SIP-141: Formalise the responsibilities and role of the grantsDAO



Andy T CF (@andytcf)

Simple Summary

Redefine the operational structure and mandate of the Synthetix grantsDAO (gDAO) inaugurated by SIP-39


This proposal aims to specify the new programs that the gDAO will fund projects under alongside the new frontend, smart contracts and Gnosis Safe multisig that the gDAO will operate on.


Initially set up through SIP-39 the gDAO has funded some small projects in the Synthetix ecosystem, most notably being:

  • grantsDAO frontend
  • Discord bots
  • SNX Link

With a total attribution of 51,590 SNX.

However, with the changing nature of the Synthetix governance structure, the current Synthetix gDAO infrastructure is still heavily centralized and revolves around the contribution of core contributors rather than treat the gDAO as a governing body on its own.

Further problems also exist in the current gDAO smart contracts which limit the ability to support a wide range of project types (such as hackathons, competitions and initiatives).


Elections and Epoch Length

The grantsDAO consists of 5 nominees who are voted in by the Synthetix token holders for a period of 3 months, following the same weighted model as used by the Spartan Council of 1 identity = N votes described in SIP-90.

The epoch lengths are proposed to be defined in SIP-137 which defines a synchronized epoch length between each of the DAOS and therefore may fluctuate depending on the epoch length changes to this SIP.

Elected members of the grantsDAO will be paid a monthly discretionary stipend by the synthetixDAO, which is part of the approved budget.


For a majority of the signalling and prescreening, the gDAO will use snapshot’s infrastructure to vote on grants and initiatives. The reason for this is that snapshot offers a lightweight solution that combines immutability, cost-effectiveness and great user experience in a pre-existing product that a majority of the DeFi community is familiar with. The gDAO members will need to reach a supermajority vote on each proposal, where each member is granted one vote.

For the creation of grants, initiatives, competitions and monetary transactions, the gDAO members will operate out of a Gnosis multisignature wallet which interacts with smart contracts. Through this multisig, the gDAO members will also need to reach a supermajority of signatures in order to transact on the blockchain, this means that any type of decisions made within the gDAO is only valid if more than half of the members agree to the proposition.


The grantsDAO is responsible for grants, posting initiatives and funding competitions such as hackathons. Another aspect of the gDAO’s responsibilities include the management of the grantsDAO treasury, converting funds from one ERC20 to another and ensuring that there is enough support from the Synthetix DAO.


Grants are a type of proposal requested by an individual or organization in the aims of being funded for their proposed work.

The scope of the gDAO in regards to grants include:

  • Defining processes and templates for submitting a grant proposal
  • Guiding applicants through the processes
  • Interviewing applicants and evaluating proposals
  • Voting on proposals and distributing the milestones outlined in the proposal


Initiatives are a type of proposal which the gDAO members will post out in the aims of finding a suitable candidate to be funded to work on a specified idea.

  • The scope of the gDAO in regards to initiatives include:
  • Correctly scoping and proposing the initiatives
  • Voting on candidates who apply for the initiatives
  • Assigning and distributing the milestones specified in the initiative to the assignees


Competitions are a more specific type of proposal that is added into the gDAO smart contracts to support the funding of hackathons and competitions where there are often multiple users who receive funds relative to their “place”.

  • The scope of the gDAO in regards to competitions include:
  • The expression of interest and application into ongoing DeFi hackathon and bounties
  • The generation of bounty ideas
  • The generation of competition ideas
  • Voting on the winners of such competitions
  • Distribution of funds to winners

Management of funds

There are also general and fiscal responsibilities that the gDAO must conduct:

These include:

  • Maintaining budget in a multisig contract
  • Liaising with other DAO bodies and contributors when necessary
  • Providing a clear channel of communication and marketing
  • Submitting a budget proposal to the sDAO each quarter in order to receive the required funding.


There are some responsibilities that the gDAO are not responsible for:

  • Perform any work related to the execution of a funded project, that includes writing a proposal, development, or maintaining of a delivered product. These are at the discretion of the gDAO members.
  • Growing the gDAO treasury, in the domain of active trading and investment strategies.


Learning from the current short-falls of the gDAO, the new gDAO members have gotten together in order to propose the above responsibilities and programs of gDAO in order to both support the updated governance model of Synthetix and effectively allow the contribution of talented individuals or teams to the growth of the Synthetix ecosystem.

Test Cases



The smart contract specifications have been mapped out at this repo which will form the foundation of the distribution of funds.

The front-end implementation will shortly follow and will be the mediator between individuals and the gDAO members.

Finally the democractic process is already set out within a Gnosis multisignature wallet which contains the new gDAO members for this epoch.

Configurable Values (Via SCCP)

  • N number of seats on the grantsDAO

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.