Beyond Holding MKR: The Responsibility of Decentralized MakerDAO Governance Voting

1 April 2020

Over the next three months, the Maker Foundation and the community will engage in several important governance discussions around decentralization. Those discussions will lead to actions and solutions that will help determine the future of the DAO. Continued community engagement in governance is vital for two reasons: 1) While the Foundation will draft proposal suggestions, all final decisions will be made by MKR voters; and 2) Complete decentralization of MakerDAO means the eventual dissolution of the Maker Foundation.

The Maker Foundation has always operated under the principle that the safest path to complete decentralization of MakerDAO depends on a careful and gradual approach. From the first MKR vote on the Core Foundation Principles to the recent transfer of MKR token control from the Foundation to the governance community, the Foundation, with the community’s support, has worked to enable a self-sustaining MakerDAO. And the results have been stellar. Now, with the successful launch of Multi-Collateral Dai last November and the community coming together to protect the system during the recent market downturn, it is time to pick up the pace of activity around decentralization. Today the community is closer than ever to realizing its years-long goal: a completely “trustless” DAO—one that’s open-source and wholly governed by the community. 

Fostering Self-Sustainability With Your Help

The complete decentralization of the DAO depends on a self-sustaining system wherein the community governs all processes and frameworks. From choosing new collateral types and implementing risk management around those choices to electing paid contributors, including risk, governance, integration, accounting, and marketing teams, MKR holders will be the final decision-makers. Self-sustainability also means that the community will be responsible for determining the funding mechanism of the DAO. Successful decentralization depends not only on the community’s continued commitment to the purpose of core governance, especially to the processes required to sustain the health and security of the Maker Protocol and the MakerDAO ecosystem, but also on increased involvement. 

While Maker has a growing voter community, additional participants are essential to help make well-informed decisions and achieve full self-sustainability. More voters dedicated to core governance and unafraid of responsibility will help empower the process and, importantly, defend against voter apathy. While voter fatigue can pose a serious vulnerability problem in any election, it can be especially challenging to decentralization efforts. After all, a community-governed system demands well-intentioned community participation in order to succeed.

The Maker Governance Dashboard

The Importance of Voting

Participating in the Maker governance process isn’t just a right of MKR holders—it’s a responsibility. MKR holders make critical system decisions via two actions: Governance Polling and Executive Voting. Polling measures community sentiment, while voting enacts changes. Both take place frequently. 

There is tremendous value in voting, and that value is most deeply felt by participating in the process early. By engaging early, community members can realize the importance of the work that goes into governance long before votes are cast. Deep insight into the process can be gained by participating in the public Governance and Risk call each week, for example, and providing feedback regarding specific proposals. By joining Maker Governance Forum discussions, anyone can help guard and improve the process and learn from those most familiar with the various levers of Maker governance.

What to Expect Next

Blog posts and Maker Governance Forum posts published over the next week will cover the following:

  • What the DAO might look like after decentralization.
  • An introduction to the Maker Protocol Self-Sustainability Initiative, which will describe incremental decentralization and the eventual dissolution of the Maker Foundation. 
  • An introduction to the Maker Improvement Proposal Framework, a process to guide community members and other stakeholders through proposing new improvements, standard specifications, or process changes to the Maker Protocol and governance system. 

In the meantime, the Foundation urges the community to read the following materials: The Voter Onboarding Guide, including the instructions on setting up a voter wallet, and the Governance and Risk Overview on Awesome MakerDAO.  

1 April 2020