1inch DAO Considers Governance Improvements

TLDR: The 1inch DAO voted to reduce the length of its (pre-implementation) governance process from a minimum of 12 days to a minimum of 8 days.

The 1inch Network describes itself as providing “one-stop access to decentralized finance.” The network itself is a collection of protocols, the first of which was a DEX aggregator that “searches deals across multiple liquidity sources, offering users better rates than any individual exchange.” The network also includes an Aggregator Protocol, a Liquidity Protocol, and a Limit Order Protocol — as well as its own wallet. The 1inch DAO governs the network, and “all participants in the DAO are working towards a common goal: 1inch Network protocols and the 1INCH token to be completely decentralized, owned and governed by the DAO.” The DAO’s governance process, originally based on that of Balancer and Gnosis, is adapting to the needs of the DAO, as we see with the proposal at hand.

The Proposal: Governance Process Improvements

This proposal, put forward by Bobby Bola from StableLab — a prominent delegate in this DAO as in a number of others — aimed to make 1inch governance “a more agile yet robust process.” As with a recent proposal before the Euler DAO (which we wrote about), the author argued that the governance process takes too long and so can “hinder the DAO’s ability to execute quickly.” It appears to have been a contributing factor in the failure of the DAO to claim SAFE tokens during the airdrop, for example.

The current 1inch governance process has five phases: the first two, discussion and improvement proposal formalization, have no specified timeline; the third, temp-check phase lasts five days; the following Snapshot phase lasts seven days; and the final, implementation phase takes at least six days. As the author notes, it takes a minimum of 12 days for a proposal just to get to the implementation phase.

The solution proposed is relatively simple: reduce the temp-check and Snapshot phases by two days each.

“This reduction will still ensure a suitable amount of time for DAO members to participate in the DAO without sacrificing security.”


The voting period for this proposal ended on February 1. The proposal was approved with 100% voting “yes.”

The Big Picture

As one person writes in the forum discussion, “there is a tradeoff between safety and flexibility.” The proposal itself points to the risk that a malicious proposal could potentially make its way through governance without sufficient attention from the DAO. But the risk here is highly unlikely to manifest itself given that an eight-day process offers plenty of time for community engagement. (Five-day Snapshot polls are also quite common in DAOs.) Moreover, since the last phase of the governance process (implementation) consists of on-chain execution via Safesnap, there is a three-day “bonded escalation period.” If that three-day period passes without challenge, there is another three-day Timelock, during which “1inch Network DAO Treasury multisig owners will have the ability to veto malicious transactions in a 7-of-12 fashion.”

There is a lot of talk in crypto about trustlessness. But taking on more risk requires more trust; in this case, there is some level of trust in the community as well as trust in the functioning of the basic elements of the governance process. While you can never say never in crypto, it doesn’t appear that this proposal meaningfully increases the level of trust required — and therefore presents a negligible increase in risk.

We’ll be tracking this proposal activity closely at Boardroom. Follow our newsletter to stay up to date. If you’re a voter in a protocol, make sure to check out Boardroom Portal.


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