The Controversial Voting that Unfolded at ApeCoin DAO: A DAOstruct Take!

The Controversial Voting that Unfolded at ApeCoin DAO: A DAOstruct Take!

DAO News


The recent controversy! Is the DAO truly decentralized? 🤔

While we’ve given you a deeeep dive into what ApeCoin DAO is, what it does, what the APE Ecosystem is, and all of that jazz - it’s time to delve a lil deep.

Have you heard about the recent voting controversy that took place with ApeCoin DAO? If not, then you’re at the right place! Even if yes, then we are here to give you a more in-depth picture.

The voting controversy primarily surrounded the question:

To centralize, or to decentralize?

Should seem like a pretty easy win for the latter since it’s a ‘decentralized’ autonomous organization, right? Well, wins ain’t that easy in the DAO universe where everyone has a say! 🔊

The Proposal: To centralize or to decentralize? 🤔

The AIP-183 - “Cartan’s Proven Track Record & Continued Commitment to Advancing the ApeCoin Ecosystem - Ecosystem Fund Allocation”, is the subject of this controversy.

This was a proposal to increase Cartan Group - a management consulting company’s (very web2) fees from $150,000 a month to a whopping $250,000 in addition to 20,000 APE tokens which themselves are worth around $70,000 as of the general range during December 2022. This is a substantial amount of payment that goes out monthly from the DAO treasury and accordingly was definitely something that had to be put to a democratic vote, in order to determine whether such a hike is actually a necessity. 🗳️

Let’s start by evaluating the responsibilities the Cartan Group had and why it felt that it deserved this hike.

Firstly, the Cartan Group was responsible for a substantial number of tasks that facilitated the DAO’s operations, such as communications between all of the stakeholders, grant funding for the APE ecosystem, providing valuable administrative insight, administrative reporting, etc. The Cartan Group has worked with the DAO for over 8 months in an active push toward its long-term vision. This ask was justified on the grounds of Cartan’s expanded scope of responsibilities that Cartan voluntarily took up in order to keep the workflow smooth, even though some of these responsibilities were not within the original scope of work that was agreed upon. 🖊

The proposal was authored by Brian Tang, one of the co-founders of Cartan. ✒️

Some of the expanded scope of responsibilities that Cartan proposed to take on for the coming year, include but are not limited to :

(i) to expand the scope of the community of ApeCoin holders with consistent improvements;

(ii) expanding the community moderation team by offering jobs, training, establishing a reporting structure, creating accountability in the functioning of the DAO, and more;

(iii) proposing amendments and adjustments to the AIP process in order to ensure that the process is more efficient and transparent;

(iv) deploying an analysis team for every AIP proposal which will be specifically equipped to help AIP authors answer the question “how does this grow the APE ecosystem” by guiding them on how to create well-structured business models, revenue models, risk identification models, etc.;

(v) to publish a quarterly Transparency Report for the APE Foundation which would enable the web3 community the knowledge of the Foundation’s cash flows, funded grants, financial position, updated budgetary plans, etc. 💸

Concerns regarding the Proposal

Should there be continued reliance on a centralized entity to run a decentralized autonomous organization?

Whether the association with this centralized entity should be reduced instead of increased?

These concerns and narratives eventually shaped the vote. Some of the concerns can be seen below where we notice that while the community members have nothing against Cartan, they simply do believe that a nudge is needed toward decentralization, and not away from it. One of the members commented,

“Consolidating operations under a central entity that was tasked with decentralizing operations is a step backward for the DAO’s autonomy”.

This sentence envisions the entire concern! ⬇️

ape voting1

Source: Comments on Snapshot Proposal

ape voting2

Source: Comments on Snapshot Proposal


Announced on 22nd December 2022 ⬇️

ape voting3

Source: AIP-83.

With a minimal 22.6% votes in favor of the proposal, this can be best described as a call for true decentralization and a move towards being truly autonomous. ✔️

What now? What’s the path moving forward? 🛣

To ensure that the transition is smooth, the DAO will continue to fund Cartan for two more months, and within these two months, the DAO will form an interim working group which will have a conceptual mandate of operationalizing the DAO, titled “Working Group Zero”. 🗞️

To make this interim working group happen, AIP-196, “Bringing Order and Reliability via Ecosystem Decentralization ”, was passed with a whopping 72% support which allows Cartan to work with the DAO for 2 months till February 28th, 2023.

This interim group will serve a probationary period or rather, a trial period for three months wherein it will implement a transparent and accountable “Request for Proposals” process where the future APE Foundation administrators will be identified. The interim group will be composed of key DAO stakeholders who had achieved Trust Level Status 2 on or before December 21st, 2022, $APE holders who have voted on at least 50% of the AIPs that have gone to Snapshot, or $APE holders with 50,000 APE or more in voting power and have voted on at least one AIP. 👀

The election - Yes, DAOs have ‘em too! 🚀

With the formation of the interim working group, and the timeline of the Special Council elections coming up - choosing the right candidates became a pertinent tipping point for the DAO. This is because the Special Council is essentially the voice of the DAO and members of the Special Council are elected to represent the DAO. While there were over forty applications for membership in the Special Council, only five were selected and sent for actual voting by the DAO members. 🎫

The Special Council election process is elaborately provided under AIP-183. Out of the 5 that were selected from the nomination process, only 3 members were actually going to be elected to the Special Council. If elected, the term would last for 1 year beginning January 1st, 2023.

The five nominees were veratheape , Matt Solomon , Gerry , herb , and Gerard Hernandez (BoredApeG).

ape voting4

Source: Snapshot Proposal

While the vote seems to be extremely close between Gerry and Degentraland, as well as BoredApeG and veratheape; herb seems to be far behind in the race. With BoredApeG, veratheape, and Gerry winning the Special Council elections, the ideologies that they will be bringing to the table would primarily surround improved communication, more action, better representation, offering perspectives from Asian communities, uplifting women through the DAO, etc. 📈

What does the future hold for ApeCoin DAO? 🔮

Certainly, more decentralization for the ApeCoin DAO is coming its way. But, we will leave it on this note ⬇️

ape voting5

Source: ApeDAO’s Twitter

References :

  1. ApeCoin DAO agrees to fund Ape Foundation’s Administrator for two more months | DAO Times

  2. Cartan’s Proven Track Record & Continued Commitment to Advancing the ApeCoin Ecosystem - Ecosystem Fund Allocation | Snapshot

  3. Full Proposal: Cartan’s Proven Track Record & Continued Commitment to Advancing the ApeCoin Ecosystem - Ecosystem Fund Allocation | ApeCoin DAO Forum

  4. ApeCoin DAO elects three members to join Special Council | DAO Times

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