Yam is completely governed by its token holders. The founders of Yam (who no longer are participating on a regular basis) created Yam as an experiment in decentralized governance of a Treasury. Since YamV3 launched, Yam has produced a few notable projects including Yam Synths and DAO House but unfortunately both projects have been shelved primarily due to the lack of resource management. Currently Yam is going through a Re-Organization to address the issue of having someone responsible for completion of work as specified/requested.
While the Yam Re-Org is a necessary step in accountability and transparency of projects, we don’t have a good system/person in place to oversee the treasury. Previously this task was left to the “token holders” but as we have seen it is more likely token holders will sell the token before they participate in governance.
The treasury has been and will be the most important piece of Yam, without it nothing else matters.
All items listed in highest priority to lowest priority.
I propose the Yam Treasury Director position with the following mandates:
Increase the overall value of the treasury with approved investment strategy and Yam project/silos.
Minimize overall expenses from the treasury.
Support value added Yam projects/silos.
Increase overall value of the Yam Token and Market Cap.
Maintain overall investment risk profile of the treasury.
The Treasury Director will be responsible to:
Review and approve/deny any requests to the treasury from regular expenses to contributor compensations to new silos or projects needing funding.
Maintain treasury investment risk profile by initiating rebalancing when needed.
Create guidelines that follow/supports mandates.
The Treasury Director will not be responsible to:
Change the investment strategy of the treasury. Director can make the request but ultimately it needs to be processed through governance.
Identify potential value added projects/silos or investments. Director can make the request but ultimately it needs to be processed through governance.
3 Months term with unlimited renewals via snapshot.
New director can be voted in at any time, which would relieve current director.
Time Commitment: 20 hours a month expected. Not to exceed 40 hours a month. Hours to be recorded and accounted for in monthly transparency reports.
Compensation: Base rate of $85/h, 100% in 6 month vested $YAM tokens based on the 30 day avg value.
I nominate @jpgs.eth as the inaugural Treasury director. He’s been a long time supporter of Yam and the various contributors. Recently he has taken a more active role in defending the Yam token price and treasury from being redeemed. He’s is the top voter (Tally | Yam Finance) for Yam’s governance and has never received any compensation for his vote / time / efforts.
I view this proposal, while a step in the right direction, as incomplete and missing important information, mainly around how this position will actually carry out the requirements. The way it is written makes it sound like the position has power, but in reality it seems to only make recommendations. While I think making recommendations is what the position actually has to be (more like opinionated gov-ops), this post doesn’t seem to imply that.
How would the person selected do this?
What methodology would they use to determine how to minimize effectively. The most minimal way is to simply stop paying anyone, but as far as I can tell that isn’t the plan.
How exactly would they support them? Who determines whether a project is “value added”? What is their role if they don’t think a project is a “value added” project?
similar to bullet #1, how would they do this? What tools or powers do they have to actually implement this? If the token price goes down, should this person be considered responsible and therefor should not be hired again for this position?
How does approval or denial of funding requests actually work since this position provides no actual ability to do so. Payment is in the hands of the token holders. As far as I can tell this position has no power other than to make recommendations. This person could recommend that a request be denied but it could then be approved by token holders by vote.
Are these guidelines processes around governance or guidelines around what should be funded? What role do token holders have in approving these guidelines and what makes them enforceable?
The only way that this role has teeth is if the person in it has the tokens to veto things. If that is the case then they are just acting as an activist token holder. In that case, I would also like to see this role open to a larger set of people who can make the same recommendations. There is no reason that we only need 1 person. If we are paying someone to make recommendations about silos, why not extend that ability to more people. Maybe we would actually get some interest in governance and the projects.
This proposal gives the power to make decisions that support the mandates. If the token holders do not like the decisions, it can go up for a vote and it could be reversed. The problem that this position is trying to solve is the fact that token holders at large do not make governance decisions and in the past there have been many decisions that were made poorly because of the lack of responsibility to the treasury and token holders.
Take for example, current pay rates for all contributors, it was arbitrarily raised to $85 an hour for all contributors. How and why did this happen? With an absence of accountability, things get “looser”. I’ve run multiple business with 50+ employees, if there isn’t a person accountable, the same thing happens.
All the mandates are mandates, it doesn’t tell you exactly how to do it or how to apply it but gives you guidelines that the director must interpret and make a decision based on what he/she thinks is best to achieve those. Think about the Federal Reserve and how the board has mandates, and they need to try their best (they aren’t perfect as we well know) to achieve those.
What levers does the director have to push to achieve the mandates?
It reviews and approves/denies any funding requests. If it denies something and proposer still wants to propose it for a vote, it can do so. At which point if it still passes, it is not the responsibility of the director.
The director will be judged based on his/her decision making. Ultimately if the holders wants to remove this person they can do so.
Yes it is possible. The primary reason why I think it should be one person is based on previous experience in Yam, where groups of people tend to delegate accountability to each other instead of being responsible for it. This is partially why Yam has had the issues that it has had.
I still don’t understand what you mean when you say “the power to make decisions that support mandates”. What power and how is it implemented? If this person decides that everyone should do X, what means do they have to make that happen other than via token holder vote? If your premise is that token holders don’t make governance decisions then how does this solve that?
I’m also confused because token holders do make the governance decisions. They vote on snapshot votes and on-chain votes all the time. You seem to be implying that not enough token holders participate in making governance decision, but that doesn’t change the fact that all of these proposals must be passed by a quorum of voting power to pass.
This happened because this is designer’s typical rate (or maybe a bit below it) doing agency work and he recommended that he and I ask for this much to do the re-org work. Then other contributors decided to match it or increase their rate. And then each of those proposals was voted on and approved. It is a pretty clear cut case of anchoring.
Mandates require clear goals and parameters to be effective. None of the points of your mandates are clear with well defined parameters. A mandate to “support value added projects” is hopelessly vague. It requires that “value added projects” be defined and the methods of support be defined. Without that it is open to individual interpretation. As I mentioned before, a mandate to minimize expenses is a mandate to push expenses to 0.
You bring up the fed. Their mandate is to keep inflation between 2 and 3 percent, and they have the ability to raise and lower interest rates to do so. These are clear goals with clear tools to achieve them. This role that you are defining is lacking both.
So they write “I approve” or “I deny” on the forum and then expect all the token holders (who apparently don’t care to begin with) to listen to them? Because they have this title that they have essentially given themselves by voting for their own proposal? You understand that his is ridiculous right? Just do this without the title and influence people like everyone else does. Why do you want to make another powerless figurehead position that pretends it has a mandate? If you want to talk about why YAM has struggled, that is a great reason.
Lets just be honest and realize that each of us have 2 ways to get things done, persuasion and token voting. Jpgs (and anyone else) can vote as he sees fit to make changes and he can write about why he voted that way. He can define his own mandates and can even ask for funding to do research to make those decisions. This isn’t a company, its a political organization where you can buy votes.
I’m really tired of all these appeals to authority and titles. That isn’t how things work in DAOs. You either have the votes or you don’t. If you don’t then you try to convince otherwise, but in the end the votes are what count. You could call me chief Idea officer and it would make no fucking difference. You either like my ideas and vote for them or I have enough votes to pass them without you. The title doesn’t matter. Just make the recommendations and vote on them like everyone else instead of imaging mandates that you can’t enforce other than via votes.
This is binary. Any proposal would clearly need to define how and why it adds value to be approved. It’s not complicated. The Treasury Director would review and decide based on the contents of the proposal. If you want to call that “individual interpretation” go for it. Not sure what the issue is here?
“The Federal Reserve System has been given a dual mandate—pursuing the economic goals of maximum employment and price stability . It does this by using a variety of policy tools to manage financial conditions that encourage progress toward its dual mandate objectives—in other words, conducting monetary policy.” I’m going to stop here and let the definition speak for itself.
You can call me the Fairy Godmother of Yam for all I care. The bottom line is Yam needs a decision maker to simplify and direct decisions that prioritize and positively impact the treasury and the token price. Everything else is noise. I’m tired of the noise Ross. I’d like to take @feddas up on the nomination and I honestly think I can do a bang up job at it.
My point is that you don’t have the tools that you think you need and getting them breaks what makes YAM interesting and innovative.
Your actual tools are objecting publicly to things you don’t approve of and voting in accordance with those objections. There is nothing else. This is one reason why the grants were created. Because they give the recipient the tools to manage their own affairs.
Let’s say for example that you don’t think a project I am working on is worthwhile. As YAM’s fairy godmother / treasury director, you can make a post about how not worthwhile that work is. In doing that hopefully you will convince other token holders of your view and maybe also get me to work harder or adjust a proposal or something.
If you choose to act on your views further you may vote against my work proposal. If you have enough voting power that may mean I don’t get funded. Treasury saved!
But you can do that equally well without a title. The title is a fiction, and I would argue a harmful one. It implies that you have some elevated privileges over others, which isn’t true. Instead, this role should be one that you do because it needs to be done, and others can also choose to perform this role as well. Just like anyone can apply for a grant, anyone can make sure that contributors are held accountable. If you are the only person who actually does that work, we still want others to also be able to do it.
And they can! We can pay people who do it just like we can pay you to do it.
This sounds good and all, but consider me skeptical that all our problems can be solved by a white knight that comes in snaps their fingers. Not to mention, I have heard no plan for what these decisions that need to be made are. What is the plan to positively impact the treasury and the token price?
We all want to be the person to make decisions, but unfortunately decisions are only as effective as their ability to be carried out. If you can do that and get everyone to follow these decisions then great. But let’s just say that hasn’t been an easy task in the past and I don’t expect it will be in the future.
I’m not opposed to having you give it a shot. But if all it entailed was making some decisions then we wouldn’t be where we are today.
I don’t see how you can make this assumption.
If you consider the token price, discord activity, forum activity and voter turnout it screams clearly that YAM isn’t interesting and innovative.
@ross This isn’t complicated. There is a person or group of people who’s mandate is the items above… What is wrong with that? In reality it SHOULD be what all compensated contributors are held to but obviously it isn’t.
Why are you arguing about the title vs not the title? If Jpgs can do it without the title or with the title what does it matter to you? This way he gets paid for his time and there is something he can be held ACCOUNTABLE to.
Yes totally true, but previously if decisions were not carried out, who was accountable for them? I’ve witnessed that everyone passes the blame.
Let me ask you, as a paid contributor for over the past year, what have you been directly accountable for? Were you responsible for the contributor who was paid but ended up doing very little to no work? Your Yam ReOrg silo is it responsible for the delays in Yam Design Studio?
Not the decisions but the accountability might have made a difference.
I want to start off by saying that this is an important conversation and I am happy we are having it.
Yes, there is a person or group whose mandate may be these things listed above. That group is the “token holders” (token holders refers to any group that can muster the votes to enforce their demands) because they are the only ones who actually have the means to do anything with the treasury. Anyone who cannot pass a vote this way is just yelling at people without any ability to enforce accountability. I am arguing about the title because it confuses this point, and this is a fucking important point.
jpgs and I could have the same title and applied role (lets call him the fairy godfather and me the fairy godmother). We both think we are operating under the same vague mandates that you have written about to keep people accountable. At some point we disagree about some detail and make opposite suggestions. What happens? Are we stuck because we can’t come to consensus? No! because he has 10x the YAM than I do and therefore 10x the power to reach quorum and implement his ideas. That is where the power lies, not in the title.
If someone else came along with equal voting power, but no title and performed the exact same role and followed the same mandates (or had different mandates), but came to a different conclusion, then we would be much closer to stuck because that person would cancel out jpg’s votes and suddenly all the other smaller voters (like me) now matter. This person doesn’t need that title.
Furthermore, we want the situation above to occur because that means that voters are participating. If we start giving titles out to certain people for roles that anyone can do in reality, it will give the impression that those roles are gated, which they are not. This is the opposite of what we need.
I am accountable for the work that I do and I try my best to get good work out of others. I am not accountable for other grants or recipients as a contributor. I have limited power to enforce accountability and in trying to do so I may risk my own ability to contribute further and work with work collaboratively. My role as a contributor is not necessarily made easier by being a jerk. So I try to be as opinionated as I feel I can be about the quality of the work.
I’m not the boss, there is no one boss! The token holders (see definition above) are the boss. If you and jpgs can pass and veto votes unopposed then you are the bosses because you hold the purse strings on a day to day basis. You don’t have the power to tell people what to do, but you do have the power to not pay those who don’t do what you like. You know this. You have used this power.
This is where I do see jpgs role as valuable. He can be a outside influence who doesn’t work with contributors on a day to day basis so he can speak his mind differently. But again, that is not a role that only he can perform and we would be better of if there were more people who performed it.
We need accountability! I have written and thought about that extensively and it is designed into the re-org.
Accountability is only as effective as it’s ability to be enforced. Throughout the history of YAM the only real mechanism for accountability has been voting and the ability to stop paying. Everything else has been a mirage and that is why there hasn’t been enough. We have tried to create mechanisms for accountability that just don’t work because they cannot be enforced. What you are proposing here is another version of this.
This is what I mean when I say that YAM breaks if we have the type of accountability you are looking for (that in which one person makes the decisions). That means that this person must be given powers outside of he current functioning of YAM. They must be able to stop paying people or somehow censor the person they want to hold accountable. But this is at odds with the core idea of YAM that token holders decide the future of YAM and the treasury is dispersed by them.
We don’t need to change the rules though. jpgs and you can already vote to stop paying people if you want. You don’t need added powers because you have the votes. If someone else has the votes then they can do the same. That is how the system works. It is more like a political party than anything else. You and he can have a mandate and set of rules that you use to determine value and vote by those values. If someone else has different rules to determine values then they do the same.
So by all means create the Treasury Protection Coalition or something like that to coordinate around voting on proposals that follow your mandate. Request funding to run it. Push your agenda and fight for accountability from that position.
Hell maybe I can create the Interesting Decentralization Party with my own mandates. E can create his Multi-chain Mandate group (lol) and we can all attack it. Who knows. This model of thinking about YAM is much more in line with how the DAO actually works than a model in which we parade around someone as a figurehead who pretends to have power outside of their ability to swing votes. We are a democratic, community owned treasury and not a corporate community owned treasury.
Your arguing in circles, and I am tired of it. I won’t engage any more and waste Yam’s treasury on your time arguing. I don’t get paid to argue against you but you do.
Token holders now have the ability to vote for or against this director position. If token holders want to have someone in charge, then they will vote for it. If they do not then they will vote against it.
If they change their mind later, then they can vote against it or vote for someone else.
I AM A TOKENHOLDER AND I CREATED THIS POSITION.
This is everything that your saying. Let the token holders vote.
Cutting through the noise, I would appreciate compensation for my time and energy to review and make these decisions in the best interest of the treasury and token price. You are right let’s just vote on it. I think you are on to something I am going to be more vocal about my thoughts and feelings. I will not be reserved about using my vote to impact the direction of the project that I consider to be in the communities best interest.
I’m not arguing for the sake of arguing. I’m putting forth suggestions to make this proposal better. You don’t need to agree with my suggestions and you can propose and vote as you want. I’m trying to convince you, but understand that is my only lever.
If you don’t want people to disagree with you and can’t discuss your ideas then your time and effort may be better suited in an organization where that isn’t the main format for making decisions.
Crossing over from your comment on gov-ops, what are your thoughts on paying this type of contribution with vested YAM?