Delegates and delegation for $CODE voting (Temperature Check)

(This is my personal post as an individual member - I feel very strongly that delegation at $CODE launch is key to our future. I know other people feel strongly as well - please join the conversation here and now!)

Engagement with governance is critically important to the future of our community.

DAO vote delegation is an important part of governance seen at many important DAOs in our ecosystem, particularly noteworthy is the from-the-start delegation used at ENS. ( See ENS Airdrop and ENS DAO Delegate Applications - 💬 General Discussion - ENS DAO Governance Forum )

I’d like to use this thread to create an opportunity for advancing our conversation around delegation. We’re forming a working group for this now as well, and those who would like to join, please take this opportunity.

Who feels strongly about delegation? Who wants to stand as a delegate for our Developer DAO community? Who wants to delegate their votes, and do you have anyone in mind?

[ We have not had a firm decision or vote ratifying delegation-at-launch for $CODE, but it is my personal position that it’s super important. Please step forward :slight_smile: If you feel strongly about voting and delegation this is our opportunity to have this critical and timely conversation. ]
{ Note, votes on the forum will continue to be one-member-one-vote, and such forum votes passing will continue to be a precondition for snapshot votes, which is where $CODE allocation and delegations will matter. }


Hey, Ryan. First of all, I appreciate how you considered different points of view and were open to discussing them with the community.

I do have strong feelings about delegation so I will try to explain a little about my point of view.

Engagement with governance is critically important to the future of our community.

I 100% agree here, but the way I see it, delegating your vote to someone else is the opposite of engagement. You are paying to state that you won’t engage and won’t cast your votes, even putting an economic wall on that lack of engagement as you would need to pay again if you change your mind and want your voting power back.

Delegation also makes it harder to measure engagement as you ossify it around a small group of delegates. If all users had their voting power you could measure which topics were strong enough to make some dormant members feel compelled to go vote, or you could measure which actions were really successful in trying to raise the community engagement by seeing how many members voted after those actions were taken. All that engagement information is hidden under delegation when you just achieve a false sense of engagement only because the final vote had a beautiful quorum number.

If the problem is that few people are interested and show up to vote, delegation doesn’t solve it but instead consolidates it in an official, ossified, and expected way that only a few delegates will show up. Again, in my opinion, it helps consolidate the lack of engagement because this centralization of power leads to some people, like myself, thinking that their vote power is so low now that it won’t make any difference. And so induce the opposite of engagement with thoughts like “if my vote has such little power, why even bother voting?”

While votes on the forum will continue to be one-member-one-vote, the ultimate decision would consider the voting power, concentrated on a handful of members who attracted not only more tokens but also more people delegating to them (most people will delegate to someone not because they think alike, but because that person is the most seem name around). This would work exactly like a regular company where all workers are welcome to present ideas on an open forum, but only the board has the final word on what gets executed or not. I think this goes against the Decentralized Autonomous Organization ethos.

There was a really huge accomplishment in creating this decentralized community, and I see no gains in undoing it by going back to a centralized small group holding all final decisions.

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Ryan, first of all, thanks for the write up. I agree that delegation is very important topic and must be discussed.

I’m of two minds on the topic. I’ll go with pro delegation first.


It encourages high rates of voting and makes sure the community appears engaged. There’s also the clear benefits that ENS has shown.

I think pro delegation is a more realistic approach if we plan on voting at any frequency.


@fornax covered it pretty well I think. Refer to their comment on the topic

I think that no delegation is a more direct representation approach. In an ideal world this is what I would want to have the community be engaged.


I propose a few mechanisms of comprises to help the trade offs of delegation:

Option one:

  • Require re-delegation on all votes. Delegation of token would only apply to that specific vote.
  • Require users to vote or lose a percentage of their CODE (not sure how this would be implemented)

This would force engagement of the community, while not forcing them to be full time on paying attention to the DAO

Option two:

  • Forbid delegation
  • Require users to vote or lose a percentage of their CODE

This will force direct democracy but also force the community to not vote on some things that should be in the long term.

Option three:

  • Allow delegation
  • Limit Delegate max vote % or count

This will force more delegates to appear for a more balanced proportional vote.

If we choose to move forward with delegation, I would be interested in being a delegate as it aligns with my goals in leading the mentorship program.

Thank you! I am convinced by your argument that the financial/economic component of the delegation mechanism in front of us today (Eth Mainnet ERC20 on-chain delegation) is not appropriate for the outcomes we want for our community.

Unless we can find an appropriate mechanism that is zero-cost and reasonably frictionless, we will be creating problems for our members and our community.

When our principles and our technology are at odds, the technology must be replaced. Lucky for us, we’re a community of technologists!

I will post a followup about my thoughts on our path forward. We will need to find alternatives that give us zero-cost delegation, redelegation, delegation decay, etc. in order to be able to consider this question on its democratic merits.

What are some of the zero-cost voting and delegation systems we are aware of in development and in use today?