Episode 157: September 2nd, 2021
03:24: Forum at a Glance
10:15: GovAlpha Update
14:36: Protocol Engineering Team Update
26:10: Oracles Team Update
36:33: Risk Team Update
40:18: Growth Core Unit Update
48:00: Content Production Core Unit Update
53:14: Governance Communications Update
59:08: Sustainable Ecosystem Scaling Update
1:04:30: Real World Finance Update
1:10:34: MIPs Update
Agenda and Preamble
- Hello everyone, and welcome to the MakerDAO Scientific Governance and Risk meeting number 157, taking place on Thursday, September 2nd at 17:00 UTC. My name is LongForWisdom. I am one of the Governance Facilitators at MakerDAO.
- We like people to get involved and ask questions or comments, so please, do not be shy if you have something to say.
- The executive proposal from two weeks ago has passed.
- Both polls to Lower the Flash Mint Fee to 0% and Add RWA007 (SolarX) as a new RWA Vault Type has passed. The executive also increased 6S Capital’s DC, decreased the LRs on several vaults, and increased the PSM USDCA fee-in. Finally, it onboarded MATIC and PAX PSM.
- Three community greenlight polls have closed. Two were greenlit (Nebula Capital Partners DROP and Cauris Global Fintech Fund DROP), and one deferred (CapitalNow Cannabis DROP).
- A bunch of interesting things going into next week’s executive.
Forum at a Glance
Forum at a Glance for August 27 - September 2
GovAlpha Core Unit update
GovAlpha Weekly Update
- Onboarding has been going particularly well this past week.
- Got a new member, @TheExistence, who started doing some work for us, so say hello if you see him on the forums or RocketChat.
@LongForWisdom is exploring how Core Units can better understand Project Priority from voters/the community at large.
- Q: Regarding gas prices going through the roof this week because of NFT minting, do you think it is a good idea to have delegates have a minimum that they have retained in their voting contract of ETH, right? Should we have a certain limit, like a floor? Is that something you guys have been thinking about? If you have such a requirement because there are shadow delegates and recognized delegates, but it is also free. I wonder how you guys are thinking about that.
- A: I am not quite sure I understood; you said have a floor of ETH?
- Someone: yes, this does not always happen - Black Swan events possibly do not occur every year but imagine we have another one, and we need to do an emergency vote. Do you think delegates should retain at least one or ten ETH if they have to pay 2500 in gas fee in gwei?
- Q: You say that delegates should hold it if the gas prices are high, but we need to pass something significant quickly. I can say it is not something I have thought about to this point. Perhaps the delegate should consider doing that, but I do not think that would be hard to mandate, especially when the price of each increase comes to be pretty punitive. I would encourage delegates to know they have enough fees to pay gas prices even in high congestion conditions.
- A: It is something we hope does not happen every week.
Protocol Engineering Team Update
- Layer 2:
- Arbitrum’s Layer 2 launched.
- We’re running a final audit and should have the DAI Gateway launched within a few weeks.
- Reason: it’s a custom gateway that allows us to have fungible DAI.
- Met with Optimism Team.
- They are planning an upgrade in October, making deployments feel very much like L1.
- Keeping regular Sync with Proposed StarkNet Team.
- Check out their Pod session this week; I also had Bartek give a good discussion on some of the potential relations with the PE team.
- Synch with Oracles to discuss opportunities for sending messages over to L2.
- Message passing infrastructure - requirements documentation.
- Wrapped up several FV tasks - using Certora:
- L2 DAI - writing specs, the inclusion of the permit function.
- DssVest - FV and fuzzing (automated software testing technique).
- Other work this week:
- Adding MATIC support to the auction keeper.
- Goerli Development work - All complete except for Centrifuge RWAs (sharing goETH).
- GUNI - we completed the internal team audit and have ABDK doing an audit later this month.
- Ongoing Audits:
- B. Protocol auditing DssCharter to support institutional vaults.
- We wrapped up several formal verification tasks using Certora. We also wrapped up DSS best, so formal verification fuzzing is using automated software testing techniques.
- Q: regards the evolution of the Protocol Engineering Team and now bringing up audits. The top auditing firms have audited hacks, and they did formal and informal verification by the top Ethereum community members out there. Have you thought about a white hack team to have an extra eye besides reaching out to an informal audit?
A: We have, and we have thought about internal teams and maybe other protocol teams like we are doing with B.Protocol. There are ways to split the team and have people look at each other’s code, and it is a great way of sharing knowledge that one group has worked on versus another.
- Q: There are so many facets of doing this, but just having these sets of tests and sets of integration tests that are running against the thing - the entire time looking for exploits, I like to pay attention to exploits, and when I have had the time you can make a test that mock out those exploits even though they do not work against your code and so you leave them there as a regression to see changes you would allow for that to happen. We have internal code reviews that are adversarial. There are different approaches to doing the sort of defense in depth.
Oracles Team Update
- We are continuing development for stETH, which should be complete within the next few weeks.
- We are thinking about long-term roadmap planning by looking at bridge alignment on bridges. We saw that there is an overlap of needs for products and services.
- We want to develop the Fast Withdrawal Bridge for Optimism first before applying it to other areas.
- We want to create a standardized interface for cross-chain communication.
- Please understand that this is all still early and under initial research for ideas.
- We hired a design firm to generate logos, typography, and more.
- We discussed with TechOps to continue infrastructure monitoring for us.
- The entity formation is underway; we will complete the setup within the next two weeks.
- We’re making progress on finding a banking partner - it may take a few months.
- Q: Is the idea to partner up with a high-frequency trading desk and get that data fed into these L2 down the road?
- A: Are you talking about monetizing data sets, or why particularly high fidelity?
- Q: Oracle as a service like you see PIF, which I asked you about before by monetizing through Jane Street or Jump Trading, one of those two. Is there anything Maker can do with L2s to scale to hundreds of thousands of transactions per second?
- A: You can negotiate with any data provider. It will take a while for that ecosystem to build out.
Risk Team Update
Risk CU Monthly Review
- We now have new Dashboards and planned features.
- KNC-A offboarding parameters are posted on Forum. Other unprofitable collateral will follow with similar steps, or parameter adjustments proposed to offboard them.
- We’re still working on the Nexo Institutional Vault risk assessment; in the meantime, waiting for the poll’s outcome to confirm or adjust loan terms.
- The risk assessment is proceeding well:
- Evaluation is 80% complete and adding few new sections.
- Still thinking about auction parameters for this kind of vault and thinking of limiting auction throughout because of the size of the loan and at the same time increasing liquidation penalty.
- Evaluating DssCharter implementation might have some risks if the borrower does not know how to use flash loans or has no external capital available to perform top-ups or repay the debt.
- We worked on PSM-PAX-A by evaluating proper DC IAM parameters, which are currently disabled. We could decrease
gap PSM USDC-A and at the same time increase it for PAX - that will lower tail risks of particular stablecoin failure, plus diversification benefits.
- We are looking into stETH/ETH Curve pool as the next collateral evaluation. We are working on the risk dashboard, which was redesigned with a new UI and a few additional features already implemented, like gas monitor, which shows the life estimation of gas cost a world user might do, and working on features that will be added.
- More information can be found in the dashboard in our monthly review posted by Primoz.
Growth Core Unit Update
Growth CU Weekly Updates
- Posted a signal request for launching the Nexo Institutional Vault.
- Our suggestion to the community: we should launch the Institutional Vault because it’s a product that we can reach out to other companies with. This is a more capital-efficient solution and will bring Maker to a minimum of 200 million DAI from crypto collaterals like Ethereum and Bitcoin.
- Nexo posted a financial analysis of these types of Vaults.
- Nexo Institutional Vault - This is a different solution than long-term or fixed-term vaults that you’ve seen with solutions like Deco. Institutions are looking for larger positions; talks are in place with institutions that know how to handle their positions and engage in protection from liquidation.
- We suggest that we should not offboard Loopring token, BAT token, and MANA token because these projects are interested in using the Maker Protocol.
- Loopring and MANA have already opened a position with the Maker Protocol.
- Working on strategies so that their communities can use these vaults.
- Strategy for Maker Growth:
- Thinking about how to involve DAI in NFT and Metaverse solutions appearing.
- Working with various artists and popular gaming tournaments to implement DAI.
- Continuing strategy with Metaverse working on NFTs.
- Gala Games added DAI to purchase currency on their website.
- PAXOS team began using the PSM and are interested in increasing the DC.
- Q: The MATIC Vault hasn’t been used it. Was the team waiting for the debt ceiling to be raised?
- A: They will be using it in the following days. They wrote in the forums that the vault would open shortly. It is not a high priority at this moment; it will take a few days.
Content Production Update
Content Production Biweekly Updates
- New six-month budget will be posted in a few days.
- Three-month budget is a tight budget that does not allow for enough planning, hence the switch to a six-month budget.
- We are engaging with a lawyer to understand our communication boundaries better.
- We hosted AMAs with Planet_X and Nadia. AMA with Centrifuge is coming up.
- We updated Maker Relay videos by replacing Current Events with Forum at a Glance
- We are syndicating Maker Relay updates with Substack.
- We posted an update on brand research that was conducted. Results show that people focus on the value of the community. Feedback on this would be appreciated.
- Alec has been working on a dashboard that tracks MakerDAO metrics and beginning production on another to help consolidate Dai on Different Networks.
- We are making progress on Explainer Videos, MakerDao.com community portal, asset allocation in the works to coordinate with DAI foundation.
Governance Communications Update
GovComms Bi-weekly Update
- We received Dai, setup with AccountAble is in progress.
- Our accounting actuals will begin getting posted starting the first week of October.
- Summary Team now has coverage of every public call except CU Tools & CU Rituals.
- We are on the hunt for an Engagement Lead continues.
- We started an internal people list, with a public version of this resource planned for the future.
- We cleaned up the old Emergency Communications Process document and formulated a plan for this document. The plan is to make this into an all-encompassing Emergency Playbook that contains information on Emergency types, MakerDAO’s threat monitoring practices, the various coordination tracks(and associated processes.)
- What began as a Team update audit has expanded into a general “information output” audit. We are continuing work on this, expecting to have a complete set of information by the end of the month.
- Forum at a Glance has a project overview document. You can also find the FaaG presentation that Artem does on Youtube, thanks to Content Production!
- The Monthly Governance Review now also has a project overview document
- Our office hours are set to Fridays 1800-1830 UTC and are available on the public calendar.
Sustainable Ecosystem Scaling Update
SES Public Drive
- Project X-Ray:
- Presentation of Preliminary Findings by @lenka & @jordanj found in the SES Public Drive
- Help wanted with Qualitative Research by filling out this form.
- Project Legal Framework:
- Past Calls:
- Upcoming Calls:
- CULPS: Strategic Happiness with @burban on 08.09.
- CUT: Ethereum Naming Service with @makoto on 10.09.
- CULPS: DUX Core Unit with @dux-team on 15.09.
Real-World Finance Team Update
RWF CU Monthly Report
- SolarX was approved by Governance.
- Working on setting up the Cayman Foundation and the deal documentation.
- We are working on our on-chain securitization roadmap:
- Had our first call between Shearman & Sterling and Manatt.
- We continue to grow the team:
- New full-time recruit should join us next week. Keeping the Core Unit small; less than 7 FTE.
- RWA reporting will be done by William from now on.
Weekly MIPs Update
- We had a gap week, which means there were no events planned for the week.
- Formal Submission Window for eligible proposals for September opens on Monday 6th.
Common Abbreviated Terms
CR: Collateralization Ratio
DC: Debt Ceiling
ES: Emergency Shutdown
SF: Stability Fee
DSR: Dai Savings Rate
MIP: Maker Improvement Proposal
OSM: Oracle Security Module
LR: Liquidation Ratio
RWA: Real-World Asset
RWF: Real-World Finance
SC: Smart Contracts
CU: Core Unit
- Artem Gordon produced this summary.
- Andrea Suarez produced this summary.
- David Utrobin produced this summary.
- Zainab Nisa produced this summary.
- Everyone who spoke and presented on the call, listed in the headers.