Why aren't MKR Holders voting?

I have a slightly unusual reason: I’m wary of doing anything where I don’t fully understand the legality of it. E.g. would you be considered an operator/administrator of the system in legal terms if you take part in governance? Suppose something goes horribly wrong - who is liable? I hope that there will be something that convinces me that it’s safe to participate, but I don’t know what that will be. I’m waiting for some sign of legitimacy / recognition. Coinbase adding MKR is a good step in the right direction.

That’s my primary reason anyway, my secondary reasons are all related to not having time to be responsible about doing due diligence on votes and/or auditing the smart contract upgrades.

Assuming that I did vote some time in future:

  • Voting incentives wouldn’t make any difference to me, it’s my external responsibilities that keep me from allocating time to voting.
  • Having curated easy to read list of arguments for/against each vote makes a big difference to me.
  • I would prefer not to delegate my vote, but instead look for consensus among all the known parties that I trust (“delegated consensus voting” perhaps :slight_smile:, or perhaps just removing my vote from a previous vote and adding it to consensus on the next one to help it progress )

I don’t vote because

  • It’s costly to pull MKR out of Uniswap and also costly to vote
  • I may agree with, or else be helpless to influence, the result

No reason to spend money on symbolic gestures. Hope this is helpful.


My vote does not help affect the result.
The cost of exiting MKR is high, and voting is expensive.
There is no reason to spend money on symbolic gestures. Hope this helps.


I think it would help a lot if the voting website allowed casting all votes in a single transaction. We’ve now seen around 10 or more polls + executive votes available to cast at a time, so it would be much more convenient and possibly more gas efficient.


Cost here is an issue, leveraging the governance attribution to help the integration of new comers, could be oriented with this distinctive category since partial user will take different approach or come / leave.

Voting should be more accessible, like a democratized commune. (Not like the chambers of commons) that is based on a vote but actually close to their same vote ( rs ) lol. Here is not the case, but i think it’s useful to remember what was the actual purpose and value of DAO…

Usually I do not vote, because I value my time more than adding some votes to a decision I already agree with. Exceptions are occasions such as the recent peg deviation or emergencies. Maybe if I got a few DAI for every vote, then maybe I would consider voting more?


There is an initiative that starts this week around rewarding governance participation in the forum. It doesn’t directly reward voting, but rather participation which may or may not be of interest to you. Details can be found here: https://forum.makerdao.com/tag/sourcecred


That makes sense. I am sure a lot of others feel the same. Voting itself would usually be enough incentive, but when the decision you want already appears to be winning it does feel less important. I will think more about a solution to this.


What if the voter reward system was based on whether your vote matched the final consensus? This would be similar to the way the Casper PoS system on ethereum works but without slashing. People could vote against consensus and they would not receive the voting reward, but would be able to vote their mind, and under ordinary non-contentious issues security is improved since it would be harder for a bad actor to override majority.


This is my biggest problem The polling interface needs to allow for someone to use 1 tx to cast all the polling votes at once.

Inherently this becomes a cost vs. opportunity issue imo which is not going to get better with increasing tx costs. Literally cost to vote relative to MKR held is a real issue for people especially as polls now are like 5x a few months ago with no real sign of decreasing and tx costs are up 20-50x leading to a 100-250x cost to vote over a few months ago. Over time this adds up.

There is also a hassle factor involved. I am completely mixed on ability to accept and use Uniswap MKR pairs to vote but I think it might help.

Now if one coupled the idea of associating wallet addresses with voting MKR I think it would be interesting to use SourceCred for paying out to people who actually vote. The idea of refunding voting/polling tx fees is probably one that would also help. (i.e. when voting fees for some wallet accumulate to more than what 500x typical tx fees are pay back the accumulated voting tx fees to the wallet). This could even be random and as accumulated tx fees are not paid back there actually is an incentive to vote to get back the accumulated tx fees. Only after this is done might there be a dis-incentive to vote.

Tough call here. Regarding voting it really would be nice to see breakdowns not just on total MKR voted but also the breakdown of winning votes by ‘number of wallets’. I really don’t have a good feeling whether 1 or 2 MKR whales are voting over the 10-60 MKR minnows or not.


Another potential way to mitigate voting fees in the future would be to allow votes to be cast by signing a message, which could then be rolled up with votes from other accounts and committed on-chain all at once.

This bears similarity to how Oracles work (using much less gas) in MCD.

Unlike a front end that allows casting all votes in one transaction, this would require smart contract engineering work.


I almost posted this as an idea so you literally read my mind. The problem I think is accounting mechanics and verification. If these get rolled up - who does it where - and when? How does a voter get confirmation the vote hit the chain.

I am very unfamilar with how the oracles work in MCD. Total yes on requiring smart contract work. All the good stuff seems to need that. :wink: Which I keep getting the feeling is going to be like forever in crypto years. We are going to have to pick the lowest hanging fruit there simply due to the coding, testing, auditing, cycles required.


I recognize this forum has gone on for a long time, but I was just voting in the polling and was thinking about the whole setup. I thought I would outline my voting decision calculus, some issues with the system I see, and some small things I could try to help. Please let me know if things in this are incorrect, or if you have opinions on what I could do to contribute.

Why I vote:

  1. I like MakerDAO and want to support it. The best way to do so for me is to increase the number of votes cast, even if the result is a foregone conclusion. More votes is a simplistic measure of legitimacy, and the benefits purported by taking polls of incentivized voters don’t show up unless many people vote.

  2. I own MKR, which will gain in value if I contribute to the good governance of the MakerDAO system.

The second reason is the one that will sustain the community’s governance going forward, but has several flaws for me, which luckily, smarter people than me are currently working on:

  1. Votes are not directly linked to better governance because outcomes are already determined by large voters

  2. Votes are not directly linked to better governance because it is hard for me as a voter to understand some of the votes, therefor my vote might be hurting the community, and in the long run, hurting my MKR value.

  3. The possible benefits of me voting are small, and can be outweighed by the fees associated with voting and time it takes to research the votes.

  4. I forget

  5. Humans are bad long term thinkers and bad at considering indirect benefits. Voting now to help set up a system that may not reward my investment until later is already a challenge. Then factor in the fact that I am not sure my votes are helping or are even properly informed.

I have a couple thoughts on what I can do to address these issues myself, as a true governance-only member of this community (by that I mean I am not crazy technical, and do not work in this industry). Please tell me if these are reasonable, or if they are a waste of time.

  • Make a Reddit post a week asking a dumb question. I think this forum is great, but Reddit is where a lot of people not on this forum are. I also think this would help address issue #2 for myself and others. Additionally, if it increases participation, it could help with issue #1. I have I have a lot of dumb questions that I am afraid to ask. I assume others are the same way. Examples include: Who is doing the voting each week? Why doesn’t MKR pay a dividend that gets larger with time held when the system is gaining in use and fees? What does SourceCred reward? What stops someone from staking ETH to validate, and also using it as collateral in a CDP (I’m assuming its just code, or the fact that you ETH is committed somewhere)?

  • Publishing my votes, possibly also to Reddit or here. This one I don’t know the safety concerns of. I believe it would be helpful to see votes and why they went each way. Rather than explain issues, I like seeing people defend their sides of issues. Also I think it would just help keep me accountable to vote. I think this could help issues 1, 2, 4, and 5.


Hi, have you seen https://catflip.co/voting… this should have most of the voting metrics you mentioned wanting access to.

Looking at the poll votes rn, and it’s ~$0.33 / vote, there’s 9 votes, so ~$3 to finish the poll voting. That’s definitely painful… is there a consistent number of poll votes each week?

Yeah, so I’ve previously downplayed the necessity of this. I’ve changed my mind on it given the consistently high gas price. Definitely something we should look into.

Also a valid possibility.

@Elliott thanks for writing this response. I found it very useful. Your two ideas both look like they may be worth pursuing.

Having a discussion question on reddit once a week seems like it could work really well, unfortunately we’re a little light on reddit moderators currently so it may take a little while to implement, unless someone wants to step up to volunteer to do that :slight_smile:

In terms of publishing votes, I think this could have a significant effect. It’s something we see happen occasionally but only for the more contentious votes. Regarding safety, it should be fine so long as people don’t publish their actual addresses. I’d be interested if anyone can think of a good way to incentivise this. Possibly we can use SourceCred.

If you (or anyone else) have any ‘dumb’ questions feel free to pm me on the forum, or in the official chat. I know it’s not a scalable solution, but most people find it easier to risk looking silly in front of one person, rather than in front of the whole world.

I agree with this. Even being a MKR fanboy, I still have trouble teasing out the pros and cons of granular MIP amendments and whether or not a collateral is appropriate. It would be nice to have some sort of annotation for the FOR and AGAINST arguments, or how they would positively or negatively impact the protocol (like a TLDR for the governance calls)

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Sounds good. I will start posting on Reddit just to get things flowing again there. If a discussion is productive or interesting, then maybe I will cross-post to this forum. I will also look into publishing my votes with a sentence or two describing the rationales behind them.

I didn’t see this brought up here, but also has anyone thought about governance in relation to FakerDAO? I don’t know that it is used very much, but a lack of voting incentive seems to be a long term incentivized security issue now, not just a passive voter participation one.

I used to be the among the Top 10 voters in terms of all vote topics cast. I have stopped voting altogether since my votes have no effect on any outcome. There is no effect, and no incentive. Wish the project well, but let me know when I can delegate my vote.


Thank you everyone for sharing your rationale for voting and engaging with Maker Governance, it is really helpful to see and understand.

@MakerMan , Re: multiple polling transactions. Totally agree, we are currently working on a new version of the Governance Portal to bundle polling transactions into a single tx. I will be happy to share the mockups once we have created the user flows.