[AIP-5] Aura Foundation Funding Proposal

Proposal for Aura Foundation Establishment and Funding

Authors: 0xSmtg (Aura Foundation Advisory Committee)

Proposal Summary

Aura Foundation will contribute to the Aura Finance DAO by being an agent to the DAO when necessary and carrying out off-chain operations such as engaging service providers who require traditional contracts. In addition, a subsidiary British Virgin Islands (”BVI”) Company has been set up to assist in bootstrapping the ecosystem and to host and develop the front end for Aura.

This proposal requests a grant of 300k AURA to cover the costs of funding, establishment, and operations for 2022 and 2023. The proposal reflects the budget starting in April of 2022 and is pro-rated for the remainder of the year. This amounts to a total of USD $297,685. This proposal also includes an estimation of the 2023 budget (USD $312,685).

Aura Foundation

The Aura Foundation is an independent non-profit foundation that was incorporated in the Cayman Islands in accordance with the ‘Foundation Companies Act‘. The Foundation was established in April 2022 to assist with the bootstrapping and launch of the Aura Protocol. This proposal seeks to ratify the approval of the Aura Foundation and its BVI subsidiary ‘Endpoint Limited’ to assist Aura Finance DAO, and sufficiently fund its continuous operation to allow the ongoing support to the Aura Protocol and the Aura DAO.

After reviewing existing structures in the space, such as the recently established Balancer Foundation, ENS Foundation, and others, it was clear that a foundation can provide substantial help to the Aura Ecosystem and Aura DAO. The Foundation’s stated objective is to foster the research & development of the Aura Finance Protocol and to provide assistance to Aura Finance DAO. The Aura Foundation will undertake development, maintenance, educational, and other necessary activities on behalf of the Aura Protocol, as mandated by Aura DAO.

Aura Foundation will be an agent of Aura DAO and will assist Aura DAO where necessary, including by engaging service providers who require a more traditional or formal contractual arrangement. In addition, for regulatory reasons and after consultation with Aura Foundation legal counsel (Carey Olsen law firm), a separate British Virgin Islands subsidiary (“Endpoint Limited”) was incorporated to host the Aura.finance front-end. Aura Foundation endeavors to further decentralize the Aura Ecosystem by allowing Aura DAO to engage a wider audience of contributors and service providers to work on the adoption of the Aura Protocol, such as marketing professionals, business development, and software development companies.

Foundation Composition

The Aura Foundation is composed of a Cayman-based Board Member, Supervisor, and Secretary, as is required under Cayman law. Initially, Zedra Cayman Management Services Limited (and its personnel) will hold such roles. In addition, a 3-person Advisory Committee has been established, whose members are contributors to the Aura Ecosystem.

Foundation Expenses

The Foundation expenses to date started in April of 2022. The current expenses estimate costs through the end of 2022 and include incorporation fees, legal costs and hosting & development expenses by the BVI subsidiary, among other costs.

The below table reflects the proposed budget starting in April. The costs are pro-rated through the end of 2022 for a total of USD $297,685, and include an estimation of the 2023 budget as well, for USD $312,685. The budget includes an estimation of costs that may be incurred until the end of the year, as costs may also vary depending on further developments (a reserve is also proposed for unexpected cases).

Aura Foundation FY2022 Q2-4 FY2023
Operational Expenses (Director, Supervisor, Secretery & Office) $22,350.00 $29,800.00
Legal & Formation Costs $25,000.00 $15,000.00
Service provision, Compliance & General Costs $9,125.00 $1,635.00
Endpoint Limited Subsidiary
Operational Expenses $9,000.00 $11,500.00
Legal & Formation Costs $10,000.00 $5,000.00
Service Provision & Compliance & General Costs $5,210.00 $2,750.00
Protocol Development, maintenance and admin service provision $132,000.00 $240,000.00
General expenses $10,000.00 $7,000.00
Self Insurance (reserve) of $75,000 $75,000.00
Total $297,685.00 $312,685.00

Expense specifics

Incorporation and Provision of Corporate Services

The services included fulfil all regulatory and compliance requirements in the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. The costs provide for: (i) the registered office and registered agent; (2) Supervisor, Directorial, and Secretary Services; (3) maintenance of the statutory registers; (4) preparation and submission of the annual returns; (5) filing economic substance notifications; (6) maintaining the required registers; and (7) reporting on the same. Aura Foundation has engaged Zedra Cayman Management Services Limited to provide Incorporation and Compliance services, and for its BVI subsidiary, it has engaged CO Services (Carey Olsen Services).

At a high level, the duties and responsibilities of the above-mentioned roles at the Foundation and its subsidiary are as follows: the directors’ responsibilities are to manage the business affairs of the Foundation. The directors may exercise the Foundation’s powers subject to its articles of association. The Supervisors observe the articles of association and its objects. They also have a right to attend and vote at general meetings. The secretary’s duty is to ensure that the company complies with applicable Cayman Islands legislation. Finally, the Advisory Committee has no day-to-day managerial function but does provide oversight on the Foundation management, operations and strategy. The Advisory Committee can appoint and replace directors and supervisors, amend the constitutional documents, and wind down the Foundation if needed.

Legal Counsel

Carey Olsen is a Cayman and BVI based law firm, with experience in digital assets regulation. The firm is providing structuring and regulatory advice in connection with the launch of Aura Protocol including assistance with the formation of a Cayman Islands Foundation and BVI subsidiary. In addition, the Foundation is advised by the US-based law firm Horizon Law & Consulting Group regarding US regulatory concerns. These firms are engaged on a retainer basis, and any legal advice that may be requested from time to time is charged on a time-spent basis (so the costs are an estimation and may vary).

Front End Hosting, Development and Social Media Management

The Aura Foundation with the advice of its legal counsel established a subsidiary BVI company (“Endpoint Limited”), to initially host the aura.finance front end. In furtherance of that goal, the Foundation engaged core contributors of the Aura Protocol to help it develop and maintain the website, front-end user application, and blockchain application, provide ongoing support and technical consultancy, in addition to help in managing the Foundation’s social media accounts. In the future, further professional service providers and companies are encouraged to propose their services to the DAO in a similar manner to this proposal. It is in the Aura ecosystem’s best interest to have multiple teams of contributors that assist in the growth and adoption of the protocol. Generally, the service provider specifications include:

  • Aura.finance website design and hosting;
  • Design, develop and host the aura.finance website, front end of web application, blockchain application;
  • Operation and management of related Foundation Twitter & Discord accounts, and any other future social media accounts;
  • Technical ongoing support and consultancy as necessary, services incidental to the above.

Foundation Self Insurance Reserve

As part of this proposal, an amount of US$75,000 is proposed for any unexpected expenses (as a form of “self insurance”). This amount will be reserved for initial support in unforeseen costs, for example defending Aura Foundation or its personnel in the event of a lawsuit. Since this is a reserve in case of emergency, any unused surplus at year-end will be moved to next year in perpetuity until spent.

General Fees

Such as domain hosting, email, document management solution, bank fees, and operating budget to cover the above and related items.

Funding request

The Aura Foundation is requesting 300k AURA to cover the expenses stated above for 2022 and 2023. The Foundation will convert its funds to USD on an ad hoc basis during the course of each respective year to meet its payment obligations as outlined above. To ensure a transparent process any further costs or fees incurred and out of budget will be approved by Aura DAO.

This forum post will be live for a few days before it moves to “AIP” stage, then Snapshot proposal. Replies to this post should be used for an open discussion on the subject.

This vote will be a single-choice vote. You may vote “For” or “Against” this proposal, or choose to abstain from the vote.

By voting “For” this proposal, you are voting in favor of allocating 300k AURA to the following address.

ETH Address to Receive Funds



As someone who works for a fair-launch DAO that is still working to define it’s existence in the “real-world”, I totally understand the importance of having some documents and legal structure to allow for some form of existence outside the metaverse.

I’m super surprised and excited to see this kind of governance coming together to early in AURA’s development. Full support.

240k a year seems low to develop, maintain and admin a protocol well (assuming that’s all the cost for your developers, operations people and infrastructure).

I would suggest planning a much larger increase for FY2023 or stating that the budget is likely to change. Maybe I’m just not understanding all the costs. I suppose that can come later too.

Let’s get this done, it’s important.


In full support. Generally speaking, a Foundation legal structure provides stability and support to any DAO, notably giving it the ability to interface with off chain contractors and services. Ratifying and funding the Aura Foundation through a public vote is a major positive step for the longevity of Aura.


I fully support this proposal for Aura’s long-term sustainability and I’m intimately familiar with this approach, having seen it utilized in the Balancer DAO.

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Welcome to the forum, brother. I’m in full support.


Thanks for the support.

“To ensure a transparent process any further costs or fees incurred and out of budget will be approved by Aura DAO.”

Meaning, once the DAO has sufficient funding and wishes to engage further contractors, it can use the help of Aura foundation, with off chain contracts for example.

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I am excited to see so structured proposal regarding linking DAO to the fiat world. It’s a complex question with an elegant solution here.

Full support!

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I generally support this, but I’m curious to hear the reasons in favor of choosing a Cayman Islands Foundation and BVI subsidiary versus other options (and other options that were considered).

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It’s great to see Aura striving to be as decentralized as it gets practically from day 1. Fully in support.


Thanks. Cayman Islands and BVI have an effective and efficient virtual assets regulatory regime that is also suitable for DAOs (such as with the Foundation-Company). After reviewing referenced similar projects that were also established in Cayman Islands vs other jurisdictions, it was proven to be the best choice having a track record of hosting prominent crypto projects.

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Fully support this move. Pleased to see the detail and research that went into this as this definitely needs to be a well thought out part of the protocol.

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Absolutely in favor. Essential for full decentralization.

I am curious about the rather small self-insurance allocation. We at the Balancer Foundation also had some discussions around how much we should put aside. We agreed that $500k in BAL equivalent would protect us, with the option to reimburse some of the BAL to the treasury over time. Could you implement something similar?

I am generally impressed by the small cost footprint.


Fully support this, it’s a nice proposal.

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absolutely in favor and full in support

Lets go!

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@0xsmtg great proposal !

Extremely overlooked by lots of project in the ecosystem and showcasing a high level of maturity for such an early project.

100% supportive.


I hear ya. Again, Im generally in favor. Im just not sure if the Cayman Foundation will be all it’s purported to be at the end of the day. And while the structure has been adopted by a lot of big ticket defi protocols, it is still untested.

For anyone interested, here is a good recent thread on and DAOs decentralization. Breaks them down to 3 separate but related design elements (similar to how Jennings did in the article linked in the thread from April):

1 - technical decentralization
2 - economic decentralization
3 - legal decentralization

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full support. Great seeing this for such an early project!

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Thanks. Currently, it is more of a general reserve for initial support in any unforeseen events. Once the DAO treasury is sufficient, a bigger reserve might better suited for such instances, and can be brought up for a proposal (or for when additional funding is required).