The Tally Newsletter, Issue 79
Welcome back for issue 79 of the Tally Newsletter, a publication focused on DeFi and DAO governance. We’ll keep you updated on key proposals, procedural changes, newly launched voting systems, shifting power dynamics, and anything else you need to know to be an informed citizen.
My name is 0xThanos, an NFT native and the newest member of Tally’s newsletter collective. I will provide deeper insights on NFT DAOs and their takes on governance. As well as any NFT meta conversations that may affect governance.
In today’s issue, we will cover Nouns Agora, an infrastructure project funded by NounsDAO.
I had a friend recently ask me what the 3 most interesting experiments of Nouns DAO were. Personally, what has been the most interesting has been the infrastructure plays that NounsDAO has been able to fund - Nouns Builder, Nouns Prop House, and Nouns Agora.
Each of these infrastructure builds were funded for development by the DAO itself. Nouns DAO having one of the largest DAO treasuries in the space has had the means to be able to build infra that can be meaningful. So far, each of the infrastructure plays solve problems that all DAOs struggle with.
We've covered Builder and Prop House, and today we will cover the last of the Nouns infra plays - Nouns Agora. Nouns Agora was initially a project that was funded via Prop House. The builders of Nouns Agora then made an official DAO proposal after standing up a minimum viable product. They were awarded 220 ETH to continue building features for Agora. Let's dive into what Nouns Agora is.
Nouns Agora Overview
Front Page + Delegation
Nouns Agora is a simple platform that allows the public to see all of the voters of Nouns DAO.
As you can see above each voter sets up a profile in which they can include a short statement on who they are and can attach places where they can be contacted. At a glance, users of Agora can see how many Noun votes the address is responsible. For example, Toadyhawk represents 23 Nouns votes in his address and has voted in 51 proposals.
Each profile also comes with a delegation button. This delegation button allows a Noun to delegate their vote to a specific delegate. A neat feature that stems from Noun’s onchain focus. Nouns can split their voting token from the actual NFT itself, thus giving the Noun holders the ability to let other addresses vote for them. This allows Nouns to stay in cold wallets without risking keeping the NFT in a hot wallet to vote. The separation of the voting token and NFT also gives Nouns the ability for delegation. Note the delegation token is easily revokable by the Noun.
Governance is hard; it's responsibility that many can not keep up with. Being up to date and actively voting on proposals is a time commitment. Nouns delegation is doable on chain, but Agora presents one of the first user-friendly abstractions of it.
Now, let's take a look under the hood at each of the voter pages.
What you will immediately notice is that the voting history of the delegate is viewable within the each card. You can view the voting history of the DAO and any Prop House rounds that were participated in. Not only is the history of which way they voted for what proposals available, but each of the delegate's can issue a statement as to why they voted the way they did.
I found devcarrot's statement on voting against NounsBuilder interesting. What is now the largest proposal passed in NounsDAO history will eventually be considered a great idea or awful proposal that accounted for 1/30th of the DAO's ETH. Capturing devcarrot's opinion at the time of voting will be a great historical record to look back on.
Not only are the Nounders leaving comments for each proposal, but many of the other voters are also as well. Take a look at Toadyhawk’s history.
Another great feature on each voter page is the voter statistics and the delegated from. In this case, Toadyhawk has Noun votes delegated from Poap.eth, the largest holder of Nouns.
Proposal 154 gives us a sneak peak into what is coming next for Nouns Agora. A more robust way of delegating.
A Noun can now define specific parts of their voting that they would like to delegate. For example a Noun could delegate only their PropHouse votes to a specific voter. A Noun can also delegate their vote for a specific period of time.
Inactivity bounties are on the way as well.
Agora and the other infra plays that NounsDAO has funded are built for NounsDAO. That being said, each of the infra plays feel like crucial DAO infra that could likely be used by DAOs of the future. The traditional approach to building DAO infra has been generalized product market fit, rather than focusing on single DAO issues than expanding. Prop House, Agora, and Builder may be early, but all have broader implications for the industry.
Today, Agora is a simple platform, but I do believe it to be the foundational layer of higher voter participation. Unfortunately, as DAOs expand voter participation decreases. Governance, at times, can be a full-time task. Within MakerDAO, you have different working groups working on different missions. I view Agora as a way to view those groups and why they are voting which way. Also, Agora builds a path for Nouns to move past horizontal, majoritarian voting. Excited about what they are building and how Agora is utilized as more Nouns are released into the wild.