Discourse ID: @Waabam
University of Guelph, Bachelor of Arts (2010)
Schulich School of Business, Masters of Business Administration (2018)
Osgoode Hall Law School, Juris Doctor (2018)
Co-founder, Small Claims Wizard (2015-2017)
Student-at-Law, Government of Ontario (2017-2019)
Lawyer called to the bars of Ontario and the Northwest Territories (2019)
Associate, OKT LLP (2019-2022)
Solo legal practice (2022 - present)
Steward, ApeCoin Working Group Zero (January 2023 - April 2023)
ApeCoin DAO Community Manager, Bored Club Canada (January 2023 - present)
Concise statement on why you are running for the Special Council
The most important responsibility of Special Council members is to review AIPs and decide whether they should go to vote, be sent back for reconstruction, or be sent to Ape Foundation legal counsel for review.
If ApeCoin is to achieve its potential of being the coin of metaverse culture and blockchain gaming, we need a member on Special Council who understands how to navigate complex legal and regulatory frameworks, while also having a deep and thorough understanding of the governance structure of ApeCoin DAO.
Since leaving my job as a lawyer at a national Canadian law firm late last summer, I have been a full-time participant and leader in the ApeCoin DAO. During that time, I helped steer the DAO through a crisis of governance. I have authored or co-authored many of the AIPs that now comprise the governance structure of the DAO. I have developed strong professional relationships with the current members of Special Council and the Ape Foundation’s legal counsel, and I have built a long track record of making a positive impact in the ApeCoin DAO.
As the DAO moves into this next phase of its evolution, I have thought long and hard about where I can best put my unique skills and experiences to work in service of the DAO. After many conversations with DAO members, voters, mentors, and other leaders within our community, it’s clear I can add the most value as a member of the ApeCoin DAO Special Council.
Details on your motivation for becoming an ApeCoin DAO Special Council member
Due to the current regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrencies, the DAO faces serious regulatory and legal challenges. These challenges have the potential to cause significant harm to the DAO’s treasury, legal structure, and ultimately, the value of ApeCoin. As a lawyer with 4 years of experience practicing as an attorney and many more years of legal training, I have a high amount of skill in navigating uncertain regulatory and legal environments.
My experience in the DAO and my legal expertise has given me the ideal tools needed to exercise the most important responsibility that members of the Special Council have. This is the responsibility to decide whether an AIP should be sent back for reconstruction, sent to DAO-wide vote, or be referred to the Ape Foundation’s legal counsel for review.
Special Council members have to make difficult decisions, and these decisions can have a huge impact on the trajectory of individual AIPs and on the success and progress of our DAO overall.
As a leader and active participant in the DAO over the last 9 months, I have witnessed first hand how AIPs can become sidetracked as legal analysis is performed by non-lawyers in our governance process. This can have a number of negative effects on the DAO, including slowing down the AIP process, inhibiting innovative ideas that can push the DAO forward, and preventing value being created for the ApeCoin ecosystem.
As a lawyer with a deep experience in and understanding of ApeCoin DAO, I would bring a unique skill set and level of professional discretion to Special Council. My skills and experience would allow me, and the Special Council, to better assess when an AIP poses a genuine legal risk worthy of caution, or whether the risk is marginal and not worthy of delaying or holding back an AIP.
I want to see ApeCoin achieve its potential of becoming the coin of metaverse culture and blockchain gaming. In order to do this, we need leadership on Special Council that shares this ambition, that knows how to exercise professional discretion safely and effectively, and that knows when to push back on legal counsel to advocate for a better position for the ApeCoin community.
Share relevant experience and skills that will bring value to the ApeCoin community
I’m a Canadian lawyer with four years of experience as a practicing attorney, including 3 years working at a national Canadian law firm. Through my legal work I’ve acted as the lead lawyer in litigation that received national media attention in Canada, I’ve done due diligence on companies of valuations up to $1bn, I’ve provided legal advice to boards of directors of companies, and I’ve drafted legislation and regulations for various levels of government in Canada. These experiences have honed my legal skills, taught me how to exercise professional discretion, and given me the tools necessary to navigate complex regulatory and legal environments.
I’ve also acted as a board member on several non-profit companies, including Mississauga Community Legal Services and the Yellowknife Community Advisory Board on Homelessness. These experiences have taught me how to build consensus among peers and professionals, how to tackle difficult issues affecting communities at large, and how to effectively provide strategic direction to organizations.
I left my job at a national Canadian law firm last summer and started a small solo legal practice, so that I could participate full-time in web3. Since that time, I’ve been fully engrossed in ApeCoin DAO, first as a leading contributor on ApeCoin Discourse and on ApeComms, and more recently, as a Steward of WG0.
I have a significant amount of experience working within the DAO, including being a lead author or co-author of several major AIPs that comprise much of the DAO’s current infrastructure and governance processes, including AIP-196, AIP-239, AIP-240, and the RFP to select the Cayman Islands Administrator for the APE Foundation.
In addition to all of the above, I am also an NFT degen and blockchain gaming advocate. I grew up in virtual worlds such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft and I am a passionate believer in the future of web3 gaming. I have been a member of the Bored Ape Yacht Club since November 2021 and I strongly believe in Yuga Labs’ vision for a web3-powered metaverse centered on the Otherside.
Further describe relevant experience, including crypto and governance participation, and/or ideas for DAO improvement
Crypto Governance Participation:
Steward, Working Group Zero (WG0)
During December 2022, the DAO faced a crisis, as the DAO administrators’ request to extend their contract was rejected (AIP-183), and the DAO was days away from a situation where there would be no DAO administrator in place, and nobody to pay the DAO’s bills, facilitate Discourse, put AIPs up for vote, or send out funds to grant recipients.
During this time of crisis I took on a leadership role to craft a solution, by working with Special Council members, notable voters, the Cartan group, and other active DAO members. This led to the development of AIP-196, for which I was a co-author and for which I wrote the first draft.
AIP-196 created Working Group Zero (WG0), and I was selected by Special Council to be one of the first three Stewards of WG0.
As a Steward of WG0 I made a number of significant contributions to the DAO, including:
I established the WG0 Discord, which later evolved into the ApeCoin Discord
I established the WG0 Governance Focus Group, and then scheduled and attended meetings with operations leads from many other DAOs including ENS, Gitcoin, Maker, Gnosis Safe, FWB, etc.
I acted as the WG0 lead on all calls and correspondence with Ape Foundation legal counsel
I was the WG0 lead on the RFP to select a Cayman Islands Administrator for the Ape Foundation, including drafting the RFP, interviewing potential bidders, and drafting all materials that went to Snapshot
I was the lead author of AIP-240, Community Discourse Facilitators
I was a co-author of AIP-239, Working Group Guidelines & The Governance Working Group Charter
Through my work drafting the above AIPs, I engaged in deep study and research of the governance structures and regulatory strategies of other DAOs. I have developed a nuanced understanding of DAO governance and an extensive network of strong working relationships with DAO professionals, DAO regulatory lawyers, Special Council members, and ApeCoin DAO participants.
ApeCoin DAO Community Manager, Bored Club Canada
Since January 2023 I have been the ApeCoin Community Manager for Bored Club Canada. In this capacity I have taken the lead on organizing Bored Club Canada’s ApeCoin delegation. My responsibilities in this role have included coordinating the delegation’s voting preferences on a weekly basis, answering the questions of delegators in our club, and placing the delegation’s votes up on Snapshot.
Recently, I co-authored and submitted an AIP Idea on behalf of Bored Club Canada. This was the first time in the history of ApeCoin DAO that a club delegation has submitted an AIP.
Ideas for ApeCoin DAO improvement:
I have reached out to many active members and voters in ApeCoin DAO, to ask them about their concerns and priorities for the DAO over the next year. Through my many calls and conversations, a number of common issues stand out. Below I will list out some of those issues, and my ideas for how the DAO can improve upon them. I will then specify whether and how, as Special Council, I will be able to assist with them.
BETTER USER EXPERIENCE
I have repeatedly heard from community members that they are tired of seeing AIPs go to vote that offer little to no benefit to the ApeCoin ecosystem. I have also heard concerns amongst community members that having to vote on many AIPs that have ambiguous or unclear benefits to the ApeCoin ecosystem is causing DAO voter fatigue.
In my capacity as ApeCoin DAO Community Manager for Bored Club Canada, I have co-authored an AIP which I believe will help address this issue. This is the AIP Idea entitled Add “Benefit to ApeCoin Ecosystem” to AIP Templates.
As a Special Council member, I would continue to actively canvas ApeCoin DAO users about their experiences in the DAO, and I would continue to propose AIPs to improve the user experience of ApeCoin DAO members.
I have also repeatedly heard amongst community members that the DAO has a problem with onboarding, and that the Discourse user experience is unintuitive and difficult to navigate.
It is my view that the Governance Working Group needs to explore revamping Discourse categories so that their content, order, and interface style is easier for users to navigate. It is also my view that the DAO needs to have a single group or team that is responsible for onboarding. I am hopeful that a Marketing & Communications Working Group charter will soon go to vote that would include a comprehensive onboarding plan as one of its key initiatives.
As a Special Council member, I would work collaboratively with all DAO working groups to help them fulfill their mandates and to encourage them to improve the user experience and onboarding experience of ApeCoin DAO members.
I have heard from community members that they are concerned about regulatory uncertainty and what might happen if the DAO is targeted by regulatory agencies or other forms of legal actions.
I have been in discussions with other core DAO contributors about establishing a legal defense fund that could be used to protect the DAO and its core contributors in the case of a regulatory action or other legal proceeding.
As a Special Council member, I would act proactively and prudently, using my years of experience as a lawyer to exercise professional discretion and protect the DAO in all matters involving regulatory and legal implications.
To the extent that it is appropriate, within the mandate of the Special Council and the jurisdiction of the Ape Foundation, I would use my standing as an ambassador of ApeCoin DAO to give the DAO a voice in the global conversations occurring to bring regulatory certainty to the cryptocurrencies industry.
SUSTAINABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
I have heard from community members that they are unclear about what remains in the treasury and that they are concerned about whether the treasury can sustain the DAO’s operations in the long-term.
It is my view that the DAO needs to improve its transparency around the treasury. I would like to see live statistical reporting that includes the size of the treasury that remains, the ongoing spend rate, and estimates for how long the DAO can continue to sustain its operations at its current spending rate.
There are a number of initiatives and ideas being developed by DAO members to ensure sustainability of DAO operations. These include the possibility of actively managing some portion of the DAO treasury to generate yield, or other forms of revenue generation for the DAO.
As a Special Council member, I would work with the Governance Working Group to develop a page on the website or other public facing tool that provides up-to-date reporting on the treasury.
To the extent that it is appropriate, within the mandate of the Special Council and the jurisdiction of the Ape Foundation, I would work with the Treasury Working Group (if it is approved by the DAO), legal counsel, and any other interested parties, to find solutions for DAO sustainability and revenue generation.
I have chosen my words carefully in this application, as the role of Special Council is extremely important, and the actions and statements of Special Council members can have serious legal and regulatory implications for the DAO.
Due to the nature of the work, Special Council members have NDAs and confidentiality requirements imposed on them, which means that they are not always able to share with the community everything that they are working on at a given time.
If I were elected as a Special Council member, I would commit to treating this role as a full-time job. I would regularly share with the community any and all information that would not subject the DAO to legal or regulatory risk. Most importantly, I would continue to stay connected with ApeCoin DAO members, voters, and contributors, so that their views and priorities are reflected in the decision making of Special Council.
Summarize your statement as to why you are the best choice for Special Council
I want to see ApeCoin reach its potential and become the coin of metaverse culture and blockchain gaming. In order to do this, we need leadership on Special Council that shares this ambition, that understands the DAO’s governance structure, that knows how to exercise professional discretion safely and effectively, and that knows when to push back on legal counsel to advocate for a better position for the ApeCoin community.
There is currently no member of Special Council who is a lawyer, despite the significant legal and regulatory uncertainty that the DAO currently operates under, and despite the fact that the most important decisions Special Council makes are legal in nature.
As the candidate who has spent the last 9 months actively building out the DAO’s governance structure, and the candidate who has spent years honing legal analysis skills and developing a breadth of legal knowledge, I am the best candidate to ensure that Special Council succeeds in serving the vision of the ApeCoin DAO community.