAO with the simplest design, and least possible attack surface, to hold the majority of funds and periodically send funds to another designated DAO.
  2. Deliver a series of community education opportunities to build collective understanding around delegates and possible voting parameters and aid engagement around the upcoming Transfer funds.

We believe ecosystem collaboration will strengthen the DAO’s governance process, transparency and engagement - ultimately help grow the number of active Aragon DAOs and support the overall purpose of the DAO defined in the Aragon Network Charter as it evolves.

2. Deliverables

2.1 Launch Tao Voting DAO: ~ 8 Weeks, $30,000

June 2022 @sembrestels proposed a simple DAO design. We now propose to establish a demo DAO with delegated voting to familiarise the community. The DAO will have a very simple design, using four (4) battle-tested AragonOS applications

  1. Token Wrapper: An audited AragonOne application that allows wrapping an ERC20 into a MiniMe token, compatible with the rest of the AragonOS ecosystem. ANTv1 already was a MiniMe token, but it was simplified in the migration to ANTv2, making it incompatible with the ERC20Snapshot interface. Although we may find better alternatives, wrapping ANTv2 will make it compatible again with Tao Voting.
  2. Tao Voting: Finished, renamed version of Aragon’s Disputable Voting used by 1hive Gardens framework. It has three main differences from the normal AragonOS voting:
    • It is disputable. If a vote does not comply with the DAO Agreement (i.e Charter, Manifesto), anybody can dispute and freeze the vote until a dispute service decides if the vote is compliant or not.
    • It ends quietly. If the direction of the vote changes right before voting ends, there is an extension of the voting time. Considered a safeguard when participation is low so that whales can’t change the direction of votes with unintended consequences see better explanation here.
    • It can be delegated. Token holders can set a delegate who will use their voting power for them.

    Not all features need to be used. We could make votes non-disputable, or set the quiet ending to zero, and still use the vote delegation capabilities of Tao Voting.

  3. Finance: App provides a frontend for payments from the Vault/Agent to other addresses. Mostly used to create immediate payments, it can be used to set up timebound budgets and recurring payments. Refer EVMcrispr documentation for the full functionality of this app.
  4. Agent: Core of the DAO, the place where funds are going to be held, and that can be used to interact with external contracts. You can see how NFTX uses its agent for all kinds of protocol operations here.

Note: Tao Voting does not have a decoupled frontend, but this presents us with the opportunity to leverage the experience of Blossom Labs and the Gardens teams during the last years to combine Aragon Client with Aragon Connect and have a faster and lighter AragonOS DAO experience. During the following months, we will work on a Tao Voting frontend that depends on the Graph for loading the data faster than in normal AragonOS votes.

Objectives Who # Weeks Funding
Create a DAO demo w. Token Wrapper, Tao Voting, Finance, and Agent apps. Blossom Labs 3 $5,000
Launch Lazuline: an MVP of a faster Aragon Client voting experience with Aragon Connect Blossom Labs 3 $5,500
Prepare a simplified version of Tao Voting without disputability Blossom Labs 1 $2,200
Upgrade and adapt Token Wrapper to work with ANT Blossom Labs 1 $5,300
Adapt the Voting frontend to work with Tao Voting (supporting period extensions and delegation, but not disputability) Gardens 3 $5,000
Prepare and deploy a subgraph for Tao Voting in Rinkeby Gardens 1 $2,000
Port the Tao Voting frontend into Lazuline Gardens 4 $5,000

After completing the previous steps, we expect to have a working MVP able to

  1. hold the Aragon funds
  2. establish an annual budget,
  3. vote or delegate votes on any action the DAO can make

This would be the end of the current proposal. A future proposal could advance the next steps:

  • Perform an audit on the contracts. Most are already audited, but better to be safe than sorry.
  • Consider if disputability should be added again, enabling the DAO can be secured by a Charter and dispute service
  • Further customise the DAO frontend
  • Create a custom frontend to 1) apply as a delegate and 2) delegate voting power

2.2 Community Education: ~8 weeks, $5,000

In 2021 the Commons Configuration dashboard provided an open and engaging discovery process to help the TEC define its voting parameters. We propose funding an Aragon version of the TEC commons config. to undertake collaborative economics and collectively propose and debate possible voting parameters, to be formalised via future governance vote.

This requires a fork of the TEC config dashboard which would be refined to only the 1) advanced settings and 2) TAO voting pages. This can be white-labelled and branded for Aragon purposes. The proposed schedule for AN DAO community engagement is

What Who # Weeks Funding
July 2022
Prepare Config. Dash General Magic 2 $4,000
Create Intro Video dTech 2 -
dGov AMA: Delegate enabled DAO’s 1 Hive 1 hr -
Status update - dGov Community Call dTech 15 min -
August 2022
Param parties x 3 timezones TEC 1 $500
Param debates x 3 timezones TEC 1 $500
dGov AMA: Param Debate TEC 1hr -
Status update - dGov Community Call dTech 15 min -
August Documentation dTech 2 -

3. Limitations

  • Conflicts: Charter and technology may bump heads
  • Voter Participation: required to reach quorum and pass future proposals
  • Challenge Votes: signal potential to use Celeste (evolved from the Aragon Court)
  • Legal Liability: signal orchestrating exchange over LLC to handle liability
  • Community Engagement: due to timezones and timeframes

4. Teams

In collaboration with the AN DAO Community:

Blossom Labs: Developer team specialised in building blockchain-based infrastructure for online communities. Among other projects, it is leveraging AragonOS technologies to be used in new projects. Examples of that are EVMcrispr, a powerful tool with which you can bundle many AragonOS DAO operations into just one script, and Lazuline, a faster and lighter Aragon Client.

1Hive: DAO built using the original adaptation of Aragon’s smart contracts, and includes Tao Voting as a method for approving changes to DAO parameters. 1Hive currently builds organisational apps for DAOs on Gnosis Chain. Within 1Hive, the Gardens Swarm builds and maintains the Gardens DAO platform, which is 1Hive’s governance structure made available for DAOs to set up for their own treasuries. From the Gardens Swarm, Rodrigo and Felipe are joining this proposal as full-stack web3 developers, and Paul is joining as a steward for the platform.

TECommons: DAO born as the first seed of Commons Stack using 1Hive gardens with conviction voting to distribute funds and TEC token is backed with an Augmented Bonding curve. TEC’s goal is becoming a Schelling Point for the token engineering community. The economic layer will fund projects that discover, develop and proliferate the best practices for engineering safe tokenized economies, while aligning our collective success with the individual benefit of token holders. TEC aims to Enable the creation of ethical, safe, resilient and diverse economic systems to benefit societies around the world.

General Magic: We are an elite group of Web3 professionals exclusively supporting organisations that create greater value for society. We do that by creating digital products, governance, and economic systems utilising Web3 technology. Our Mission is to make magic happen! We do this by supporting crypto-philanthropic organisations and communities to reach their full potential, collaborating with them in a diverse range of capacities. The source of our magic thrives on the digital winds of the Blockchain4Good universe.

5. Funding

$35,000 USDC for completion of this proposal which is estimated to require 8 weeks.

If this proposal is approved $4,000 USDC is requested upfront to fund the General Magic development team paid to generalmagic.eth.

The remainder of funds are to be released based on monthly reporting that will specify 1) the completed deliverables 2) the amount owing and wallets to be paid.

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As a dGov & ESD contributor, I would like to clarify my role and interests in this proposal.

Within dGov this work serves

Neither dGov nor dTech seek funding under this proposal. Our role is to support community understanding as it relates directly to the Transfer the Aragon Project Funds to an Aragon DAO Governed by (Delegated) ANT. As Einstein says “Play is the Highest Form of Research” - and so we hope this will help us collectively learn what a delegate enabled DAO means for Aragon.

Within ESD this work serves

Having been active in the proposal development process, my questions are answered, and what I do not yet understand I hope to learn via a working demo and proposed community engagement sessions. I look forward to hearing other people’s feedback and questions

Conflict of Interest

I do not see this as a conflict of interest for two reasons

  1. I offer this support to any teams that wish to propose governance solutions (dGov) or seek funding for new initiatives (ESD)
  2. I have supported the majority of ESD proposals to date in the same way - in terms of seeking out or supporting authors, providing proposal templates, feedback and editing prior to forum.

I am 1/3 in support of this request for 35k ESD funding @daniel-ospina @fartunov @Ricktik6

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Congrats @sembrestels and this super team on this wonderful proposal. I’m especially excited about the prospect of collaborating with Blossom Labs, Gardens, General magic, TEC and 1Hive - the dream!

I have a couple of questions about how future generalization of this work could affect this first stage. I see that the proposal has a clear and actionable short term focus, so I don’t want to get bogged down in ‘what ifs’ for the future that are out of scope. That said, I’d appreciate if you can give your view on whether these are worth considering now.

1. Generalization of features for Aragon Client users
Since delegated voting and a faster voting UI are two of the top needs of large DAOs on Aragon Client, I am interested to know if you think that there’s anything worth doing in this first stage to prepare for future generalization?
(I can at the very least propose that we make a conscious effort to invite large DAOs on Aragon into these community education discussions, to shape future proposals)

2. Branding, licensing and their impact on generalization
Since Lazuline and TAO voting are already existing ‘brands’, to what extent do you think these could be integrated as ‘standard offerings’ under the Aragon Client branding umbrella in future. For example, are these open source, and with what license? E.g. if this was a huge success, and many DAOs wanted to have Lazuline as their front end, would there be restrictions to a) its use, and b) its branding e.g. should it in your view be called ‘Lazuline’, or ‘X’ created by Blossom Labs, …? What would you as the creators want to happen?
(From my perspective working on product marketing at Aragon, personally I would like us to work towards names that say what the thing is as clearly as possible, and a framework to have different types of branding agreements according to different types of funding).

3 Likes

Awesome proposal, and although I would love to see AN DAO on the new Aragon app in the future, it is needed that we start it sooner, and leveraging the current technologies built on top of aragonOS sounds like the best way to do it.

A few questions/curiosities

  • Why build Lazuline as a separate tool and not implement it directly into Aragon client?
  • Given the latest news on subgraph not having the hosted services anymore, do you see any potential issue and have already thought about which Graph service to use?
  • Was ever some research done on the delegation topic to build TAO voting? Not saying this is a requirement at all, but was thinking of creating some bounties for user research on this topic (from a product perspective, not a governance one), and if anything already exists would be better to first look at it :slight_smile:
  • A sort of follow-up to the last question, would be great if we could get the Product design team at Aragon involved in the discussions for all the UX/UI flows, as we want to have this implemented in the new app at some point in time, and could already run lots of validations when implementing it here.
  • Although it is stated on the proposal that using Token Wrapper is the best decision, could you elaborate more on that @sembrestels ? Meaning, why not adapt TAO voting for regular ERC20s - Does Finance and Agent app are super dependent on MineMe as well?

I am super confident that we will be able to leverage a lot of the work done here for the new app in the future as well - again, excited about this proposal.

3 Likes

Hi Sem and team,

Thanks for this awesome proposal! I have little to say other than I support the contents of this proposal and follow up questions from Harry and Ramon. I look forward to hearing other opinions especially from our more technical team members. Seems like a great idea!

I do however believe this proposal should be going through the MainDAO and not the Executive Sub-DAO as it is a proposal that should be decided on by the Aragon community, and not a committee of 3 people. Due to its scope, breadth, and importance.

Likewise, should the tech-committee be tagged to have a read? @lee0007 @fartunov ? What’s common practise for a proposal such as this?

Thank you!
Anthony

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Super happy to see this coming together thanks Sem and Team.

One question, does that budget include the Audit or will that be coming from a separate pool.

Also as the technical team would you advice transferring the funds in one go or in batches.

Look forward to seeing this!

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This seems like a great idea to me!

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I recommended ESD because 1) it fits our funding remit 2) there will still need to be a formal proposal to adopt any DAO governing technology. Currently, the governances proposal requires 44 days minimum, but I’m hoping CIP 1 will reduce this. And in the meantime, this is an opportunity to be working on a demo - to help inform the main DAO proposal - and effectively gain weeks on a very short timeline.

As a demo, this is not a proposal to implement this technology for the DAO and I believe very low-risk. However technical risk is a decision for the tech committee to make. Would love to hear their assessment please @voronchuk @p4u @nivida on

  1. technical risk perspective
  2. whether you believe this would be beneficial to the Aragon project
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The demo model does not include audit as that is an expense required only if we formally adopt this model, which would require a Main DAO proposal. On payment cadence, the technical teams were provided opportunities to request funds in advance - as per General Magic.

The reason for monthly reporting is that under the current charter the ESD is required to assess deliverables in advance of releasing funding. In this case, that’s not an assessment of the technology, simply deliverables status - not started, in-progress or complete as per the ESD monthly reporting template. Keen for as many technical people possible to test the demo tech to help inform proposals and voting should this move to Main DAO for formal adoption.

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i can’t speak to all of this… but one reason to build on lazuline is that it’s blazing fast… and since it interacts with evm crispr it’s also well inline with previous proposals

also aragon client needs upgrades all over the place and hasn’t been properly maintained… so i can’t think of a good reason to release on it as is

Love it! The Lazuline link is giving an error though

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As smart contract audits are planned for future proposals, I don’t see tech problems with this demo, other than the ones mentioned by @ramon. I also understand that integrating it into outdated Aragon Client code may be overkill and requires more clarity if it’s planned to be actively maintained or fully replaced by Zaragoza or another UX platform.

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Hi frens!

First of all, I’m super stoked to see this proposal and to have finally personally met @sembrestels and Paulo in EthBarcelona.

One of my responsibilities as ED of AA during this transition period is to define HOW we solve the AN DAO delegation challenge (so AN DAO “infrastructure” is operative in time). We’ve got different options to evaluate and I think this could be a great solution for the challenge we’ve got ahead of us. Also, a great opportunity to dog food if possible.

If we went down this path, I may suggest increasing the scope of the proposal so the currently “not included” may be included, so we can have a clear expectation on when would what be ready, and what would be the security assumptions needed.

I’d love to sync with several AA team members asap to sync (cc/ @ramon @juareth Jordi M @evanaronson) and then organize a call with the proposers and ESD members (cc/ @sembrestels @lee0007 @paul2 @Zeptimus) for early next week in order to clarify some doubts and next steps.

Could you post your Discord handles or DM them to me so we can arrange a time for next week?

Super hyped to continue with this conversation :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Just to clarify the reason items are “not included” (yet) is due primarily to the limitation of the funding that the ESD can release. Our S2 funding strategy states:-

Thats said dGov could cover the 5k funding required for the community engagement process which would cover the

  • 4k advance payment to General Magic for the development of the Commons Config dash and
  • TEC community engagement aspects - proposed parameter parties, param debates and the AMA sessions.

Clearly 10k will not cover the cost of things such as audits and @sembrestels and @paul2 would need to advise on the costs to

  1. Include disputability, enabling the DAO to be secured by a Charter and dispute service
  2. Customise the DAO frontend
  3. Create a custom frontend to 1) apply as a delegate and 2) delegate voting power

As 40k is effectively the limit of ESD funding would that be enough to achieve 1-3 ? Although if this extends the time line beyond two (2) months, we could allocate up to 60k or 80k MAX (due to timeline, if just tweaking the delegate UI UX in November)

//

A Main DAO proposal could be created, it simply delays development by a further three weeks. Given the October deadline for delegates, I am 1/3 in support of providing what funding we can via ESD so development for the demo can progress, while additional funding is secured via Main DAO for the work that proceeds the Demo

Ultimately a Governance proposal is required to decide on the alternative governance tooling. For governance legitimacy this requires

  • a tech agnostic charter CIP 1 and
  • a minimum of 30 Days of Notification + 14 days of voting + 0.5% quorum CIP 2

Voting scheduled to being 22 July

Given timelines to have delegates in place ahead of S3 - 1 December to 31 March - we would need governance proposals for the delegate DAO on the forum by end of August. The strategy here is to provide a working demo to help inform voters as to the options on the table.

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Awesome work @sembrestels and team!

Looking forward to the development of this experiment/demo.

Would be great to participate if that makes sense.
As this gets approved, we could send the 35k funds towards the demo DAO and I am happy to test the Vault/Agent side and execute the requested budget via the demo (if this makes sense of course).

Let me know what you think!

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Is this referring to allocating funds from the DAO treasury for subDAO operations (as well as for any other purpose approved through governance)?

This is dope - glad to support this and to see such wide consensus across stakeholders.

For me, the few things that need to be cleared out:

  • Make sure that the design can meet the specs outlined in @mlphresearch proposal that has passed and will guide the initial governance design of the Aragon DAO…I think some of these are being refined here
  • We can have a functional system by the 1st of October so ANT holders can start delegating their voting power, and we can transfer $100M into that system by 30th November

I am aware those two things might be out of the scope of the current proposal. I would kindly ask the team to confirm they are feasible and a ballpark of the additional cost to get us there.

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Calling out the two red herrings here. Linking out to a lengthy draft proposal none of which is yet decided, let alone implemented is a distraction at best from the purpose proposed.

If you have specific elements please quote or link to them directly as shown below as this aids transparency and saves other people time navigating back and forth through discourse.

This proposal is designed by teams with working experience of building delegate voting systems to deliver the requirements specified under an approved signalling proposal Proposal: Transfer the Aragon Project Funds to an Aragon DAO Governed by (Delegated) ANT. The relevant information is

The approved proposal does not set 1 October as a deadline and everything here is proposed as a demo ONLY

Both a tech agnostic charter and a formal governance proposal are still required to adopt any of these tools and I suggest the questions you raise - which are outside of the proposed scope here - are best addressed via that forum.

Aware the scope may be subject to further changes as per @Joan_Arus request. Keen to hear any concerns, or questions you have as they relate directly to this proposal and subsequently whether you do or do not support the funding requested?

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Fantastic proposal that I’m happy to support

2/3 cc @Ricktik6

As a side note, I’m seriously concerned of the takeover of the Aragon network by a handful of insiders and a VC. Timelines are being pushed without legitimacy, commitments made behind back doors and then just repeated at nauseum so people don’t realise they come from a minority. Everyone, please be wary of the strategies being used to create illusions of consensus!

For @sembrestels and co, onwards and forwards. Thanks for the good work!

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Thank you for your response Renee. My message clearly states I am happy to support the proposal as is. 3/3 @Ricktik6

I would ideally want to think a few steps beyond the demo.

I have also specifically tagged Sem at the most relevant bit in the other thread, which is to have some expiration on the delegation (to avoid the “set it and forget it” behavior). While it is not explicitly part of the current specs, there is a pretty wide consensus it is a net positive. Knowing the high likelihood that this will be a requirement could be helpful to the technical team if the intention is to go beyond a demo and use TAO as the new setup for the Aragon DAO. They are also obviously free to ignore that feedback.

Similarly, most conversations working backward from an asset transfer in November have indicated the need for delegation to happen in October (including multiple conversations in which the two of us participated).

It would be awesome if we can share feedback different from “LFG” and not be immediately branded as hostile.