[SEP #X] Vote to Enable Token Transferability

*Name: Community Token Contract Renewal Initiative (Transferable)

  • Author: Bruce
  • Created: June 17, 2023


This is a suggestion to call the unpause method of the token contract (using the SafeSnap module), which will cause the SAFE token to become transferable. Tokens that have not been transferred still remain in the vesting agreement and therefore cannot be transferred.

Offer details

Purpose and background

If we use the definition of Adam Levy, co-founder of @DAOStack, a token must contain two different properties in order to be called a token:

  • The token cannot be taken away from the owner.
  • The owner can transfer the token to anyone without asking permission.

While the first element is in line with the current design, the same is not true for the second. Because SAFE does not have the two properties mentioned above, we cannot consider it a token (yet) as defined by Adam Levy.

While non-transferability has its advantages (for example, the governance process is more resistant to malicious vote buying at any membership level), it also has some disadvantages:

  1. SAFE remains a closed organization without the possibility of attracting new users.

If we remember the experience with #SEP 2 voting in which only a couple of people decided the outcome of the vote, then I want to say that we have huge problems, because we are not dealing with an honest DAO, but with a well-controlled company in which the opinion of the majority of users is ignored a couple of investors. And in this situation, it is difficult to talk about development, because anyway, any decision, any vote, any idea will depend not on the opinion of 1000-2000 people who will have 1 million safe tokens, but 1-2 investors who will have 8 million of them.

  1. Lack of motivation
    I understand that for many this will sound selfish, but healthy selfishness is simply necessary. Each organization encouraged its users with tokens, giving them the opportunity to both sell them and get some profit and participate in the development and management of the DAO. At the moment, I only see that more than 8 months have passed since users received their tokens, but the question is, what happened during these 8 months? What was the interest in participating in the DAO in which only a couple of whales decided? We can’t help but buy more tokens to lobby for solutions more or less equally with investors and we can’t sell tokens, what is the meaning of them?

Many users didn’t withdraw their airdrop because they didn’t see the value of a non-transferable token and its purpose. Based on the above, people quickly lose motivation to sit on the forum or do something without understanding what it will lead to, perhaps tokens will be unlocked in 10 years or maybe never, so what’s the point of wasting your time if there is an investor who can easily replace a couple of thousand people ?

  1. Loss of new users = our opportunities
    As I said above, due to the impossibility of buying a token on the secondary market, we are losing a huge number of people who could put forward their ideas for the development of the DAO, which could bring something new. Without turning on the transmission, unfortunately this DAO will soon come to an end, and this is not my desire or anger, this is a banal logic, just like in countries in which 1 person rules for decades, they fall into decay.

Effects and Impact Analysis

The presence of a transferable token also makes it available for exchange, this is inevitable. In the adverse market conditions we are currently in, this could result in a lower valuation than it may have been in the past.

I’m not sure if this is really something we should care about, since price fluctuations are normal, an arbitrage token is not worth hundreds of dollars however people are interested in it and invest their money and resources.

The DAO has no control over whether individuals/institutions will price SAFE and, if so, how. Therefore, we must not allow adverse market conditions to influence our decision on whether to make this token transferable or not.

Alternative Solutions

We could leave the token non-transferable indefinitely, which would be a radical experiment in DAO governance.

BUT as we all see this is not an option, as long as there are a couple of investors at the helm of the DAO who easily reject any proposal or vote, this simply does not make sense. Of course, we can continue to leave the token non-transferable and watch how a couple of people play the vote, but in SEP #2 we saw that a couple of people decided the whole vote and believe that the closed dao = secure, alas, no longer possible.

DAO is people, not 2-3 investors who received millions of tokens at a discount, but a community of people who make this product better, I believe that investors also contribute, but at the moment they have too much power and sometimes it seems to me that it is intoxicating and allows them to do strange things.

Technical implementation
No significant additional code is required to make a token portable, but the owner of the token must call the unpause method of the token contract. This can be achieved without a middleman or gatekeeper by having the “unpause()” function be called by the SafeSnap module. Once the token contract is not suspended (and thus the token can be transferred), it is not possible to suspend the token contract again (e.g. once transferred forever).


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0 .


Hi Bruce,
I’m moving this post to Phase 0 and modifying the title to exclude the SEP number. These are the reasons behind this decision:

Formal requirements:

SEP numbering: Our governance process allows for direct posting of proposals to Phase 1. However, the SEP title needs to be a placeholder "[SEP #X], as the forum admins assign the number after the post is made. Since there is already a proposal with SEP #7, assigning the number yourself created two proposals with the same number.

Subject matter:

  • Your proposal asks for a direct vote on enabling the transferability which is currently not possible. SafeDAO agreed on milestones in SEP #3 that must be achieved before any further voting can take place.

  • An ongoing discussion exists for a proposal with SEP #7, which addresses milestones and transferability. Rather than having duplicate proposals, it would be more impactful to contribute to the existing discussion.

I would love for you to join our next community call on Monday, June 19, at 4pm CET/10am ET and have you share your comments there.


This is a great idea to have a public conversation with @Bruce to discuss this SEP. Since the community call happened today, this could be a separate Twitter space this week or next.