the Tally newsletter, issue 123
welcome back to the Tally newsletter, your weekly source for DAO governance insights. i'm coolhorsegirl and i’m so happy to be here. 🟣
this week we’re talking Blast: a lesson in what not to do in L2 governance. it’s been a while since we’ve seen such a publicly disparaged launch. there’s a lot to unpack here, from legit criticisms to memes to where Blast can go from here.
not too many live proposals this week, but we’ve got an update to Compound Governor Bravo (ily) and a few Nounish proposals including a potential gift of a Noun. let’s get into it 👇
🤿 deep dive: governance: substantial
you’ve seen the memes—Blast’s launch has been a scene. kicking off with a hilarious table (see below), CT has concerns with the multisig with mystery signers, their vague rewards setup, and launch of a bridge-in without a bridge-out. we’re breaking down what happened and how we can improve from here.
Blast is an EVM-compatible, optimistic rollup that launched marketing efforts (not the actual product, notably) and a bridge on november 21. you deposit your ETH, they put it to work in Lido and Maker, and your wallet balance automatically grows (they’re calling this “native yield”). while $570mil has flowed in, withdrawals will not be enabled until mainnet launch in late february.
the head-scratcher behind it
Blast is a lesson in what not to do for L2 governance, at least from the get-go. it’s is controlled by a simple 3 of 5 multisig, no timelock, no transparency. this is unorthodox and widely frowned upon. in a post about it, Blast compares its use of a multisig to that of other L2s like Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon. this is misleading—Arbitrum uses a security council to elect onchain the signers of its multisig; “in Blast it's ‘just trust me bro’ set of 5 unknown randos to a protocol that doesn't even exist yet” (quoted from this Twitter reply). Paradigm has also shared grievances with both the messaging and execution of the launch. also, there’s this:
where it can be improved from here
all is not lost for Blast. they maintain backing from one of the most important VCs in crypto and have the funds to pivot. the road to redemption lies in embracing robust governance mechanisms. it’s about shifting gears from a questionable path to a more transparent and inclusive route.
what this means in practice: Blast should elect their multisig signers onchain. we’ve talked in this newsletter about jon charbboneau’s concept of proof-of-governance, which requires that leaders in decentralized orgs are elected onchain. right now, we have no idea who the multisig signers are, and that’s a recipe for a rug. a multisig is used effectively when it’s not just about authority; it's about the process of governance that leads to that authority.
i am hopeful that Blast will acknowledge their missteps and pivot into a more secure, decentralized future. right now, their strategy really does underline the pitfalls of deviating from best practices in a space where reputation is everything. anyway, i’m certainly enjoying the Blast memes in the meantime.
⌛️ onchain proposals
summary: updates the implementation contract for Compound Governor Bravo including 3 changes: upgrade from solc 0.5.17 to 0.8.10, enable propose by sig, and enable vote with reason by sig.
voting ends: november 30th
summary: gift Noun 13 to the founder of the first second Nouns fork, credited with everything from coining the term “droposal” to coordinating the AO metaverse collaboration.
voting ends: december 2nd
summary: 48k USDC to produce a short documentary film on ben, one of Nouns’s most devoted community members, that follows his journey in Nouns.
voting ends: december 3rd
📝 what we’re reading & listening to
📄 From Closed Doors to Public Forums: A Lesson for DAOs from OpenAI by drew coffman
key line: “the future of any organization, decentralized or not, should rest firmly in the hands of those who build, nurture, and guide it.”
🐦 ICYMI: CZ is stepping down from Binance by frank chapparo
crazy times as Binance gets charged a $4mil settlement and CZ pleads guilty to money laundering charges.
🐦 “wasted a lot of time researching wallets, they’re all bad” by proto.eth
it’s nearly 2024 and we still don’t have a wallet we’re completely happy with. this is a big criticism of a big part of the problem is that the features the companies care about aren’t always the features the users care about.
💫 DAO talk: istanbul redux || DT weekly ep. 63
🤭 meme of the week
on Tally’s end, whether your proposal has multiple links, discourse excerpts, & photos or just a few lines of text, we have you covered. create proposal just got even smoother—check out our latest feature update.
~ coolhorsegirl 🐴
p.s.- even abroad of course i’m celebrating thanksgiving! i introduced a load of brits to cranberry sauce (they thought it was a dessert?) and served up some mashed sweet potatoes and of course a yorkshire pudding.