SubDAO Treasury System for the Hub

i think i see what you are saying, or at least what you said made me realize an issue with vesting between funding periods making funds idle and unable to be spent by a DAO following its award. maybe 2/3 vesting or a category that is specific to DAOs. ill return to this,

but i disagree with your second point, i think that developers should have to come to the entire community with the pitch they would give a grants administrator of a DAO or subDAO in order to recieve funds from the community pool. of the many advantages daos do have, I dont see DAOs or subDAOs being necessary or resistant to corruption especially when tasked to distribute funds broadly. a semiannual distribution to the most popular and promising projects and DAO initiatives according to the community at large should not have an issue gaining support.

a certain amount of sacrifice to speed seems necessary for the hub to remain leaderless, decentralized and as close to unstoppable as PoS can get.

perhaps a lending facility where a risk adjusted portion of vested funds can be borrowed against by grantees.

a certain amount can easily become an amount that leads to irrelevance. competition is growing, often without leaderlessness spirit/decisions making. we’re not in 2019 anymore. i don’t think we can still afford the luxury of sacrifying this certain amount.

btw to end on a sarcastic note, there is no better way to be as close as unstoppable than being motionless.

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I agree, and would settle for motionless and immovable. while leaders certainly can get results, like vitalik, do kwon or SBF…leaders are a central point of failure. ATOM is the most developed chain with no leader and the only one, in my opinion, that has a reasonable chance to achieve sufficient decentralization as a PoS chain and function without any leader that can be jailed or die mysteriously on a vacation in the Bahamas.

I argue that centralization through Treasury DAO gate keepers is a far faster path to irrelevance than the protracted and likely tedious discussions and refinement of governance structures and funding methodologies that will keep the hub resistant to centralized points of failure that are so common in this space.

I think you’re misunderstanding the idea of a subDAO model (or at least my interpretation of it).

Funding of subDAOs would still be done by the community on a yearly basis after subDAOs provide their yearly roadmaps/spending proposals to the entire community and lobby why they deserve their funding.

SubDAO leads are voted in by the individual subDAO members (which anyone in the community can be part of…it’s like delegating your ATOM to a validator, except you also delegate your ATOM to a subDAO).

SubDAO leads are paid for the work they do, and the other subDAO members are community volunteers (like many of us today) but eventually can become leads themselves as we set term limits for subDAO leads.

The subDAOs have weekly/monthly meetings on progress updates, have collaborative discussions, etc.

SubDAO leads would need to present their updates on a monthly/quarterly basis to the entire community in a forum and if at any point the community is not satisfied with the work, the community has the right to pause streamed payments (or reduce payment until things get back on track).

The community still controls the purse strings. What we are doing is creating a decentralized execution model where each subDAO are specialists in their own category and are still accountable to the entire community.

Doing nothing is NOT an option. Sitting on our hands to watch innovation happen around us is surely a path to failure.


I understand, and am against it.

this would result in the chain direction being chosen by a few corruptible gate keepers of funds according to their individual opinions rather than the desires of users and is difficult to get enough people on board with an omnibus guess at the unpredictable circumstances that can evolve over 3-6 months, let alone an entire year, making waste highly probable as unforeseen innovation removes the need for part or much of the roadmap.

what work do SubDAO leads do that ranked-choice voting allows the community to do at substantially less cost? they are paid to incentivize them not to embezzle the funds they have control of.

or are we going to also pay watch dogs to account for the funds on chain and somehow alert the community before funds can be sold?

updates can be fabricated and dont prevent fraud.

so after funds are stolen, a gov prop can remove the subDAO lead?..not sure how that is useful.

this is simply a false and unreasonable expectation/characterization.

doing nothing and funding innovation around us is quite certainly a viable path as ive described:

this is a viable alternative to the subDAO treasury system (roughly):

While I see what you’re saying, this would make the process unreasonably slow and tedious in my opinion. I get that you worry about funds being embezzled or wasted by centralized parties. However, it is my opinion that the process as it stands is too slow, and could be sped up by allocating certain funds and mandates to subDAO’s with qualified members largely controlling the funds, with oversight from the community. Governance in each subDAO can be changed to best control the funds while the community retains oversight and the right to clawback funds in a vesting contract.

I worry that if we do not figure out new ways to allocate resources, we will discourage people requesting funds from the Hub, and I see this as a missed opportunity. Missed business development opportunities, as the Hub currently has no way to follow up with projects who we fund. Missed opportunities with projects that may want to help build a business around the Hub. They may not go through with it, if they have to go through Hub governance, but if they can confront an entity that can help in the business development of such a project, as well as help connect them to further resources for them to create a project, they may follow through with it and exceed expectations. We want to be able to take the risks on projects wanting to include the Hub, and I do not believe we are in a position to take those risks, as treasury governance stands today.

The chances of this happening are low. Anons wouldn’t be getting positions as any leads or put on any subDAO councils. Also, what are the chances that an entire group of doxxed community members decides to go rogue? Not likely. I would however, agree that further accountibility standards should be set. Vesting schedules and clawbacks can really help in this area. SubDAO’s also don’t need set up like a strict multi-member council. Many subDAOs could have community voting mechanisms still, where the community can be the ultimate veto on project funding. This is all about experimenting with democratic mechanisms to make them efficient and accountable to the community these organisations serve. I feel as if you are tight casting these subDAOs into something I do not believe they would be.

I envision mechanics, where applications to the subDAO’s can be auditable in real time. When the subDAO members see something, it gets published in a community forum for the community to audit if they wish. We would want to open source the subDAO members process and all documents that come across the members eyes, rather than create gatekeepers behind closed doors.

This sounds like a much more centralized and unaccountable model than a subDAO system in my opinion. Hub treasury governance is not nearly quick enough to keep up with the number of funding initiatives we could see in the interchain, over the next few years. If we believe the interchain is going to explode with use cases, then people will happily skip the politics of asking the Hub treasury for funding and go straight to the ICF (completely centralized, wholly unaccountable and only has so much bandwidth to do Cosmos Hub BD) or to another chains grant fund program. I see this as a complete waste of potential for the treasury, if we keep things as they are. We need more than the current treasury system and the ICF. That scenario you lined out, sounds like the worst possible outcome for the Cosmos Hub in my opinion.


a subDAO system is trust based and can only work in the best of all possible worlds. planning for ideal circumstances have failed time and time again within the space. for instance, if a lead gets hacked, dies, their father is diagnosed with a rare disease whats treatment is incredibly expensive it can kill or maim the entire system. it is not about filling slots with people who wouldnt normally act maliciously or has a lot to lose. these are risks that can be entirely avoided at the expense of speed which has not been shown to be necessary.

subDAOs can still be implemented through ranked-choice voting if they appeal to the community. its not eliminating a subDAO treasury system, it is reducing the risk and scope of the system.

is there a reason you think this sounds more centralized and unaccountable or is it just an assertion based on your desire to centralize community funds under a gate keeper and ignore the inherent risk mentioned above?

why would it be an issue if people go to ICF instead of creating another centralized and unaccountable subDAO system? how is turning ATOM into yet another centralized treasury system like all the other chains wasted potential when it can become unique in its predictable and decentralized funding methodology. not taking the time to work out a somewhat novel and decentralized funding mechanism because it is difficult and becoming another irrelevant face in the crypto crowd because it is easier is the true risk to the hub. If we want the hub to innovate, that is what it will take.

accountable is here available to approve it’ If all our community support and agreed. With the future of decentralized. Financial Services everything is possible.

so… you really think ICF structure == what subDAOs model offers ?

really ?

you said earlier you were mad people were ignoring your words. i begin to understand why they did so.

cosmodon, is that you with a 267th alt ?

in the sense that both ICF and a subDAO treasury create possible points of failure and dependence on funding gate keepers that rely on the kindness of those gate keepers to disclose information. I thought we already went over the fact that subDAOs have many benefits and innovative solutions to unsolved problems. but decentralization is not one of them, unless you compare it to the ICF which is centralized to a much greater extent, but still more similar than different compared to ranked-choice voting.

I generally agree with most of what is being said in here regarding the need to for different DAO systems and structures.


I agree with that frame. @tom – in your mind what needs to be done to minimize the cost of new chains?

Re @Jcook_14 's proposal:

The place where I get turned around is the order of events. What steps are required to bring something like this to life (cc: @effortcapital)?

The last thing I would add is that DAOs are not necessarily equal to corporations and there is a key structural difference. Corporations do sense-making via hierarchy. How can we do it?

So, returning to the original question of order events:

  • What is needed to optimize sense-making across our dispersed community?
  • What primitives do we need to execute effectively on the subDAO model?
  • How would the proposed subDAO model affect capture-resistance?

All in all, I agree with everyone on the need to improve operational efficiency, but I’m wondering about how exactly we can go about doing that in a meaningful and capture-resistant way.

Perhaps organizing a call about this will help us break ground here?


Technically speaking, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t have the skills for it, even if i’d love to ! Nevertheless, I think that somehow, a competent working group should be created on these issues, supported and financed, to work on them. Because inevitably, the problem will grow with each addition of a chain to the economic zone, create tensions, favor the conspiratorial tendencies of some, etc. I understood that Informal and Stride had started thinking about optimizations. Strengthening these research efforts by adding some brainpower would be a good thing in my view.
And then there is a magic solution that would make all of this almost secondary if not nonexistent: drastically improving the distribution of stake among all validators. I am not aware of the current research being done on this topic. I have the feeling that it’s been the Holy Grail forever, but once again, I think that investing heavily in this subject/researches can only pay off in the long run for everyone. In my opinion, this should not remain a wishful thinking

edit : thanks chatgpt for the translation
(wen a built-in translator ? :>)

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Below is one attempt to eliminate a traditional hierarchy. If the subDAO has a council or some structure of executive decision makers, then applications to the members should, in turn, be submitted to the community as well. Real time auditability is important, and community action or community veto may be necessary to keep this system accountable. The ultimate goal of a subDAO should be the ability for the community to say no if deemed necessary.

I am interested in having some discussion on these topics. It is something I will write about, but I would love to have a discussion on this topic. A lot needs ironed out, to make this a reasonable model. But I feel that subDAO’s have alot of potential to help alleviate some of the inefficiencies in the current system. Would love to chat about it sometime.

We should set up a call to discuss this idea further and flesh it out.

The Hub has an opportunity to become the model for how decentralized governance should be done.

I also welcome @common_spelling - even though we don’t agree on what this should look like - we need to have balanced takes and good discourse to solve this problem.

In simple terms, I’d like to see decentralized ownership of the purse strings but more focused teams executing on a future vision for the Hub and its economic zone in a way that’s more organized and effective than what is done today.

We (the ATOM/Hub community) need the entire crypto dev community to know that the Hub is open for business, we aren’t a bureaucratic nightmare, and we have a vision for what we want the Hub to be.

None of the above is true today imo, unfortunately. Time is of the essence, and I’d love to formalize a meeting to work on this together.


I totally agree and would be happy to sit on a call and hash out some ideas to see how we can start to structure this system. @common_spelling I am happy to discuss whatever keeps the Hub treasury decentralized and accountable, but like @effortcapital, we need some organized teams coordinating actions to benefit the Hub.

I don’t believe there is a DM option here, so feel free to contact me on Twitter or Reddit, if you guys want to set up a call.

Twitter: @eggzNstaken
Reddit: u/Jcook_14

One of the key priorities for us (ATOM Accelerator) is to bootstrap an additional sub-DAO during our 9 months mandate as we believe this is the way to go. Once initially funded by us (for 3-6 months), the newly formed sub-DAO can request funding from the community pool to secure long term operations.

@effortcapital I’d love to be part of that call.


Would be happy to hop in a call for this, and would encourage others interested in the topic to do so as well.

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I would love to join this call as well.

Not sure if any of you are still interested in the idea or in having a call about it. I am definitely interested in pursuing this idea still, and would love to bounce some ideas around and see what we may be able to work out.

@effortcapital I believe I sent you a DM on Twitter, not sure if you received it, but I reached out to try to make contact for a call.

Anyone who’s interested, I’m happy to reach out to get a call coordinated, I just need to know where would be the best medium to coordinate a call or multiple individual calls. Is Twitter DM the best way?

@Youssef @uditvira