[ARC] Framework For Recognized Delegates

Title: [ARC] Framework For Recognized Delegates

Author: @fig - Flipside Crypto

Date: 05-04-2023


This proposal establishes a baseline set of guidelines and expectations for becoming a Recognized Delegate within Aave.

It aims to define the role, responsibilities, and characteristics of Aave’s recognized delegates to aid the DAO in addressing and sustainably growing this stakeholder base.

It is left intentionally sparse in some parts to provide a rich and diverse array of delegates from which AAVE [or equivalent] holders may select their chosen representative(s.)


This proposal responds to the community’s desire to outline what a recognized delegate looks like, to qualify for potential reimbursement in the current Gas Fee Rebate proposal.

It creates a framework for becoming or ending one’s role as a recognized delegate.

In addition, it delineates the distinction between a delegate and a recognized delegate.


As Aave attracts more stakeholders, contributors, and delegates, it requires more active management and a clearer organization of the delegate base.

A typical interaction with Governance (roughly) looks something like this:

This graphic illustrates a current dynamic within the DAO; delegates working on behalf of token holders, engaging with Governance or contributors themselves to vote and propose on-chain.

The more voting power a delegate has (i.e. ACI, Penn Blockchain, LBS,) the larger their responsibility has become, incurring voting costs, deployment costs, and opportunity costs.

This proposal hopes to create a definition of value-additive, recognized delegates to better organize delegates and proposals such as the Gas Fee Rebate.

Furthermore, it is crucial to define fundamental roles and responsibilities to align expectations between the Aave community, AAVE holders, service providers, and other delegates.

It is important to better define this role to encourage, educate, and guide prospective delegates, and re-affirm the ongoing work of others.


To be considered a recognized delegate, a prospectus delegate must follow these key steps:

1. Inform the community of their intention to become a delegate

2. Post a Delegate Platform on the Aave Governance forum - similar to those from Wintermute or FranklinDAO, under the “Delegate Platform” category

  • The Delegate Platform is a chance for delegates to lay out what they stand for; it is the lens through which AAVE holders and other stakeholders will see Recognized Delegates and their actions.
  • As delegates grow and change, it is encouraged to update this platform so it reflects the progress and current goals of delegate

3. Read and acknowledge the Delegate Code of Conduct

  • The canonical Code of Conduct is defined here.
  • Acknowledgment is left at the discretion of the delegate - some options include:
    Signing a message on-chain
    Confirming that they have read and agreed to it within their Recognized Delegate platform post
    Another creative option such as uploading to IPFS or Swarm :)

4. Demonstrate a history of voting on more than five on-chain votes

5. Maintain on-chain voting participation rate above 80%

6. Report voting rationales via a medium of choice; this could be Aave’s Governance Forum, Medium, Notion, or a personal blog

Roles & Responsibilities

The role of a Recognized Delegate can be expressed in three parts:

  1. Participation in forum discussions
  2. Expression of opinion in on & off-chain Governance processes by casting regular votes
  3. Communication of their voting decisions and the rationale behind them

It is essential to the Governance process in Aave that Recognized Delegates vote, particularly regarding on-chain AIPs, as these execute the technical changes required for the operation and security of Aave.

By expecting Recognized Delegates to communicate their votes, we may ensure that there is sufficient transparency to allow delegators to evaluate whether their chosen Recognized Delegate is acting in their – and Aave’s best interests.

This responsibility provides valuable feedback to proposal authors; if a proposal is unsuccessful, this feedback may allow for a refined proposal to pass the Governance process.

Beyond this, Recognized Delegates may take on additional roles and responsibilities as they see fit.
Examples might include:

  • Authoring Governance proposals
  • Evaluating proposals in the TEMP CHECK or ARFC stage on the Aave forum
  • Participating in calls and discussions centered on issues related to Aave

The community may decide to author future proposals that require a Recognized Delegate to take on additional roles and responsibilities - but these key responsibilities should remain intact.

Recognized Delegate Resignation [End of Term]

If a Recognized Delegate wishes to step down from their role, they should take steps to ensure that their delegators and the Aave community are informed.

At a minimum, this should include a post in their Delegate Platform thread. We recommend that a team may notify the DAO as early as possible to ensure voting power is transitioned.

Next Steps

Next steps to ensure a successful framework of recognized delegates:

  1. Gather feedback and input from the Aave community on the proposed requirements
  2. Incorporate and refine the proposal based on feedback from the community
  3. Upgrade and communicate the new requirements to current and new delegates


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


Thank you for proposing an framework @fig I generally agree with ‘6 steps to become a recognized delegate’ which you have outlined.

a. I have left specific comments about code of conduct in that post. I suggest a simple ‘read and agreed’ reply from each delegate to a pinned code of conduct post on forum as a low cost starting point.
b. I wonder if ‘minimum voting weight’ should be a criteria here? while it does prevent groups with less resources to participate, it can guard the DAO brand from PR attacks, where someone can fulfil the criteria with negligible voting weight and use the ‘recognized delegate’ title to perform malicious acts.
c. An alternative could be: Add
Step 7. Follow the DAO governance process to get voted in as recognized delegate
d. In step 1, I suggest each delegate to communicate their area of expertise or interests along with a background of their past governance contributions in the DAO space
e. Guidelines on removal of a recognized delegate by the DAO would be helpful imo.


I support ratifying this framework to guide how delegates will operate at Aave. However, I believe that it is important that we include a minimum voting weight requirement.

The effort it would take to secure a significant voting weight delegation is a signal of dedication which we can use to vet the quality of delegates we receive. Considering the Aave Token Price, maintaining a minimum voting wait of 5,000 Aave is a fair requirement to becoming a Recognized Delegate; what do you think?

Great framework @fig !

We’re in support of this and regarding voting weight requirements, would it make sense to be a multiplier of Snapshot’s proposal threshold? Over time if that changes there is always an even correlation between threshold and minimum Recognised delegate voting weight.

Hi guys @Kene_StableLab , @jengajojo -

“Minimum voting weight” is something we initially considered when drafting the framework.

Our reasoning for omitting was to allow delegates to work their way up; to focus on effort, not delegation levels. Happy to discuss re-introducing this to the framework if desired.

Additionally, future policies such as delegate compensation, and gas reimbursement may introduce its own threshold requirements on top of this for more custom integrations of the framework.

I.e. “must be a recognized delegate with 5,000+ AAVE”

If we chose to reintroduce this parameter, I enjoyed @0xkeyrock.eth’s suggestion.

Making it a function of the proposal threshold on Snapshot.

Let me know! Thanks for the initial feedback.


Thanks for the framework @fig, agreed with it from our perspective as well. We also like @0xkeyrock.eth’s suggestion about the voting weight as a multiplier of the Snapshot proposal threshold - happy to explore how this would work!


Hello @fig,

I am thrilled to hear your reasoning and support the philosophy behind it.
Currently, my weekly income from manual work in real life does not surpass the value of 2 AAVE tokens. These are circumstances not under my control, but rather the legal system of the country is which I immigrated to as a refugee. In the past 5-6 years, I’ve never reached a yearly income level equivalent to 5000 AAVE tokens.

I’ve recently joined the Aave DAO because I’ve understood its utility in the Ethereum apps ecosystem and I seek to learn more about borrowing/lending mechanisms in crypto markets. I am a protocol user on rollups such as Arbitrum (with “peanuts”).

There is a high probability that I could rapidly accumulate knowledge while fulfilling my duties. Less than realistic to dream that I could gather and set aside assets with a value of 1000+ AAVE in a short or medium horizon.

I am sharing my personal context as a new delegate to offer an illustration of how voting weight requirements could hinder DAO participation for some individuals.

Thank you. @jengajojo @Kene_StableLab @0xkeyrock.eth @lbsblockchain


This proposal has been migrated to the Snapshot stage.

We are grateful for the community’s participation and feedback thus far.

Please vote if you are a delegate or token holder!

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Hi @fig, FranlinDAO stands by this framework as well as the Code of Conduct. It is evident that the role of a delegate requires care and attention. These guidelines clearly communicate and outline desirable characteristics and actions for the delegate role that we align with.

Aave community, having such an active governance ecosystem, certainly needs to hold their delegates to a high standard. The conversations regarding voting weight are enticing. It seems like there should be a more thorough investigation of the costs and benefits of the different possible solutions to identify an optimal way of ensuring legitimacy.


we did the update in our delegate platform thread, but signaling here too that we stand by this framework and as well with the Code of Conduct.

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