[AIP-46] Enabling the Aura Maxi through greater resource and vote allocation

Author: Trantor


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


Happy for this to be discussed further before being taken to snapshot. I would like to see it de-conflicted with any planned Maxi reports and plans to avoid redundancy.


Hello Trantor.

After several internal discussion with the group and the core team, I have put up a temp check for a new proposal for the SP.
In the tempo check I have also tried to discuss our vision in relation to this very AIP, which has for sure some merit in analyzing the situation, but maybe doesn’t propose the best solution to move forward.
You can find it here: [Temperature Check] Sunsetting the Aura Maxi - Entering the Yogis


thanks for the feedback. While I do not claim that this updated proposal is perfect, I do not support the new Yogi proposal either. To me that new proposal is essentially more of the same.

The purpose of this new model was to ensure that the Maxi/Yogis were 100% aligned to the future of the protocol by rewarding them with a larger stake in our governance token for their efforts, but ensuring that they do not consider those governance tokens something they would want to sell.

Without sounding rude, we do not need more people who need to use our token to fund their day to day lives. We need people who want to use the aura token as a the meta governance layer that it represents. So anyone that has the honor of being a maxi, in any capacity, should be planning to earn their compensation by having an ever greater share of the governance that Aura represents. ie, live off the vote if you have to, not from dumping our token.

Only by ensuring that the maxi are truly Maxi (ie, focused on solely the long term health of the protocol) can we truly be happy to delegate our votes to them and to trust that they have the best interests of Aura in mind. To my mind, anything less is just more of the same.

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Ok, going point by point on this.

Simply put, the proposed model in the AIP-46 can’t work. You are suggesting for people of the SP to

  • be paid in vlAura
  • never sell their vlAura
  • if they sell, they are out

While I can appreciate the effort and the idea behind it, is the most detrimental model one can come up. I’ll just put a few observation here

  • there is no SP, in the Balancer of Aura ecosystem, that has fundings with these strict rules. Nor Bal Maxis, nor Three Rocks, nor Beets. And, in my knowledge, no SP in the DeFi world has these rules either
  • the idea of never been able to sell the coin is, to put it bluntly, quite stupid. Can founders of a protocols that have vested token the ability to sell them at some point? Yes. Can VCs that have vested tokens the ability to sell them? Yes. Can advisors with vested tokens sell them? Yes.
    Is any founder, advisor, VC or in general community member booted out from a community or being denied to contribute to that community after selling? Absolutely not.
  • the idea basically filters out participants by putting financial blockers to whom can access, except a certain category: dolphin and whales who already have several amount of vlAura in their private, non disclosed portfolio. What happens in your model is that someone receives the vlAura from the SP, and can just sell it on the other side. Literally nobody else has the incentives to be part of the SP at that point.

It’s not a problem of vested interest / skin in the game (this is what you are basing your whole aip here). I agree that having skin in the game helps aligning interests, even tho is not all in that. But, your model just does not accomplish what you said. It limits the entry to a very specific type of user: one that already has vlAura, in a decent quantity, and can sell against it.

How do you ensure the continuity of the operation if someone gets booted our for just selling their tokens? You might have a key figure in any specific role. He/she might have to sell due to whatever reason (personal expenses, emergency, or they just think is time to). That person is now out from the SP.
How do you guarantee the continuity of the assigned tasks?

And we can take the above example at the extreme. What happens when we reach a phase in which people feel like is time to sell the assets not because Aura is bad but because market might be turning? You have the equivalent of the bank run, but for an SP

  • people will sell their tokens
  • they will get booted out of the SP
  • SP becomes an empty shell.

Since this is the AIP-46, I won’t discuss in more details the AIP-47.
Just, is not the same: moving from a flat, decentralized model with no accountability, with a more traditional one that has salaries tied to performances and specific tasks for each role is already a huge change.