Launch a 6-month governance trial of anti-plutocratic voting measures to increase stakeholder influence and engagement in KlimaDAO.
KlimaDAO exists to increase coordination, transparency and the efficiency of environmental commodities markets. KlimaDAO’s protocol mechanics and incentives, governance structure, and technology provide a unique set of tools to address key issues within these markets – the tools themselves represent public goods and Common Pool Resources for the market – and they should be governed by the market, for the benefit of the market.
Whilst KlimaDAO has deployed a number of technologies for the Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) since its launch, and has changed its incentive parameters in line with market conditions; it has not, however, progressed its governance framework. To achieve impact over the long-term, the governance framework of the DAO must be engineered for scale and antifragility, as well as fairness and transparency. Hence, progressing KlimaDAO’s governance is seen as an important step towards minimizing vulnerabilities and downside risks for the protocol, whilst simultaneously positioning the DAO to capitalize on its position as a decentralized protocol that can be used to fulfill the needs of a diverse set of market stakeholders.
To this end, we recommend a trial integration of Gitcoin Passports to increase Sybil Resistance of the Protocol, as well as Snapshot’s Quadratic Voting feature, to explore solutions that can increase the project’s resilience, levels of decentralization and community ownership.
To ratify or annul the trial integration after 6 months, a plutocratic token vote without Gitcoin Passports and Quadratic voting will be performed.
Progressing KlimaDAO’s Governance Framework
Implementing new governance mechanisms can enable the Protocol to remain at the cutting edge of governance within the environmental commodities markets and fulfill key protocol objectives:
Implementation of tactics that support progressive decentralization: KlimaDAO’s DWG Interim Report specifically includes recommendations to consider how the protocol’s governance frameworks can be progressed to mitigate the risks of governance attacks; decentralize governance and decision-making; and increase levels of community ownership.
Further innovation with transparent, inclusive governance mechanisms for the DCM: the Digital Carbon Market (DCM) represents a set of technologies and assets that can help scale climate finance globally. The stakeholders KlimaDAO serves are diverse in type and location. Adhering to design principles (such as Ostrom’s 8 Principles) can support the stewardship of the DCM’s technology and asset layer via KlimaDAO. For example, this proposal can create an environment that enables inclusive community participation in:
Establishment of system boundaries: KlimaDAO’s boundaries are dynamic – with new projects integrating with it at the supply-side and a set of market participants integrating with its tech stack on the demand-side. It is imperative that the system’s boundaries are refined and defined by a broad and engaged community.
Collective-choice arrangements: those that use KlimaDAO’s resources and technologies should have the ability to participate directly and meaningfully in the decision-making process regarding the rules that govern it, to ensure they are relevant, effective and legitimate.
Community self-organization: community members representing stakeholders from across the DCM should be able to effectively leverage KlimaDAO’s governance for their needs; conversely external parties should not be in a position to undermine the rights of the users of the system or the system’s integrity by exploiting intrinsic weaknesses or vulnerabilities.
Why Quadratic Voting?
Quadratic Voting gives people with strong preferences more power to express their views: People with strong preferences are often marginalized in traditional votes, because their votes are worth the same as the votes of people with weaker preferences. With quadratic voting, people with strong preferences can allocate more votes to the issues they care about, which gives them more power to influence the outcome of the vote. This can help to ensure that the decisions that are made are in the best interests of everyone.
Quadratic Voting is more accurate: In traditional voting methods, a stakeholder’s vote has the same weight regardless of how strongly they feel about an issue. This can lead to the passing of policies that do not reflect the true preferences of the majority of voters. Quadratic voting, on the other hand, rewards voters for expressing their true preferences. The policies selected from a quadratic vote are more likely to be the policies that the majority of voters actually want.
Quadratic Voting is more efficient: Voters often have to choose between voting for their most preferred policy or voting for a less preferred policy in order to prevent a less desirable policy from winning. This can lead to voter apathy and users casting “wasted votes” for policies that have no chance of winning. Quadratic voting, on the other hand, allows voters to express their true preferences without fear of wasting their votes. This means that quadratic voting proposals are more likely to produce results that reflect the true preferences of the majority of voters.
Why Sybil Resistance?
In order to be non-manipulable, quadratic voting should be paired with a sybil-resistant mechanism like Gitcoin Passports.
Promoting Trust in the System: For a DAO to function effectively, participants need to trust that the system isn't easily manipulated. Implementing Sybil resistance measures like Gitcoin Passports can enhance this trust, ensuring that members have confidence in the robustness and security of the voting process.
Preserving the Value of Quadratic Voting: Quadratic voting's essence is to allow individuals to express the intensity of their preferences. Without Sybil resistance, bad actors can create multiple accounts to gain undue influence, negating the value quadratic voting brings. Ensuring resistance against such attacks is essential to maintain the efficacy of the quadratic voting mechanism.
Gitcoin Passports: Gitcoin Passports serves as an innovative solution to identify unique individuals without violating privacy. It leverages third-party services to offer verified credentials or "stamps", which are collectively utilized to verify an individual's identity, without revealing personal information.
Integrating Gitcoin Passport into our governance system will provide a robust mechanism for sybil resistant unique user verification, significantly reducing the risk of vote manipulation. It prevents the same individual from casting multiple votes via different wallets, therefore maintaining a true representation of the individual's voting power.
Users may link:
And must have 2 of 7 associated accounts linked to cast a vote.
Quadratic Voting: As a complement to Gitcoin Passports, we propose the adoption of Quadratic Voting, a voting mechanism that empowers minority voices, thus enhancing overall democratic representation. There are two main features of Quadratic Voting. First is a voting calculation with an emphasis on the number of individual voters, rather than the size of their voting power. Second is that each voter has a budget of votes that they can distribute among different options. More information on Quadratic Voting can be found here.
Implications and Implementation
The integration of Gitcoin Passports and Quadratic Voting signifies an important evolution in our governance model. We believe these proposed enhancements will instill greater confidence in our voting system and will provide a more accurate representation of our community's preferences.
However, we understand that these changes may create some obstacles. The introduction of Gitcoin Passports could potentially deter participation due to the additional verification step. Also, Quadratic Voting, while ensuring a fairer vote distribution, might be complex for some users to understand initially.
To address these concerns, we propose a 6-month experiment, during which we will observe the system's impact on participation, engagement, and overall governance health. During this period, we will offer any necessary education and support to help our community navigate these new mechanisms effectively.
If passed, the 6-month trial implementation will begin 2 weeks or 14 calendar days after the closing of this proposal. After trial implementation, a vote to ratify or annul the framework will begin 6 months or 180 calendar days after the first day of implementation. If ratified, the framework will become the new working model for governance. If annulled, the DAO will revert to the traditional governance model. The vote to ratify or annul the framework will use the traditional “one token = one vote” framework.
We strongly encourage our token holders to endorse this trial integration. The successful integration of these features has the potential to fortify our governance process, ensuring that KlimaDAO remains resilient, fair, and reflective of our community's diverse perspectives.
The polling process begins now and will end at 18:00 UTC on 30/08/2023. Assuming the forum proposal is approved, it will advance to Snapshot.