[Phase 1] HIP-52: Change POH Governance

After the governance challenges we faced during the last week, I’d favor this HIP and debates around how we can improve the governance of our DAO moving forward in the future.

How can we properly attest who is a developer, team member or builder should be described in detail on the proposal.


The “governance challenges” were related to the attempt to centralize control of PoH to another DAO, and it is a pretty serious event. This would again replicate the elites of governance we have IRL. We have the chance to make things right for the first time and we seem to be taking a wrong step towards re-centralization in Governance.

The unique characteristic of PoH was the ability to gather the human power, let’s not ruin this because any particular member is overzealous over the protocol.

And particularly, let us not blame voters for the inability of properly communicating their intents and plans. The solution is more voter education programs, not a regression towards more and more centralization.

In favor of this debate, but would probably vote against it. Although these kind of bicameral models are getting more popular, POH had (has) a unique and democratic governance system (based on its own protocol characteristics: a registry of unique humans), and would be kind of lame to replicate other DAOs governance systems.

First of all, I think that it’s extremely valuable the 1h1v in this DAO. I don’t wanna lose it.

With this idea I can surely take another look. But it’s no easy to define which topics this DAO-Board should vote and which don’t. I think that it’s a long but possible way, maybe the DAO should vote this definitions first. Just to trigger ideas:

  • Policy modifications → 1h1v
  • Grants ($$) to build/adjust some technical thing → DAOs-board
  • DAO process definition → 1h1v
  • Breaking technical changes (upgrading some contract, changing some parameters, etc) (this is hard to decide xD maybe slice it better)

This proposal looks very sensible to me, at least, as a starting point for a discussion of the Proof of Humanity DAO governance which has really been struggling so far.

In the discussions we had at the time of the launch of PoH, I advocated for a high level of decentralization from the start (even though successful models seem to be more about progressive decentralization).

In my view, that “early decentralization” resulted in key stakeholders (team and projects building applications on top) being underrepresented.

The lack of clarity in decision making rights also seems to result in high inefficiency of the governance process.

I think HIP-49 was a very clear example.

This HIP proposed changes in a highly technical matter. There was a lot of discussion about general ideals (which might or might not be relevant). But it turned out that the submitters didn’t conduct a feasibility analysis nor had a technical expert with some understanding of what the change meant or how to implement it.

This resulted in lots of time wasted in abstract discussions that were not connected to the practical implementation of the proposal.

In traditional politics, before a proposal is put to vote, it goes through a feasibility analysis in different commissions. This is also approximately how the governance system works at DAOs with more experience in community governance (though they are still struggling with it).

Otherwise, when anyone can make proposals and anyone can vote about anything, we end up wasting time of all community members and a general feeling of exhaustion.

I’m not sure what is the right governance structure but I believe it needs to have some combination of token vote and 1p1v, and expert input for highly technical matters.

I also wonder if the Mission Board should have a higher degree of control over the development process. Maybe as a body “filtering” which HIPs have enough quality so to be put to vote on a basis of technical quality and/or relevance? This would probably result in less wasted time in pointless discussions.

I believe the DAO really needs a “Constitution” with some clear governance rules where all the relevant groups are represented.

Nobody really knows what’s the right way to do it. But the current situation is unsustainable.

I think Fede Nanni’s proposal is a good way to start thinking about this.


As a Mission Board member, I don’t think we should have higher degree of control. We already have the power to notify authors when an HIP is not compliant with the HIP definitions.
I think the DAO needs to improve the definitions of how what makes a High Quality HIP, without giving power to the MB to make that call.
Eg: This HIP aims to make Phase 3 more detailed when it requires on-chain submissions that must go through the governor: [Phase 1] HIP-?: Include submission details on Phase 3 HIPs


Ryan Coordinator, a contributor and delegate to Gitcoin DAO, ENS DAO and Developer DAO has commented on this HIP on Telegram.

The conversation idea is good, but the proposed implementation is undercooked. DAO to DAO governance is extremely early today, from a historical perspective. I haven’t seen it work effectively. It doesn’t address the fundamental issue, which is that governance is a serious difficult skilled job. All our nations have a professional political class for a reason - without which we find organizations effectively ruled by the sentiments of whoever shows up.

The component ideas are good! Bringing in funding, creating alliances (the idea of having other DAOs pledge to use PoH registry for their voting procedures is very sharp, credit to @Juanumusic et al) shaping up governance, and maturing community processes - but mixing them together as it appears in the proposal seems like the beginning of a discussion more than a realistic path forward

Finding a DAO to work with, having them pledge some small funding in return for support from PoH and use of the registry, seems like it would be a great initiative.

It would take real work, time and effort to get it done. Supporting a contributor economically to undertake that work is an unresolved challenge for PoH.

Even getting clear on near term priorities seems unresolved.

Has the Mission Board issued a public statement of the x month/year roadmap they see for PoH execution priorities?

Shin replied:

Not yet, the new Mission Board was elected a month ago, and then we got into the current situation. This would be great.


If we are contemplating a Constitution, this report from Metagov has just come out. They have analyzed 19 extant DAO constitutions and talked to the authors of the ENS, TEC, and DAOhaus constitutions. They dug into the values, goals, and rights articulated by DAOs in their constitutions. They wrote up these results in a research paper that contextualize the recommendations. Finally, they put together a guide + template + a code repo that DAOs can use. They are working on adding more tooling + a dashboard via a Jupyter notebook.


Respectfully, you may be missing the point. No one here is trying to centralise PoH, but we need to strike a balance between democracy and meritocracy in order to protect the development of the protocol’s use-cases going forward. Other projects may be reluctant to integrate PoH if governance is strictly 1p1v, as this increases the likelihood of irrational and ill-informed voting that could result in irreversible damage to the protocol.

In practice, the compromises mentioned by @clesaege and @green would be much better to align the interests of the registered humans, DAO partners, and core team members.

This is an overly-altruistic view point, and while I agree that voter education will be very important to the industry going forward, it would be very impractical to entrust the early-stage development of a protocol to a 1p1v mechanism. Case in point, if HIP-49 were to have passed, PoH would have no reliable arbitrator and infrastructure in the immediate term, thus slowing down the progression of the protocol dramatically.

Again, the point isn’t to replicate other DAOs, but we also can’t deny the fact that skin in the game leads to more productive governance decisions. It’s all well and good to envision 5-10 years down the line when the majority of governance participants are well-educated on matters of technology and policy, but if we’re being realistic, this is far from true currently.


Instead of needing a well-educated majority for 1p1v, you can have technical people get a big amount of delegated votes. In practice, this is neither a safe assumption, as technical people are not necessarily popular.

Skills that makes someone an interesting delegate

  • just being technical.
  • actively developing (for this skill, being technical is not enough without field knowledge. a big part of assessing cost is feeling it. useful for figuring out fair grant amounts, or feasibility.)
  • incentive design
  • policy writing

You don’t need all the skills to be an interesting delegate. Also, if a skilled delegate is getting many votes, it’s good to delegate to someone else, so that different skilled opinions can be weighted.

I didn’t consider “moving crowds” as an useful skill for delegates, because moving crowds without anything to back it is just populism. There’s no value in that (I think it’s even net negative to just move crowds in governance, because then skills are not guiding the decisions)


While I like the gist of the idea, I have the same question as Santi. What do you suggest? It seems like a difficult task. Before discussing percentages, I think it’s better to discuss how we can recognize these parties. This was one of the reasons I focused this HIP on successful DAOs rather than individuals.