[Discussion] Proposal Workflow

Thanks to @mZeroNine for co-authoring this post

Preamble

A DeFi-App lifecycle is somewhat similar to growing up as a human (Please bear with us). At the very beginning, all the control rests in the hands of the core contributors. This is necessary for a DeFi-App to iterate fast, adjust without lengthy governance processes and give core contributors the freedom to experiment. As the user base grows and the DeFi-App matures, so does the need for independence. We believe that mStable is at the stage at which it makes sense to decentralise even further. A first step would be to weaken the DAOs control over the protocol and to allow the community to be more involved.

The following suggestion outlines the current proposal workflow that was adhered to since the inception of the DAO and an updated proposed workflow that would allow for a more decentralised & governed protocol.

Current Governance Process

The current proposal workflow is as follows:

  1. (Optional): Idea gets posted in the forum but usually originates from the Core Contributors
  2. MIP/MCCP/MDP is drafted if the core contributors signal is positive
  3. ProtocolDAO/TeasuryDAO vote on whether to propose formally to Meta Governors or not
  4. Formal proposal to Meta Governors (in the forum)
    1. MCCP and MIP gets renamed to PDP and get their own incremental number
    2. TDPs gets posted with their incremental number
  5. Official Snapshot Voting Process by Meta Governors
  6. The transaction gets executed via respective Multisig (ProtocolDAO or TreasuryDAO)

Drawbacks:

  • Confusion around renaming and renumbering MCCPs & MIPs to PDPs
  • ProtocolDAO and TreasuryDAO act as the gatekeepers for the proposals
  • Double duty for the DAOs and its signers DAOs; adds friction by requiring approval first in the beginning and then execution of the result at the end.
  • DAO / Core contributor driven governance - proposals originate mostly outside of community communication channels like Discord or the forum
  • Community is mainly used in a passive way for signing off on proposals
  • Lengthy process to push proposals through each governance instance

Proposed Governance Process

The outlined drawbacks can be addressed via this improved governance process:

  1. Idea origination: Request for Comments with the rough proposal in the forum to gauge consensus among core contributors and community members
  2. After initial feedback, a formal proposal is drafted and posted to the forum to allow for reviews by the community
  3. Public Snapshot Vote by Meta Governors
  4. ProtocolDAO/TreasuryDAO multi-sig executes the will of the Meta Governors

This new structure addresses the outlined drawbacks from before in the following way:

  • Shorter overall proposal process
  • ProtocolDAO and TreasuryDAO only act as the executors of the voter’s decision (higher decentralisation)
    • Possible inclusion of SafeSnap in future proposals will further decentralise the protocol
  • Community first governance ideology: The idea originates within the reach of the community, so they are involved from the very beginning of any action, no surprise can happen down the line, and overall influence over proposals is ensured
  • Straight forward 1-to-1 relationship between MIPs/MCCPs, TDPs and MTA Snapshot voting

In Closing

As Cat Herders, we were following the proposal structure very closely. Our task is mostly to facilitate the process, and ensure that everything runs smoothly. Over the last few months, we learned a lot about decentralised governance, our DAOs, and the community’s appetite to get involved.

We believe that this proposed structure would not only decentralise mStable further but also pave the way for a completely autonomous protocol in the future. As Metanauts ourselves, we want to ensure that all community members have the same right to voice their opinion over proposals and that no changes just appear in front of them to pass without any flexibility on their side.

We think this is a big first step towards a more decentralised protocol in the future, so we are eager to hear everyone’s opinion. More decentralisation efforts will follow in the near future as well, so stayed tuned!

dimsome & mZeroNine
The official Cat Herders

6 Likes

Thanks for drafting this up, fully in support of this new governance process.

I’d also like to suggest ways to define consensus and thresholds for moving a RFC into the next stage where an MIP/MCCP number is allocated. Similarly, i think we should define a minimum MTA stake required for governance proposal creation to align stakeholders and reduce noise.

2 Likes

Definitely hard agreeing with you here. At the moment the actual Snapshot creation process very much lies in the hands of the Cat Herders alone, and should be seen as a central point of failure to push changes through the protocol.

I think if we align on the steps above first, we can tackle this next one in the coming weeks and months. I have just completed an initial report on Zodiac by Gnosis Guild, and I hope we can enable much more decentralization this way in the next iteration cycles.

Feeling strongly that both executing proposals autonomously on-chain and decentralizing the creation of such proposals will be the next big things to focus on, but very keen to hear more opinions on these topics from anyone else interested in these processes.

1 Like

Thanks for this post

I fully support this new governance structure which empowers community members & decentralize even more mStable
Also agree with @derc about some kind of MTA treshold for proposing MIPs in order to avoid chaotic governance

2 Likes

Thanks a lot for the feedback!

I think establishing thresholds is quite difficult with an RFC. If we think that an RFC is the first forum post and discussion around this then how would we define what can be moved to a Proposal? Unless we do a separate snapshot vote, but I would be against that. This would reintroduce steps that we are trying to slim up here. The idea behind the RFC is to gather a rough consensus to know which initiatives are supported to warrant putting more time into fleshing it out in a formal proposal.

I think so too! In the future, to further decentralise, we should enable stakers to post in the snapshot as well.

The noise is not really a problem though. Almost all proposals came through with a push from the CatHerders in the governance process. No Proposals circumvented this. So we don’t have to worry about a problem that we currently don’t have. So we should probably set a relative lowish amount for this.

Very keen on doing this. Mostly for MCCPs, this can be done, but with MIPs not always. I think the focus should really be the TreasuryDAO when it comes to funding and moving larger portions of the treasury. Having the responsibilities split between all the voters is a huge step into decentralisation. But that is a topic we should pick up after this discussion :wink:

As I answered to dc, there is not much chaos now and no one is trying to push proposals forward that much. But I do agree that we still should have some soft requirements to what can become a formal proposal and also who can post a vote on Snapshot.