AIP-342: Capping Voting Power At 1 Million

PROPOSAL NAME: Capping Voting Power At 1 Million
PROPOSAL CATEGORY: Process

Abstract: This proposal seeks to introduce a cap of 1,000,000 Apecoin on voting power for all individual and delegate wallets within the Apecoin DAO governance. The objective is to strike a balance, allowing for healthy growth of delegations while averting undue influence from large swing votes. This proposal seeks to level the playing field for sub-communities to drive decisions.

Benefit to Apecoin Ecosystem:

  • Equitable Participation : Setting this limit guarantees that no individual or delegate wallet wields a dominating say in DAO’s decision-making process. This proposal puts a cap on the voting potential of a single wallet’s voting power at 1,000,000. This can be updated in the future.
  • Fostering Delegations: Delegations can continue to grow, only the voting power of delegate wallets is capped. This proposal seeks to ensure being part of a delegation feels meaningful.
  • Enhanced Governance: The proposed cap ensures a transparent and fair governance mechanism for the Apecoin DAO. By capping snapshot voting power at 1,000,000 APE, we can discourage shark-like voting behavior, as well as large swings.

Key Terms:

  • Voting Power Cap: A ceiling on the voting potential for both individual and delegate wallets at 1,000,000 Apecoin. The DAO’s Snapshot voting rules will be updated accordingly.
  • Distribution Practices: Splitting Apecoin across multiple wallets to circumvent this cap should be discouraged. This proposal does not put a hard rule into place against this practice.

Platforms & Technologies:

  • Snapshot Voting System Adjustments: The current voting protocol will be modified to incorporate the new cap. Snapshot will be updated to enforce a max cap of 1,000,000 APE.
  • Community Notifications: Regular updates will be dispatched to inform the Apecoin community of the cap’s implementation and its workings. Ape Foundation & relevant entities are requested to make these updates to Snapshot, while keep the community informed of progress made.

Steps to Implement & Timeline: Implementation will commence post-approval, with the Ape Foundation overseeing the changes to the voting system’s rules, they are requested to determine the precise rollout timeline, implement the changes, and notify the community when completed.

Overall Cost: This change does not require funding from the ApeCoin DAO.


This proposal is an approach to voting reform that does not involve implementing advanced mechanics, like quadratic voting or similar, that can help level the playing field, without constraining delegation growth or being disagreeable towards large voters. I’d like for the organization to consider this option.

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I always thought just having 1 vote per wallet …

That would make most sense, so that everyone has an equal voice.

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This proposal only affects 3 people: machi, JRNY and mocas. Thats 8M votes already against this. Unless you can get one or more of them to flip, or activate a ton of new voters like the GWG budget did, this is not going to pass.

Maybe the point of this AIP is sending a message to these 3? I’m frustrated with their voting swinging things against the minority voters as well but I’m not sure this is a practical solution. We should figure out how to get inactive voters to delegate to more active voters so they form a good counter balance.

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Hey! Thanks for feedback @lilchichi.eth. I’ve heard others also interested in exploring 1 person = 1 vote, and I think the Ape Assembly is planning to experiment with that on a much smaller scale. It’s worth considering all options!

@leyota You bring up a very common concern that is talked about with any type of vote reform: why would the large wallets put a cap on their voting power? I’m not sure theres a solution that requires no force, but this one has some upsides.

Delegates in the ecosystem often range between 100k-500k voting power. By putting a cap in place that is relatively high, the goal with this approach is to be collaborative, not combative! This is one (of a few) approaches that could be agreeable.

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I agree with what you’re working towards, but I think whales would just segment their $APE across multiple wallets (I noticed that your description says this would be discouraged, but yeah.) I guess I prefer the whales having singular mega wallets because it really highlights how broken the current system is.

I think to truly solve the whale influence, we’d need to implement some sort of human verification system to stop people from gaming the system. Obviously this adds more friction to the process and may discourage voting. But, from what I’ve seen, I think it’s probably net good to do so at this point. I know people like @SmartAPE had written fairly detailed examples of ways this could be approached.

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Hey @mattborchert thanks for taking a look at this. I think human verification is an interesting topic! I’m not sure how that could be implemented in a reasonable time frame. Future DAOs would probably be smart to implement those type of systems from the beginning. I’m not sure if $APE ever will be able to!

On splitting wallets, the goal of the above proposal is to not put a hard rule into place, but instead just discourage splitting large votes across multiple wallets. I don’t view large wallet voting activity as generally malicious, but I do think it goes against the spirit of what most want to see.

I’m also cautious about the idea of starting a committee in the Ape Assembly or elsewhere to try to tackle this type of issue, because it could create an ‘us versus them’ situation, which could be harmful for the ecosystem as a whole. It’s not an easy topic to approach! This one is just a clean way.

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This is an interesting concept! Really curious to see how this would change things in the DAO :fire:

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I completely agree. The vote cannot be controlled by a few whales

I don’t think this is the solution. There is a total circulating supply of APE:

368,593,750

Therefore 1% is 3.68m. You are suggesting a cap at 0.3% of the total voting power.

The recent AIPs to add other staked APE to be included is a much more powerful approach and brings in many more people to the community.

FYI eventually there will be 1billion APE so 1m would be 0.1% of the vote.

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Hey @bigbull thanks for the comment. I think there may be some confusion over what exactly this proposal can accomplish. To be very clear, this impacts each wallet separately. Meaning Bigbullgaming.eth can hold 1.1m votes, but when voting on snapshot, the wallet will have a max voting power of 1m. It has very different objectives and results than the recent staking AIPs. If there is anything I can adjust in the proposals language to better explain, please let me know!

I understand your point, but easy to just have a few wallets and totally legitimate ways to split them amongst wallets owned by different entities.

Anyhow, I don’t think the cap is the issue, it is more about getting thousands to vote each week.

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Hey yeah @bigbull I agree in a lot of ways. Implementing a proof of personhood or one wallet = 1 vote is one alternative. I’ve seen quadratic thrown around since month 1 of the DAO also! Getting more active stakers to participate is important. It’s not always easy: time of year, type of proposals, greater market factors, and more, all impact participation.

A drive to push delegating during active periods could be very effective (ie: after last weeks vote, put out info on how to delegate and to who!). For the longest time, I advocated for “we just need more voters to come participate!” I think now seeing the long-term growth makes me think that sub-communities need more time to grow. This could level the playing field for them!

  1. You’re assuming that all holders of $APE are voters. They are not. Not even close.

  2. Allowing $APE staked in other services to be part of the voting pool doesn’t yield additional voters; and there’s no metric to suggest that it actually does.

  3. The number of $APE holders is patently irrelevant to all of this because most of the holders are investors who don’t care one lick about the DAO shenanigans. That’s pretty much why there’s such low voter turnout when compared to the amount of $APE.

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@0xSword I can safely say that there’s no circumstance under which any AIP which seeks to curb the voting power of whales will pass. The only way that happens is if there are voters in excess of 10.75M $APE, which is the statistical average number of combined whale voting.

And even so, for the above to occur would require a massive grassroots outreach that mimics and exceeds the Special Council elections.

I wrote an extensive AIP-318 to revise the voting, but I withdrew it because in the end, with the whales (e.g. Machi grew his wallet from under 1M to over 4m in a span of 3 weeks) amassing more $APE due to the dip, it dawned on me that I was just wasting my time.

Only the Special Council, acting in the best interests of the DAO, can change the voting system. The DAO didn’t put this voting system into place, and thus an AIP isn’t going to fix it. The creators, ergo the original Special Council, created this fiasco right from the start. If they don’t fix it, as I have said before, the voting is going to be the end of the DAO. There is absolutely no question in my mind about this. To wit, look how close the GwG came to not having a budget. The next around - six months later - they may not be so lucky.

After that entire post, I honestly can’t tell if you’re for it or against it or just saying ‘there’s no chance it will pass and everything is messed up’

Hey @SmartAPE thanks for sharing some of your experience and insight. I’m not positive that there is any agreeable way to make changes to the voting system. I followed quite a bit of your early efforts to advocate for changes. I think we share similar concerns(along with many other people) when it comes to this topic. I’m particularly worried about future budget proposals for working groups.

This proposal’s approach is probably one of the few that might not be controversial or create an “us versus them” situation. It doesn’t attack, or seek to take away, the voting power or influence or Machis or JRNYs. How DAM DAO uses their tokens could be a potential larger problem for the ecosystem, but thats just a hypothetical at this time. ApeFi had similar risks also!

I have some other proposals, that are not process-related, that I’m also looking at putting forward. I do have an interest in running this first, mainly to level the playing field for sub-communities. I’d like to see their votes be the main driver of DAO decisions. Easier said than done to get everyone to agree, but something like this wouldnt hurt my feelings if it doesn’t go through. So I’m willing to try!

We’ll see! Thank you again for looking at it.

@Gerry lol! Yeah, that didn’t come across in my post. But yeah, I support any AIP that seeks to improve the voting system so that it’s less advantageous for the whales.

That said, while I don’t think that limiting the tokens by any amount is going to solve any problem, the fact remains that as @mattborchert said earlier, the whales can easily get around that by creating additional wallets that are at or below the 1M threshold.

Finally, I also don’t think that limiting the amount of a wallet is fair to whales because that’s just a form of discriminatory action against whales who obtained their tokens fair and square and with the expectation that those tokens would be impactful to them. Conversely, making it 1 APE = 1 vote as the founders intended, is the way to go because (1 APE = 1 vote) != (1 $APE = 1 vote).

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@0xSword Absolutely agree with you and your efforts regarding the voting. And we agree, the recent GwG election should be a wakeup call for the DAO. Thing is, we - who care - know that the voting system is inadequate for what the DAO is trying to do and achieve. But we lack the power or tools to change it.

This is what @badteeth stated in my AIP:

In order to convince whales to sacrifice some of their perceived power, you’ll need to get them to understand that creating a loop of equitable voting empowering meaningful grants that add use cases and value to the $APE ecosystem is in their best interest. Which of course it is, because the more we decentralize $APE the stronger we become. It’s a tough but valuable road - thank you for taking this on.

And that’s basically the gist of it. As I stated in my AIP, nobody is going to give up control without either getting something in return or recognizing that not relinquishing that power is a bad idea. So, the end result is that we have to leave it up to the whales to “do the right thing, for the greater good”.

Ah, but it does take away their voting power because, for example, reducing Machi’s from 4.4M to 1M is taking away a massive amount of his token voting power. He has zero incentive to agree to do that - and why would he?

I am glad that you brought this up because some of us have been discussing this specific issue since AIP-304 passed, as it’s still unclear what his plans for the $DAM tokens are.

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Hi @0xSword,

Your topic would be moving to the AIP Draft phase in less than 24 hours. Are you content with the feedback received or do you wish to extend community discussion for another 7 days?

If we do not hear from you within 48 hours after your topic closes, your topic will be moved straight to the AIP Draft process.

We look forward to hearing from you.

-@Facilitators

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Thank you for those who chimed into the thread with your thoughts, as well people who’ve reached out through messages or other channels. I’ve updated the draft to improve its wording. This proposal could be a net positive for the ecosystem, and I don’t think its entirely disagreeable to the larger holders. It’s certainly not disrespectful. I’d like to present this approach for DAO voters to consider.

DAO sub-communities within the BAYC and extended ecosystems are still considerably under the cap, which can be adjusted over time. The proposal is also written in a way that is easy to amend or remove, should a more robust overhaul be desired. This cap of 1,000,000 APE on potential voting power could be the right approach for our ecosystem. There are some upsides to placing a cap like this.

@Lost.Admin Yes, this can move forward when the thread closes. Thank you!

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