SIP-275: Dismissal of Synthetix Core Contributors by the Spartan Council

NetworkEthereum & Optimism

Simple Summary

This SIP proposes moving the power to trigger the dismissal of Core Contributors to the Spartan Council, requiring that they subsequently carry out the dismissal procedure in collaboration with existing Core Contributors, currently represented by the Protocol DAO.


As outlined in SIP-161 Core Contributor Committee, the dismissal of Core Contributors is currently a procedure carried out exclusively by the Core Contributor Committee (CCC). This has proven a satisfactory, if opaque, approach throughout the committee’s existence, though it has come at the cost of partitioning the CCC away from community oversight in one of several tasks central to project management. Given that the Synthetix project is pursuant of the greatest degree of decentralization as is practical, management of the persons tasked with implementing changes in the protocol should ideally fall under the authority of a dispersed and community-elected body. In our case, this would be the Spartan Council, informed by the perspective of established Core Contributors. Changes implemented in this direction would improve integration between the governance and administrative arms of the protocol, while at the same time abstracting the role of Core Contributor away from pressure that might be exerted on a more centralized body such the Core Contributor Committee. As such, SIP-275 proposes altering the Core Contributor dismissal process so that it may only be triggered by the Spartan Council, prior to then being carried out in collaboration with the current Core Contributors as represented by the Protocol DAO, rather than through the CCC.


The CCC was first formed as a means of managing the work carried out by Synthetix Core Contributors on furthering software development, increasing efficiency, and optimizing interest alignment through incentive packages and compensation. Its responsibilities include distribution of tasks, managing the project roadmap, onboarding new contributors, collaborating with the Treasury Council (TC) on budgeting, and negotiating with external partners. These responsibilities all entail working with available resources and putting them to their anticipated best use. While the dismissal of Core Contributors might have hitherto been perceived as an internal matter best handled exclusively by those tasked with administering the project’s development progress, regulatory ambiguities and ideological questions raised by the recent actions of government agencies have emphasized that external censure and censorship of projects and developers can be exerted far more easily than might have been anticipated only a month ago. For this reason, moving the power to censure and censor core contributors through their dismissal away from a relative few individuals tasked with bringing about project development and into the hands of the protocol’s primary distributed governance body would be both prudent and potentially a more effective tool for addressing internal conflict.


This SIP proposes the following procedure for initiating the dismissal of a Core Contributor:

(1) A reason for the dismissal is raised, in private, with an active member of any one of the four elected governing bodies of the Synthetix protocol (Spartan Council, Grants Council, Ambassador Council or Treasury Council), who may then either agree, or not, to sponsor the dismissal proposal. If requested, council members are expected to maintain the anonymity of the proposer, regardless of whether they choose to sponsor the dismissal proposal. Council members can, if they choose, initiate a dismissal at their own discretion.

(2) The case for dismissal is raised for within a private channel designated for all the DAOs, where its merits are discussed. If grounds for dismissal are found to exist by the Spartan Council, one of its members is then required to draft a SIP documenting, at their discretion, the context behind the dismissal.

(3) Prior to submitting the SIP to the SIP repository, the Spartan Council is required to ensure that five members of the Protocol DAO agree to the dismissal and are willing to confirm as such through on-chain messaging using the pDAO multisignature wallet.

(4) The SIP is then voted on by the Spartan Council and considered passed with 6 of 8 votes in favor.

(5) Should the SIP pass, the Spartan Council is then required to act together with the CCC and the Treasury Council to conclude remuneration paid to the Core Contributor in question and reject any non-implemented changes deemed to not be in the interests of the project (including governance proposals and code changes).


The rationale behind SIP-275 includes:

  • Contribution to the gradual devolution of power held by bodies within the protocol subject to centralization (replacing the role of the 3-person CCC in dismissals with the 8-person Spartan Council).

  • Integrating the community-elected bodies with protocol decisions thus far made by the comparatively sequestered Core Contributor Council.

  • Reduction in the risk of pressure being exerted on the CCC to censor or censure their fellows through removal of the power to do so and its placement elsewhere.

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