Proposal: Transfer the Aragon Project Funds to an Aragon DAO Governed by (Delegated) ANT

Vote is live on Aragon Voice from June 3, 2022 to June 17, 2022.

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I see that so far 20 people (wallets) equivalent to 1.6% of ANT holders voted. I can see how those ANT are split among the options but is it possible to also know how the 20 votes are distributed? I know this is irrelevant to the voting outcome.

Yes, you can see it in the process explorer at the bottom of the vote page.

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This is what the process explorer shows for the second question (other questions seem to have the same issue with only 0 votes displayed correctly):


You can look in the envelopes as well and see the weighting on each vote as well.

I’m confused. Is the number of votes displaying incorrectly or am I reading it wrong? I checked the envelopes as well but didn’t see the vote count per each option.

Here is a new paper that underlines the importance of a legal wrapper for a DAO. Continue without a legal wrapper is not just outdated but also very risky. Legal Wrappers and DAOs by Chris Brummer, Rodrigo Seira :: SSRN

Transferring funds as proposed here is not only a waste of money because of the pending taxation by the authorities as explained by @Gabriela( Taxes in Aragon Association, Switzerland) but also a potential tax liability for each individual participant.

For further information on how a legal wrapper applies to the AA, see here Proposal: Moving the Aragon project to a DAO 2.0 structure by decentralizing the Aragon Association and merging with the Aragon Network DAO - #19 by joeycharlesworth


Thank you for sharing - I look forward to reading the paper and suggest everyone else to do the same. I would also like to react to your comments by sharing some of my high-level thinking when it comes to public blockchains and DAOs. These are my personal thoughts that don’t represent the views of any organization, nor do they constitute advice of any kind.

Public blockchain networks, smart contract applications, and DAOs are fundamentally an institutional innovation. The fact that this presents a challenge to traditional legal frameworks does not mean that existing frameworks are irrelevant or useless. It simply means that the legal status of these systems is unclear until (a) existing institutions unequivocally not only declare but also enforce it, (b) the communities that build and operate these systems decide to organize according to existing rules/standards, or (c) these systems reach a level of adoption, sophistication, and legitimacy that forces existing institutions to change/adapt accordingly.

Crypto/web3/DAOs are complex emergent phenomena driven by a confluence of factors that are unique to the current stage of the Digital Revolution. To deal with emergent complexity, it is natural to seek support through what is well-understood, i.e. that which is inherited from the past. Wrapping a DAO into an existing organizational format, thereby benefitting from all the legal clarity that comes with it, is a completely rational and viable course of action. But to say that the alternative is “outdated” doesn’t do justice to the ethos and innovation behind crypto/Web3, which - and intelligent people may respectfully disagree here - has the potential to drive global institutional reform, the details of which are still open-ended. It is far from a foregone conclusion that the best path forward for on-chain DAOs is to create a traditional (or minimally adapted) legal wrapper for the whole organization, especially if one considers crypto/web3 as infrastructure for new digital/global institutions and forms of organizing.

I think it would be smart for individuals and organizations that contribute to DAOs to do so in a manner that provides them with legal protection under different scenarios, and it would be smart for DAOs to explore options to help their contributors achieve this goal. Whether this requires a legal wrapper for the DAO as a whole depends on the vision/mission/structure of the organization. The proposal to create an on-chain AN DAO refers back to the original vision behind Aragon and crypto/Web3 more broadly. This vision will need to be reviewed when updating the Charter to decide what exactly is the long-term objective that the AN DAO seeks to contribute towards. I’m hopeful that answering this question will also shine some light on the topic of legal wrappers and whether the DAO as a whole is the appropriate structure to engage with at the level of national jurisdictions, as opposed to pushing for a fundamentally different institutional/legal starting point.

Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts. I do not fully agree with your statements. The legal status of DAOs is clear in most jurisdictions. For example, in Switzerland, where most of the laws are drafted in a technology neutral way, the DAO without a specific legal wrapper just qualifies as simple partnership with unlimited liability for the participants.

If you look at the definition of a simple partnership in the Swiss Code of Obligations, you see that gatherings of people such as happening with DAOs 1:1 correlates with what people already did at the beginning of the 19th century and before, namely:

“A [simple] partnership is a contractual relationship [also oral] in which two or more persons agree to combine their efforts or resources in order to achieve a common goal.”

Because of the unlimited liability of the participants in case of a simple partnership, it is wise to look for another legal structure that perfectly fits with the intention of the gathered people but provides limited liability. Under Swiss law, the result is to establish an association or a cooperative.

Of course, using a legal wrapper only makes sense if the needs of the gathered people (DAO) can be fully accommodated. Adjusting a DAO to a legal wrapper is nonsense and kills the spirit of the Web3 movement. Exactly here comes the association with limited liability into play, which is fully governed by its members. This means that the members can define on how they want to be organized by themlseves and must only rely on “existing” provisions of the law if they do not define something different.

it seems that I still have not succeeded in explaining the association model.


the legal status of these systems is unclear until (a) existing institutions unequivocally not only declare but also enforce it

If this is how Swiss authorities have decided to qualify the globally distributed communities that build and operate public blockchain networks, decentralized applications, and DAOs, this is obviously their prerogative. However, it does not automatically follow that choosing a single jurisdiction and then wrapping each such community / DAO as a whole into an existing organizational form in that jurisdiction is the only/best way to ensure that DAO contributors have limited liability. Nonetheless, it should be considered seriously depending on the goals/needs of the DAO in question. As I wrote in my previous comment: wrapping a DAO into an existing organizational format, thereby benefitting from all the legal clarity that comes with it, is a completely rational and viable course of action (assuming that it doesn’t undermine other core principles/goals of the DAO).

Based on your descriptions, I think I have a pretty good understanding of the model. I can’t speak or decide for anyone else, though. It could even be that voters aren’t against the idea of an AN DAO legal wrapper, but simply don’t like the proposed model.

I wanted to bring the attention to a misfortunate but not unexpected problem we ran into. We have been informed that substantial stakeholders cannot vote as they have only unstaked their ANT but have not withdrawn them from Court.
As pointed out in the thread on the draft text thread this is a signaling vote to the AA Committee, and we do not have to adhere to the current Charter. With that in mind:

I would suggest we run the same vote through Snapshot with a strategy where the census is only ANT tokens stuck in Court? In case the strategy cannot exclude tokens in owned wallets, there will be the need for off-chain consolidating of voting to ensure there are no double counts between Voice and Snapshot.

While this is a “hacky way of doing things”, considering that we are talking about ~1M ANT not being able to vote, despite expressed desire to do so, due to the technical limitations of the selected stack, it seems necessary.

It would be great to hear your take and also hear from the Committee on whether that approach would be perceived as a valid signaling @jorge @luis @stefanobernardi @joeycharlesworth (not sure what the handle of Jordi Baylina is)

That’s unfortunate indeed. If it’s possible to set up a Snapshot vote so that, provably, only ANT stuck in Court is voting, I don’t see an issue with setting that up and then just summing the two results off-chain. However, I defer to the AA on the final word here. Also, it would be great for someone technical enough to confirm that Snapshot supports this level of customization in a safe and secure manner.

Any update on this?

We have been coordinating with the Snapshot team. The isolated strategy is feasible and tested. With @AlexClay and @ramon we are trying to figure out who is the admin of the ANT token to launch the strategy, I would say hopefully by Wednesday it should be live

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Got it, thanks!

Sounds like an elegant solution to me

@mlphresearch @luis

Snapshot is live.

Special thanks to the SnapshotLabs team @AlexClay @ramon and @jessicasmith for making it happen!


After discussing this matter with the committee today, a decision was made to not take into account ANT tokens within Court via a Snapshot tally on the basis that a) it was not communicated at the start of the vote process and b) we have not used this hybrid vote tally approach in previous votes.

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Now that the vote has concluded and the DAO is preparing to implement the proposal, I’d like to share some high-level reflections. These are just my personal opinions, some of which are based on observations of other DAOs.

Documentation / Charter

When it comes to DAO governance, having clearly written rules/standards has generally proven to be a good idea. However, all documentation should be fit for purpose. In my opinion, the Charter/Constitution is not the ideal place for operational details, which are better addressed in other (version-controlled) parts of project documentation. As I see it, the purpose of the Charter/Constitution should be to define the core governance structure/process (in this case the subDAO/guild system and both direct and delegated ANT voting) and, more importantly, to inspire and guide not through step-by-step instructions but through vision, values, and the general ethos/spirit behind the core principles - things that usually don’t require changing as the DAO learns and evolves.

I’d like to think of the Charter/Constitution as a preamble to all other governance documentation - something that animates the whole DAO without ever feeling like a straightjacket or something that needs to be constantly struggled over. (In my earlier comments, I’ve suggested that the text might also include some high-level community guidelines - a Code of Conduct - but I’ve now concluded that even that may be better formulated separately.) All that said, the Charter/Constitution should still be a living document. Making it immutable would be a sign of hubris.

The alternative is to try and make the Charter/Constitution all-encompassing and laden it with detailed descriptions of how to format proposals, what the responsibilities of the delegates are, how to conduct votes, etc. But in that case, the document needs to be structured and written extremely well to make it easy to both consume and administer later down the road. The danger here is having to continuously spend too much time/resources to govern the governance document/process itself, instead of efficiently using it to achieve the ultimate objective of the DAO, i.e. delivering best-in-class DAO tooling.

Delegative Voting System

The DAO should carefully establish which decisions require a separate ANT vote and which decisions are better handled by actors/subDAOs/guilds mandated through an ANT vote. High-level objectives/strategy, changes to the core governance structure/process, treasury allocations (e.g. subDAO/guild budgets), and on-/offboarding decisions are typical examples of what DAOs vote on at regular intervals. In practice, these alone may already result in a relatively large number of votes. Of course, a key benefit of delegative voting is that proposal review becomes more professionalized, which increases the DAO’s capacity to intelligently process votes, while still allowing all token holders to directly participate in governance.

Many DAOs allow both individual and entity/group delegates. The latter may include various formally organized stakeholders, closely aligned protocols/DAOs, various DAO specialists or service providers, etc. Voting is inherently and inevitably “political” but, through guidelines, the DAO can minimize the risk that the delegate role gets captured by a single stakeholder group.

Open questions on defining the delegate function:

  • Should the DAO attempt to define the meaning of “general/long-term interest of the DAO” and use that to regulate/guide delegate activity vs. should the DAO allow/encourage delegates to represent different viewpoints?

  • How to ensure that ANT holders can easily track and assess delegate activity? Here, it may be worth looking into how other DAOs have solved this because there may be open source templates and tools that Aragon could leverage instead of developing its own (e.g. MakerDAO’s Recognized Delegate Platform or Gitcoin’s Steward Health Card).

  • How to handle (and preferably avoid altogether) conflicts of interest between the delegate and other (e.g. core contributor) functions? If delegates are allowed to simultaneously serve other roles in the DAO, it is only a matter of time that they are asked to vote on a strategic or funding decision that they stand to individually benefit from. Such decision-making structures are generally not considered best practice.

Security of the Governance / Voting System

Commonly used mechanisms and fail-safes:

  • Regulations around submitting proposals, i.e. mechanisms to filter out malicious proposals early in the process.

  • Categorizing proposals and capping the number of very high impact proposals to be considered / voted on simultaneously.

  • Execution delays and well-established emergency protocols (incl., if necessary, an emergency subDAO).

  • Quiet vote ending period to reduce the impact of last minute votes.

  • While it’s impossible to prevent lending markets of a permissionless token, DAOs have taken steps to mitigate the risk of specifically flash loan governance attacks.

Common Stumbling Blocks

Things that DAOs often struggle with:

  • Lack of sufficient functional specialization, esp. around developing high-level strategy and budgeting (incl. independent review based on Charter/Constitution and overarching strategy/roadmap). As a result, DAO operations may easily grow in multiple disjointed directions simultaneously without anyone having a clear understanding of how it all synergistically ties together to serve the underlying mission.

  • Not enough clarity around metrics, accountability, and on-/offboarding. I don’t mean individual subDAOs/guilds on-/offboarding contributors based on whatever their formally established mandate is but, rather, (1) how the DAO as a whole makes well-informed decisions about which functions/activities are to be on-/offboarded and, (2) how the on-/offboarding process looks like in practice.

  • Using tokens to align long-term incentives across the whole DAO. Obviously, this is directly related to the strategy/budgeting functions referred to above.


Linking community progress on

Delegates Delegated Voting Procedure: How We Govern

Quiet Ending Financial Proposal: Demoing a Tao Voting DAO

To this point, I am a proponent of the RAPID decision-making framework which we intend to workshop via dGov as an introduction but effectively people can contribute to the Notion database async to

  1. identify the decisions that we can expect to make
  2. the people that should be involved and
  3. who ultimately decides

I’ve seen the model effectively applied within the DAO context to empower contributor decisions making and clearly delineate the functional roles and decisions that individuals, teams and guilds, sub dao and councils, delegates and the community make

The RAPID Decision Making Model gives organizations a clearer way to make decisions. The letters in RAPID stand for the key people involved in any decision. These key roles are; Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide.


It’s conversation just starting in the discord arising from the topic of Pod’s (akin to our Guilds) which Orca have proposed as a solution to complement token voting

By delegating some execution power to key decision makers, the cost of participation drops significantly. Issues that token holders are not interested in, should not require the attention of token holders and can be hidden from their day-to-day. This allows the DAO to make decisions more efficiently without compromising on transparency or openness. The pod model also provides a canvas for talent to naturally surface to the relevant parts of the DAO. Pods: The DAOnfall of Token Voting — Orca Protocol