🧈x👻 Delegate Election: An Analysis

The Aave community has successfully elected a delegate for a three-month campaign as part of the Incentivized Delegate Campaign organized by Butter. The election saw a high level of participation, making it one of the most active proposals in the history of Snapshot proposals for Aave.

Election Summary

On March 23rd, we initiated a Temperature Check to select a delegate for a three-month incentivized Delegate Campaign. Funded by a $15k AAVE grant from the Aave Grants DAO, the campaign aimed to compensate the winning delegate for their governance duties during the three-month campaign.

13 candidates applied, with voters choosing from a Snapshot proposal. On April 10th, the Snapshot election concluded with TokenLogic emerging as the winner.

TokenLogic won the election with 185K AAVE (24.94%), followed by StableLab with 146K AAVE (19.7%), and Fire Eyes with 105K AAVE (14.12%). Detailed results are available on the Snapshot proposal page.

Engagement and Influence in the Election

As the proposal focuses on electing a delegate who will contribute to the governance process, analyzing the dynamics of voter participation in this election can provide valuable insights into the DAO's governance structure.

We will examine community engagement together with the progression of governance dynamics, and finally delve into voter distribution and influence.

Voter Engagement and Dynamics

Butter's election was the top proposal in terms of voting power and participation rate, according to a ranking based on: rank by voting power + rank by wallets, as seen in this query.

The following chart (available in the Participation tab of our Election dashboard), shows how this Snapshot proposal stands out among a trend of larger participation rates over the past year.

The Butter Election (yellow dot) stands out in terms of both participation (y-axis) and number of votes (dot size)
The Butter Election (yellow dot) stands out in terms of both participation (y-axis) and number of votes (dot size)

Let’s dig into the composition of this participation.

Influence of Voting Power Whales

We're considering Voting Power Whales as the top holders of voting power in this analysis.

As shown on our Election dashboard hosted on Flipside, Voting Power Whales votes have heavily influenced the outcome of the election.

Large voters made the election turn
Large voters made the election turn

As part of our effort to understand further the dynamics of voting power in this election, we’ve produced a more detailed Pivotality Report (see our previous large-scale report on Voting Power Whales’ influence here). The analysis is focused on the top 10 proposals and looks at how the outcome would have changed had whales not participated.

As seen in our conclusions, Blockworks would have been elected if the top 5th percentile of voters hadn’t participated.

Whale Voting Power Distribution

We also looked into how the top Voting Power Whales voted in the election. Here we’re defining whales as the top 0.1%, for increased clarity.

The following Sankey diagram illustrates how whale votes flowed into each candidate, highlighting the top supporters (in terms of voting power) of each delegate.

Visual representation of voting power flowing from voters, left, to candidates, right. Top candidates are colored, and edges are colored when they connect voters who are also candidates
Visual representation of voting power flowing from voters, left, to candidates, right. Top candidates are colored, and edges are colored when they connect voters who are also candidates

We see that most candidate delegates did not cast a vote in the election, with the notable exception of:

  • Flipside. Flipside spread their votes evenly across TokenLogic, StableLab, FranklinDAO, Blockworks Research, ConsenSys, and Curia. Flipside did not vote for themselves.

  • TokenLogic & Llama. Matthew, founder of TokenLogic, is the Aave Program Manager for Llama, as detailed here. TokenLogic’s Delegate Platform notes, “The founder does not have access to Llama’s Aave voting wallet and does not partake in any Llama internal voting decision making process”. Llama spread its votes between Flipside and, mostly, TokenLogic.

Participation Rate by Tokenholders Category

Despite having one of the highest overall participation rates, it was essential to better understand the types of tokenholders that comprised the voter base for this Snapshot proposal.

Our analysis, available on this Dune dashboard and related query, reveals that Butter's election experienced relatively high participation rates from both New Holders (wallets currently holding AAVE/stkAAVE/aAAVE & which made their first AAVE/stkAAVE/aAAVE transaction ≤ 1 year ago) and Non-Participating Holders (wallets who have never participated in on-chain governance):

  • Butter:

    • New Holders: 84%

    • Non-Participating Holders: 82%

  • Top 10 Snapshot proposals average:

    • New Holders: 65%

    • Non-Participating Holders: 63%

Note: In this analysis, we filtered out whales by token holdings (> 0.1% of the total supply) at the time of the Snapshot.

From this data, we can conclude that a considerable number of relatively new AAVE tokenholders, who are not accustomed to participating in on-chain governance, showed interest in the proposal and actively voted.

Conclusion

The well attended Delegate Election highlighted the community's commitment to decentralized governance and the importance of active involvement from tokenholders. Unsurpisingly, Voting Power Whales' votes had a significant influence on the outcome. This showcases the considerable sway these large holders of voting power hold in the decision-making processes within the Aave community.

Furthermore, the data suggests that a substantial number of relatively new AAVE tokenholders, who may not be familiar with on-chain governance, actively participated in the voting process. As the Aave ecosystem continues to evolve, fostering transparency and engagement from diverse tokenholder categories will be essential in promoting a robust DAO, inclusive of all tokenholders.

With another election scheduled in three months, it will be interesting to observe if the participation dynamics change. The upcoming election may present an opportunity to further analyze the impact of whales on voting outcomes and assess the effectiveness of governance incentives to encourage participation from a broader range of tokenholders.

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