As the redditors among you may have seen. I posted a reddit thread last week titled: MakerDAO: Looking for Governance
The aim was to increase voter engagement and bring more MKR holders to this forum ahead of the ratification votes on the Foundation’s proposals. While there was some moderate success to that aim (hello and welcome to those that started posting here in response to that thread!) there were also many useful responses detailing why people are not participating in voting.
It seems that most of these reasons can fall into three categories:
Procedural: Lack of understanding around the voting process, or a failure to know when votes are taking place.
Practical: Too much understanding of the realities of voting with a small amount of MKR.
Emotional: Doesn’t feel good about voting or doesn’t feel ‘prepared’ enough to vote.
#2. Moving the discussions to the forums killed participation. - True for a few people, but in general participation in reddit governance was already waning before the move to the forum.
#3. UI around polls needs to be improved.
#6. Governance discussion and information is scattered between three forums and a blog.
#5. There is no good introduction on how to vote / MKR Holders don’t know how to vote - *A series of video tutorials that explain the voting process in more detail about help mitigate this. Also the voter on-boarding guide.
#7. The voting contract bug caused users to realize the risk they were taking by voting.
#13. Majority may not know voting is even happening.
#15. No simple and safe user interface to use to vote.
#18. Institutional Investors don’t currently have custodial solutions for voting. - Not sure we can do anything about this one, are Coinbase are working on this stuff?
#1. Voting is not worth the cost in time - We need to minimise the informational cost in some way. Governance Twitter account, Governance and Risk Meeting edits, Better ‘Governance at a Glance’ thread?
#10. There is no incentive to voting - Need to be careful about directly rewarding voters as it doesn’t incentivize informed voting. Tabling for now as any changes here are complex and require engineering work on the system.
#11. The average speculator doesn’t care about MKR governance. - This might be a matter of the system just not pulling in enough in fees yet. Once there is 1 Billion Dai in circulation, we might see investors become governors.
#16. Opportunity Cost is too high. - At least some MKR holders have MKR locked in uniswap instead of voting, can we reward voting in some way? If MKR is locked to vote, can it be used to earn interest?
#17. Non-voting MKR holders feel that voting MKR holders are doing a good job.
#19. Voting is not worth the tx costs - Tx costs for voting are actually very small, even still, there may be some solution here with Gas Station Network
#4. Whales outweigh most other voters, making voting feel like a waste of gas. - This has been discussed, but there is probably no good solution here.
#8. Waning excitement with the timeline of MCD. - Definitely a contributing factor, launch of MCD will hopefully draw a number of these people back.
#9. Lack of transparency leading to MKR sell-off among previously interested parties.
#12. Purple pill affair caused interested voters to sell their MKR or cease participating.
#14. Voting twice a week is overkill and leads to voter apathy. - Reduce the frequency of voting. Once (sometimes twice) a week is a high demand on peoples time and attention. In the future, look into automation. Reducing granularity could help here, but this has it’s own trade-offs.
- Cost of voting is too high. There is a combination of informational, opportunity and gas costs that make voting undesirable.
- Lack of transparency in the past has hurt participation.
- Delegation was brought up multiple times, generally positively. Some users said that they would be willing to delegate, but not to vote themselves.
- Rewarding Voting was also brought up a couple of times, the implication being, more users would vote if voting was directly rewarded.
At some point I’ll do a proper write up of what I perceive to be the issues with the voting system, but for the time being we are stuck with it, so it might be worthwhile to think about how we can counter some of these cited reasons. As a brief look, some of them are more valid than others, some are flat out wrong and some we can do nothing about.
If we can get a discussion going, I can summarise people’s thoughts on these reasons and add them to the list in-line. There are 17 I managed to pick out, between us, we ought to be able to cover all of them and in some cases, figure out a response.