OIP-50 provides three possible frameworks for how OIPs dealing with charitable donations (using DAO controlled funds or yields from DAO controlled funds) should be handled moving forward.
Framework 1, Carte-Blanche Ban: A complete ban on any charitable use of DAO controlled funds moving forward. If it’s not explicitly being used to build something for Olympus (whether engineering, marketing, or education) it cannot be funded with DAO controlled funds period. To be clear this would not include cooperative building, marketing, or education efforts with specific and measurable mandates to create products/materials explicitly designed to benefit Olympus.
Framework 2, Near Total Majority Approval Requirement: An increased approval requirement for any charitable use of DAO controlled funds moving forward. If an OIP or TAP allocates funds as a charitable donation (again, excluding cooperative building efforts) it must:
1) Be the subject of at least one ‘temperature check’ Forum vote, said poll to not last less than seven days.
2) Be taken to Snapshot in the exact same form as it was proposed on the Forum, with a voting period to not last less than seven days.
3) Pass said Snapshot with over 95% approval, from at least 100 different wallet addresses.
Framework 3, Do Nothing: Don’t change anything from the way the system works. If this is chosen I will not attempt to pass any further OIPs on this subject, and would encourage others not to attempt to either.
Background Materials for Reading:
OIP-49 was a proposal to authorize $500,000 of donations paid for using yields from DAO controlled funds to several charitable organizations in the fields of;
The fight against climate change.
Open source software/infra development.
OIP-49 was a very controversial proposal. Many in the DAO, myself included, did not want DAO controlled funds used for these purposes. Criticisms included but were not limited to:
Climate change and longevity research are not within Olympus DAO’s purview.
Funds put towards software/infra development should be used to compensate Olympus devs instead of third party devs.
Allowing for DAO controlled funds to be used in this fashion opens the door to further abuses by setting the precedent that DAO controlled funds can be used for things that have nothing to do with Olympus’ mission or operations.
Charitable donations should come from Ohmies themselves, not from Olympus.
After much debate, OIP-49 was voted down. 35% of forum voters voted for the “For: as proposed” option, 4% of forum voters voted for the “For: with amendments” option, and 62% of voters voted for the “Against: Do nothing” option.
Yet, less than 24 hours later (before the poll for OIP-49 had closed), an amended version of OIP-49 (titled OIP-49a) was proposed on the Forum. This proposal included the following changes from the original OIP-49:
The donations were narrowed in scope. No money would be put towards climate change or longevity research based charities, and instead donations would only go to Gitcoin (open source software developer).
Instead of a single donation amount, multiple options were provided ranging for $100,000 to $1,000,000.
The donation to Gitcoin was rephrased as a ‘strategic partnership’.
These changes did not address the concerns that DAO controlled funds were being used instead of creating systems allowing Ohmies to donate their own gains/yield and they did not address concerns that DAO controlled funds should not be used for charity at all. Additionally, given that this was an amended version of the proposal being put forward after the forum had (with a large majority) expressly voted for “Against: Do Nothing” and not for “For: with amendments” OIP-49a was seen as a slap in the face to all the Ohmies who took time to vote against OIP-49, and disrespectful to the very idea of decentralized or DAO governance.
Accordingly it comes as no surprise that as of the time of writing this, OIP-49a has an even lower approval rate than OIP-49 did. There are many Ohmies who might have been ambivalent to the idea of a charitable donation, but are certainly against what is so obviously an attempt to disregard the results of a vote. While forum votes are not binding, to proceed with an amended OIP so quickly after the previous attempt was handily voted down (with Ohmies explicitly choosing not to move forward with an amended proposal) was what could reasonably be referred to as a “dick move”. And it got many of us thinking that we need to not only set a strong precedent against this kind of abuse of the voting system by voting down OIP-49a, but we must also set in place rules to prevent further efforts at siphoning funds from the treasury using charity as a cover ever again.
In sum, two things must be decided.
First, what changes should we make to the OIP/TAP proposal process to prevent governance abuse? This will be dealt with in a later OIP.
Second, what should the policy of the DAO be moving forward with charitable efforts? That is what this OIP deals with.
In deciding this we must consider two factors, abuse prevention and optionality.
Banning charitable donations outright will be the strongest move that the DAO can take to prevent abuse. There will be no opportunities for ‘grifting’ or for donating to causes that Ohmies do not feel represents them personally, or why they came to Olympus. However, it also limits ‘optionality’ and may prevent the DAO from taking actions which would benefit it later.
Alternatively, requiring a very high bar for approval of charitable efforts does leave room open for treasury abuse. Many Ohmies have expressed a strong conviction that Olympus should not be in the business of making donations to charity, period, and this would enable donations to happen so long as they had near unanimous consent. However, while it sacrifices some abuse prevention, it also leaves the DAO with more flexibility or ‘optionality’ moving forward.
Please consider these factors when evaluating the below options for this OIP.
Pass one of the two following frameworks for charitable donations moving forward, OR do nothing.
Framework 1: Total ban on all charitable donations. Neither DAO controlled funds, nor yields from those funds, may ever be used for charitable donations.
Framework 2: Require that all charitable donations coming from either DAO controlled funds or yields from those funds be proposed and ratified through the following process/standards:
First an OIP must be drafted and proposed on the Olympus DAO forum for a “temperature check” vote. As Forum votes are non-binding and can be participated in by individuals/entities who do not hold Olympus, this process is more to provide a period for easy public commentary. The poll for this Forum vote must last no less than seven days.
A Snapshot vote which is completely identical to the original Forum post must be posted, again with a polling period of no less than seven days. If the Forum vote leads to the author thinking they should amend the post even one word, they must scrap the process and start all over again from step 1. Remember that this process is intended to be onerous and difficult to pass, so yes even if the change is just one word or some punctuation it must be completely redrafted and restarted.
That Snapshot vote from step 2 must pass with at least 95% or more approval at the end of its seven day voting period, and with at least 100 separate $OHM (or $sOHM or $gOHM or any other derivative) wallet addresses participating.
Framework 3: Do nothing, the current process is fine. I will not take this as an invitation to post a later OIP or an amended one.
As one final note, it’s important that we provide some sort of guidance for what is a legitimate ‘strategic partnership’ vs what is simply a rebranded charitable donation. There are no perfect answers here and it will be up to Ohmies to be skeptical yet fair. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- If a project is building something, is their mandate specific and measurable? In other words can they say “We will be building X technology capable of achieving Y result. Olympus DAO will be able to use this for Z.”? If so, that is evidence it is a legitimate partnership. If not, that is evidence it is a charitable donation.
- Are the funds being given to an organization that has a ‘cause’, be it political or social? If so, that is evidence it is a charitable donation.
The polling process begins now and will end at Nov 30th, Noon UTC. A snapshot will be put up to vote (if Frameworks 1 or 2 are chosen) on Dec 1st, Noon UTC. It will last 5 days and end Dec 6th, Noon UTC.
For: Push Frameworks 1 or 2 to Snapshot Vote.
Against: Do nothing (no duplicate proposals).