SIP-353: Improve protocol coordination

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Simple Summary

This proposal aims to improve development coordination within the Synthetix protocol, ensuring that decentralization does not lead to disorganization. By introducing a more structured approach to coordination and governance, this proposal increases clarity of responsibility and accountability for development work. The proposal takes lessons from traditional organizations, like singular responsibility and accountability to external stakeholders.


This proposal introduces changes to protocol governance and organization; (a) the election of a Contributor Lead (CL) by the Spartan Council in place of the Core Contributor Committee to improve accountability, (b) assigning responsibility for protocol roadmap maintenance to the CL to ensure clear direction and focus, (c) instituting a regular funding schedule for Core Contributors (CCs) to maintain operational continuity, and (d) formalizing a dedicated support role to assist the SC and CL.


The current governance and operation of Synthetix development faces challenges of clear accountability, and effective distribution of decisions and feedback. The creation of a roadmap, the election of core contributor leadership and how core contributors are funded and supported need clear ownership.

The process for the creation of a protocol roadmap, currently managed by the Spartan Council following SIP-232, has not been effective. The protocol does not currently have a working and accountable governance structure to create milestones and deliver against them.

Governance of Core Contributors is currently isolated from token holder influence, resulting in a disconnect between the protocol's largest capital allocation and token holder interests. Despite committed seat holders, the governance structure of internally elected Core Contributor Committee seats obscures accountability and diffuses responsibility.

The funding process for Core Contributors, initiated by SIP-155, lacks a formal schedule, leading to an unclear cadence and adds unnecessary uncertainty.



CL Appointment: This proposal changes the structure of Core Contributor governance; transition from a Core Contributor Committee (CCC) to a single Contributor Lead (CL) role, elected by the Spartan Council, in order to clarify accountability. The CL will be responsible for coordinating protocol development efforts with the roadmap approved by the Spartan Council, and ensuring that the incentives of contributors align with the long-term success of the protocol.

Protocol Roadmap: The CL will take responsibility for drafting, maintaining, and updating the protocol roadmap, at the direction of the Spartan Council, to reflect the collective priorities of Synthetix governance. The CL is a facilitator, as decision-making for the roadmap content rests with the SC, and funding with the TC.

CC Funding: The CL will prepare and maintain a detailed budget aligned with the roadmap, for TC review and funding. Funding will be provided each governance epoch, ensuring a minimum operational runway of three months.

CC Support: Formalize a support role to the CCs, responsible for implementing SC and CL decisions, and coordinating with the other governance bodies. This role exists informally already, but will be expanded to include coordination with SC and TC on budget and roadmap.


CL Appointment: A CL elected by the Spartan Council addresses the diffusion of responsibility and the lack of clear accountability that arises in decentralized systems of governance. Removing shared responsibility for executing SC decisions makes accountability clear, as shared responsibility is a slippery slope to no one being responsible. Clear responsibility is how effective organizations operate, and decentralized organizations are no different in this regard. Appointment of leadership by an external body, rather than internal, is a well demonstrated model of corporate governance, and allows for the appointment of a replacement in instances of poor performance. The CL will coordinate development effort, while ownership and delivery of SIPs will continue to reside with CCs.

Protocol Roadmap and CC Funding: By assigning the roadmap development and funding responsibilities to the CL, there is a direct linkage between the strategic direction of the protocol and its operational execution and funding. This structure encourages a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to development.

CC Support: Formalizing the support role acknowledges the complexities of decentralized governance and the need for efficient coordination and execution of decisions by the SC and TC.

Technical Specification

Protocol Roadmap: The CL is responsible for maintaining the roadmap determined by the SC in a public place, to be updated in the first month and reported against in the final month of each epoch.

CC Funding: Each governance epoch, the CL prepares a structured funding schedule and criteria for budget, to be reviewed and approved by the Treasury Council. CC funds are to be held in a 3/4 multisig, with the CL, the CC Support Role, and 2 TC members as signers.

CL Appointment: On passing of this proposal, and then at the end of September and March, voting for the CL will take place via snapshot or similar tool. As a result, the expected tenure of CL epochs is 6 months. Any current CCs can nominate themselves in the second last week of the term, and one CL is elected by the SC in a single appointment, in the final week of the term.

CC Support: The existing operational role with the CCs will become part of governance operations, and takes part in implementing the decisions of the SC, TC and CL.

Test Cases


Configurable Values (Via SCCP)


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