Improving KyberDAO: Snapshot and Other Ideas for Governance

Snapshot is getting popular as a very simple voting interface that allows holders to participate in governance without spending gas. Creating a proposal and voting are both free. Proposals and votes are just signed messages, stored on IPFS. Signatures are easily verifiable online .

Votes on Snapshot can be weighted by the number of tokens on (or delegated to) the address used to vote. For example, KNC tokens have to be held by, staked by, or delegated to the address prior to the start of the voting campaign (e.g. by a given block height). By using Snapshot, after staking KNC users do not need to spend gas voting, actions which eat into the final rewards received.

It might be worthwhile for KyberDAO to consider transitioning to a popular off-chain tool like Snapshot instead of using the current on-chain voting model on the separate site kyber.org, which can be expensive and inefficient at times.

Pros

  • Off-chain voting is gasless so it’s much cheaper and easier for users to vote; Kyber will get more individual voters and higher voter engagement.
  • There will be much less reliance on 3rd-party staking pools and CEXs to vote on users’ behalf; Less likely to have a situation where a CEX like Binance holds too much voting power.
  • Etherscan is a clunky platform for those who need to use a Hardware wallet + Metamask combo to sign transactions and vote on chain. Snapshot removes the need to do so.
  • Many popular DeFi projects are already using Snapshot for governance with high community engagement.

Cons

  • Snapshot uses off-chain voting and has its own hosted site, which means it may not be as transparent and verifiable when compared to on-chain voting directly on Ethereum.
  • A lot of developer resources have to be allocated to redesign KyberDAO governance to involve Snapshot. This is a complex process that might take time to implement.

The number of unique voters on KyberDAO has fallen over time as more KNC holders delegate their tokens to 3rd-party staking pools (although amount of KNC staked remains high). Since 3rd-party staking pools vote and collect rewards on their behalf, some KNC holders might become less interested in the progress and outcome of the voting campaigns. This is less likely if they are able to vote on their own via a cheap and convenient process.

Other Potential Improvements

  1. Moreover, there seems to be some overheads maintaining two separate domains and UI, with the KyberDAO on Kyber.org and the main website Kyber.network. For the purpose of more cohesive branding and better operational efficiency, it might ideal to merge them and allow voting to take place (via a Snapshot integration) on the main kyber.network site; as a subdomain.

  2. We have also received feedback from KNC liquidity providers (e.g. KNC/ETH LPs) that they should be allowed to vote and get KNC rewards as they are key stakeholders in the ecosystem. This is similar to what Sushiswap is doing by assigning voting points as seen here: Proposals & Voting - Sushi

  • Example: SUSHIPOWAH is Sushi’s voting metric, and is decided as follows: Each SUSHI in the SUSHI-ETH pool is worth 2 SUSHIPOWAH Each SUSHI held via xSUSHI tokens equal 1 SUSHIPOWAH
  1. We also want to work with other projects to see how staking KNC on KyberDAO or being a KNC LP can provide mutual benefits while adding more utility and value for KNC.

How the new process might look

1. Stake KNC to get voting power on:

  • Kyber.network: New KyberDAO governance tab there (instead of a separate kyber.org site)
  • 3rd-party staking pool such as Unagii or xToken or Binance
  • KyberDMM dmm.exchange: On a staking tab or having KNC LP tokens in your address (as a KNC LP)

2. Voting

  • Doesn’t require gas anymore
  • Kyber.network: New KyberDAO governance tab there (instead of a separate kyber.org site) which uses Snapshot for gasless voting
  • Proposals that go to a community vote on kyber.network will be filtered by the Kyber team based on a public guideline

3. Claiming Rewards

  • Kyber.network: New KyberDAO governance tab there (instead of a separate kyber.org site)

Conclusion

Snapshot might provide a convenient voting tool that saves voters time and money (gas), thereby encouraging KNC usage and active voting by the Kyber community, as well as less reliance on intermediaries. Kyber is one of the few reputable DeFi projects that have not started using Snapshot. We’re also considering other ways to improve KyberDAO, whether in terms of UI/UX or better aligning stakeholder incentives.

Overall, our objective is to optimize the governance process so that it is much easier and cheaper for the Kyber community to stake KNC, vote and claim rewards.

What do you think? Let’s discuss this as a community!

4 Likes

I think it’s a great idea to control the gas cost issue as gas costs on voting are already really a topic for many, looking forward to this.

I like the idea a lot to give DMM LP’s that contain KNC governance weight, i would suggest to consider more pairs for that though, potentially a whitelist of bigger cap tokens that can all be eligible for governance rewards and voting the same way as long as they are paired with KNC, that would generate a native incentive to spread the liquidity more diverse and bring a lot of volume even just from arbitrage for KNC and the DMM.

1 Like

I like this idea. On occasion I had suggested some kind of gas refund for KGT token holders, but this seems better.

I completely understand the reasoning, however I am also a bit sad if Kyber, with its pure on-chain voting would be moving off-chain.

It would be a step backwards when it comes to decentralization. Snapshot is not binding.
Isn’t Kyber one of the few projects where changing certain parameters directly change within the SC when a vote has been made?

Within the Balancer community there is actually a discussion on moving away from Snapshot towards on-chain voting, due to its more decentralized nature.
Synthetix has moved its voting to Optimism, to lower the costs. Kyber has been deployed on multiple chains now. Perhaps is that a lane to explore?

This is a fairly good point. One of the key benefits of on-chain voting is its transparency. The question is whether the trade-off between cheaper gas fees is worth giving up that level of transparency. There’s been a lot of feedback from the community for the Kyber team to move voting onto a cheaper network (e.g. Polygon, BSC, etc) but your suggestion of utilizing an L2 scaling solution as an alternative has merit. Not sure if it would be difficult to implement but the team has been working on L2 research so maybe this would be a good segway to explore.

However then it brings the question which network should the team choose? You mention Optimism but is there a specific reason why? I was thinking Abitrium might be a good option.

You mention Optimism but is there a specific reason why?

Only reason I did was due to Synthetix having moved their staking and voting to L2, which in their case is Optimism.

I personally would not go for Optimism. Arbitrum or something with Starkware would indeed be a better choice imo.

Aave is doing multi-chain governance, also something to think of. Avalanche, Fantom, NEAR, BSC are all cheaper chains that are gaining tractions quickly, DMM wise. Users on those chains could potentially want to vote while staying on those chains.

Ah I see. Yeah I think Abitrum would be good but that’s just my personal opinion. Multi-chain governance could be something worth exploring in the future but would that be too soon for now? :thinking:
Hmm looking forward to what the rest of the community thinks

Is multi-chain governance not an option? I wouldn’t mind paying a little gas fee if it meant keeping voting on-chain transparent and decentralized

i like the idea of multi-chain governance too. the kyber team should let us know how difficult it is to carry out as it doesn’t seem that easy. but snapshot like the way sushi does it is definitely better than the current process with super high gas fees! knc should improve its utility too. not enough use cases

I think it comes down to whether you value on-chain transparency or saving gas fees by going off-chain.
I myself would be more active with voting if there were no gas fees to pay instead of delegating my vote like what I’m doing now