2023 H1 DXgov Budget

Spreadsheet Link: DXgov Guild Budget v2 - Google Sheets

Budget request length: 6 months (January 1 - June 30 2023)


The document will outline the 6 month budget request for the DXgov Guild consisting of the DXgov squad only. It will document their visions, objectives, and responsibilities, contributor roles and compensation, as well as other pertinent expenses to be reviewed and approved by the DAO as a whole.

Guild Structure

Networks: Ethereum, Gnosis Chain

Platform: DAVI Soulbound

Guild governance members:

Entity Soulbound % Address
Ross 20% rossdev.eth
Augusto 20% augustol.eth
Madusha 20% madusha.eth
Milton 17% miltor.eth
Kenny 13% vangrim.eth
Dino 9% dinocres.eth
Tomas 3% pulen.eth

Governance Rules:

  • Cannot earn additional governance power past 30%
  • One month of full-time contributions to Operations guild earns 1% of soulbound governance power in the Operations Guild (rounded down value of what 1 month represents in the initial distribution)
  • Need 2% to submit a proposal
  • Initial distribution based on time in DXgov which was founded in Sep/21
  • Monthly rep distribution will be done in one proposal to eliminate gaming the system by delaying rep mints

Vision and Mission

DXgov is responsible for the development and maintenance of DXdao’s governance platforms and products. Originally this only meant building and improving DXdao’s own governance, however it has since evolved into a product for others after receiving feedback and demand for our take on governance.

The current contracts; guilds and gov 1.5 (the forked governance architecture from daostack) make up the majority of the smart contract work.

We are building Project DAVI as an interface and product that supports both of the systems mentioned above in a flexible front end aimed at improving the UX of autonomous on-chain DAOs like ourselves.

DXdao’s restructuring and discussions at the 2022 retreat set out a new vision for DXdao: “Enable community freedom” this has also impacted DAVI’s place in DXdao and scope of work. We had already been exploring more advanced features beyond simple governance such as integrating a social layer tightly coupled to governance decisions and discussion. However, this vision and direction also identified DAVI as a more core interface to bring communities more power and access to our ecosystem.

The priority for this period remains on core DXdao governance work but will also begin further exploring how DAVI fits into what DXdao is building and how we can enable community freedom.

Overall Guild Milestones and goals

  • Governance 1.5 supported by DAVI (DXdao able to begin the transition to new contracts)

  • Rich contracts 2.0 - New UX for proposal decoding and encoding

  • Social MVP complete

  • Governance 2.0 Voting machine complete and off to audit

  • DAVI ready to support the upgrade from 1.5→2.0

  • Social v1 complete

Longer term goals

The idea identified in phase 2 of restructuring with DAVI being the central interface to the DXdao ecosystem. This would require UX improvements that give DAVI DAOs features not found in any other DAO interface (DAO-DAO voting, social integration, non-technical governance, accessible autonomy, etc). However, the ecosystem aspect would require a lot more features to be developed with far more integrations between squads. And since this UX would be core to the DXdao ecosystem and other products would be dependent on DAVI onboarding DAOs (users) and giving those DAOs good support, more resources would be required. The scope of the application would increase as DAVI would become not just the main way DAOs operate but the main way to use DXdao’s products.

The ecosystem approach has been identified as the direction of DXdao in the phase 2 proposal but details are yet to be decided. To build DAVI into what it will be beyond just DXdao close collaboration between all squads will be essential. The first steps will be to scope out features, and integrations, build a wireframe of DAVI in this role and analyse the feasibility of this product direction.

Budget Summary

This proposal approves the following future expenses as summarized below and further detailed in the accompanying spreadsheet

Edit1: Added ethernal development tool for $20 /month

Edit2: Added designer after discussing with Voice squad (Boris - 50%) and deciding the DXgov budget is the correct place for the cost. Also updated accuracy of stipend calculations and added gas costs as a contingency for deployments.

Some notes:

  • “Development contractors” under “other costs” is a budget specifically for features which are more efficiently implemented by outside resources, an example would be parallax developing our orbis social integration. It is also the intent of DXgov to have standing bounties for specific standalone features which would benefit DXgov and DAVI greatly but are not currently prioritised for contributor resources.
  • For the budgets generally, QA has been planned as a separate resource and so was included under “other costs”
  • Level increases were included under “other costs” as contingencies which would be posted publically in the DXdao general forum for comment and approval

And a comparison to a year ago for these same squads:

Squad Metrics

Objective: Improve DXdao’s governance system

KR1: Governance 2.0 contracts should be implemented with full tests

KR2: Governance 2.0 contracts should be sent away for audit

Objective: Support multiple governance systems in DAVI

KR1: Have a Gov >1.5 (forked daostack architecture) DAO working in DAVI production

(The distinction of 1.5 and 2.0 is small in terms of the UI and will depend on the operational speed of supporting 2.0)

KR2: Explore, publish research and if decided important begin support for more governance systems in DAVI

Objective: Bring external communities into DAVI

KR1: Onboard at least 1 external communities onto DAVI

KR2: Write and maintain non-technical documentation

KR3: Release a DAO launcher UI in DAVI

Objective: Provide the best DAO UX in the space

KR1: Implement v2 of rich contract data (a key UX system in DAVI)

KR2: Integrate the social aspect of governance (currently a forum) inside DAVI

KR3: Conduct user surveys that aim to answer whether non-technical users can utilise autonomy in DAVI DAOs

Objective: Support DXdao ecosystem

KR1: Identify, communicate and work with other development guilds on potential integrations with DAVI

KR2: Support at least one integration to another DXdao product (action in DAVI proposal builder)

KR3: DAVI should be used by DXdao contributors almost daily as their main governance interface

(partially dependent on operational speed of moving main DXdao DAO to new contracts)


  • Supporting DAVI
  • Maintaining operatable DXvote until it is no longer in use
  • Educating about DAVI and governance systems
  • Facilitating discussions on DAVI integrations
  • Deploying new guilds and DAO contracts
  • Regularly releasing new stable versions of DAVI
  • Alongside other squads, help plan what DAVI will look like inside the DXdao ecosystem as a key interface

Guild Personnel

Individual contributor lists, contributor level information per approved guidelines, and time commitment as a percentage of full time.

Contributor Level Time Commitment Description of Role
Ross Level 6 40 hrs/week Lead, DAVI architecture and occasional dev
Augusto Level 8 10 hrs/week for first 3 months Smart contract lead
Madusha Level 5 40 hrs/week DAVI architecture and dev
Milton Level 5 40 hrs/week DAVI and smart contract developer
Kenny Level 4 32-40 hrs/week DAVI dev and leads retro sessions
Dino Level 3 40 hrs/week DAVI dev
Tomas Level 2 30 hrs/week DAVI dev
Totals 232 hrs/week



Also, as an extra thing: I am very interested in implementing an ERC20Guild that uses zero-knowledge proof, I expect to have the guild implementation ready by January with tests (smart contracts already written), I think this would be something very interesting to support in DAVI :slight_smile:

Thanks for posting this and presenting on Friday.

  • This is the only guild (former squad) who’s budget request is higher than the average over the summer. This is makes sense to me because DXgov and Governance 2.0 are a top priority for DXdao at the moment.
  • DXgov will always have to balance whether it spends resources on DXdao’s governance system or building for other DAOs. In 2022, DXgov’s focus was not on DXdao’s as resources focused on guilds instead of Governance 2.0. The deliverables for Gov 2.0 are clear here - contracts implemented with full tests as well as contracts sent away for audit.
  • In addition to Governance 2.0, it’s nice to see clear commitments to servicing DXdao. DXvote is integral to daily functioning of DXdao, even though it is planned to be deprecated. DXgov could also help on other tooling used by governance, such as DXD vesting contracts or a polling system for the priorities board, or a more useful Treasury Dashboard that everyone can see. This also may apply to things encountered as contributors get paid through their guild now.
  • I think it would be great if DXgov collaborated with DXbiz & DXvoice on a Go-to market for Davi in 1H2023. I am optimistic on the soulbound governance aspect of Davi as I think it’s something that’s missing on the market. A targeted campaign around this would be interesting.

In general, it’s nice to see specific squad metrics. It’s easy to determine if they’ve been met or not. I’m particularly interested in the non-technical documentation and the social aspect of governance inside Davi.


Just from a high level $400k-0.5M for 6M (including DXD comp) is a hefty price tag IMO based on the deliverables / objectives.

I’m no expert on Open Zeppelin’s Governor product. But from a brief glance, it looks like it offers all functionality guilds do and is available fully open-source. Moreover, not only is it by Open Zeppelin (one of the most highly respected companies when it comes to quality of code?) it’s also been vastly tested and audited as it’s also based on Comp’s Governor Alpha and Bravo governance platform and used by large projects such as ENS - just built to be more customisable.

I know we’ve already invested a lot into DXgov’s proprietary governance system i.e. Guilds, Gov 1.5, Gov 2.0, but - considering the last audit report was also mediocre at best - I wonder if it makes sense for the DAO to keep building it’s own governance tech stack from the ground up? Do we have the expertise to ship something better and more competitive in the market than OZ Governor?

Governance is a crucial element of DAOs, among other things it’d handle all the treasury funds of DAOs that use it. From the budget I see that only 2 of the 7 team members are Smart Contract devs on the team: Augusto at 10H/week time commitment and Milton as Davi + SC dev (not sure what that means exactly). Is that enough SC expertise to develop such a critical piece of infrastructure?

  • Guilds: as far as I understand the functionality is fully covered by OZ Governor (?) and we could deploy Guilds based on OZ today (something that could be made easy in the DAVI UI) - OZ also supports NFT voting, something DXgov on the other hand is exploring to do in the future.
  • Gov 2.0: as OZ Governor is extensible, all this would require would be to build a custom Vote Module which accounts for both DXD and REP and implements that logic - the rest of the governance stack AFAIK has nothing different from regular governance.

Hypothetically, if we could hire OpenZeppelin to build an extension to Governor which implements a “Gov 2.0” module - how much would that cost and how much would that take? I have no clue - but I’d guess less than $0.5M and maybe a few months of time?

I know we’re far along in the journey and I’m not saying we should drop everything - but just wanted to raise my concerns and see if it’s something that’s already been explored, and perhaps there are even some justifications not to use OZ Governor or other FOSS solutions out there. Do we have some ideas of what competitive advantages we’ll have by building our own stack from scratch vs reusing some FOSS solutions and building on top of them?

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First of all thanks for raising these questions, all good questions.
I think you would have to compare to other project’s burn rates I guess but DXgov’s responsibility involves building a governance product aimed at being one of DXdao’s main products, perhaps even flagship. It doesn’t seem overly hefty to me, products are expensive.

A lot of this actually is part of the longer-term plans for DAVI as a flexible governance product meant to support multiple systems.

Guilds: as far as I understand the functionality is fully covered by OZ Governor (?) and we could deploy Guilds based on OZ today (something that could be made easy in the DAVI UI) - OZ also supports NFT voting, something DXgov on the other hand is exploring to do in the future.

In regards to whether should we have used OZ from the start for guilds, I think it’s an interesting topic but it is, unfortunately, a bit late to pivot in that sense. Guild development isn’t particularly included in this budget.
We have been able to build guilds in a way that provides some benefits to OZ and fortunately it is also extensible as you suggest with us exploring NFT governance. I won’t go into details here since it’s kind of strategic but research will go up at some point which explores NFT governance, holes in the current systems and what we can do better to meet our strict requirements for our targetted user base.

The objective “Support multiple governance systems in DAVI” states “Explore, publish research and if decided important begin support for more governance systems in DAVI” as a key result of this period which will in all likelihood include research on OZ and supporting that.
Without the research of course we cannot say how easily integrated it would be into DAVI, but it would likely take some work. But that research and prioritisation will take place.

For 2.0 we are actually building ontop of DAOstack’s system as it is what DXdao uses now, nothing else has holographic consensus or anything like the architecture. It would be a large undertaking to move DXdao itself to a whole new system. Again maybe a conversation could have happened when gov 2.0 was first discussed but a little late to pivot.

Hiring developers and especially OZ to build a 2.0 module I am not sure would be cheaper, especially looking at what an audit from big firms costs. When considering most of our budget here is going to DAVI as a product, not smart contract development (so far less than $0.5m) I would be very surprised if OZ would do that for us.

Is that enough SC expertise to develop such a critical piece of infrastructure?

I would of course love more smart contract expertise in DXgov and DXdao in general, but that would hardly make the budget smaller. We are aiming to hire a senior smart contract dev which is included in the budget. Also, it is our goal to spread this knowledge out amongst the entire team even if they are not dedicated SC devs, something we are already doing. We also have a dedicated governance team and treasury management team under operations if we are talking about overall security.

Are u taking a dig at Swapr mate now? Or, are you talking about some other project? :slight_smile:

No, just the general cost of products, swapr is also likely a good analog though as one of our products

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Hola @dlabs , regarding the use of OpenZeppelin governor we took a look to it right after it was merged and announced, we already started working on the ERC20Guild idea too, and it had it similaritiesto what OpenZeppelin did at the beginning, in fact you can see my comments in a PR here. Governor Contract comments · Issue #2790 · OpenZeppelin/openzeppelin-contracts · GitHub

The main difference between the ERC20Guilds and Governor contract at that point was that we had a PermissionRegistry (which we still use and we even use it for our dao contracts) that allowed us to have more control over what the DAO contract can call, and also we stored more information on chain.

Taken in count that we had already started working on the ERC20Guils and we wanted to have a “permission layer” over the contracts we decided to continue working on the ERC20Guilds.

I’ve updated some costs in the budget with the adjustments mentioned in the edited post.

Following the schedule suggested and the operation guild’s signal vote I’ll aim to put this up on chain for signal proposal on Wednesday pending further feedback.

Caney Fork voted FOR this proposal

  • DXgov is an important strategic foundation for DXdao. Building Governance 2.0 is a top priority of DXdao, DAVI aims to be a centerpiece for all DXdao products, and DXgov is also responsible for improving DXdao governance operations, from forums to monitoring tools.
  • So far, it has had mixed results. Gov 2.0 passed almost two years ago, while the Guilds release has been delayed for 6 months+. Software development is hard and unpredictable, so this is not to admonish past work, but to highlight that achieving the milestones and goals set forth in this budget will require DXgov to execute at a higher level than it has in the past.
  • Going forward, DXgov should:
    • Consistently communicate progress on its work to a wider audience
    • Be more amenable to feedback from others in the DXdao community. Prior product decisions were made on a whim and did not incorporate the existing market for DAO and governance tooling.
    • Improve its attention to detail.
    • Focus more on fixing DXdao’s current governance bottlenecks.
  • Ultimately, Caney Fork supports this proposal because the work is important to DXdao and the current DXgov team has built expertise around DXdao’s governance infrastructure and has already improved on several of the items listed above. It’s important for REP and DXD holders to stay engaged with DXgov’s work to give proper feedback and hold it accountable for this scope of work.