[ARC] Delegate Code Of Conduct

Title: [ARC] Delegate Code Of Conduct

Author: @fig - Flipside Crypto

Date: 05-04-2023


This proposal looks to establish a Code of Conduct for new and existing recognized delegates within Aave’s governance and ecosystem.

It aims to codify and define the values and character upheld by individuals or organizations who embrace a delegate role, representing Aave and its stakeholders.

If implemented, it encourages more professionalism and accountability within the role.


This proposal creates a baseline for all delegates to reference when participating in governance decision-making or discussions.

This post will serve as a reference and adherence to DAO-wide policies - as well as establish collective values within the Governance protocol.

Just as companies have guiding principles and values, DAOs should too.

This proposal will be submitted as a “ranked choice vote” to better outline and define the top values as identified by current stakeholders within Aave.


A delegate is a unique role with teams approaching this responsibility in different ways.

As Aave introduces novel mechanisms such as Butter, Gas Fee Rebates, or other ongoing discussions about incentives - the community garners more delegate interest.

In order to protect the integrity and maturation of the DAO, it is important to establish and enforce an agreeable code of conduct for all delegates within Aave.

This proposal aims to codify nine values as identified by the Aave community.


To be honored as a legitimate delegate, a delegate pledges to adhere to the following values.

As an aggregate, they form Aave’s Delegate Code Of Conduct:

Good Faith / Integrity

Delegates should always act with honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Delegates should earn and maintain the trust of the community.

Best Interest

Delegates should operate and vote in what they believe is in the best interests of the Aave DAO - including its community, lending, and stablecoin products.

Due Care and Attention

Delegates should make a professional and unbiased review of each proposal before submitting their vote. This may be done individually or as a collective if a delegate team.


Delegates should ensure that they communicate the rationale behind each of their votes in a clear and accessible way. Acceptable mediums include; the Aave Governance Forum, Medium, or Notion (plus personal blogs.)

Professional Knowledge

Delegates should maintain a working knowledge of developments at Aave and in the wider cryptocurrency space, including the offerings of service providers and other DeFi counterparties.

Conflicts of Interest

Delegates should avoid conflicts of interest and mitigate their impact when not possible. They should disclose any conflicts of interest in writing on their platform.

Furthermore, they should publicize any offer of external compensation related to delegation or the Aave ecosystem.


Delegates should —within reason— be accessible to the community to answer questions, respond to comments, and discuss issues or ideas.

Security Optimization

Delegates should optimize to maintain the security and integrity of the Aave protocol. This security has created trust among users and DeFi integrations.

Ethereum Aligned

Delegates should maintain a focus on the Ethereum / EVM ecosystem while exploring cross-chain expansion and innovative design.

Together, these values represent the robust culture Aave has fostered better than anyone else. It is the intention of this Code of Conduct to maintain the integrity of this culture while sustainably growing Aave.

If desired, the community may adopt these same set of values for service providers as well.

We welcome the addition of other values or amendment of others - and encourage brevity for the sake of simplicity and strength of values as an organization.

Next Steps

Next steps to ensure the successful adoption of a delegate wide code of conduct:

  1. Gather feedback and input from the Aave community on the proposed code of conduct
  2. Incorporate and refine the value choices based on feedback from the community
  3. Run a ranked choice vote identifying the nine values
  4. Create and “lock” a proposal on the forum outlining the finalized Code of Conduct
  5. Upgrade and communicate the new requirements to current and new delegates

At the same time as this proposal, Flipside Crypto will post a Recognized Delegate Framework highlighting the process and requirements for becoming a recognized delegate.

Adhering to the Code of Conduct is one of the first steps.


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


The supporting document to the framework-for-recognized-delegates is definately helpful and a must for the recognized-delegates program imo, Thank you! I’m looking forward to the feedback from the community about the 9 points outlined here.

Meanwhile, I wonder if

without a mechanism to enforce this conduct, can we hold delegates accountable to their commitments?

  • I would suggest establishing an ombuds entity/group within the DAO to resolve breach of conduct disputes. (happy to help you with the proposal).
  • Proactively monitoring breach of conduct is a great way to foster value aligned delegates, but that could be the second iteration after ombuds imo.
1 Like

As the ACI, we have nothing but clear support for this initiative.

the current delegate code of conduct [DCoC] is aligned with our value.

Here’s some feedback:

While we are a clear supporter of this, launching this trend inside the Aave DAO, conflicts of interest will always happen in a open-market especially in crypto. It might seem complicated to always avoid them.

I think the right approach is the one we adopted so far, transparency & disclosure. I’m personally invested in half of this ecosystem, but I think the community can agree on the ACI always being transparent and putting Aave First.

Not everyone is an engineer and even less a security expert. However, the DAO employs best-in-class service providers for this. I think a suitable approach is to respect delegate entities entrusted by the DAO. In this case, at the ACI, we always rely on Gauntlet, Chaos Labs feedback for risk, and BGDLabs for the technical part of AIPs.

This feedback might come as a surprise as I’m known to be quite the Eth-Maxi, but I think the DAO should remain open-minded, and having a maxi part in the DCoC is unnecessary.

While I don’t consider any non-EVM network to be strategically important for Aave (Starknet L2 being an exception), and I acknowledge the cost & risks of migrating Aave codebase to another technology, I’m ready to accept that in the future some technical breakthrough or opportunity might appear outside of the ETH/EVM ecosystem.


This is a great approach to designing a code of conduct for delegates, and it definitely has my support.

My primary concern is the focus on Ethereum Alignment, especially as Aave is clearly going Multi-Chain; I do not think this is currently an important part of this Code of Conduct.

1 Like

We’re in agreement with @MarcZeller and especially the feedback around Ethereum Alignment, multi-chain is or might be inevitable. If we want Aave to grow, an open mind should always be in place regarding deployments.

ACI - thanks for your thorough feedback.

Glad to see your support for certain values.

As for “Ethereum Aligned” we are happy to omit based on initial feedback from the community, such as yourself, @Kene_StableLab, and @0xkeyrock.eth.

The impetus was to honor the roots of Aave as ETHLend and preserve a focus on expansion across EVM networks first; it was not our intent to deny the possibility of innovation across other networks.

Instead, it should read - Ethereum first.

Seems easy to adjust to eight values, forgoing this bias toward Ethereum.


This discussion has been migrated to the Snapshot stage and run as approval voting.

The votes - and approval of each - will represent the communities priorities within this Code of Conduct.

We ask voters to please elect every value they agree with. It is our goal to codify the updated eight which are presented on Snapshot (excludes “Ethereum first”).