Towards a Governance Framework for SafeDAO

Depends what you mean by “efficient”. If you are trying to optimize time to change, less time is desirable, but if you are trying to optimize outcomes, additional time will allow additional people to weigh in and (maybe) create a more optimal output.

In bureaucratic governments, the time to change is high, but this weakness is also a strength - slow changes mean that the government machinery isn’t constantly switching directions, which allows slower, but reliable progress.

Obviously no one wants Safe to be a bureaucratic entity, but I think over correcting for speed at the cost of everything else would also be a mistake. That’s how exploits happen. We need a balanced approach.

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1/You are right, we need enough time to discuss proposals, but what I want to say is that we need to set a deadline for this time and strictly implement it. I have seen that some proposals have been discussed for more than three months. In the discussion, and there are very few people discussing it, which drags down the progress of Safe’s governance. To sum up, we need to set a definite time limit for each governance process and strictly enforce it instead of meaningless delays.


I get where you’re coming from and I agree that we can use some structure to check on proposals over their lifetime and archive them, if appropriate. However, I wonder whether a strict rule is the solution here. I wouldn’t want to introduce a rule when no rule is needed (less bureaucracy, minimising governance). Rules are never complete and, at some point, there will probably a proposal that must be discarded as specified in a rule while author+community in fact agree that it should not be discarded.

To mention examples of proposal currently in phases 1 or 0:

Instead, I’d rather suggest that we focus on soft governance here, e.g. moderation guidelines that me and the team will follow as well as guidelines for authors to communicate where they stand with their proposal and what kind of support they need to bring it to a final vote.

Technically, proposals that reach phase 1 have actually very few constraints and can move quickly. The current governance process requires a proposal to be in phase 1 for no more than six days, while the amendment proposal discussed in this thread considers an extension of six days after edits. Practically, a proposal author could ignore any comments and move their proposal to Snapshot as soon as a week after it has moved to phase 1 - nobody can prevent that. If there are substantial concerns voiced in the comments which the author ignores, I would expect the proposal to be voted down by the community out of principle – my point is just that the proposal author is free to do so.

This is different for phase 0 proposals:

I agree with @links that the labeling of SEPs (i.e., moving proposals from phase 0 to phase 1) is more of an issue. Currently, labelling SEPs is done by forum admins, usually myself. This has so far been a case-by-case decision where I was in touch with the author, evaluating whether a proposal is mature enough so that can realistically be finalised in six days. There’s also a trade-off in preserving attention span of our vast community: Relatively speaking, we have many proposal in phase 0 and few in phase 1 at any given time. Phase 1 proposal arguably deserve wider attention (including a Twitter shoutout on safegovernance), whereas phase 0 proposal should be refined first.

No doubt that this process can be improved. I’m thinking of at least two parts here:

  • Defining what makes a “mature” proposal and introducing some transparency on what has been case-by-case decision making
  • Extending the group of admins from myself and team members to others, e.g. selected Guardians

I’ll add this point to the list in the original thread above.


Alongside adding this point, I’ve revised the section “List short-term pain points for discussion” to reflect previous comments on 2. “Abstain” and 4. “SafeSnap”.

Does anyone have further comments on the list of five issues in the first thread?

Would anyone like to add further issues to this list which should be considered for a “Governance Process v2” amendment proposal, improving our current governance process?

Once we have broadly evaluated the scope of such a “Governance Process v2” amendment proposal, I would write that up in an actual phase 0 proposal. Worth discussing here at this time is the scope: Some improvements are needed and useful to introduce in the short-term. Other governance improvements are useful too, but blocked by other issues (see introduction to this thread) and should be discussed here, but not yet included in a short-term “Governance Process v2” amendment proposal.

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Another potential solution would be to have soft-signal quorum requirements. i.e. you need at least x SAFE holders voting this proposal is ready to move onto the next step. It might not work this early in the governance process, but I thought I’d post it as a possible solution that could work in concert with the others you mentioned.

I think people who participate in governance should be rewarded, which will increase people’s enthusiasm for participating in governance and improve the efficiency of governance. You can get the governance token wsafe by pledging safe, and vote with wsafe to get safe rewards.
Standards for proposal initiation can also be introduced. For example, a certain amount of safe is required to initiate a proposal. For malicious proposals, sanctions can be used to punish the safe pledged by the proposer. This is my initial idea, everyone can give their own opinions, thank you.

I think this is also part of the safe token application.

Agreed 100%- this can lead to a real problem and proposals being passed or failed without a clear understanding by the larger group

I think one of the very obvious shortcomings of SafeDAO is: Those participating in the forum discussions are only a small percentage of safedao members(also small percentage in voting power), and many people will only participate in the discussions after the official Twitter @safe@safegovernance announces the proposal.

In fact, the proposals under discussion need to receive more attention to ensure that the opinions of the majority of DAO members are fully considered before the proposals enter the vote.

I think these proposals need to be retweeted by the official twitter immediately, because the proposal author is obviously trying to solicit the opinions of the community, if there is not enough feedback during the discussion stage, the proposal may enter the vote in an imperfect status.

And there is another important point, I think all temperature check votes must retweet by the official twitter, otherwise the temperature check is meaningless, SafeDAO needs to make full use of and play the role of temperature check.
For example, the temperature check in SEP#2, the result is completely different from the final voting result
The temperature check in SEP#5 only got 3m votes, knowing that a proposal will usually end up with a vote greater than 15m in the end, and this kind of temperature vote is obviously not fully participated.

In other words, I propose that temperature checks become a necessary part of the governance process, and that all temperature check votes must be announced by the official twitter to ensure full participation.

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I don’t think people with 12 million safe will not look at the forum, they just don’t want to express their opinion and then express their thoughts through the final vote, I think it is completely wrong to look at how many safe votes are used to determine whether the vote is mature, but to see how many addresses participated in the vote. The situation now is that even if most of us are in favor of a proposal, the owner of 12 million safe addresses can control the outcome of the proposal. So to sum up, the problem you raised is simply not a solution, because giant whales are always arrogant.

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It can be seen from the security check snapshot that the first security snapshot has 617 people participating in the vote, the second time is 836 people, and the safe governance is getting healthier and healthier, but it is so that 836 people have 3 million safes, but the whale has 8 million sa fe at a single address, so it is really wrong to use the number of safe to judge whether the proposal is mature, I can only say that the results of our proposal are currently manipulated by giant whales.

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So I think it’s necessary to allocate unclaimed airdrops to active governors to make governance more decentralized, and in cases where safe can’t be transferred, I think it’s the best option to make safe more decentralized.



  • Address lack of initial proposal screening
  • Establish a clear path for revisiting rejected proposals

Initial ideas

  • Introduce temperature check phase for SEPs
  • Implement a process for re-evaluating unsuccessful proposals

I appreciate the initiative taken in starting this thread to gather feedback and identify areas for improvement within the SafeDAO Governance Process. Based on the purpose and desired output of this thread, I’d like to contribute by addressing the issue of:

Lack of Initial Proposal Screening: right now there is not official process for screening SEPs, where proposals that lacks community interest or support could advance to the voting stage, resulting in wasted time and effort. Proposals that do not generate sufficient interest can consume valuable community resources that could be allocated to more promising initiatives.

No Clear Path for Revisiting Rejected Proposals: In the absence of a defined process for re-evaluating unsuccessful proposals, valuable ideas may be lost or overlooked due to initial rejection.

Here are some of my initial ideas on how we could effectively tackle these problems:

Temperature Check Phase for SEPs - The temperature check serves as an initial indicator of community interest and sentiment towards a proposed change. This helps ensure that only proposals with substantial support progress to the voting stage, promoting active community engagement and meaningful discussions. Eg. Uniswap temperature check.

Re-evaluating Unsuccessful Proposals

Implementing a process for re-evaluating unsuccessful proposals could address the current lack of guidelines for revisiting rejected proposals, fostering continuous improvement within the SafeDAO ecosystem. Here are some suggestions for integrating this aspect into the governance process:

  1. Introduce a “cooling-off period” for unsuccessful proposals, granting authors time to refine their proposals and gather additional feedback from the community.
  2. Urge authors of rejected proposals to collaborate with other community members or stakeholders to refine their ideas and address concerns raised during the initial voting process.
  3. Create a dedicated forum section or thread for discussing and refining rejected proposals, offering a platform for community members to exchange thoughts and suggestions.
  4. Adopt a transparent tracking system for rejected proposals, enabling community members to monitor the author’s progress and refinements, and express their interest in reconsidering a specific proposal.

I look forward to further discussions and insights from fellow community members to help refine these ideas and help ultimately shape the upcoming ‘Governance Process v2’ proposal.


These are good thoughts on re-evaluating ideas @v3naru.

I’d consider naming proposals that don’t meet the requirements of temperature checks and SEPs as “working proposals”, “proposals in-progress”, and etc. instead of “rejected proposals”. Working proposals or another option have a neutral or positive connotation whereas rejected can feel negative.


Good points made here by @auryn:


Its nice to see governance evolving to v2, thank you for the thoughtful suggestions.

I generally agree with @theobtl’s proposal although I’d like to see a path towards being able to make fast on-chain votes in emergency like situation. A six day discussion phase won’t fly in the case of an emergency. Can we identify what we would consider an emergency and establish a fast-track governance process for that?

Secondly, I think proposers should be obliged to reveal identity and reveal any conflicts of interest. I think this is a big problem with DAO governance in general and although we probably don’t want to legally enforce it I think there should at least be expectations clearly laid out so that reputations are at least at stake.


It’s been three weeks since the last reply, maybe there should be some new updates

It has been almost four weeks since our last discussion on this topic, and I was wondering if there have been any updates regarding the proposal. Looking forward to hearing any news or progress made.


Firstly, I want to express my gratitude for the thoughtful and insightful suggestions put forward in this discussion. It is through this level of proactive engagement that we can continue to build a democratic governance system for SafeDAO.

I write this response as a delegate from StableLab. We have been closely following the discourse, and it is evident that there are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed in SafeDAO’s governance model. We fully agree with the points raised above regarding the influence of whales, the lack of initial proposal screening, and the absence of a clear path for revisiting rejected proposals. We also agree with many of the sentiments expressed about the inefficiencies in the governance process, like the necessity for a fast track in emergency situations and the call for more transparency in proposal creation.

In particular, we see the need for a more robust delegate framework beyond the existing Guardians program. Delegates play a crucial role in representing the interests of the community, but their roles need to be clearly defined, and they should be held to a high standard of transparency and accountability. Delegate actions can be monitored and verified through a custom dashboard with regular meetings for accountability and alignment. This is a great example of what this could look like. Delegates would also be instrumental in authoring and vetting proposals, promoting community engagement, establishing and documenting processes, and optimizing resource use in the governance process. For unclaimed airdrops, allocation to the most active delegates can further decentralize SafeDAO governance.

StableLab brings to the table a wealth of experience in designing governance frameworks. We understand the complexities involved and the importance of developing a system that balances the need for inclusivity, efficiency, and transparency. Some examples of our past and ongoing work with DAO governance framework optimization include this 1inch Fast Track proposal and Element Finance Governance Process proposal.

We are fully committed to applying our expertise to help address these operational lapses in SafeDAO’s governance and look forward to working closely with the SafeDAO community to create a governance model that is robust, efficient, and truly representative of the Safe community.


It would be useful to examine how protocols like Rocket Pool’s oDAO help steward their ecosystem and see what can be used and improved with SafeDAO.

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