Across Treasury Committee Formation Proposal

Title: Across Treasury Committee Formation

Authors: Bananachain, TheRealTuna, EAsports, underethsea

Status: Proposal

Safes: tbd

Summary

This proposal recommends the establishment of an Across Treasury Committee (“ATC”) to address issues out of scope for the Community Essentials Committee (“CEC”), under the heading of small grants, UMA voting, liquidity provision, external grants, and management.

ATC Team

The initial candidates have expressed their interest in forming the ATC. They have been involved at Across since its inception and have partially also been instrumental in setting up the CEC.

How and in what fashion candidates will be nominated to join the ATC in future will be determined in collaboration with the CEC, latest at the end of the current cohorts first 6 months term.

Candidate 1: EAsports

Candidate 2: TheRealTuna

Candidate 3: underethsea

Candidate 4: Bananachain

More detailed candidates’ bios of proposed committee members can be found here.

Motivation

Following the successful implementation of the CEC, the necessary next step in gradual transition to self-governance is the establishment of the ATC. The ATC will address treasury issues that lie outside of the scope of the CEC.

In particular, the mandate of the ATC will cover:

  1. Small Grants Program, SGP(GRANTS)
  2. UMA voting, UV (VOTING)
  3. Liquidity provision, LPR (LiPRO)
  4. External Grants Bureau, EGB (ExGRANTS)
  5. Managing, Tracking and Accounting, MTA (MANTA)

Specification & Implementation

The ATC will consist of a framework and working groups to designated topics.

Committee and Working group framework

The ATC is responsible for establishing and maintaining its own framework and procedures.

Defining overall mandate of the ATC and its working groups, e.g. nominations, elections, compensations (also if members resign, removal of members for reason of, e.g. inactivity, procedure, compensation.

Collaborate closely with the CEC on the Across HR Handbook.

Small Grants Program (SGP)

The SGP is responsible for identifying, vetting and funding projects which serve the growth and mandate of Across.

The following type of projects can apply for funding:

  • Utility for the ACX token and ecosystem (markets, applications, use case, DeFi, staking, etc.) → support/increase the ACX token price
  • External integrations: by individuals, and perhaps also just advertising a lump sum to existing projects → increase the ACX reach
  • Develop Across infrastructure and community tools that have the potential for external appeal and use case + prove that no other suitable application exists.
  • Bounty program: Integration of the following bounty program for integrations proposal by PVM: Bounty Program - Community Integration Campaign 2.0

The following type of projects cannot apply for funding:

  • Newsletter, content production (remit of CEC)
  • Marketing campaigns (remit of CEC)
  • Meetups, events (remit of CEC)
  • Sponsorships (remit of CEC)
  • Training

Primarily customising or utilising existing tools and applications

Projects that fall into neither of the above categories can be funded at the discretion of the ATC SGP.

Preparatory work:

Develop a grant application template

Create a framework specifying the scope, work and procedure of the SGP:

  • Budget requirements, intervals, rollover
  • How and by what majority and quorum are projects approved/rejected, and resubmission handled
  • Designated reviewer or everyone reviews a project in advance
  • Will an evaluation grid be used or any other reference?
  • How the project is evaluated/timeframes: submission, review, public presentation before the ATC SGP committee

Consider an evaluation framework for projects (see above)

In case funding gets granted, milestones/KPIs, payment procedure, time frame, accounting and tracking (see below, A&T).

Evaluation of project development, successes and failures (see below, A&T).

UMA voting (UV)

At its inception Across was bestowed a legacy endowment of UMA. This UMA can be staked but also requires participation in the UMA Optimistic Oracle voting, thereby generating a return. However, the community needs to be aware that engaging in voting also carries risks. Failure to vote or an incorrect vote incurs penalties by having a percentage of the staked principal deducted (slashing).

Managing, researching, organising and executing the UMA Optimistic Oracle voting process is the purpose of the UV working group.

Regular accounting and evaluation of gains/losses are required.

Preparatory work:

Create a framework specifying the scope, work and procedure of the UV

(research, decision making, vote/reveal signature and execution)

Setting up the wallet delegation infrastructure

Voting infrastructure required:

  • create a delegatee wallet on Safe, 1/x (only voting or restaking possible)
  • fund with some ETH to cover gas fees, whereby this will be reimbursed automatically by UMA
  • Establishing a UMA voting bonus formula for the team (see below)

Liquidity provision (LPR)

Across bridge needs to ensure and maintain an adequate liquidity level in its bridging pools and for its ACX token. The LPR will partner with Risk Labs (“RL”) to communicate, research, and inform the community on how best to handle liquidity issues such as liquidity on L2s, POL, listings, current expenses for incentives, to name a few.

Preparatory work:

Investigate and identify ways of optimising liquidity provision for Across

Identify use cases for the ACX token (in collaboration with the SGP)

Suggest and develop concepts to:

  • stabilise and increase the ACX token price, and
  • address inflationary pressure from increased ACX token distribution,

to ensure continued appeal to its holders, stakers and LPs.

Identify suitable tools and applications for ACX token holders incentivising locking, utility and rewards.

External Grants Bureau (EGB)

Across requires constant, resource hungry technical maintenance, development and upgrade. The EGB would also cover third party incentives or protocol grants for integrations where there could be synergy. To this end third party funding can be identified and approached to secure the necessary funding. The task of this working group, in collaboration with the respective counterparts, is to identify, apply for and secure suitable grant and funding opportunities for Across.

Preparatory work:

Identify funding sources (websites, links, protocols)

Develop a grant repository

Managing, Tracking and Accounting (MTA)

The activities of ATC are quantifiable. Reporting can be expected from all working groups, albeit at different intensity. The MTA itself has a horizontal task in that it ties together the information stream. However, it is the responsibility of the working groups themselves to organise and aggregate their reporting. Organisationally every working group is a member of the MTA.

Preparatory work:

  • Account, track and monitor the SGP, UV, LRP and EGB progress
  • Evaluation of individual project grants and lessons learned
  • Calculate performance of UV (APY, P&L) bearing in mind inflation and token price
  • Analyse impact/advancement for ACX ecosystem
  • Treasury management of assets and holdings

ATC members and work commitment

The proposed committee will comprise 4 members. They will each head a working group, but contribute to all working groups as team members. The MRA bundles horizontal tasks to which all ATC members contribute in their capacity as working group heads and with technical support. They are expected to spend 8 to 10 hours per week on Across matters.

Eligibility criteria

A candidate may only take up and hold their position in the ATC if they are not a member in any other Across committee, decision making body or entity.

Term and term limit

The term of an ATC member is 6 months and can be renewed only once.

Re-application to the ATC is possible following a half a year cooling off period from the end of the tenure that leads into term limit.

Compensation

The compensation of the ATC team will consist of the ATC committee work, two 3-month seasons, and a bonus for the UMA voting.

Committee work

As per “Across Governance Operating Manual” from 7th November 2022:

“All committees are compensated by the Across DAO Treasury in the same way. Upon approval, a committee will receive a base level of rewards in the amount of $10k equivalent in $ACX. This amount is meant to last for a 3-month period. It is up to each committee to determine the distribution of these tokens, the details of which must be included in the snapshot vote. This should include wallet addresses and amounts for each committee member.

At the end of each quarter of service, a committee will be given an additional $10k equivalent in $ACX, except in the case of a committee being removed from service by tokenholders during that quarter, in which case there will be no additional rewards. The distribution of these funds will be determined by the committee members by way of a peer review score. This is to be paid out by the Across DAO Treasury.”

The mode of distribution will be determined by the team.

UMA voting bonus

Any successful vote not only increases the overall gains but prevents a penalty on the principle. This means voting correctly needs to be rewarded accordingly.

The team will receive a certain %age of the UMA voting gains. Payment will be conducted in ACX or in UMA. Details will be worked out by the team in collaboration with the CEC and RL.

The amount accumulated will be distributed to the ATC at the end of three months together with the Committee work compensation.

It should be noted that, if conducted successfully, UMA voting gains may most likely offset if not exceed any ATC running costs.

Monthly budget breakdown

As per “Across Governance Operating Manual” from 7th November 2022: Across Governance Operating Manual

“Committees may manage a small amount of capital to meet the needs of their operational purpose. If applicable, include information about the address that is intended to be used for operational funds. This budget does not include committee compensation. Committees will receive their budgeted funds at the start of each month from the Across DAO Treasury. Whenever possible, this amount should be limited to 1 month of operating expenses at a time.”

Operational Expenses

At the discretion of the ATC:

1 accountant consolidating the ongoing reporting into a quarterly report. (up to $400 USD/quarter)

1 accountant consolidating the quarterly reports into an annual report. (up to $400 USD/year)

1 designer, layout, editor (up to $300 USD/quarter + up to $300 for one annual report)

Discretionary budget for incidentals: ($1000 USD/quarter)

Above rates can be adjusted following consultation with RL and the CEC.

Brief overview of ATC operations

Each ATC member is expected to spend 8-10 hours per week on DAO matters. This includes at least a 1-hour weekly committee meeting which is open to all in the DAO. The main communication channel will be in the committees section of Discord

A Notion page will be created to keep track of all committee work. Notion will also act as a knowledge base where useful technical and community information will be kept.

The ATC will:

  • collaborate with the CEC on common issues

  • liaise with the RL team to work towards the goals of the DAO

  • act as liaison between RL and the Across DAO community on ATC matters

Lifespan and reporting of the ATC

The ATC is a permanent committee. Every 3 months it will provide a quarterly report of its preceding activities. At the end of the calendar year it will provide a consolidated annual report. Both reports will be freely accessible for Across members.

Rationale

Having a dedicated committee focused solely on treasury aspects is more effective than ad-hoc efforts or trying to manage it alongside other responsibilities. The ATC can give this crucial work the attention and priority it deserves.

A committee structure creates accountability and oversight through regular reporting and renewal votes. This ensures community building initiatives stay on track and deliver tangible results. The diverse skills and perspectives of a committee are better equipped to handle the complex and nuanced work of community management versus one or two individuals.

Compensating committee members creates an incentive structure for doing high-quality community work consistently over an extended period of time. Relying solely on volunteer efforts can be unpredictable. The ATC can develop expertise in community operations and institute best practices, policies and knowledge bases to smooth operations long-term. Without a dedicated team, this institutional knowledge is easily lost.

A committee with a mix of backgrounds and roles (small grants, UMA voting, liquidity provisions, monitoring, etc.) will be able to predictably and with the necessary due diligence foster community growth, innovation and sustainable reach by bundling expertise and channelling resources and decision making. Overall, the ATC will be laser-focused on growing and engaging the Across community. This will drive participation and activity in the DAO, build valuable social capital, and ultimately attract more talent and contributions to the protocol. With robust financial support, Across is better positioned to deliver on its ambitious technical roadmap and business objectives.

Downside (Cons)

Are there any disadvantages to implementing the proposal? Are there any security considerations or potentially negative financial exposures to consider?

Here are some potential disadvantages and risks to consider with implementing the ATC proposal:

  • there is a cost to funding and compensating a dedicated committee. This diverts resources away from other protocol needs. The budget and scope should be carefully evaluated.
  • if not managed well, the committee could take decision-making power away from the community at large. Transparency and community input are essential.
  • paying roles may incentivize politics, entrenchment of power, or attracting members looking for a paycheck rather than protocol progress. Ideal candidates must be vetted.
  • moderation powers on social channels and Discord could be abused to censor certain views or promote biased agendas. Clear moderation policies are needed.

Mitigation of risk

These potential risks have been mitigated through careful design of the committee structure.

Transparency and community engagement are the cornerstones of ATC’s ethos.

All members fulfil one or multiple of the following criteria:

  • are active in the Across DAO
  • have been long standing members and are value aligned
  • have received and retained their ACX token airdrops
  • have gained significant experience in treasury matters outside of Across DAO

The ATC goals and outcomes are measurable. Regular reports will be drafted for the DAO to assess its effectiveness.

Policies and processes will be developed to ensure that all in the DAO are treated equitably and are able to voice concerns, raise issues and suggest improvements.

Wallet infrastructure

TBD

Voting

Do you agree with this proposal and move it forward to a Snapshot vote?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
4 Likes

Thanks for putting this together. I support the creation of a treasury committee. I think there are a lot of details to discuss. Some things that stand out to me from Risk Labs perspective:
Should Risk Labs have more involvement initially (maybe a member of this committee)?
Are there things that are overlapping with what Risk Labs does? We can certainly pass some tasks over, but just need to discuss.
The scope of this seems very wide and could be a lot to tackle at one time - should the committee prioritize each area of focus and move in phases.
I think compensation is a touchy subject so I’m sure there will be a lot of back and forth there with Risk Labs and the general community.
Will take some meetings and discussions but I’m sure we’ll get there.

6 Likes

Hello Kevin, thanks a lot for the kind feedback and support. I can make it short: we all agree with the points you raised and adding a RL candidate/representative/liaison is a great idea, so we will gladly add this. When you speak of compensation I suppose you are referring to the so called “UMA bonus”. Given this is somewhat outside of the regular scope it was deliberately left open how that could look like and is subject to further discussion, as many of the other topics that will need to be thrashed out in more detail. We are glad to have RL on board here!

3 Likes

Wow, i can see a lot of thought went into this and I’m all for the proposal. I think this gives the across community the opportunity to get active in the inner workings of treasury management and i especially like the idea of using the protocol’s UMA being used for voting purposes. As an aside i have been working with @Bananachain for the superuman dao using its UMA for voting for at least the past 6 months or so and we’ve managed to do very well there. I’m also familiar with all 4 candidates and would endorse them all for this committee. excellent proposal, thx gents

4 Likes

Thank you for this great endorsement Poopster, much appreciated :gift_heart:! Good that you bring up the UMA voting at SU, as it gives me the opportunity to say that, as always, it requires a team effort of which you are part of, whereby the consistent voting success there is owed to @Deadcoin and @neondaemon given the combination of diligence and academic prowess demonstrated by them throughout.

3 Likes

The day has finally come where committees are coming to Across DAO. I like this one but I would like to second Kevin in a different light.

This seems to be a very broad proposal.

Restraint leadership is a leadership approach that emphasizes cautious, deliberate, and thoughtful decision-making. This style involves leaders who exercise control, but in a measured and reserved manner. Rather than making impulsive or quick decisions, they take their time to evaluate situations, consider various perspectives, and weigh the consequences before taking action.

The alternative is Laissez-Faire Leadership.

This approach involves minimal interference or direction from the leader. Instead of exercising control or guidance, the leader might adopt a hands-off approach, allowing team members to make decisions independently. This can sometimes result in a lack of clear direction or oversight.

Across Token Holders (Risk Labs included) are the leaders here and are delegating the power to act to the committees who will likely act more efficiently than the whole of the token community. I think I would like to lean toward restraint leadership and more clearly define the functions of this committee to a specific things.

If this is too long, blame all the behavioral economics books I’ve read lately.

3 Likes

This is a good proposal. I however suggest the limit on renewal only once should be removed or modified

If a member of the committee have performed well the DAO can choose to keep him via voting in the committee for as long as he continues doing a great job.

4 Likes

I like the proposal. What I didn’t understand very well was why 2 quarters?. Currently the CEC is working for only 3 months and at the end of the 3 months they must resubmit their re-election.

Outside of that, I think Across is growing and that is always good, I like to see that activity is increasing and that things are being done well. Let’s go for it!

3 Likes

Fully agree with this we should reward a committee member for doing their job. It seems counter productive to not keep good committee members in positions in the long run . I like the idea that terms could be renewed by vote as long as the voting power doesn’t get skewed

2 Likes

Hi Infinity, thank you for asking and giving me the opportunity to clarify. The rational for a 6 month terms is that 3 months are up very quickly, taking into account different holidays along the way or other personal obligations. Typical example would be Christmas, Easter, Whitsun, Divali etc… 6 months give the members a longer time horizon to work on more substantial aspects which may take longer to implement. Also, if we had a renewal every three months it would take up additional time to run through a proper, community wide process. Also, not every member may decide to stay on the committee for more than one term or may decide to resign during a term. On the other hand, to counter balance the 6 month tenures we have introduced a term limit of 2 terms, so not longer than one year, to ensure rotation and exchange. A handbook, covering more details is currently being drafted by @neondaemon. The document is now in reviewing and would, I am sure, greatly profit from your insights and feedback!

Hi elinkers, you are of course right, we need to retain good people. On the other hand, we also need to make sure that there is rotation to give other members of the community a chance to contribute. They may have other, even better ideas to add. This is what a term limit ensures. Currently there is at least one other committee available, possibly further ones in future, where these able and dedicated community members can continue to contribute to Across. A typical example for this is @TheRealTuna_Across who currently is a member of the CEC but would move over to the ATC upon its implementation.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We will certainly bear them in mind going forward. I would say the current and suggested committee members consists of very experienced people in their respective field. The committees are platforms allowing for discussions, floating opposing views and finding solutions suitable to all.

I agree with this, because there could very well be a time where there aren’t enough volunteers. So limiting how many terms someone can contribute doesn’t make sense.

Hi ayoki, thank you for reiterating the point. I want to clarify that the concept of term limits does not apply to volunteer posts within Across. Term limits are specifically applicable to paid positions at the ATC only.

Across, being a growing entity, anticipates having a continuous influx of new talent, ensuring a steady supply of interested and suitable candidates for various roles. By implementing term limits for paid positions, we aim to address stagnation, reduce the preservation of vested entitlements, and rejuvenate the system.

However, the term limit in question applies for one term only, which is a duration of 6 months. So technically, it can be seen as a term interruption rather than a strict term limit. We believe that this approach strikes a good balance between various interests and needs.

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