This Aura Improvement Proposal (AIP) is premised on the idea that the Aura Maxi, in their current form, are not an effective means of providing for de-centralisation as a DAO. For the Maxis to be effective, the core and the vote delegates need to provide the maxis with the means to effectively be independent and worthwhile.
The Maxis themselves need to demonstrate long term alignment with the Aura DAO through their own holdings and through more active use of vote weights and locks.
To that end, this AIP requests the following:
- an increase to the Maxi budget of up to 50,000 Aura tokens per month (not pegged to price)
- A distribution of the Aura delegate council vote weight to the Maxis who have at least 20K Aura token vote locked themselves,
- Require a report on the amount of Aura tokens held or sold by Maxi members with a strong bias for Maxis to almost Never sell their tokens.
Aura seeks to be a community-driven decentralized protocol and DAO. Since May 2023, the Aura Maxi have worked diligently to try to live out the visions of decentralization and community led governance. The hypothesis of this AIP is that this has not been successful.
The tasks currently undertaken by the Maxi have been relegated to mostly administrative tasks, mostly set by the Core rather than self derived. Currently this consists of assisting others to write governance, providing educational services and maintaining the veneer of decentralized decision making. They do not actually provide for a means of the Maxi challenging the Core nor setting goals and actively promoting community interest and ideas.
It is my contention that the relationship between the Core and the Community needs to be much closer and based on a series of checks and balances, rather than what currently exists.
For further discussion on internal Aura maxi governance and other aspects of background, please see the RFF here
The Current Maxi
The DAO is not best placed to describe all of the inner workings of the Aura Maxis, but from the outside it appears that the current Aura Maxis are focused on administration and governance advice. Providing commentary on Balancer and Aura Improvement Proposals is one such governance task and is admirable, but only rarely makes any difference. The current Maxi have instead become more of a grand secretary role as opposed to a group of individuals actively thinking and empowered to make a difference in the ecosystem. This needs to change.
The current maxi are also not expected or required to personally hold a significant amount of Aura tokens nor are they expected to lock their Aura tokens once they are received. This is not to cast aspersions on any Maxi, some of whom are big holders and lock their tokens, but instead to highlight that alignment with the DAO is not guaranteed in this structure.
The DAO is requested to action the 3 points above to enable the Maxi to solve the issues identified above.
Request 1: Increase the Maxi budget to 50,000 Aura tokens per month (not pegged to price)
The previous Aura Maxi budget was inadequate and did not inspire commitment nor alignment. Most importantly, the role of Aura Maxi should not be considered a person’s primary means of income. Instead it is a commitment to long term investment in the future of Aura. To that end, all Aura allocations must be:
a. In Aura tokens and are not amended based on price,
b. Must be locked on receipt,
c. Must be accounted for in the Maxi quarterly report.
Increasing the budget enables Maxi to truly build up their positions and encourages alignment with the DAO. Most importantly it encourages their reliance on the flywheel rather than on selling their Aura tokens.
The proposed Budget in Aura tokens is: 50K per month with no limits to the number of Maxi that can be in the group. Although only 5 will ever be delegated votes as per request 2 (each of whom must hold at least 20K Aura).
Request 2: Distribute a portion of the Aura Delegate Council vote weight to the Maxis
Decentralized governance is much harder to achieve than a simple assumption that people will vote in their own self interest. While this is true for people who have the time and energy to study and vote on issues, this is not the case at all times in different market cycles etc. Instead, a closer link between Maxi and Core/delegates would be preferable with a more contested voting apparatus. This contested approach would also be in the best interests of the DAO and would generate more community interest on specific proposals.
Decentralization can only exist where the community has actual power over the activities of the DAO. The vote locked model theoretically provides for that decentralized governance, but as has been seen, power tends to concentrate. A scan of the AIP will generally show a complete lack of votes from the community and instead the votes of the delegate council only. Ie, a single vote of about 7M Aura tokens. Understandably, with so many BIP being voted on every week, it is unlikely that the community will actively participate on every matter and so delegating has become the primary means of ensuring that long term interests are aligned. BUT, this is centralized again to the delegate council.
To that end, Maxi will be allocated percentages of the vote locked Aura that has been delegated to the Delegate Council in accordance with the following:
a. 40% Remains with the Aura Delegate Council
b. 50% The Maxi vote (broken down to 5 delegates with 10% each)
c. 10% The Core vote
This break down gives the Core the ability to align with the Aura Delegate Council to split any decisions and prevent a decision being implemented. Notably however, that would require the Maxi to all agree on something and then vote in complete contrast to the delegates and the desires of the core. This seems unlikely and will probably only be a risk vector regarding token allocations.
The Maxis who wield this delegated Aura however, must also hold at least 20K vlAura tokens themselves (the individual must hold this much). Should they fall below this threshold then their votes for that epoch/week will not be counted (effectively increasing the delegate vote weight).
This allocation of vote weights becomes part of the broader Aura vote with individuals still as free as ever to vote as they see fit.
Request 3: Maxis must account for their Aura
To be clear, while it is important to realize that the Aura token is just a governance token and has no inherent value, the desires of people to hold the token are of interest to token holders and so I think it is a fair metric to include when measuring success.
To that end, this request proposes that the delegates should not be using the Aura token as their primary means of income. The dumping of the token at any stage indicates a lack of belief in the future of the flywheel and the protocol and thus must be discouraged. Whilst there are of course exceptions to this assertion, these need to be quantified.
This AIP will now require the Maxi to report on what they did with their Aura holdings after being issued the tokens from the DAO. The expectation is that they will be locked and then the incentives will instead provide a means of compensation.
It is proposed that the implementation of the above falls to the Aura Maxi to quantify. This should include how the voting is timed, how budgets are assigned and how reports are structured, all of which must be included in any AIP seeking to update the Maxis.
This AIP is designed to supplement the work to be carried out by the Aura Maxis. The purpose is for the DAO to enable them to achieve the DAOs desired goals of decentralization. To that end, voting will be as follows:
Request 1: yes or no
Request 2: yes or no
Request 3: yes or no