How Does VitaDAO’s Decision Making Process Work?
DAOs have multiple options for decision making. Token-weight quorum voting works by having thresholds that proposals must pass to be accepted. Liquid democracy allows voters to delegate their votes to other parties to vote on their behalf, similar to a DAO parliament. Conviction voting is a longer-term strategy that uses vote accrual to implement proposals. Holographic consensus involves betting for or against proposals, and rage quitting allows voters to withdraw from the process.
To date, there is no singular voting protocol that has been deemed ‘correct’ by all DAOs, and this is a topic of much debate in the crypto world. How does a DAO go from an idea or discussion to a vote and then to action? To understand the journey from discourse to decision-making, we’ll take a look at the case of VitaDAO.
VitaDAO’s voting process: the background
VitaDAO is a biotechnology DAO focused on funding early-stage longevity research. To do this, the DAO functions as a cooperative that allows interested parties to join and support the goals of the organization. In joining, members gain voting rights and help support the organization’s projects, such as Rubedo.Life, a platform for longevity medicines, and Turn Biotechnologies, which focuses on using mRNA-lipid nanoparticle-based cellular reprogramming to correct age-related conditions.
If a project is successful in its outcome, the intellectual property of its work becomes an IP NFT to which VitaDAO holds the rights. Using this method, VitaDAO aims to build a sustainable platform for long-term longevity research.
What does becoming a member of VitaDAO mean? To join VitaDAO, members must hold the organization’s native token, $VITA. This can be acquired via purchase or earned by contributing to the work of the organization. By holding the $VITA token, members can take part in the democratic decision-making process of the organization, including governance of research, support for initiatives, and governance of its IP portfolio. In exchange, members are rewarded in VitaDAO tokens.
Interested parties who do not hold tokens can still follow the work of the organization via its Discord community.
Which voting protocol does VitaDAO use?
VitaDAO works using a weighted voting system in which one $VITA token equals one vote, so members with multiple tokens can use their tokens as stake for a particular vote. In the future, this voting system may be altered to allow members to delegate votes to members with domain expertise.
How does VitaDAO decide on which projects to support?
To get to the voting stage, VitaDAO first has to have projects that it could potentially support. According to VitaDAO’s Strategic Advisor, Alex Dobrin, anyone can pitch a research proposal to VitaDAO members, who then vote on whether to fund the proposal or not. This is in keeping with the organization’s open, decentralized democratic principles.
This proposal process works in three phases:
This is the proposal phase. Initially, it takes place as an informal discussion of the Ideas category in VitaDAO’s Discourse. This helps to gauge interest in the proposal and encourages the community to develop the concept further. At this stage, it can be dismissed or further refined before being sent to phase two, the proposal channel. For contributors outside the DAO, their suggestions are generally sent directly to the proposal stage.
Once the first phase is complete, the suggested proposal is added to the Proposal category in VitaDAO’s Discourse. Here, the proposal is refined and amended so that it meets the requirements of VitaDAO Governance Proposal template (VGP) 3 and includes, at minimum, a summary, abstract, motivation, specification, and implementation for how the said proposal will work.
Next, the refined proposal is made into a poll with three options: agree, agree with revisions, or disagree. At this point, members with an appropriate trust level, a ranking system that denotes rights within the DAO, can answer the poll. Members must have a Trust level of at least 1 (out of a possible 5) to participate.
Once the poll is tallied, if the results show that the majority agree or agree with revisions, the proposal will progress to phase three. However, if the majority disagree, the proposal will be discarded.
This is where the formal voting takes place. This is the blockchain voting stage. The finalized proposal is uploaded to VitaDAO, and a token-based vote takes place. At this stage, the DAO requires a majority of tokenholders to agree for the vote to be passed.
After the third phase has been completed and the decision making process is over, the proposal is put into action by the DAO. This may mean the funding of a new longevity research project or another decision that affects the functioning of the organization.