Delegating votes/allocations at Octant

I wanted to kickstart the conversation around being able to delegate my rewards to trusted members of the community, so that they get allocated to projects in the same manner as the delegate i choose.

We are seeing delegation becoming increasingly popular at Arbitrum and other DAOs, as most folks just can’t be bothered to keep up with voting on proposals or looking at all the projects in an epoch. So they make a one time but revokable decision that they like how a particular delegate votes and passes on their voting power to them.

Is this already being worked on at Octant? I’m assuming this would need to be implemented slightly differently as the GLM is taken out of the wallet; but as we start to possibly see some community apathy in future epochs, delegation could become important in ensuring rewards are passed on to the right projects.

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This has always been in the plans, but I don’t think this is a short term feature that is set to be released. Its great that you bring this up though, as we have a strategy call this evening and it would be a great point to bring up in terms of our roadmap development (which we’ll be releasing hopefully soon^tm)

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I’m a big fan of delegation and would love to see this implemented.

I don’t want to get too far ahead of where we are now. That said, I’d like to create or integrate a check in mechanism for users. They need to confirm the person they delegated to still aligns with their values. Once a quarter, twice a year, or yearly they must complete a action. The action may look something like sign in, see a historic view of everything the delegate voted on and have to confirm they want to continue to delegate.

If the user fails confirm their delegate voting power the users votes are unwound and the responsibility falls back into the user.

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I’m not as familiar with delegation across the ecosystem. In your experience is this more of a standard practice or something that you find just works better / makes more sense.

Just to share some thoughts on this topic – Octant is purposely geared towards active rewards rather than passive ones. At the moment, if a user isn’t in Patron mode, where they donate all their rewards to the Matching Fund, their choices don’t extend beyond the current epoch.

However, we do have a couple of delegation options that can work without altering Octant’s fundamental approach:

  1. One possibility is for users to delegate a portion of their rewards, while keeping some for themselves. The thing is, they’d need to do this every epoch. I’m a bit on the fence about this option, as it could lead to some confusion. For example, a user might wrongly assume that their delegation choice automatically carries over to the next epoch, and then they might forget to make a new decision.
  2. Another option is for users to delegate all/100% their rewards and they only have the delegate option available if they do this, similar to Patron Mode but on an individual level. This could carry across epochs. Users would delegate in the same proportion as the person they’re delegating to, without worrying about how much that person withdraws.

You’d get more flexibility in delegation if there’s the option to have Octant go from just being active rewards to being a flexible option between active and passive. There are some edge-cases of implementation included in delegation, but I think those are more minor than the fundamental discussion of passive vs. active rewards.

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I think what the initial comment is about is instead of having to take actions every period that this can be automated or delegated, which is quite common in other ecosystems. The “you must take action” in Octant is not something that is set in stone, although its heavily favored by some in the core team. Doesn’t mean that at the end of the day it can’t be changed.

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This is definitely not the standard. Most coinvoting governance systems let you delegate and it stays that way until you actively decide to change it.

This also wouldn’t work if the projects change every epoch, right? It’s a little hard to understand.

Definitely recommend this one. An understated aspect of delegation is actually the same user delegating to themselves via multiple wallets, which has many benefits for someone not wanting to concentrate their holdings in one wallet but still wanting the convenience/reputation of a single ENS based wallet making all their allocations.

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I like the idea of delegation, but I think there should be some intermediate steps between actively voting on projects and passively delegating your vote to another person.
For example, you could have curated lists of projects (chosen by delegates/community members) and then individuals can decide to allocate a portion of rewards to a “list matching pool” that would distribute it based on the votes of other members on projects in that list.
The idea is essentially to improve UX by reducing cognitive load. If instead of looking through 20+ projects that a user is not familiar with, the user only actively looks at 4-5 projects, allocates 25% of rewards within those projects, and then splits the rest between 3-4 different lists, that could potentially improve both participation and better signal user preferences.

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I would definitely push back on the notion of delegation being something which is passive

Having interacted closely with major delegates at Arbitrum such as L2Beat @hoobi , they regularly get asked questions from people who have delegated to them on why they have voted a certain way for a proposal

We’ve seen this play out with VCs too. Earlier A16Z would actively vote with the gov tokens they get, but now they mostly choose to delegate them to student blockchain clubs. Which is awesome! Imagine being a student and having significant voting power in a DAO, that’s a really good thing for web3 adoption.

Lists are still rather experimental - i’ve heard some negative feedback on them from Optimism’s latest RetroPGF round. The whole point of delegating is people trust someone else to make decisions on their behalf, like we do in actual democracy when we vote for our representative. but unlike the real world, we have the capability to withdraw that trust whenever it is abused, not wait until the next election.

Lists are an awkward in-between; neither the advantages of delegation nor the advantages of individual agency in going through all projects (which are still manageably small compared to Optimism)

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To clarify, I’m not against delegation. I just think there should be intermediate options in addition to it.

With that said, it’s hard to argue that delegation is just as active as voting in person. Maybe some people ask questions but it’s unlikely that all those delegating spend nearly as much time on the process as they would have if they voted in person.

I agree that the list process was a bit of a mess in Optimism’s RPGF, but I think that’s largely due to scale; dealing with 600+ projects. When you have dozens of projects on a list it’s hard to get a clear sense of the data. When you have a total of 20-24 projects like we do at Octant, with only maybe 4-6 on a list, it’s a lot more manageable.

Alternatively, we can have theme-based lists curated by the Octant team, for example, which would simplify the process and potentially have the same effect.

I understand the need for delegation if you have weekly votes on multiple complex proposals. Here it is once per Epoch, so delegation becomes a mostly passive strategy.

Another option could be community members openly discussing their votes and reasoning in the forum/discord channel, and answering questions from the wider community. Then you largely get the same effect as delegating (since you can just vote like the person you wanted to delegate to) but the process becomes more participatory.

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