Q&A: This Budget AIP Wants The DAO To Allocate $488K USD To The Governance Working Group.
There is a budget proposal on the ballot this week that’s asking the ApeCoin DAO to allocate $488,600 USD to the Governance Working Group to cover the next six months of operating costs, DAO management expenses, and other research and development initiatives.
AIP-317 titled “ApeCoin DAO Governance and Operations Budget” is an ecosystem allocation fund proposal written by ApeCoin Governance Working Group Steward, Amplify.
$348,000 USD of Governance Working Group’s $488,600 USD proposed six-month budget will go towards paying the seven-person Governance Working Group team (Amplify, ALL CITY, Tiger, Lost, 12GAUGE, CryptoLogically and Vulkan) that handles the Ape Improvement Proposal Process and the ApeCoin DAO’s front end operations like Discourse and Discord.
The other $140,600 USD of the of Governance Working Group’s $488,600 USD proposed six-month budget will go towards operational tools, professional services, research and development, community committees, and a one additional month of operational costs as a contingency plan.
“The primary goal of the Governance Working Group is to facilitate the day-to-day operations of ApeCoin DAO,” Amplify wrote. “This involves managing various aspects such as the AIP (Ape Improvement Proposal) process, community committees, and other initiatives. Additionally, the group aims to introduce innovative processes and technologies to enhance the community’s overall experience. The long-term objective is to shape a flexible organization that can effectively adapt to challenges within the dynamic Web3 ecosystem, extending beyond traditional grants. In summary, the overarching motivation behind these efforts is to create an organization that is fiscally responsible, capable of funding initiatives, salaries and other ongoing operations in a sustainable manner.”
For those who are unfamiliar, the ApeCoin DAO adopted a Working Group Structure earlier this year after the DAO voted to end its relationship with its original administrator, the Cartan Group, in January 2023. Since then, the DAO has voted to have the Governance Working Group handle its forward-facing operations while the DAO’s new administrator, WebSlinger, handles the back end.
To find out more about AIP-317, the proposed budget, and the work that the Governance Working Group does, the Gazette reached out to Amplify for an interview. Check it out below:
1: In a sentence or two can you sum up the budget?
“AIP-317 is designed to maintain DAO operations in terms of facilitating our DAO approved processes such as Special Council elections and processing AIPs on the forum, while also providing increased value to token holders through completion of our many OKRs, or objectives and key results.”
2: Can you briefly explain the history of the DAO and how we got to a working group structure?
“Absolutely! So our DAO was launched with a single outsourced Cayman Island Foundation administrator and the Special Council as the only operational capacity within the DAO. Lacking any core team or direction, it was clear that we needed to propose a structure in which the DAO can meaningfully set objectives and goals, and have teams within a specific scope in order to carry out those objectives. Having Working Groups with DAO elected individuals creates a highly accountable structure where work can be performed on behalf of the token holders.”
3: How does the cost of this GWG structure compare to that of the previous administrator?
“The previous DAO administrator requested a budget of $250,000 + 20,000 APE per month for a period of 12 months. At that time (Dec 2022), APE was worth ~$3.5. This comes out to $320,000 / month or $3,840,000 / year. However, this budget proposal was rejected so it may be more helpful to compare to their previous budget proposal, or AIP-1, which requested $150,000 / month for 6 months. We are only requesting a 6 month budget of $488,600 which would work out to $40,716 / month.”
4: What should the community know about the GWG before they vote?
“They should expect many improvements to the DAO in the coming months. The Working Group structure has only been fully operational and empowered for 2 months with a limited budget after coming out of an unprecedented Foundation Administrator transition after our prior administrator's budget proposal failed.”
5: Why are you and the team the right people to do this job?
“Simply, we are all elected DAO individuals either through AIP-239, AIP-240, or AIP-196. We have been actively improving existing processes and creating new avenues to participate in our Ecosystem. We have the experience and expertise to carry out our duties without bias, and we continue to do what is right for the DAO based off token holder feedback.
6: What do you say to people who say that the DAO’s processes should be automated?
“I agree, 100%. I believe there is a distinction to be made though between the Foundation and the DAO itself. There are portions of the Foundation's operations that simply cannot be automated. That said, I do believe the DAO should explore on chain treasury options, but not at the detriment of voter turnout. The unfortunate challenge with an on-chain treasury and governance process, like Compound Finance's GovernorBravo smart contracts and @tallyxyz is on-chain fees to vote. In the prior hype cycle, it wasn't uncommon for GWEI to be over ~100 and gas fees to vote in DAO governance to be ~$25-30 per vote per proposal. This means only the largest (typically compensated) delegates can, or will, vote. This is why the Foundation uses Snapshot as our consensus mechanism because it allows anyone to vote without paying gas fees. This is why we've been exploring alternative options like using @UMAprotocol's "oSnap" module which can automate multisig payments pending the outcome of a Snapshot vote. This means no one has to actually approve the transfer of assets, therefor we can operate with less overhead. Additionally, we've signed up for the private beta with @SnapshotLabs's "SnapshotX" which is supposed to be on-chain governance without transaction fees.”
7. What does success for the GWG look like?
“Success for us is largely ecosystem growth. Our mandate is to provide neutral and objective governance oversight during the AIP process, and project management support for the Foundation. This means our job is to encourage and process more AIPs, thus giving more grants, thus allowing the community to build more on top of the ecosystem.”
8. Where do you see the DAO a year from now?
“I believe we need a product or protocol governed by the token holders. It's not enough to have a treasury and grants process, there needs to be a shared interest and usage of the ecosystem's resources.”
9. What happens if this passes and what happens if this fails?
“If the budget proposal passes, we will be empowered to fulfill our mandate and our new OKR's present in the proposal. This means work on these initiatives would begin right away! If the budget fails, we continue to fulfill our DAO approved mandate, and author another, albeit smaller, budget proposal with less overall work and OKRs within.”
10. Do you have anything else you’d like to add or say?
“Yes! I think it's important to remember the timeline of where our DAO is currently. We've come out of a long year of having a fairly disinterested administration running the day-to-day at the DAO. July of this year really marks the first time in our DAO's history where we have a full community-elected Special Council, DAO Administrator, and Working Group. We're really just now getting started. =)”
The window to vote on AIP-317 is currently open and ApeCoin DAO Contributors have until Wednesday, September 27th, to cast their coins.