AIP-471: Special Council To Propose Voting System Reform


Special Council To Propose Voting System Reform


@SmartAPE // Derek Smart, DAO member and writer-of-many-words

I am an indie software developer who has been in the games industry as a gamer and game dev for over 40 years. I have designed, developed, and published over a dozen games during my career.

My first game, Battlecruiser 3000AD (aka BC3K), was a ground-breaking game that was ahead of its time. Published by Take Two interactive in 1996, it was one of their portfolio titles when they went public in 1997. So, you could say that I helped the company succeed to where it is today.

Over the decades, I have worked with some of best software developers and publishers around the world, and my works have been featured in various online and print magazines around the world.

You can learn more about me on my professional LinkedIn page.


  1. The Special Council, as an “advisory board” acting at the behest of the DAO, is directed to submit a comprehensive plan targeted at DAO voting reform.
  2. The plan would be posted in a Discourse thread and should include Quadratic Voting and shield voting.
  3. Unless the Special Council can show cause for why it believes that it does not have the authority to revise the voting system without a DAO vote, it is required implement a voting reform plan as directed by this proposal.


It has long been held that the DAO voting system is woefully ineffective; and to the extent that it has:

  • Stifled the growth of the DAO
  • Prevented impactful and consequential AIPs from being passed
  • Caused significant amounts of the treasury to be disbursed without merit
  • Caused individuals to be voted into positions even though they lack not only the experience and skills required for said positions
  • Has led to the lack of confidence in our DAO where the moral is very low wrt this issue


Given the value of pre-existing whale wallets, coupled with [credible] reports of BendDAO increasing to +9M $APE wallet delegation (which has thus far seated and will seat more people* in the DAO), we MUST fix our voting system instead of just talking and complaining about it.

In my opinion, and based on the DAO formation precedent, the Special Council has the authority to address our voting deficiencies because the original voting system was not created via a DAO vote. And so, there is seemingly no requirement for there to be a DAO vote to revise it, especially since whale wallets will undoubtedly kill it anyway. This is no different from the Special Council deciding to change the Discourse forum to use another software. Similarly, we use Snapshot, we can switch to Tally. No AIP or voting needed because they are administration functions of the DAO and which fall under the purview of the Special Council.


Though it is a first step, quadratic voting is also inadequate in some regard, and cannot be relied upon solely to fix this incident problem.

*Hazel, DavidCrypto, Johnny Lee, Yumi et al

ApeCoin DAO Governance
ApeCoin DAO Voting Mechanism
AIP-1: Proposing The DAO Process
AIP-2: Voting Process
AIP-318: ApeCoin DAO Voting Reforms (extensive, but later withdrawn)
Change the Voting Type to Improve Decentralization and Fairness in Governance
Quadratic Voting Threat Assessment // excellent posts by @CEOofWeb3.0
Towards an Ideal governance System : Beyond 1 $APE = 1 Vote

Snapshot Voting Strategies

Research Paper - DAO voting mechanism resistant to whale and collusion problems
Wikipedia - Quadratic Voting


Fixing the pre-existing linear voting system and changing to, at a bare minimum, quadratic voting augmented with other safeguards, removes the influence of whale wallets in our voting system and ensures a free and fair AIP voting system.


  1. Within 7 working days of this AIP passing, the Special Council working together with the GwG, are directed to create a Discourse thread outlining their plans to improve and revise the pre-existing voting system.

  2. The aforementioned plan would include the processes, the methods, and the software required for this revision. For clarity, any such voting reform plan would include mandatory implementation of the following:

  • Quadratic voting
  • Sybil-resistance procedures for the above
  • Shielded voting during the voting period such that user vote choices and results are kept private until the end of the voting period
  1. Such a revision to the voting system must be tested, implemented and deployed within 30 working days of the AIP passing.

  2. Unless the Ape Foundation, via the Special Council acting at the behest of the DAO, can show (via item #1 above) cause for why it believes that it does not have the authority to revise the voting system without a DAO vote, it is hereby directed to revise the pre-existing voting system within the specified time frame above.


The expectation is that this proposal would be implemented by the DAO’s administrative team.

The community should regularly review the impact of this proposal.

If accepted, the administration and the community should review the impact of the updates after the 3-month period for conflict ends.


Total amount requested from the ApeCoin Ecosystem Fund = 0


This makes a lot of sense. With large whales, sometimes it becomes necessary to ask the whales what they want, rather than asking what is best for the community.

If it’s quadratic voting, this makes sense. However the “other safeguards” might take longer, depending on what they entail, including educating the ApeCoin voters on the changes. Love the initiative, though.

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Yup. I figured that anything they may come up with may take longer. That’s why I put in a 30-day deadline, while asking for quadratic voting at a minimum.

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Hi @SmartAPE,

The community feedback period for your proposal would be ending in less than 24 hours.

  • If you’re content with the feedback received, your next steps are to finalize your proposal using the AIP Draft Template.

  • A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft. Upon receipt of the final Draft, we will review and provide instructions on the next steps.

  • Are you ready to proceed to the next phase or do you wish to extend community discussion for another 7 days?

We look forward to hearing from you.


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Yes - I am ready to proceed! Idea already in AIP draft mode. Standing by.

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I say we take a different approach, we create a sub DAO where we can implement major changes with the purpose of collecting feedback and iterating upon said idea.

Think of it like a testing ground for all our radically different ideas. This way we can present a more comprehensive solution to the governance aspect which we have already tested out in the real world and implemented solutions to the shortcomings which were observed

Also, more people would be receptive to this idea after being exposed to it (even on a smaller scale)

Lemme know if you want to explore this idea further

I believe such a plan will just create additional friction and bureaucracy.

Plus, we don’t actually have an engaged community. I mean, look at the metrics of attendance here on the Discourse - the primary landing page of the DAO. It’s abysmal. These metrics are for the past month.

When you consider that the average voting wallets is less than 200 now, it’s easy to see that we have a major turnout problem across the board. Adding yet another DAO, plus all the processes, friction and angst that comes with it, isn’t likely to change that.

Heck, we even created two new working groups which you’d be hard pressed to single out a single tangible thing that they’ve done; and yet nobody seems to be talking about those either. Which is precisely why I am now trying to close them via AIP-466.

FYI: we actually tried something similar to a sub-DAO. That was called Ape Assembly. Despite its good intentions, it was a failure that nobody even talks about anymore. I even tried to save it. But I failed after the voters decided to kill it last Nov via AIP-347 put up by the GwG. Since that AIP passed, nobody talked about AA again. It’s like it never even happened. The end result? Wasted time (and some of us put in a lot of that), effort and resources. Those are the sort of end results that kill confidence and engagement.

And so, we need to streamline the pre-existing DAO processes. And that’s why when I returned to active duty back on June 14th, after being away since Oct, I assessed where things were at the time I left, where they are upon my return, and then took upon myself to write up a slew of proposals in an attempt to do just that.

Even in present day, with all the ApeChain noise, the engagement needle here in the DAO enclave hasn’t moved - not even a little. Instead, all the chatter is over on X - and most of us who are paying attention to the DAO dynamics know why that is. And the engagement outside here, on X, ApeComms etc. is just as bad.

The fact is that, but for a few of us who do actually care about the DAO, most actually don’t. It’s why you see some proposals breeze through here, put up a proposal (for money), try their luck at the voting spin wheel, then move along whether or not they get the funding.

And there is nothing that tells me ApeChain will fix any of this because the fact remains, we don’t have an engaged community because there’s nothing - absolutely nothing - that holds it together when in fact most here only care about what happens to a speculative token and their NFTs - all of which are trending at over 93% down from ATH.

Literally two weeks after I joined the DAO last year, I wrote the RFC : Riding The Wings Of Change missive to try and get the community interested in building something such as my Multi-player RPG Game For ApeCoin idea, which ultimately became AIP-316: Fantasy MMORPG Game - Powered Exclusively By ApeCoin. All these efforts - like so many by others who breezed through here - ultimately failed.

I believe that most members are just frustrated and disappointed because, ThankApe aside, the DAO doesn’t seem to be doing anything reflective of their wishes, let alone in terms of empowerment. If you look at other token communities, even without games, they are absolutely engaged because their tokens have utility (games, memecoins, NFTs etc). We here in ApeCoin, have nothing in comparison - except hopium. I mean, look at Moca for instance. While they’re consistently building while engaging their community, we’re mired in controversy and bureaucracy.

Apologies for the rant, but I’m still miffed about Ape Assembly - among other things which I see as missteps here in our community.

Ape assembly was an idea which I held in high regard, I was even interested in becoming the treasury secretary before my break.

Then it was scrapped and I was like why did we do that? Not only that, but all the previous chats (including most of the channels) were lost in the DAO restructuring.

I guess the metrics are low because of the lack of tangible progress within the DAO which gives people the impression that is this even with saving our not. People think it’s not worth the energy, so they don’t participate

Secondly, we have corporate aligned mega whale wallets which makes people think that their voices are insignificant, which in turn makes the voter turnout abysmal

I’ll stand by the SubDAO idea as it would be a place to implement and iterate on ideas 100x faster

As a sub DAO has its own governance structure and budget, we can achieve a lot of tangible progress, which in turn will inspire people to participate. (The funds don’t even have to come from the DAO, we can start without funds even)

We’d also be able to roll out voting reforms as a Pilot and let the people experience that.

We take the people who are interested in change and then

I understand everything you’ve said and agree with most of it, All I’m saying is that we have to do something about it or this or we won’t exist in some time

A subDAO might not be what we deserve, but it’ll be the hero we deserve

Explain how exactly you hope to achieve that. More to the point, we can’t even get people engaged here - right now - nor in the defunct Ape Assembly. And so, how is a sub-DAO going to address that?

The questions still remain.

  1. What is a sub-DAO going to achieve in terms of engagement that’s already not being done in this DAO nor in the AA?
  2. What progress can be input into another DAO that can’t be done here - and now?

You’re not going to get people to come to a boring party just because you relocated it to a building down the street that’s just like the building you moved from. I am probably missing something in what you’re thinking.

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.

Hi @SmartAPE,

Thank you for your ideas [and the ApeCoin DAO community for the insightful discussions].

A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft using the appropriate template.

  • Once the AIP Draft is confirmed by the author and meets all DAO-approved guidelines, it will receive an AIP ID number and move forward for Draft Analysis Review.
  • @SmartAPE please see your messages for the next steps.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments. In accordance with DAO-approved guidelines, if the author does not respond within 30 days, the proposal will be automatically transferred to the Withdrawn category, and the author can re-submit the idea.


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Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

@SmartAPE has completed editing their AIP Idea to be their AIP Draft.

This proposal has been assigned the AIP ID Number 471.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments.

Kind Regards,


Think of it like this, It’ll be a place where we can experiment (sort of like a testing ground) with new ideas at a smaller scale, learn from them and then be able to provide comprehensive solutions when it comes to scaling those solutions up.

To answer the questions which remain unanswered in my last post

  1. Faster implementation of radically different ideas, which would lead to faster feedback collection which in turn powers even faster iteration on that idea.

The main idea is to circumvent the bureaucracy we have here and be able to show results faster, sure we’ll face à lot of setbacks, but that’ll be worth it imp.

Also, not all type of engagement is the same, someone who is much more informed and involved within the DAOs processes (like you) adds more value due to the sheer amount of insights they can offer. To improve this metric, we have to increase the quality of the engagement taking place as well and then have to find a way to quantify the engagement and not just go after the sheer numbers.

What we can do is take the people who have been disillusioned by the DAOs processes and show them there’s a way they can get their voices heard, especially on fundamental ideas like governance

The Ape assembly was a really promising idea, but it is not here right now and the DAO is plagued by inaction. Heck, we don’t even have proper accountability for the expenditure for the AIPs which go through (bar a few good ones) and this is what ostracizes people resulting in the message we see right now (low voter turnout, abysmal engagement)

  1. There are some ideas which need to be first tested out at a smaller scale,

(as you said in your aip that the sc can take the decision to change the voting structure without an AIP, but wouldn’t it be better if we could [we as the entire dao] could experience it first but at a smaller scale. This would be a trust building activity)

Let’s take the example of voting reform again, to test out how efficient it would be in our use case we implement quadratic voting in the subDAO (for a specific time) , We use the same weekly snapshot, but the calculations are different for determining individual voting power. Now the decisions would more likely represent the popular vote.

The aim isn’t to have a parallel voting structure (although which can be a data visualisation tool to represent the disparity between the popular vote vs the absolute vote)

We can have separate proposals over there which if passed by popular vote, can fund using our own budget.

The main issue is the lack of tangible progress and inaction within the DAO even with the current expenditure. If we can show (arguably at a smaller scale) that it doesn’t have to be this way and we can change that.

Coupled with the feeling that their vote is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, leads to a lot of talented people getting out of our fold, that’s the kind of brain drain we’re facing.

The only aim would be to Experiment, Learn, Iterate and Deliver at a much faster pace if that makes sense to you

Hi. Thanks for continuing the discussion here.

I fully understand what you’re going for - and it’s still the same thing that we tried to do with AA. So, what would we be doing any different than that failed alternative? I having a difficult time reconciling this aspect because it will just be the same activity. Why would it succeed now?

I think if we can reconcile some of the issues that lead me to believe that it won’t be a good use of our time, then perhaps we can co-author a proposal and open it for discussion.

Hmm, makes complete sense

My aim with a subdao where we can experiment at a rapid pace, where we can try out new things at a significantly faster rate. Try out new things fast, fail fast, learn from your failures and iterate and repeat this cycle

Let’s take an example, People are talking about getting games onboard ape chain and asking $100,000,000 for that, while i looked onto solo devs building games which can be brought into our fold with small grants (think 5-10k $ each), I know a couple of unity game devs who can deploy onto our chain in exchange for support with operational costs (~2000$ or a little more) and some help getting their games published on other platforms. And they’ll be forever grateful for that. Even small, collage level hackathons which can be easily organised under 50k would yield significant results in this regard, then picking the most suitable candidates and taking them down our funnel would do wonders.

The processes which are in place right now are very inefficient, most of the money which is meant to make a tangible difference gets tangled in associated costs which is just bloatware imo.

Small grants are the way to go, we want to maximize bang for the buck and efficiency.
These initiatives don’t always have to be so Capital Intensive, these can be done at a smaller scale and then scaled up according to the needs of the ecosystem and the results

I suggested a talent funnel (i guess in early 2023) where we take the best talented people from other communities and funnel them into our initiatives so that so that we have a stream of extremely talented people who can add a lot of value and then having an incentive structure for them to actually stay. (Then some of it was addressed by thank ape but not to that extent) We can still work on this to get the best of the builders (solo) and them provide them with the support (both monetary and manpower)

The current state of the DAO is dire, plagued by inaction and no accountability. I can’t remember when was the last time we got something significant, that too when we’re bleeding money like crazy with nothing to show for it.

Many deeply involved and extremely talented people became disillusioned after the horizon fiasco (was going on far before this but this was the last nail) and stopped participating, if we can show them the kind of results that I know we can achieve with this SubDAO, they might be tempted to participate in the newly formed thing, esp when we’ll be free from the majority of the bureaucracy (a man can only hope)

I asked for grant accountability from the then facilitator or mod idk the role (vulkan) which he did but I wanted to build another one (which tracks all the passed Aips and amount) with the provision of sharing progress as compared to their promised milestones with the option of voluntarily (in spirit of transparency) sharing their expensed along with receipts as to where the money was spent (money taken by individuals, compute costs etc)

Even I had shelved a couple of proposals which seemed really promising because I didn’t think it would be worth my time to fight for here, an example being zKYC or Non intrusive Identity Verification (check out the posts I made for that, must read tbh). I iterated over that idea over the weekend and have made it much more robust for Sybil detection, which would come in handy for when we implement Quadratic voting or having a privacy maintaining alternative to KYC

What I want to do (hopefully we can do this together) with this is to show that we can have a much larger impact with a lot smaller capital amount. Making the biggest impact with minimum capital deployment, that doesn’t mean being cheap but being frugal with it.

That we can Maximize results, for Minimal Input . We analyse the deliverables the (Apecoin) DAO has presented as compared to the capital deployed and then do a cost benefit analysis of our Deliverables / Capital Expenditure (subDAO).

The aim is to provide such results which people wouldn’t have thought to be possible and which makes them think about the performance of the ApeCoin DAO as compared to the SubDAO. So much so that it makes them think as to what might be the reason for such drastic change and make them receptive to what could’ve been.

This would be for the best , it’ll push people to do better and it would be a wake up call for the others who aren’t as serious in doing what needs to be done.

I think the AA idea was a little bit ahead of its time, I think something like this would work now is because of the growing resentment I’ve seen among a lot of people about the way things are being done here, case in point the Apes gotta eat AIP, which went ahead in just within a week and a similar AIP by someone else (which you pointed out before) is still in sc review even after weeks and it looks like the 100 million $ aip would go through.

There’s a rule that related aips should have a minimum of three months, even if that aip would go to vote after 3 months AIP : AGE would absorb all of the liquid funds from the treasury before that so even if it went through, we won’t have a single cent (slight exaggeration, maybe a couple of cents) before the next token unlock

I’ll prefer a subDAO as it’ll be a flat hierarchy, But at the end of the day, if the purpose we have can be completed within an AA structure, i’ll be open to that as well. This could be a way for us to show our dissent to the current condition of the DAO. A protest which encapsulated the founding principles of the DAO, being bold and making an actual difference.

Towards building a better future for the community through the subDAO

What we should be doing in some time is to calculate the cost benefit analysis of the DAO’s expenses for the last 6 months to a year, as compared to what did they actually manage to deliver. I guess that’ll be for the best as we’ll aggregate the results for said deliverables and present it to the people here.

I was tracking the og treasury wallets back in the day so we can check out the individual wallets using the flow of funds, we can even see when the funds for the same have been released and how much of that money is still sitting in that wallet. (so that we can much more accurately calculate expenditure)

I believe that a sub-DAO is just the same premise as AA - but with a different name and premise.

For me, the issue isn’t about the formation, mandate or premise, but rather it is about engagement and execution.

Indeed. That said, however, it’s not going to just take one thing (a sub-DAO, AA etc) to fix this. That’s why, in the past week I have created 12 proposals - and more to come - to address some issues which I feel are impactful. For one thing, I don’t see a path forward for us to form such a sub-DAO given the current voting system. I just don’t see that happening.

The key issue we have here in the community is engagement. We don’t have any initiatives which would otherwise empower people to engage in the community. I was just on UGH spaces this morning with @AaronHaber and others where I mentioned some metrics that I have been working on and which I will be posting here when complete. They are horrifying (to me at least). Basically, most of the people who get grants from our DAO neither engage in other proposals nor do they come back here whether or not their proposals pass. In contrast, other communities have various activities (games, memecoins, competitions) etc. which empower them to engage in the community. But our DAO community is completely siloed. Even ThankApe, as extensive and impactful as it is, is seemingly detached from this community by virtue of the fact that it is on a different platform, has a community subset (that’s not just apes) etc. And so, that initiative leads to the community being splintered. It’s one of the reasons why I wrote th ApeCoin Gaming Sub-Domains proposal in a bid to consolidate future initiatives (gaming, events, clubs, ThankApe, Ape-U etc) which can then provide access to all the activities which are now splintered.

The point that I am making here is that forming yet another “splinter” group - for whatever reason - isn’t going to empower or stimulate engagement without a plausible and tangible reason for doing so.

Once the funds are disbursed, there’s no accountability because no such guard rails exist. Further, by their very nature, grants don’t work like that because it’s basically free money that comes with zero accountability.

That’s what ThankApe is currently doing. And it’s specifically why I had advocated for the AIP-454: The BANANA Bill: Apes Gotta Eat to loop in ThankApe. And last time we communicated, @Aepicurean indicated that they were doing just that. And so, with $100M outflow, I think it’s best to see how that turns out rather than to create yet another fund silo to do the same thing. Plus, it is highly unlikely that such a fund would even pass because most of the votes will be looking to see what becomes of the $100M rather than adding to it.

I don’t see any plausible reason why the AA (which still exists btw) can’t have it’s own sub-DAO is that’s the road ahead.

Anyway, I believe that this discussion is for another proposal idea which I hope to put up at some point this week. And once that goes up, we can continue this discussion there in order go gauge sentiments from the people who are actually here and who engage.

I encourage everyone to read this thread GWG x LiveFast: Historical AIP Voting Analysis With Alternate Strategies