[SEP #4] SafeDAO Constitution

Any particular reason you are suggesting the adoption of a constitution instead of the adoption of a charter?

This isn’t the format for a constitution, this is more of a manifesto. I am skeptical of anyone writing a proposal for a constitution that doesn’t actually know what a constitution is. It is a good start to a manifesto however which can often be a first step to drafting a constitution.

Here is a good template for a constitution https://www.law.uci.edu/campus-life/student-organizations/registration/sample-constitution.html

here is a good template for a manifesto, as you can see this post still needs some work. Manifesto template - GO FAIR


I’m not sure if that is clear at all, after all constitutions in web3 are still a young and evolving practice. Metgov gives a great introduction on constitutions in web3, as well as a guide. It seems to me that the current draft does incorporate large parts of best practices and recommendations provided by Metagov.

We don’t need to and shouldn’t reinvent the wheel in web3 when it comes to constitutions (or manifestos), but a constitution needs to be fit for purpose and context-specific. The constitution template you linked refers to student organisations which are quite different from web3 protocols in various dimensions. The linked resources also stresses this context-specificity. Curious to discuss where student organisations and web3 protocol DAOs overlap and which parts of that template may be relevant here.


Thanks for writing this @lukas . I think nailing down the purpose of a purpose-drive org is of high importance, as everything else will inherit from this.

In general I am highly in favour, but have a few questions/comments.

Quorums can be quite tricky for early-stage organizations, because you don’t know if the activity you have now will translate to the activity you will have later. The current 10M quorum means that 60% of delegated tokens will need to vote to make changes to our governance. To make changes to the constitution, you’re suggesting 20M quorum, which is greater than the circulating supply according to this governance dashboard.

These quorums feel very high to me. As some examples, ENS typically has 10% turnout on Snapshot, and Uniswap has 1-3% turnout.

At BanklessDAO, we actually shot ourselves in the foot with optimistic quorums which halted our governance processes. Would not want to see the same thing happen at SafeDAO.

While this mission feels like it technically captures the intent of the community, it feels lacking in emotion. I think that emotional aspect is pretty important, as this mission should be a rallying cry. It should be easily understood by technical and non-technical people alike; those who are part of the SafeDAO community, and those who aren’t.

I think you could keep your existing text, and just add a more catchy title…something like

  • To make web3 wallets more usable.
  • To create decentralized wallets for all users and use cases.
  • To make web3 wallets smarter.
  • Wallets for all!

Just riffing, but I hope it illustrates the idea.

These goals almost sound like values! I say this because values are more human, and identifying this list as values could make it resonate more with people.

Goals are changeable. Values to not change. Do you believe we will ever stop wanting to foster a vibrant ecosystem? Will we ever stop wanting to create resilience through decentralization?

Just food for thought.

Thanks again for your effort =)


Whether SafeDAO Constitution should be promoted to the SEP stage? Because the discussion has been going on for nearly two months, and the latest discussion was also 18 days ago


The proposal author @lukas is working on an update and response to feedback. I’d suggest we see whether this response will be controversial. If it turns out to be widely accepted, we can probably move this proposal to phase 1.

As expected, your comment has fallen of deaf ears.
This snapshot is simply a pantomime for the userbase.

@fallingau/@nodeE Stay tuned for this publication on voting weight distribution so that we can have that discussion with a bit more substance.

Let’s also please use the original thread for this conversation.

The very fact you so quickly respond to my comment, as though its some earth shattering statement, whilst completely ignoring the questions posted in the comments in the very thread you request me to make my statement in. Is an insult to everyone in that thread.

Have the discussion with a bit more substance?

This genuinely worries me!

How much discussion was had before the airdrop was opened by the Devs, Guardians and Investors, if we don’t have enough substance NOW to talk about it.
How on earth did we even make it to this point?

How did the devs, guardians, and investors get more voting power than the user body ?

IF this was governance of a country we were discussing then it would be would be comparative to giving the debtors of the country, employees of the country, and founding members of the country more voting power than the countries citizens have!

As @nodeE so clearly stated “Decentralization is not just a slogan”

Meanwhile SAFEDAO is attempting to slap “we’re decentralized!” banner under the brand name as their slogan.

To be quite clear:
Any entity or representative of an entity that has an allocation of locked tokens that was granted or purchased has a conflict of interest when voting on when the tokens should be unlocked and must therefore abstain from voting in such a vote.

In other words: If any investor, guardian, or team member is entitled to any tokens that are locked through agreement upon purchase or reward of said tokens for an agreed upon period of time then that investor, guardian, or team member SHOULD BE REQUIRED to abstain from the vote on when to unlock transferability, as they are naturally inclined to self serve and rather the tokens be locked until their locked investment comes to completion.

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Please see here, I’m currently inquiring these information.

Feel free to draft a proposal based on your analysis what you think SafeDAO should change.


The end goal of this proposal is praisable. Still, I believe it is too early to attempt to codify governance limits and enforce that codification with high participation thresholds for changes to the constitution when there is still significant debate about what are the objectives of the governance process, who the stakeholders are, and how those stakeholders can participate in the governance.

Fully agree with you about your point that SafeDAO has yet to specify and align on the objectives of the governance process: What exactly SafeDAO is governing, what it wants to achieve and how it utilises governance mechanisms to get there.

Although I see this Constitution proposal precisely as the first step towards answering these questions. As part of the constitution, only on a high level, but later specified through a governance framework, a resource allocation framework and other fundamental SEPs that build upon a constitution.

When you say it’s too early, what do you think is missing and which other steps besides this proposal need to be taken?

In my view, it makes a lot of sense to ratify a constitution as early as possible in the life of a DAO as one of the first proposals. If we think certain parts of the constitution are too specific, too controversial or too uncertain to be defined now to be part of the constitution right now, we should discuss changing or removing them, but I’d still find it valuable to ratify a constitution now as the next step. Does that make sense?

Good proposal and I believe adjusting for some amendments proposed by people, the constitution will be great :100:

…will it make sense to briefly address the power of DAO coordinators as regarding sorting and priotizing SEPs for voting and taking down proposals :question:

A situation where the DAO coordinator @theobtl rightly closed a proposal but a misunderstanding with the author led to the author leaving the DAO is something I wouldn’t like to see happening in the future.

Or do you think Governance Process should be amended to take care of this :question:


From my POV, this definitely needs further refinement and definitions. I don’t think any of that needs to be part of this constitution, but should be part of a revised governance process proposal aka governance framework.

I wasn’t aware that @b1k00 left SafeDAO as a consequence, I’d be saddened to hear and would be happy to discuss that directly, if you’re reading this.

The process of labelling SEPs i needs some form of permissioning, otherwise SafeDAO would end up in chaos, but the process also cannot depend on me as DAO Coordination Lead alone, for a variety of reasons. I could well imagine us decentralising this process through our Guardian programme. More on that to be discussed soon when we come to a governance framework proposal.


Thanks everyone for providing feedback to the initial SafeDAO Constitution proposal. I have studied the discussion and implemented some changes based on them. Below I outline what changes where considered / made including the respective argumentation.

In general I’d like to move forward with this initial version as a ‘minimum viable constitution”, fully aware that further iterations are expected in the next months. We will only be able to fully understand the limitations/shortcomings of the current constitution once there is a first version ratified and used in practice.

  • Also non-fee changes can compromise Safe as a public good (@jierlich )

    • Change:
      • Principle “Safe as Public good” was changed to not just focus on fees but changes in general that could compromise the public good nature of Safe
    • Argumentation:
      • As Jonah rightfully points out, there may be various changes that could conflict with Safe being a public good that go beyond fees being introduced, therefore I used a more vague language
  • We should define ecosystem stakeholders related to principles 1 and 2 (@adamhurwitz.eth , @Melodic_Platypus @jierlich )

    • Change:
      • Specified that this phrase refers to stakeholders in the Safe Ecosystem in principle 1
      • Mention of builders, users and token holders when it comes to balancing token mechanism effects
    • Argumentation:
      • While I see value in defining stakeholders more clearly, there is a danger of creating a too narrow definition, as not all stakeholders might be obvious at this point. I refined some sentences to hint towards stakeholder (user, builder, token holder) but would not give an overall definition of SafeDAO stakeholder at this point.
      • Future refinements of the constitution could be more explicit about the stakeholders, once there is more certainty about different roles in the ecosystem.
  • Goals read like values (@links )

    • No change
    • Argumentation:
      • I understand goals more as “what” the SafeDAO should achieve, and values as “how” those goals should be achieved. While I understand that it can be valuable (pun intended) to have values further defined, maybe even formalized as part of the constitution, I feel like we need a bit more maturity in the SafeDAO to better understand the shared values of the community and would rather see them added in a future update.
  • The copy should read more emotional (@links )

    • Change
      • I added some more sentences that allude to the importance of achieving this missions, including reducing reliance on custodians and therefore reducing counterparty risks etc. in web3
    • Argumentation:
      • Especially since the FTX blow-out, the value of self-custody became more clear for mainstream users, the constitution should also reflect the learnings and highlight the resulting importance of achieving our mission
  • We should define metrics as part of the constitution (@adamhurwitz.eth , @jierlich )

    • No change
    • Argumentation:
      • Metrics should not be part of the initial constitution to keep it maximally agreeable and long-lasting.
      • That said, metrics are crucial and need to be carefully designed and defined, not only for the constitution but also for OBRA. A separate SEP should initiate a discussion on defining these metrics.
  • Dispute resolution (adamhurwitz.eth)

    • Change:
      • Change phrasing to be more open-ended
      • Remove explicit mention of Kleros court but refer to a ‘dispute resolution mechanism’
    • Argumentation:
      • Increase agreeability of constitution by being less specific, while the generic description still matches Kleros and Aragon Court (a fork of Kleros), arguably the only two viable solutions out there that match this definition
  • The quorum is too high (@fig , @adamhurwitz.eth , @jierlich , @links )

    • No change
    • Argumentation:
      • The constitution should be harder to change by design.
      • SEP-2 showed that reaching a higher quorum is possible and will become even more likely while more Safe Tokens are being distributed and more Safe Token holders become active in governance.
  • Uncertainty around Snapshot Sub-Space (@quasimatt , @fig , @exa256 )

    • No change
    • Argumentation:
      • In order to enforce a higher quorum through Snapshot and clearly separate Constitution proposals from regular SEPs, a separate Sub-Space seems adequate.
  • Create complementary documentation/interpretation of the constitution, including examples of what makes a “good proposal” (@cryptobugbear , @jierlich )

    • No change
    • Argumentation:
      • It makes sense to provide additional documentation for the Constitution, but given the uncertainty on how the ideal documentation looks like, it feels too tactical to include it in the SEP itself
  • Don’t mention the Safe Token as a governance mechanism (@jierlich )

    • No change
    • Argumentation:
      • While mid-term I imagine the governance of SafeDAO to go beyond simple token voting and delegations, it is where the current SafeDAO governance process is today. And the main utility of the Safe Token today is to govern SafeDAO. With changes to the above, we should adopt the SafeDAO constitution, but I would leave the mention of Safe Token in for now.

Other changes

  • Change wording from “smart contract account” to “smart contract wallets”
    • Argumentation:
      • While there is a lot of debate about the right wording, SC wallets seem generally better understood than smart contract accounts, even though the latter might be technically more accurate

I have moved the proposal now to SEP Phase 1 stage. Please raise any major concerns with the current copy or if I missed to address a point that was raised above. Else I’d be happy to move forward with a Snapshot vote in about 1-2 weeks in case there are no more changes.


Should the constitutional proposal make new progress and move to the next stage

No one upload this to snapshot? In case there is no more change for several weeks, it’s time to make it into vote, instead of meaningless delays.

As discussed on the community call today, the proposal will move to Snapshot later this week.


Will the quorum for constitution changes be hard coded on chain? I assume that governance participation will increase in the future and I am not sure whether 2% of the total token supply is secure enough as a solid quorum.

It seems unnecessary to create a new Subspace to accommodate new quorum and majority rules given that the constitution is not yet binding.