PoolTogether

RFC: Formalizing the Executive Team

RFC: Formalizing the Executive Team

This is a proposal to formalize the executive team. It’s being presented as a request for comment to facilitate discussion. This proposal will:

  • Briefly provide background on the origin and current state of the executive team
  • Define the Executive Team’s scope of responsibilities
  • Define the Executive Team Lead role
  • Define the Executive Team’s rules for rotating members
  • Define the compensation package for the team members and lead

We’ll conclude with a few open questions.

Background

The Executive Team was formed for PTIP-39. The team was needed to custody $500k USDC and control the V4 prize pool smart contracts. An executive team can act quickly in the event of a problem.

The Executive Team controls key PoolTogether V4 smart contracts using Gnosis Safes that are deployed across Ethereum, Polygon, and Avalanche. The members and required confirmations for each Safe are identical.

Current Membership

The current executive team members are listed below. You can download a Gnosis Safe Address Book here.

Discord Name Address
Gio.eth 0x1dBFBAeBC6070f14ae8294ab01252B36d962bf4E
Kames 0x21E8fFC0108B0cbA465E26cA0a0EA3955475e9b2
Aodhgan 0x3F0556bCA55Bdbb78A9316936067a47fd4C4C4f4
Pierrick 0x4D40eb12430A57965cEe3015348d490C6156dF20
rliriano 0x684f49bc1e04339d84F2370f14Dc1491A3B4F113
regisisland 0x69b552292fb5E71632bfecBD592c03D7998259BA
underthesea 0x93146d9978d286EE085ba68eE1786a0b6EDA64EC
Brendan 0xA57D294c3a11fB542D524062aE4C5100E0E373Ec
TheRealTuna 0xa31c2232842e631cCb2d2E4110B356Bab21E6020
Leighton 0xa5c3A513645A9a00cB561fED40438E9DFE0D6a69
Hook 0xb9a28ce32dcA69AD25E17212bC6D3D753E795aAe
McOso 0xd095E0f8C72E22319846b643c4bac0caC1f67006
Lonser 0xe0e7b7C5aE92Fe94D2ae677D81214D6Ad7A11C27

Executive Team Responsibilities

The executive team has control over the V4 prize pools across all chains. This is so that we can quickly fix smart contracts and because PT governance does not currently extend to Polygon or Avalanche. The executive team must act in accordance with the wishes of governance. The wishes of governance can be expressed as an explicit order, or as a broader mandate.

Governance Orders

Governance can order the executive team to do anything. Practically, this will largely be adjusting prize distribution and replacing contracts.

For example: the prize distribution was changed recently in PTIP-47: Prize Adjustments. POOL token holders signalled they wished the prize distribution to change, and the executive team followed through on the order.

Governance Mandates

The executive team has several broad mandates from governance, which include:

  • Distributing prize liquidity to Prize Distributor contracts
  • Taking emergency actions with the smart contracts

The executive team can be proactive here and act unilaterally to fulfill its mandate.

Executive Team Lead & Members

The executive team will appoint a lead that is in charge of ensuring orders are executed and mandates met. Team members will be required to verify and confirm transactions set up by the lead.

Team Lead

The executive team lead’s current responsibilities include:

  • Executing explicit governance orders
  • Re-balancing prize liquidity
  • Requesting more prize liquidity with proposals to governance
  • Removing team members
  • Distributing compensation
  • Ensuring Gnosis Safe wallets are identical across all chains

If a team lead ceases to fulfill their role, then the executive team will need to appoint a new one and (possibly) remove the old one.

Team Members

Team members will do their best to verify and confirm legitimate transactions. The team lead will contact them when their signature is needed.

Managing Membership

It’s very important that team members are available and actively participating, otherwise the executive team will cease to function.

Removing Members

Executive team members may decide to leave, ghost, or misbehave.

  • If a member wants to leave, then the lead can remove them from all Safes.
  • If a team member has not signed a transaction in two months, then the lead must remove them from all Safes. This is the Ghost Rule.
  • If a team member misbehaves, then it is up to the executive team how they wish to handle the situation.

Whenever a member is removed from a Safe, the confirmation level is adjusted to maintain an approximately 2/3 ratio to membership.

Ghost Rule

If a member has not signed a transaction in two months, then they are removed from all Safes. The Ghost Rule should be checked once per month before members are paid out. When the ghost rule is activated the member does not receive compensation for that month and they are removed from the team.

Adding Members

New members of the executive team must be voted in by a governance order. This helps ensure the team doesn’t become a cabal. Confirmations are adjusted to maintain an approximately 2/3 ratio to membership.

Compensation

To ensure we attract high-quality members, compensation should be robust. It should also be split between POOL tokens and stablecoins, so that the member earns ownership but also has cash to spend.

The Pool Grants committee has based their compensation on a rate of $100 / hour. We will do the same.

I estimate that the team lead will need approximately 30 hours per month to fulfill their duties. Some weeks will be less, others more. Until we have better tooling, the lead will need to navigate explorers to calculate liquidity levels, view member activity to check the Ghost Rule, and potentially construct complex transactions (among other things!).

Team members will need to be available for signing, which can take several steps. In addition, they should take the time to verify the transaction validity (when possible). I would estimate they will need approximately 10 hours per month to fulfill their duties.

Role Monthly Hours Monthly Compensation
Team Lead 30 $3000 USD
Team Member 10 $1000 USD

The compensation will be split 50/50 between USDC and POOL, for simplicity.

Compensation is paid once per month after the Ghost Rule is applied. The team lead sets up the payouts. This can be done efficiently using the Gnosis Safe batching mechanism.

Gas

The Team Lead will be the person that executes the Gnosis Safe transactions. These transactions can be costly, so the Team Lead should be compensated for gas in either USDC or POOL.

Open Questions

  • The executive team needs an alternative means of communication. If Discord goes down, the team will need to communicate through an alternate channel. Which channel should we use? Telegram? Signal? Email?
  • We will need a new member immediately, as @RegisIsland wishes to step down from the executive team. Who would like to join?

Closing

Clear purpose, rules, and compensation will galvanize our executive team. This is essential for our protocol to run smoothly. The first lead will work with the PT Inc team to learn how to fulfill their responsibilities.

That being said, I’d like to invite feedback from the existing exec. team and community. Has anything been missed? Can anything be improved? Is the compensation & time sufficient? Thoughts?

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Very excited to see this finalized. This is a well thought out framework for us to abide by and I’m excited to continue working with this group. Thank you for putting this together.

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Great write up, thx Brendan.
I‘m thankful being able to be a part of this and if he wishes it himself would also support @underthesea as lead.
I agree with the outlined rules and duties.
Nice, how you worded the part about government wishes/orders/mandates.
Time estimation and compensation also looks good.
As an additional channel I think Telegram would be Ok, but I‘m open for anything else :slight_smile:
Sad to see Regis go, let‘s see how we can fill that up again, probably should be someone already known in the Community. If anyone want to step forward or nominate anyone, don‘t be shy ^^
Otherwise, nothing major to add :slight_smile:

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Excited to see the project grow and roles being articulated and formalised.

I would like to nominate @drcpu for the open role on the team. drcpu is an active community member with the expertise needed to do the job.

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The formalisation of roles with the transparency you have presented above is a good example of how this DAO and others should conduct themselves. Good job.

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Great to see this coming along, yet again Brendan is a mad genius.

A couple easy questions:

  • Is there a deputy to the lead, should the lead be unable to execute the transaction?
  • Is rough geography (timezones) taken into account for the team?

In grants there have been instances where the lead was not always available. We don’t have the execution restriction so it’s a non-issue for us. Grants also stumbled into mixed geography and the POOL pool multi-sig seems to have done the same.

As the DAO expands and our international cohort gets larger (in part to the substack) we’ll want to encourage those new people to be active where/when possible. Being part of such an important group imo is a top honor for those highly active in the community and impacting the protocol.

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I support this proposal and appreciate the thorough write up.

For the second form of communication, I think telegram is a good alternative. I do recall that in 2021 there was a day when a lot of social media went down including discord and telegram, but I could be wrong.

I also second the @drcpu nomination.

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Great RFC Brendan. Thanks for putting this in motion and welcome back from the Holiday. To jump right in- I’d also like to nominate @drcpu and @Taliskye for their contributions and activity in the community.

As for the Lead Role, it looks like that is appointed by the exec team so I will let ya’ll handle that, just make sure you elect the right one, no pressure. :wink: I would however like to ask how removal of an exec team by the Lead would go. Is there a scenario where the lead can offboard without the Exec team confirming?

I would also like to state the obvious here; I 100% believe in this team being compensated and fully support the aforementioned rate schedule. It should be noted, however, expectations for the exec team and lead are going to rise as compensation is introduced. It’s no longer a reactive coordinape compensation. Introducing a proactive payment schedule comes with a lot more responsibility to act diligently and with accountability for the direction of the protocol. Do us proud team!

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Hello.
How many members from this team need to sign any transaction to get it accepted by the network?

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Hello,
There are 13 members of the safe and the current policies require 8 signatures to be submitted to broadcast the transaction on the network.

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Thanks for the great write up! A couple quick points of feedback for me:

  1. Just to clarify for people that may be wondering, this multi-sig DOES NOT have any control over funds deposited into the protocol. The multi-sig has a very limited ability to change a few parameters. The protocol is still “non-custodial” (meaning no one has access to your funds) and “autonomous” meaning it operates without any third parties needed.

  2. The compensation for the lead seems great but for the signers it seems a bit high. 10 hours a month seems like a lot more than what we’ll actually use? Just my two cents

  3. I second @DaBoom comment on outlining how the lead could remove people.

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Given how the multisig team can adjust parameters that for many people might seem too technical, I also support @drcpu joining the multisig if he wished to do so (he’s a tech genius from that I’ve seen).

Also in favor of having @underthesea as lead, as he’s definitely a too contributor with also a good technical background.

Regarding compensations, I don’t know how much time would be needed due to lack of experience, but I fully support that the time and dedication spent should be compensated.

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Great responses everyone!

Feedback

This is a great question, and I think we may want one eventually. My preference is to keep things simple for now, but acknowledge that this process will have the freedom to evolve. The above purpose and rules are not written in stone; they will adapt as needed. For example, if all goes well eventually we won’t have to move liquidity around anymore as the prize pools will sustain themselves.

The important thing is that we have the expectation that this process can change. We’ll also have to get a feel for what changes can be done unilaterally by the team, and what changes merit a token vote. We need to learn more through practice.

No, it hasn’t. But, anecdotally it hasn’t been too difficult getting signatures because I believe most people are in North American timezones. As long as the process is flexible, we’ll have room to adapt as we see fit.

Yes, it seems that we have rough consensus around Telegram. If anyone is against it please speak up.

No; all changes to Safes require the standard number of confirmations. I do want to highlight, however, that any member can bring up the issue of a mis-behaving or ghosted member. Ideally it’s the lead that confirms the transaction so that they can pay for gas, but anyone can start the removal process. Even to remove the lead. Hopefully that answers your question.

Yeah, I kind of agree. If the lead sets up all the transactions in one go then the the members just need to show up, verify, then sign off on the transactions. The lead is easily doing 10x the work of the members, so 3x payment doesn’t make sense. Let’s say 1 hour per week for members. It’ll also reduce the monthly costs significantly. It’s still pretty incentivized given the time commitment. Some weeks will be won’t be any signing to do either.

Additional Notes

Yes, this is an important point! The word “control” is a scary, but in this case control really just amounts to how the protocol’s prize liquidity is distributed. This protocol is non-custodial. No one, not even governance, can move user funds.

@RegisIsland has decided to stay with us, so we’re going to retain him for now. @drcpu and @Taliskye will be at the top of the list for the next appointments, if they wish to join.

:handshake:

If anyone else has any more thoughts, please post them! I’ll leave this up for another day before I create a corresponding PTIP with the updated details and request for budget.

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We are in the process of adding more chains and also will have some treasury management duties as we have funds that are just sitting idle. I would also like to see us having the ability to be active in FEI governance with our acquired TRIBE which would require using a multisig to vote. If the compensation is being reduced to 4 hours a month it is a bit of a disappointment but it should at least be backdated to cover the months this was covered for no pay. We are responsible for millions of dollars in protocol funds and this is an important duty. I believe everyone in this group has proven themselves as a devoted member of this community and deserves reasonable compensation up front.

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Finally getting a chance to really dive into this. Thanks again @Brendan for writing this up.

A lot of people have brought up things that first came to my mind, so I am trying not to repeat anything that has already been mentioned, apologize in advance if I missed something.

To go further, any decisions that needs to be made internally in the Executive Team would require 2/3 approval. This would be for removing a member (even lead) or adopting a new internal policy. Perhaps other internal scenarios as well. But we set the standard as 2/3 needed to execute a transaction, so that standard should be applied to everything within the Exec Team.

I hate Telegram lol. I think we should have emails as a backup. Even if we want to use Telegram as a back up :sob: we should still gather emails. Email is the safest and most reliable.

I agree, but what came to mind is what will the time commitment look like when we expand to more chains? Where do we see this role in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? Still I think in the short term it would be tough to do over 2 hours a week, unless I’m not seeing something.

Perhaps it would be beneficial for the protocol or the Exec Team to get a lump sum of ETH?

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Yes, email really is the most reliable. Some people don’t have or regularly check Telegram; it’s not quite universal. I opted for Telegram because we can publicize people’s handles. Email is essential though, so what we could do is keep a private list of people’s email addresses available to the executive team only.

It’s hard to say! The important thing is that we understand that this process can change to adapt alongside the protocol. If we need more budget, we’ll allocate it when the time comes.

We don’t have any! I think it’s better to hold it as sponsorship until needed, so it contributes interest. When gas is needed it can be liquidated for ETH a little at a time.

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Update: I’m engaging with the exec team on Discord to reach consensus around some key questions.

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