Fractal: Making DeFi Treasuries Trustless
Jonny Ringo
0xb386
October 20th, 2022

Projects and communities are looking inward to improve and find points of advancement in their social and governance structures. Noteworthy Defi leaders, such as Kain Warwick of Sythentix, bring to light the current reliance on off-chain governance structures like Snapshot. In a recent interview on stage at SmartCon, Warwick stated, "You go to Snapshot and you vote with your tokens and it sends a signal. But where does the signal go? The signal goes, ideally, to the multi-sig, right? But the multi-sig is not responsible at all to that signal. The multi-sig could say, ‘No, we're not going to do this.’”

The go-to strategy for many projects has been to create a treasury managed via a multi-sig wallet like Gnosis Safe. While these types of wallets are considered more secure than a single-signer wallet, they lack the true governance capability to achieve consensus based on the votes of the community at large. This is due to the approvers (voters) being limited to a predetermined number of wallets, typically linked to the original builders and investors. In some circumstances, this means the treasury admins can choose whether to honor community votes and opinions regarding the use of funds, and the community must trust them to align. Divergence between community votes and treasury decisions has been rare but is getting more attention due to the actions of outliers such as Tribe DAO. Recently, Tribe DAO completed a crucial vote concerning how to help victims of an $80M hack. The vote passed but was not carried out by the treasury admins. Instead, they initiated a second vote, which overturned the previous one and kept the funds in the treasury.

DAO builders and members usually share mutual motivation toward major proposal objectives. Proposal outcomes tend to be based on the majority consensus and executed accordingly. However, there still needs to be an immutable solution that removes the requirement for trust to align with crypto’s trustless ethos. In Web3, the only trustworthy ideal is immutable trustlessness.

Decent recognizes this need. With the completion of Fractal, a solution will be present for each of these communities to have trustless governance by building onto their existing multi-sig. Builders can launch a voting contract that interfaces with the existing multi-sig treasury as a primary signer, and remove other admin capabilities, leaving the community voters with true immutable governance. Other signers can remain present on the multi-sig, but this wouldn’t be a fully trustless governance setup.

The Fractal tooling solution not only allows existing DeFi protocols to integrate immutable governance but also eliminates the possibility of voter/treasury divergence—solidifying DAO governance as a truly trustless infrastructure.

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