Team Proposal: Kevin as Governance Architect

Hi, I’m Kevin and I’m pretty new to DeFi (only started about a month ago), so I haven’t been able to build a history with the Sushi community yet unlike the other team members. But in my short time in the space so far it’s become pretty clear to me that Sushi is one of the most active and decentralized communities, and it’s always been my dream to be a part a fully autonomous DAO. I heard 0xMaki talking about governance on clubhouse yesterday and alluded to some of the difficulties around it, so I was inspired to come check out the forums and get more involved, and here I am.

Here’s some relevant background information about me:

  • I started my career as a software engineer at 19 after dropping out of college. I first got into crypto 2.5 years later by building arb bots for centralized crypto exchanges (coinbase <—> gemini).

  • Soon after I ended up getting a job at ConsenSys to do cryptoeconomics design + protocol research for ICO projects in 2017-2018.

  • I started to think about starting a fund, so I wrote an investment thesis. Although I didn’t follow through on the fund, the thesis is worth reading to understand my high-level philosophy on token design (some ideas are outdated but the overall gist is still the same).

  • Instead of the fund, I started a consulting firm for protocol research/token design. I wanted the firm to be a decentralized consulting DAO for freelance researchers to work on projects together, so I wrote a paper conceptualizing it. I never made the paper public, but I’m making it now so you can read the source of inspiration for this proposal: Fraktal Goverance Paper

  • As part of the consulting DAO, one of the projects I worked with the Graph (in late 2018) to research token economics. Here’s a piece of [sample work] from that project, where I lay down the fundamental economic incentives for the Graph Token: (papers/Graph Tokeneconomics Analysis.pdf at main · 1kevinxu1/papers · GitHub) I did for them.


So what is a governance architect and why does Sushi need one?

To be honest, I just made this job up. But in my imagination a governance architect is someone who designs governance mechanisms in a DAO to help organize/coordinate its internal processes while preserving its decentralized structure.

As organizations grow, so does the overhead of communication. There’s more information to navigate, more products to document, more people to organize, etc. This makes it hard for orgs to scale—the bigger it gets, the more complex it is to coordinate participation, and the more information is needed for new community members to onboard themselves.

This is especially true for decentralized organizations as orgs traditionally find organizational efficiencies through more centralized governance structures. Over time, it’s not uncommon to see decision making becoming more concentrated with the core team in order to iterate on the protocol/product more quickly.

However, this goes against the ethos of decentralization and discourage community involvement, causing the org to miss out on what is arguably the biggest appeal of a DAO in the first place: drawing upon the collective involvement of the community.

In Sushi’s governance system today, each community member can vote on every proposal, similar to how each node in a blockchain network processes every block. Predictably, it also results in the same problems: low throughput and costly transactions (decisions). Governance is just social consensus, and like blockchains, it needs to scale by distributing work across a subset of nodes in the network for processing.

Sharding is one option for governance scalability, and it might something like splitting governance into different high-level pools based on concern/topic (e.g. treasury allocation pool [finance], protocol development pool, product management pool, community participation [human resources]). By organizing governance in this way, members prioritize specific topics they want to focus their governance efforts on in the protocol, and choose to specialize in specific interests in the protocol, largely staying out of each other’s way in unrelated topics.

Another mechanism for faster decisions could be to create tiered rounds of voting based on staking length—longer staked tokens have priority voting on proposals so short-term voting interests can never outweigh long-term voting interests in the protocol.

My role at Sushi

As Sushi’s governance architect, I want to design scaling solutions for Sushi’s governance system so it can more effectively utilize community talent and mindshare while reducing load on the core team. I see myself being involved in 2 ways:

  1. Maintaining and improving governance tooling + interfaces to improve information discovery and community engagement: faster self-onboarding, more accessible information presentation, better proposal discovery etc.

  2. Design token economic incentives around the participation, contribution, and development of Sushiswap to improve governance participation and convert inbound community interest.

Eventually I want to combine the two into something I call process-as-a-protocol: organizational processes & incentives that facilitate governance hard coded into smart contracts that manage the DAO automatically.

(e.g. propose a feature idea that picks up community interest and eventually gets developed, earn SUSHI rewards minted directly by the governance smart contract upon completion—rewards can be configurable or algorithmically determined).

My goal is to help the protocol and community become more fault-tolerant by reducing centralized dependencies, bring more transparency to the community around strategic initiatives and and maintain a cohesive high-level perspective of the protocol as more products are launched within the Sushi ecosystem.

Availability

I’m down to spend literally every moment of my waking life working on Sushi. All I do is think and talk about mechanism design anyways, so I doubt much will change for me in the way of life. I know this is highly unconventional but I would like the community & team’s genuine consideration for the role. Thank you for reading my proposal!

  • hire this guy!
  • i don’t really see the value

0 voters