Aave Delegate Campaign

Hi, we’re Butter. We’re building a DAO that improves DAO governance as a participant in DAO governance. You can learn more about our approach and the rationale for this campaign here and in our original Aave governance forum post here.

Below we detail our first step towards launching Butter: A 3-month incentivized delegate campaign at Aave.

To summarize, the campaign tests the effect of incentives on (i) who chooses to become a delegate and (ii) their behaviour once they are active in governance.

Butter combines incentives for delegates, periodic elections, and a competitive election process to improve guarantees that delegates, once elected, will represent the preferences of all tokenholders, gain influence based on merit and performance, and have the resources to deliver on their goals.

By improving the guarantees delegates provide voters, we aim to incentivize more voters to participate in governance and attract the best talent and expertise to govern DAOs.

A tl;dr for delegates and token holders who want to get involved is available at the end of this article.

Aave Grant

We're delighted to announce that Aave Grants DAO has granted $15k to this proposal. The grant demonstrates the commitment from Aave to improve delegate compensation and alignment between delegates and AAVE tokenholders.

We will use the grant to compensate the delegate that wins the election described below.


To be considered for election, delegates will undergo a selection process stewarded by Butter. The application form will be open to all and auditable via an NFT.

The main event will be a Snapshot-based vote, conducted in a separate Butter-owned space, to elect an Aave delegate for a 3-month term.

Once voters select a winner, Butter will announce to Snapshot voters that they can begin delegating their voting power to the winner.

The winning delegate will receive compensation of approx. $15k in AAVE total (amount in AAVE TBC).

Notably, at the end of the 3-month term, voters that maintain their delegation for the entire 3-month period will receive an NFT representing their successful participation in Butter's pilot campaign.

We'll announce the election for the following term in the final month. In parallel, Butter will produce a report on the delegate's performance against the goals and KPIs stated in their delegate platform.

Delegate Signup

The NFT of this Mirror Entry represents the right to participate in the election. To enter, delegates must mint an NFT of this post by clicking "Collect Entry" at the bottom of the page. Minting comes with a small fee of 0.01 ETH to prevent spam.

Delegates are required to post an application, which requires the following:

As a steward of this election process, Butter will filter applications based on the above criteria.

Further details and guidance are available on the Delegate Application form.

The voting period will start when five qualifying delegates have completed their candidacies.

Snapshot-based election

Butter will launch a 3-day Proposal on Snapshot that will be open to voting by AAVE and stkAAVE holders on a 1-token-1-vote basis.

The Snapshot Proposal will contain a link to all candidates' Delegate Platforms and Delegate Initiatives and will consist of a single-choice selection among these delegates.

Delegation period

At the end of the voting period, Butter will announce the winning delegate in Aave's forums, Twitter, and Discord.

Voters in the Snapshot Proposal will have a 7-day Delegation Period to delegate their voting power to the winning delegate.

We will track delegations made during this period, and only delegations made in this period will be considered valid and eligible for voter participation NFTs. Voters will be able to verify that their delegation is valid.

3-month term

At the end of the Delegation Period, the 3-month term will start.

The delegate will receive $5k after each month served, for a total of $15k.

Delegate Reporting

Butter will provide reports on delegate activities and performance each month and a comprehensive report at the end of the 3-month term.

The reports will include checkpoints relative to goals and KPIs announced in the Delegate Initiative.

Butter will make these reports available for voter consideration to help them make an informed judgment about the delegate's performance during the term.


After this 3-month campaign, Butter will restart the process with a new election for a new 3-month delegate term in Aave.

Risks and Mitigations

We designed this simple election & delegation process to test the basic assumptions of governance incentives in weeks instead of months. We have, therefore, designed the process to meet the needs of this first experiment, including its security considerations. Let's review the risks and their mitigation.

Future iterations of our election design will provide even stronger guarantees, as described here.

Direct governance attack

Attackers whose objective is to cause harm to Aave governance may try to use the election to promote a colluding party as a delegate and gain the voting power attracted by the process. This scenario seems unreasonable as our experiment is small and, therefore, unlikely to attract and grant a delegate a controlling share of voting power. Finally, our design does not improve the attacker's ability to attack Aave governance.

Election hijacking by whales

Large whales might vote in the election to direct voting power to the delegate of their choice. However, we are promoting the election to increase the representation of minority token holders. As votes are auditable, this would have negative repercussions in terms of the reputation of such whales. Butter will closely track and report any such behavior and terminate the campaign if we believe any actor has compromised the election process.

Delegate corruption

A delegate may receive some form of bribe from voters in exchange for supporting the interests of the bribers using the acquired voting power. Butter offers minimal protection against such bribes in this version, through delegate monitoring and engagement.

Drain attack

An attacker could decide to participate in the campaign to steal the reward. We have sufficient protection against this as Butter will manually distribute funds. To steal the funds, the attacker would have first to win the election and then do the work of a delegate for three months.


To sign up as a delegate:

  1. Mint an NFT of this post by using Mirror’s Collect Entry button at the bottom of this article.

  2. Submit an application on the Delegate Application form. If in doubt, submit an application for review or contact us on Discord.

To get involved as a voters, you can follow updates on Twitter and in our Discord server.

Subscribe to Butter
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.