RFC - Riding The Wings Of Change - Redux

Continuing my series…

This one, as far as I can tell thus far, is a complete misnomer around here. Let me start from the beginning where the founders envisioned such a thing in the governance guidance.


  • Boldness: We don’t shy away from the weird, the hard, or the new.
  • Equality: One APE equals one APE.
  • Transparency: Processes and decisions are shared openly with the community.
  • Collective Responsibility: We leave everything better than we found it.
  • Persistence: Success is an ouroboros, not a straight line.

At the base level, this is the pure definition of transparency:

Transparency is the quality of being easily seen through , while transparency in a business or governance context refers to being open and honest. As part of corporate governance best practices, this requires disclosure of all relevant information so that others can make informed decisions.

In financial terms, this is how it’s defined:

Transparency is the access and proper disclosure of financial information, such as a company’s audited financial reports.

While I have an entire list that currently spans a total of 11 items, I am going to list the most visible ones which those who are frequent here in the community, are probably aware of.


Since their inception, there has been absolutely nothing transparent about the transparency financial reports provided to the DAO community by the Special Council. The latest one for Q3/23 - which most of us didn’t expect to be any different - prompted me to create this RFC - Ape Transparency Report thread a few days ago.

In that report, I cited that not only are the financials not audited (FYI: for a $300M CAP corp, that’s a massive Red flag of epic proportions), but there are items that require additional explanations and for which there are none.

Why are the financials not audited? That’s part of what we’re specifically paying WebSlingers to manage (via third-parties).

Here’s @Waabam proposal for an all-encompassing administrator from Feb 2023.

Here’s WebSlinger’s SOW proposal from Feb 10th and which was subsequently accepted.

Here is the finance section of that proposal:

● Administer the APE Foundation’s finances as determined by the Director, Supervisor, and Special Council including but not limited to: Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Bookkeeping, Financial Reporting on a consistent and timely basis
● Determine crypto-native solution for accounting processes

Why don’t we have audited financial records which every member of this DAO is entitled to? So far, all we have are numbers put together by the very gatekeepers who are likely to screw up and cause issues down the road for the DAO.

NOTE: We don’t even have the tax records of the DAO. Yes - even for a non-prof, you have to file tax paperwork with the IRS. International entities such as the DAO are absolutely not exempt from this filing. Ever. Normally that’s Form 990 for US entities.

Where is the transparency here?


This one, all by itself, is a massive Red flag that cannot and should not be ignored. I covered this extensively in my aforementioned thread. To wit, I said:

According to Amplify, the loan was made before this was a DAO. That’s all well and good. But here’s the thing: how is a loan that pre-dates the DAO formation now sitting on the books? How is that even legal (announcer: It’s probably not)? Even so, seeing as a payment on the loan was made a few months ago, the pre-existing DAO must know who that loan was made out to and who made that payment.”

You absolutely CANNOT do this. You just can’t.

As I said in that RFC thread:

  • Who was this loan made out to?
  • Who approved/closed it?
  • What were the terms of the loan?
  • What wallet(s) are associated with it?
  • From whom was the $750K received in June 2023?

And I am all but certain that such a transaction sitting on the DAO’s books is likely to make it, among other things, lose its tax exempt status. All that would take is one letter or call to the IRS whistleblower dept. Why take that risk?

I specifically tagged every member of the Special Council in that thread, and yet, thus far, no responses. And Waabam is a lawyer btw; and I am all but certain that he is aware of how this looks.

Where is the transparency here?

I don’t even know where to begin with this one.

I came to this DAO after the fact, and so I’m not friends or buddies with the elected powers that be. Regardless of this, I am a firm believer in giving people the benefit of the doubt while paying special attention to what they do, not what they say.

The first alarm bell that caused me to question the actions of the Special Council, started with AIP-277 written by @Moonlyght, and which caused a massive sh*t storm once clear minded people outside of the DAO found out what the SC was being paid. After digging deep into what was happening, eventually co-authoring the revised version, I wrote a detailed synopsis of my findings.

After much back and forth - during which Webslinger’s attitude was basically telling us to go pound sand, what you see below was the end result. It was Returned For Reconstruction.

To be fair, I get what they’re saying and why. But here’s the thing. A similar action that pertains to contracts would inevitably be a violation of the ApeCoin governance mandate in AIP-1 which clears says this:

2. A Board member may be removed and replaced prior to the term pursuant to a majority vote of token holders.”

So, if an AIP cannot be written to alter the salaries of the “board members” (in this case, Special Council) due to contracts between those parties and the DAO, what happens if someone writes up an AIP to fire someone in the Special Council? Does that mean that AIP too would be rejected because it would cause the DAO to breach contracts with that person? See where I am going with this?

Aside from all that, the key issue here to me is that apparently the Ape Foundation created contracts which couldn’t be terminated? Is that it? How would we know if, once again, we don’t have access to those [redacted] contracts. It was for this very reason that I had created my AIP-312 Info and docs request from the Ape Foundations. As I mentioned earlier, I withdrew that one for several reasons, including the fact that given the delay (currently running at 36 days on avg) in getting AIPs to vote, we likely wouldn’t get it - if at all - in time for the revisions required by AIP-277. But some of us are already hatching a plan to solve this pressing issue of docs request.

From my metrics here and from listening to ALL of the ApeComms broadcasts available, the Special Council rarely engages with the denizens of the DAO. Don’t take my word for it, go take a look for yourself. In fact, the most engaged (as in, he’s literally everywhere within the community) Special Council person that I could see thus far, is @Gerry.

It’s interesting to note that while the SC cannot - and should not - engage in any public commentary or discourse related to AIPs and the like, the primary goal of their role isn’t to lord over the DAO like kings and queens, while rarely engaging with the community. Don’t take my word for it, this is culled from AIP-1.

  1. Every year, there is a DAO-wide vote to determine which DAO members will serve on a special council on the APE Foundation (the DAO’s “Board”). The purpose of the Board is to administer DAO proposals and serve the vision of the community.

It gets better.

On June 15th, @badteeth wrote up an idea which became AIP-282 : Information Request - Role of Special Council. it passed on Aug 2nd with overwhelming support.


The goal of this AIP idea is to establish a clear understanding of the current responsibilities of the Special Council. The Ape Foundation and the current SC are asked to provide this information to the community within 15 days of this AIP passing in the form of a written document that clearly outlines the day-to-day responsibilities, requirements, and expectations of the SC members.

It’s Sept 14th today. And so far, not a peep from the Special Council. How is that OK?

Here’s another pressing one:

There are so many ops that the Ape Foundation can take, that it seems to me the use of AIP is the de facto excuse for inaction. Lets start with the original governance mandate:

The ApeCoin community governs itself via the ApeCoin DAO, the decentralized governance framework that supports the Ecosystem Fund. The DAO follows a proposal process to vote on how the Ecosystem Fund will be distributed by the APE Foundation to promote a diverse and self-sustaining ecosystem.

This governance guide is an overview of the proposal process. It’s a living document that will evolve and improve with the DAO community’s input.

See the emphasis that I added there?

I don’t see anything that says every little action taken by the DAO, has to be delayed by upwards of 60 days before any action can be taken via an AIP. Here is one primary example:

AIP-267 Add ‘Treasury’ tab to Apecoin.com. That was written on May 29th. It’s only just now coming up to vote - in Sept.

There was another request by @bigbull to add a hidden Discourse section for TL3 members. Not happening without an AIP.

Seeing all of this, @ApeForLife (also an attorney) wrote several AIP ideas to streamline the processes. One such example is AIP-323 Authorise Special Council to issue Directives for more efficient DAO administration

Why? Why? Why? Do we need AIPs for simple procedural ops like this when we’re spending $145K (!!!) per month on WebSlingers and the entire Ape Foundation?

There’s literally nothing in AIP-1 nor in the subsequence governance mandate that says this is how the DAO was to be run.

And that’s just one aspect of this. Ask yourself why on Earth the time it takes for an AIP to go from final admin review to voting is currently running at an average of 36 days. Go take a look at the number of AIP drafts, admin review and live ones to see that there’s seemingly no plausible reason for this. It’s almost as if the Special Council only work nights and weekends - for $20K per month - each. How is that normal?

Where is the transparency here?

Don’t even get me started on this one. As I have written before, seeing how things are going and how it has been usurped by the GwG, I still cannot find a reason for the AA to even exist. At least not in the manner that it was intended.

For starters, AIP-239 barely passed back in April.

I am pretty sure that Amplify envisioned all of this actually happening when he wrote this abstract for the AIP.

The goal of this AIP is to operationalize the ApeCoin DAO through autonomous Working Groups, beginning with the Governance Working Group which will allow our community to continue the DAO approved governance process which allows for the suggestion, discussion, voting and implementation of proposals. This will empower members of the DAO to make meaningful contributions and participate in facilitating governance operations, in order to further decentralize key functions of the DAO. Working Groups enable a sustainable infrastructure which will allow the DAO to operate efficiently while adapting to any challenges.

No offense to Amplify, but in my opinion, the FAQ is basically another version of Web3 dreams.txt. Here’s an excerpt from that:

  • Creating Working Groups will help facilitate the grant process, create opportunities for DAO members, and further decentralize our DAO.

  • Long-term goal is to remove reliance on the APE Foundation and create a fully decentralized and sustainable DAO

  • Paving a clear path for community members to participate, contribute, and be rewarded for their contributions to ApeCoin DAO.

  • Paying ApeCoin DAO employees competitively for their work in the DAO.

That AIP passed back in April, but by the time the dust settled on the ramifications of creating such a group that would literally knee cap the power structure inherent in the DAO, he almost unwittingly killed it mere months later in July with this AIP idea Enable DAO-Wide Voting to Elect Working Group Stewards.

You should probably read my synopsis in that now withdrawn AIP.

There is a reason that this AIP barely passed, and with such a small margin. It wasn’t popular. You know why? Because it was patently unnecessary. Nevertheless, it passed admin review and went to vote. Shockingly, it passed. Now, here we are.

The AA has no long-term budget (don’t even get me started on that one; see my comment in AIP-317 related to budgets), no mandate, no leadership - and no direction. Oh, but wait! We did have another election, which btw, appeared out of nowhere one fine day on Aug 15th. Without any notice whatsoever. There we were doing the usual time-wasting nonsense on Discord and boom! We’re in yet another election!!

Despite the fact that the time taken to do all that could have been spent electing the leaders required for the AA, we had to go vote for interim positions (spokesperson and coordinator) that were NEVER mandated by the AIP that created the Ape Assembly. Heck, there’s an entire write-up about that particular gem over here: Announcing the $Ape Assembly.

And so, we went to vote on Aug 21st for bigbull as spokesperson and Bojangleguy as coordinator. Disclaimer: I voted for these two because I came to recognize that they were best suited for the roles and that they would get it done. Yet, even as I type this, word is that Bojangleguy has since quit that elected role. And at the time of this writing, so far not a single word about it has been made to the community. As a member of AA myself, when I asked about it on Discord yesterday, well, here is the response that I received from the very same spokesperson we elected:

So much for transparency, eh?

I have seen all the arguments about how the AA needed more people in order to boost its numbers so that “the fate of the DAO isn’t in the hands of too few people”*. As I’ve said before - and I will say this again - there’s NOTHING in the AIP nor the mandate that says the AA has to have ANY number of people for it to be created. So, it matters not whether it is 10 people, the current 70 or so, nor 5000. It doesn’t matter. The AA can have 4 members and it would still need to elect its leaders. And even so, there’s truly nothing in AIP-239 that even says that. That’s what you get when people write up AIPs with glaring omissions.

And as luck would have it, they went and created a convoluted and prohibitive method of actually joining the AA. Yet, those same people are the ones talking about the low engagement numbers and sign-ups for AA.

*It’s rather hilarious to me that people are claiming that too few members in the AA would be bad for the DAO; even as the pre-existing fate of the DAO is in dire straights while being led by a small group of people who seemingly can’t get anything - literally anything tangible - done that moves the DAO forward. But yeah, a 500 person AA is totally going to work. I can’t even take this seriously anymore; I just can’t.

So, now we have a well-intentioned AIP that created the AA with barely a mention.

And that’s not even the most hilarious part. No, that would be that for a powerful entity such as the Ape Assembly, in the entirety of AIP-239, it only appeared once. Barely an inconvenience mention. I’m not even joking. Take a look.


And that, my friends, is precisely why, thus far, there’s no clear path forward for the Ape Assembly. And so, they can make it anything they want it to be because the AIP itself wasn’t clear on specifically what it was meant to be or do.

UPDATE: For more info on the Ape Assembly, do this:

  • Go to AIP-239
  • Expand “Governance Working Group Charter”
  • Expand “Governance Working Group Initiatives:”
  • Read item #2 “The Ape Assembly”

I am adding this here because it continues to be yet another peeve of mine as it represents a glaring liability risk. That aside from how the moderation is handled. You can’t argue. You can’t disagree. Heck, you can’t even render an opposing opinion that’s not rooted in the Web3 “head in the clouds” mantra without being threatened with a timeout or even a banning. How is that OK?

At this point, not many community members realize that the ApeCoin Discord does not belong to the DAO, and that it isn’t an official service like Discourse, the web domain, Snapshot domain etc.

My understand is that it belongs to Lost - one of the facilitators in the GwG. I didn’t even know about this until I wrote an AIP some time ago to hire a professional person (much like our DAO secretary) to run the Discord with proper and even-handed guidance. I withdrew that AIP when I found this out, and also because that role would inevitably fall within the purview of the working groups.

I believe that it is in the best interests of the DAO to either :

  1. Compensate (they can’t buy the server as that would be illegal) Lost for his involvement in setting up the server, and hand over the administration of the server to the Ape Foundation so it becomes an official entity or

  2. Create an official Discord server and migrate all the pre-existing data over. This can be done within the span of a weekend. It’s not rocket science.

In addition to this, we need a neutral and even-handed third-party team or firm to handle the community interactions without fear or favor. Since I have been here, I have recorded many examples - complete with messages and images - where the community has not been managed in an even-handed and neutral manner befitting a community sitting atop a DAO with a $300M market cap.

This DAO isn’t someone’s hobby project. Not when it’s spending millions of Dollars to elected leaders whose job it is to protect and spur its growth.

Despite the size of the Ape community, the engagement here on Discourse and on Discord is basically a rounding error compared to the community size. Heck, even in the voting, the avg number of voters (including delegated wallets) across all AIPs to date, sits at an avg of 483. I plan to one day expand the delegates to get an accurate per voter count, though I don’t expect there to be any large numbers when taking the size of the community into account.

And this low engagement is a product of people either not being interested to any reasonable extent, are afraid to engage because of the relationship between leadership and the community power players or they don’t find any value in said engagement.

If we don’t get a grip on this, the community engagement will continue to decline and stagnate. Just like the $APE token.

Update: Sept 14th @ 2:37pm - Ape Assembly Meeting #7

Every corporation that is failing either changes course and/or adapts or succumbs to complacency and the destructive status quo. Here in our DAO, we’re stuck with people we can neither reach nor hold to account. That’s not normal. At all.

And we’re also subject to a completely broken and loose interpretation of what the founders and WG0 intended for this DAO to be and how it was to operate. They’re basically treating the ApeCoin DAO mandate as mere suggestions as opposed to actions that should be strictly adhered to.

In corps that have boards, the end result - after several warnings and advisories - is to take legal action against the board and/or the company, either to compel action or to punish for inaction or breaches in their fiduciary duty.

Our DAO is patently broken. They’re not going to fix it.

When there’s zero consequence for failure, what incentive is there to succeed - at anything?

As de facto members of the DAO - just like any corp - we have only three choices that I see here:

  1. Write AIPs to fix things one at a time; and hope that they actually go up for vote - and pass.
  2. Hire an attorney and get official and responsive actions and data from the Ape Foundation.
  3. Write an AIP to shutdown the DAO and as a result either recreate a new one from scratch with applicable safeguards, procedures, and new people -or- distribute the entire treasury to the DAO members or to various charities which the community can vote on.

There’s no other way that I can see. I am always willing and able to be the bad guy in the name of the greater good. And so, if it means that I am going to be the first one to now take action, so be it.

ps. I was planning to insert this Jan 17th dissenting opinion by Forj to the previous administrators, Cartan Group, but I couldn’t find an applicable place for it. Just go and read it. A Public Letter to Cartan Group

My point is, similarly, AIP-304, an 11m $APE ask, which goes to vote today, had a fundamental change made by the Special Council. We will now never know what that change was nor how it affects the DAO grant. See the change below. That’s a material change that requires further explanation because we in the DAO are never privy to all these supa sekret contracts.

When we asked? Silence.