[SEP #3] Towards clarity on milestones before voting on enabling transferability again

Let me start by saying that I agree with the milestones to enable token transferability, and that I appreciate that the desires of the Safe team have been so clearly articulated.

That being said, I am confused. The previous vote to enable token transferability was not defeated because the majority of the community didn’t want to enable, it was defeated because two whale wallets voted against the SEP. So you can make as many milestones as you wish, but unless you understand why those two wallets voted against it, any subsequent vote will fail.

I’m going to make an assumption: these two wallets are known to the Safe team, and likely are members/investors. If so, the milestones you have laid out here are what the Safe team wants to accomplish before token transferability.

So why are we voting on this? Why doesn’t the Safe team just state that this is what their vision is, gather feedback, and keep moving? If the assumption that the two whale wallets are controlled by the Safe team is true, the there isn’t any need to vote, and in fact going through the song and dance of a vote just smells like DAO theatre.

The Safe team has built an amazing product, and garnered a lot of interest from potential contributors. I think the team (including investors) have a right to progressively decentralize as they ensure that the vision of Safe is well-understood and adopted by the community. I agree with waiting to enable token transferability. But if my assumption about the whale wallets is correct, I wish the Safe team would just be transparent about the situation.

Transparency is a virtue of blockchain, and it is a virtue of DAOs. If the Safe team TRULY wants to decentralize, then they too must be transparent.


The winning option will simply be the option that receives the most votes.

This voting structure may need to be reconsidered because it would not necessarily reflect the desired outcome of the voters.

If the voting options remain the following:

  1. Option 1: Milestones A and B
  2. Option 2: Milestones A, B, C and D
  3. Option 3: Milestones A, B, C, D and E
  4. Option 4: Make no changes
  5. Option 4: Abstain

Then a vote for Option 3 should also count towards Option 1 and Option 2, because the voter’s intent includes that the Milestones in Option 1 and Option 2 are met.

You can see how this changes the outcome if you run through voting scenarios using concrete values.

For example, if you assume 100 wallets vote and that the votes look like this:

  1. Option 1: 25
  2. Option 2: 15
  3. Option 3: 10
  4. Option 4: 30
  5. Option 5: 20

Then the intent of the voters is really this:

  • Milestone A: 50 votes (from votes for Options 1, 2, and 3)
  • Milestone B: 50 votes (from votes for Options 1, 2, and 3)
  • Milestone C: 25 votes (from votes for Options 2 and 3)
  • Milestone D: 25 votes (from votes for Options 2 and 3)
  • Milestone E: 10 votes (from votes for Option 3)
  • No milestones: 30 votes (from votes for Options 4)

In other words, the intent of the voters is for Milestones A and B to win, but the current single-choice voting options will result in no milestones having to be met.


Thank you for writing in such detail. I agree that this should be done.

Thank you for putting the proposal together. Creating more clarity for the community is definitely important and I like the steps outlined. One issue I see in this proposal as well as I saw in SEP#2 proposal (although I missed the participation window) is that it is economically unfriendly to allow transferability in a current economic environment.

Currently, the token acts as a private equity investment and allowing transferability would create the true effect of an IPO. It is no surprise that the IPO market in tradfi has been frozen for the better part of the year - it is economically disadvantageous to freely trade in a depressed market sentiment. The only rationale imo in allowing transferability right now is to fire sale tokens, all other holders will either wait for better time to exit (when risk asset sentiment has improved if it’s a speculative investment for them) or will not participate in selling at all (if they are invested in governance participation and long-term vision for SAFE). Nonetheless, nobody likes their investments decrease in value (which will be caused by marking to market depressed by fire sales) which may result in even higher sale pressure from investors that will panic sell. How ever you look at it, the price of the token will affect the economic perspective of the protocol and therefore the timing needs to be carefully considered.

As such, I would think that any proposal dealing with transferability should include a milestone that incorporates the view of the economic environment. The question then becomes what a good indicator is. Happy to brainstorm on ideas on how to check the health of the crypto ecosystem.


That was exactly my thought too. In order for the vote to be fair, the options should reflect all opinions across the spectrum as accurately as possible. That could mean changing option 1 as you say.

However, the poll also includes the options ‘make no changes’ and ‘abstain’. ‘Make no changes’ would effectively mean to accept none of the milestones, while the envisioned timeline for this proposal is be ratified shortly before milestone A. My take was that ‘Make no changes’ is effectively the same as milestone A, just due to the fact that this proposal cannot be ratified more than a day or two earlier than milestone A.

Assuming that ‘make no changes’ broadly means ‘milestone A’, it seemed reasonable to not include another option for ‘milestone A’ for fairness. That is, because the more options represent a similar part of the opinion spectrum, the less likely it is for that opinion to be the winning option. Practically speaking, if the “minimal requirement” group spreads their votes across ‘make no changes’, ‘A+B’ and an additional option for ‘A’, their votes would be split into three groups. In that case, the other end of the spectrum that prefers maximum requirements would have an unfair advantage because their votes would likely be concentrated in just one option, option 3.

Since we’re unfortunately constrained to single choice (see here), we have to make a lot of compromises but keeping the options as is would hopefully be the fairest option to all opinions across the spectrum. Does that make sense?

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You’re raising an extremely important point, of course. What you’re also getting at is the distribution of voting power which is being discussed at length in this thread, and far from being conclusively discussed. In short, this issue to me is extremely important but on a different timeline/scope than SEP-3, simply because the token distribution and definition of voting power has been defined in the past and any changes to that practically couldn’t be ratified before this proposal is envisioned to be ratified. Meaning, we can talk but not change the distribution of voting power during the scope and timeline of SEP-3.

That said, we can talk about it and we should. By the end of next week, I intend to share a list of wallets, their voting power and which stakeholder group they belong to. Most of that information is on-chain data and can be retrieved by anyone, e.g. on GitHub and on this forum. The upcoming blog post will present them in a more approachable way and enrich the list of accounts and their voting power with a categorisation whether they are investor wallets, Guardian wallets or other wallest. Based on that initial information, it will be easier to analyse voter participation in previous and future SEPs and have a more informed discussion on a comprehensive governance framework for SafeDAO.

That said, about the two whales you mentioned:

They are investors indeed and they surely did have a major impact, but they did not decide the vote. Without these two wallest, the result would not have changed and “Make no changes/Decide later” with theoretically 11M votes would still have surpassed “Enable transferability” with 8.3M votes.

This is simply to say that SEP-2 was not flipped by these two accounts but, of course, this does not mean that the criticism you and others in the thread linked above raised is irrelevant – quite the contrary.

Again, your assumption is correct that these wallets are investor wallets. Although I don’t follow the other part of your assumption that these investor wallets are controlled by the Safe team. They are investor wallest who are separate from the core team, have their own opinions and vote independently, of course. What makes you think that control would be in place?

Surely, there are aligned incentives, like there are aligned incentives among every single holder of SAFE. Surely, there are informal communications channels among individuals, including Safe team member ↔ Investor team member. The general principle which I’m pushing for as hard as I can is that every discussion that is vital to governance and the decision-making process in SafeDAO must take place in this publicly accessible governance forum.

If you are referring to this point by @raynemang, I can reassure you that this has nothing to do with any control the Safe team exercises. I have yet to inquire and write up the full story which will be part of a wider transparency initiative, but the short story is that investor wallets are set up as a Safe (yes, Safe is dogfooding :slight_smile: ) with the Safe Ecosystem Foundation as one signer next to the investors’ wallets. @raynemang refers to Stefan George being involved, when in fact he is just involved as a formality through the Safe Ecosystem Foundation. Further details are yet to be inquired and written up when we go more into the legal setup of SafeDAO and the Safe Ecosystem Foundation.

I couldn’t agree more. We’ve seen way too many DAOs recently that don’t deserve to be called one and crypto Twitter is slowly waking up to realise that too. I’m convinced that SafeDAO absolutely is on a journey to becoming a DAO and still at the beginning of progressively decentralising. You’re right that this process can only be effective with an appropriate level of transparency. The post on accounts per stakeholder group mentioned above must just be the start here.


Thanks for flagging that. I certainly agree that the use of single choice-voting is suboptimal.

Ideally, we would use multiple choice-voting but, regretfully, that is not possible at this time due to a shortcoming in our current governance framework.

This leaves us with making the best out of single choice-voting.

To your point, I can absolutely see that scenario where a certain voter would like their vote to be counted towards less exhaustive options, too. Although I wonder whether that is strictly true across all scenarios. There could be a voter who feels strong about milestone E and votes for option 3 purely because milestone E is included, but if option 3 would not pass, they would rather vote for ‘make no changes’ or ‘abstain’ instead of option 2. That just seems like an assumption that is hard to generalise and, again, falls back to the constraints of single-choice voting which we’re bount to, when ranked choice-voting could be applicable here.

As dissatisfying as it may seem, due to these constraints in the current governance framework, the current draft appears like the best possible option in this suboptimal solution space we’re constrained to. At the end of the day, this proposal will merely serve as a signal and not take any on-chain action in itself. By the time future SEPs like the actual vote on enabling transferability will be voted on, we will have had a chance to improve our governance framework in the meantime – which is why milestone C is such a crucial one IMO to make sure that the proposals ratified by SafeDAO are maximally legitimate and accepted.

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That’s a fair point which others have brought up too.

That’s precisely what kept me to include this milestone in the initial proposal. The most interesting indicator to me was the Bitcoin Rainbow Chart V2 - Blockchaincenter since it dates back until 2014, but that argument alone wasn’t good enough to include it. That indicator had to be corrected in the past and obviously is no indicator of future developments. All in all, it didn’t seem useful to me to specify any kind of indicator on the economic environment that is specific enough to be meaningful. My thought was really to not even try to define it here but assume the proposal author and community at the time of a future vote on enabling transferability to implicitly or explicitly take the market environment into account. Including a milestone on that could actually do harm if we choose a poorly defined indicator and artificially constrain our options in the future, unless you have an indicator in mind that the community can align on?

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In order for us to align on a final draft of this proposal by Sunday, I wonder whether you agree with my take that the previous discussions do not require the proposal to change.

That is except @ittaisvidler’s earlier point to clarify the phrasing ‘least common denominator’ which I’ve changed to ‘minimum set of milestones’:

My point wasn’t that I have an issue with token distribution - I don’t. As stated before, the Safe team and investors have contributed to the project up to now and I think they SHOULD have the primary say in how the token rolls out.

My point was that most token holders are privy to the same information as Safe team members yet, and that transparency would help bridge that gap. The blog post you mention would be a welcome info drop.

What’s the rush with this proposal?

Is this why the Safe team has resisted opening up a Discord channel for governance despite the community making it clear that we want one?

As you have identified, the largest current information asymmetry is between the community and the Safe team/investors. It feels like the Safe team and investors have a vision towards enabling token transferability. My criticism isn’t against that vision (outlined in this post) or the fact that the team/investors are setting this vision with their token weight (I’m glad for it, in fact).

My criticism is that this is being framed as a community vote when the options and outcome are all being set by the team/investors. I’d rather the team and investors set the vision, communicate it, and save community votes for things upon which the community can actually have an impact.

Again - what’s the rush?

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I see,

Fully agree. That’s coming, it’s just a huge chunk of data that needs quite some work to keep it accurate (query token balances, calculate voting power for all snapshot voting strategies, include delegated voting power, etc.)

I don’t think that’s an accurate accusation. The team doesn’t resist, I’ve brought it up to colleagues managing the Discord and I’ve asked us to specify the purpose. The community has made it clear to have one but not the purpose. I’m totally up for it but hesitate to demand even more time from DAO participants‘ time and attention if the purpose of a Discord channel goes beyond optional, non-governance, decision-making related discussions.

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Simply to be meaningful. Two milestones are imminent.

That was part the proposal since the beginning and there weren’t any requests to change that until now. Do you disagree?

If any further changes to the proposal are required and we can align on them within the next few days, I think that’d be desirable.

So far, most issues seemed (super important! but) out of scope, such as using weighted voting which requires a separate governance SEP, more transparency on distribution of voting power which is part of a post in the making, and discussion around other voting mechanism’s such as QV which are also part of a governance SEP.

Based on your concerns, how specifically would you change the proposal?

Otherwise, I’m not aware of specific changes needed and would consider the proposal final from my POV that could go to snapshot six days after the last change which was yesterday.

Thank you for writing this ser! Greatly appreciate your responses — that clears a lot of my findings and I’m overall a lot less concerned. It’s just good to know who may be behind an 0x… or what their intentions are

Look forward to seeing the full brief :slight_smile:


It might consume more of your time if your job is to be on top of every governance discussion. (Is that your job btw?) Most people don’t read every post/comment/discussion before they decide how they are voting.

Back to this SEP…I’d you truly want to take this to snapshot with the proper form and address @ittaisvidler ’s concerns as quickly as possible, how about…

Option 1 - tie milestones to token transferability
Option 2 - make no changes
Option 3 - abstain

In an ideal scenario, you would have gathered soft consensus on the option 1 choice ahead of time (perhaps in the form of discord polls or discourse polls). Since you didn’t get soft consensus, then limit scope of hard consensus on tying milestones that the whale wallets want to transferability. I suspect that will get you the outcome you want.

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Obviously, that’s true oftentimes across the DAO space today, but what do you think should be true?

SafeDAO is still super early and we’re shaping it to improve its design. Meaningful and effective governance is a major part of that and people voting randomly is not a standard we should accept, I think. We already have a delegation system in place (which needs to be improved and expanded on) and every recipient of the airdrop could delegate their tokens if they wouldn’t want to vote themselves. Presumably, we have quite a lot of individual voters and delegates who choose to do so and have an informed opinion, but that’s always to be improved of course. Curious to hear any suggestions!

Since you asked, my job is to coordinate SafeDAO while it’s coming into place, from responding here on the forum to researching governance frameworks and much in between. But I personally don’t matter here at all. When I say we might want to be mindful of attention, I’m only referring to the aggregate of all DAO participants including yourself.

You already stated the problem of people not having an informed opinion when they vote and I believe spreading information across even more channels would be counter productive.

I’m working on a better process to condense the discussion inside a thread, which is at times overwhelming as you’ve rightly pointed out. Thinking of a forum post quoting others and presenting opposing opinions, followed by a community call on each SEP where the author is up for an AMA. Does that seem useful?

What do you think I want? I don’t have a preferred outcome and I’m not supposed to as DAO coordinator. I’m putting this proposal up based on previously mentioned opinions and trying to coordinate the aggregation and identification of preferences here.

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Definitely! I explained my thinking above. Would you consider them addressed, @ittaisvidler?

If we want this proposal to be ratified on Snapshot before Dec 27, any further changes need to be included by tomorrow.

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I am strongly opposed to this proposal, I am in no hurry to enable transferability (I hope to enable transferability next year when the market is better, and I think most people think so), I just think this proposal is not necessarily related at all.

  1. You list some proposals that haven’t been progressed for a long time, I don’t see anyone advancing these proposals at all (such as [Discussion] Safe DAO Resource Allocation Model (OBRA) [Discussion] SafeDAO Constitution, no one continues to comment, and the proposal author does not advance the proposal), and once the proposal initiator chooses forever Without moving proposals into the SEP stage, transferability-related voting can never begin, which means enabling transferability depends not only on the opinion of whales, but also on the willingness of the authors of these related proposals. It would be foolish to use these “zombie proposals” as the basis for constraining the next transfer vote.

  2. Please don’t take us for fools. In fact, everyone understands that almost all investors voted against in sep2, and the voting rights held by investors are decisive, and the votes of other community members are meaningless.
    What is certain is that almost all investors have their own financial interests at heart, and they will definitely want to enable token transferability when the market is better and their tokens are about to be unlocked.
    I don’t see any milestones in this proposal that correlate to market conditions, in fact that’s the only milestone that makes sense.
    Sorry for being blunt, it’s true.

  3. You think it is very important to confirm this proposal before the end of the claim period. Unfortunately, I think the most important proposal at present is to reach a consensus with most community members on the issue of voting power. Now most people have understood whether they participate in governance There is no difference. The result of the proposal is determined by several whales. You’d better let the community members find the meaning of participation first, instead of continuing to initiate such fake empty proposals.

  4. You don’t respect other community members. In fact, I saw that the proposal of @links [SEP #X] Improve Communication in SafeDAO entered the SEP stage earlier, but your proposal entered the SEP stage directly without discussion (phase0), and it is more advanced than the proposal of links. Getting the number early, maybe you think only your proposal is important, and it seems autocratic too.
    Of course, this is not the first time you have done this. Both @b1k00 [SEP # ] Make The Safe Token Transferable and @netrunner.eth Safe Grants Program (SGP) once asked you to number the proposals, but you rejected them. In any case, the proposals of community members can only become a sep after being approved by the team.
    What a great DAO :mask:


Rome wasn’t built in a day and I find it reasonable for fundamental proposals like the constitution, a resource allocation framework and others to take their time. When SafeDAO launched with its governance token, there was virtually nothing in place and that’s only some weeks ago. That said, your view is absolutely legitimate of course and if option 1 doesn’t reflect your opinion, ‘make no changes’ would, wouldn’t it? If not, how would you change the proposal?

Which indicator would you include for a milestone on market sentiment? That was considered as a milestone but removed for the lack of a good metric.

To keep the discussion here on the proposal itself, for your fair concerns around transparency, I’d like to defer to the upcoming post to document accounts holding SAFE, their voting power and whether they belong to the groups of investors, Guardians or other. I also agree that we need a better way to label SEPs, as discussed here and elsewhere before. How would you go about it?
The first proposal you linked was a duplicate of SEP-2 and the latter is connected to OBRA, which are both currently blocked from outstanding legal work to ensure SafeDAO can hold and manage funds. The communications proposal will of course receive a number too as soon as it is ready. Proposals always receive an SEP-number when it is appropriate which is currently done by any forum moderator and could be expanded to a group of Guardians, for example.

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To come back to this proposal again and specifically the question how we proceed from here, we’ve got two options:

  1. Leave the proposal unchanged as it is and ratify it on Snapshot before Dec 27 when the claiming period ends.
  2. Take more time to align on this proposal and have it ratified after Dec 27 when the claiming period ends.

Please like this comment if you agree to move forward with a Snapshot vote, or otherwise comment with your suggested change.

That said, I’d like to stress again that we covered a lot of room for improvement in this proposal which this proposal in itself cannot solve, but must be tackled through separate SEPs. Mostly as part of a governance framework, e.g. allowing multiple-choice voting, improving the way SEPs get labeled and more. The lack of transparency around accounts and their voting power is also not an issue this proposal can solve, but must and will be tackled independently. Meaning, by moving forward with this proposal, I’m just trying to bring this over the finish line so that we can tackle the other issues independently.


I’ve seen many people mention milestones related to market conditions, and this has always been my opinion, and I think market conditions are the most important conditions to enable transferability, and can reach a certain consensus among most community members and investors.

If the community needs an indicator to measure market conditions, I think the Crypto Fear & Greed Index is a very good indicator. It is created by combining market conditions and people’s emotions. It is the best indicator for measuring the launch time of tokens. My personal suggestion is that when the index reaches 50, a vote to enable transferability can be considered.

I know that some people may not like being so direct, but I think the real basis for most people to vote is indeed the market situation, and I recommend using this indicator as a criterion for whether to vote again.

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