This discussion started a while ago, please find initial proposals for the decentralization of the governance here: Further decentralisation of the governance
This writeup is continuing the above mentioned discussion. Below is the proposal for the refinement of the governance process with an approach to decentralize it even further.
Aurora DAO utilizes the SputnikDAO framework for operations (works on NEAR blockchain). Aurora DAO currently has 1 Council, which consists of 13 Council Members. The Council’s proposals fall under 4 (four) categories, as follows: (i) Management of the Council (e.g. resignation of Council members, drafting internal policies of the Council); (ii) Community Management (e.g., gathering ideas and/or proposals from the community and decide their implementation); (iii) Technical Management (e.g., certain DAO smart contract upgrades, contract calls, protocol specifications, standards, processes and workflows); (iv) Financial Management (e.g. financial decisions related to the Fast Grants and Grantees, BugBounty program).
In order for our ecosystem to strive, the DAO needs to establish a system where:
- Users will have the power over decision making;
- DAO members act in the interest of users and ecosystem as a whole;
- DAO members are properly motivated, work diligently and honestly;
- DAO Council Members are actively involved in the development of the ecosystem.
The best solution is to establish a transparent election system, where users will be able to vote for their representatives in the DAO Council.
A new ERC-20 Token was created. It is called Vote Token (see additional details here: Aurora Launches $VOTE - Aurora Blog) and it does not support a transfer method. It was deployed on-chain and the whole supply (1B Tokens) was moved to the Aurora Staking contract to be streamed over time.
The main idea is that anyone who stakes AURORA is receiving Vote Tokens in proportion to the duration and the amount of their Stake. Vote Tokens can be used in order to directly elect a member of the DAO Council.
The staking stream will be stopped in advance before the actual election of the Council Members. All remaining Vote Tokens will be burned.
An interface will be provided for the Vote Token holders to delegate their Voting Power. This will allow users who are not willing to dedicate their time to governance to pass their voting power to someone they trust. Moreover, the users will be able to burn their Vote Tokens, such action represents the fact that they trust the rest of the community to elect the DAO Council.
The election will consist of the following phases:
- Announcement of the election dates
As a first phase of the election process, the DAO announces the proposed dates for each stage of the election. Such dates are further detailed below.
- Pre-application phase
During this phase, all future candidates will have the chance to let the Aurora community members know about their expertise and what makes them suitable to have a seat in the Council. The Vote Token holders may help the prospective candidates by delegating their Vote Tokens in order for the candidate to submit its candidacy. Any election activity of the future candidates will be independent of the DAO and the candidates may express their ideas in forms such as: YouTube videos, blog posts/pictures, etc.
- Application submission and analysis
During this phase, each candidate that meets the requirements and legal criteria may submit its candidacy in order to be elected as a Council Member.
- Publication of the final list of candidates
The final list of candidates will be published on Aurora DAO’s website. Vote Token streaming will be stopped.
- Voting process
The voting process will unfold during a period of one week and each holder of the Vote Tokens will have the ability to elect the next Council Members.
- Analysis and publication of the voting results
The voting results will be published on Aurora DAO’s website.
Voting will be done through a dedicated smart contract which is currently in active development. After results are published and all the paperwork is done newly elected councils will be introduced to the DAO contracts.
Announcement – at NearCon between 11 – 14 September 2022
Pre-Application phase - 1 - 15 October 2022
Application gathering – 15 - 31 October 2022
Candidate list publication – 4 November 2022
Voting – 14 - 20 November 2022
Publication of the results – 25 November 2022
Aurora DAO currently has 1 Council which consists of 13 Council Members and for the upcoming election, the DAO is going to elect the same amount of Council Members.
The ultimate goal is to elect the best suitable people to work in the DAO Council and the DAO is working hard to expand the geography of potential candidates as much as possible. However, due to the nature of counsel agreements and legal complications the DAO will be able to accept an application only from people who will meet certain legal criteria. The DAO will be asking every potential candidate to go through certain know-your-customer and anti-money laundering screening.
The future Aurora DAO Council Members may be candidates from any jurisdiction, except for citizens or residents of the following excluded jurisdictions: Albania, The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ghana, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Thailand, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
In order for voters to be able to comprehend all candidates, make reasonable and motivated decisions, there will be established a threshold for the Vote Token balance for anyone willing to apply. You will have to have at least 25.000 Vote Tokens in order to submit your application as a prospective member of the Council.
Please remember that anyone can acquire Vote Tokens not only through Aurora Staking but also by finding supporters who will be willing to delegate their voting power to you. This is a very similar mechanic to gathering voter signatures during real life elections and it will be done during the pre-application phase.
With each elected Council Member, the DAO is going to have an agreement where each Council Member will agree to perform their role and duties with integrity.
Since the DAO Council will carry a huge amount of responsibility and should devote their time to create and analyze proposals, it is expected that the load on them will be substantial and the proper compensation for their work should be established.
Council Members will be granted their compensation from the Future DAO projects bucket of DAO treasury (AURORA token distribution), the funds being specifically allocated for these purposes to Aurora DAO Ltd., one of the service entities of the Aurora DAO. The DAO Council Members will be responsible for reporting personal income to tax authorities of their jurisdiction.
Each Council Member will receive a fair and appropriate compensation which will be paid in Aurora Tokens. Such compensation is currently under discussion by the DAO members. DAO council members may hire additional persons which they consider appropriate in order to perform specific tasks assigned by the DAO Council Members.
An up-to-date version of the SputnikDAO contract (GitHub - near-daos/sputnik-dao-contract: Smart contracts for https://app.astrodao.com) will be deployed on NEAR and our DAO Council Members will be registered there.
Also, separate Gnosis Safes on Aurora and on Ethereum are going to be deployed. Each safe will be owning admin rights for all Aurora related contracts on its chain and will be used for upgrades and asset management purposes. Of course it’s going to be DAO councils who will be holding the keys for each of the safes.
Besides administering the contracts, Sputnik and Gnosis instances would hold the majority tokens from the DAO treasury that are natural for the respective chains. For example: if the DAO treasury holds $TRI token, the natural place for it would be Aurora Gnosis Safe instance. This measure will remove the constant risk of bridge protocols that transferred tokens incur. The restructuring of the DAO funds holdings will occur once the new DAO Council is elected.
Following the elections, the next step to obtain further decentralization will be the creation of the Aurora DAO Constitution. In this regard, the Constitution will establish Aurora DAO’s fundamental rules, common view and basic rights and protections for the DAO members.
The Constitution will describe the governance proposal process, including all actors and processes involved in the governance of Aurora DAO. In addition, a set of guidelines applicable for the community participants will be drafted, together with the type of violations which are not accepted by the DAO and their associated sanctions.