[ARFC] Gauntlet <> Aave Renewal 2023

The ACI does not support the renewal of Gauntlet’s engagement.

We recall that last year’s renewal proposal was controversial, and despite this, we decided to support Gauntlet, believing the benefits of having a risk service provider and redundancy outweighed the downsides and costs.

We also remember the proposal that craftily aimed to extract millions from the Aave DAO, which is one of the reasons I created the ACI. This behavior no longer exists because service providers have since switched to propose fair pricing, or the DAO has ceased working with them.

The DAO is now in a more robust and stable position, and with more experience, we can take a step back and reflect on the benefits of working with Gauntlet. With the ACI, we are now unsupportive of renewing our collaboration with Gauntlet, and here’s some of the reasons why:

DeFi is a 24/7 endeavor, and working for a DAO is like working at a startup: it’s exciting, it’s a learning experience, and it can bring good ROI in terms of brand & reputation, but it’s also tireless and stressful.

Most Aave DAO service providers know what it means to be on the frontlines & sitting in a war room. Very recently, with the responsible disclosure event, BgdLabs led the coordination that resulted, 9 days later, in a zero user fund loss & back to normal outcome.

What was Gauntlet’s contribution to this? They provided an analysis on the public forum about how the pause could create bad debt in Aave. This kind of analysis is valuable for making informed decisions in a war room context and should be published in a post-mortem disclosure after the events. Publishing this in a public forum during events could have created more panic than necessary and is a behavior we consider unfit and lacking strategic vision.

Gauntlet is also by far the slowest service provider.

For example, the Risk Steward was introduced to allow for a fast-track, governance-less process to act on supply & borrow caps. It’s an essential tool to ensure growth is not artificially limited. However, due to Gauntlet’s poor reactivity, the Risk Steward has been a semi-failure. In this recent example on Gnosischain, it took 4 days to react to Chaos Labs’ proposition, and to our knowledge, this proposal has not been enforced yet. There are dozens of examples like this in the DAO’s history. Gauntlet simply is not fit for a 24/7, non-stop DeFi environment.

During this period, there have been many examples of Gauntlet being difficult to work with, especially with Chaos Labs. Gauntlet seems to have adopted a zero-sum game mindset with the DAO’s risk service provider. It is unfortunate because the ACI was completely open-minded to support a dual-risk service provider team to allow for redundancy & enhanced protocol safety.

With the ACI, as with every single service provider, we proposed to Gauntlet to co-author proposals with us to encourage collaboration and synergies in the DAO. We must share that working with Gauntlet was not our preferred experience, and the recent AIP-371 fiasco is a prime example of this.

Regardless of the outcome of this proposal, the ACI, except in the context of Skywards services, does not wish to collaborate with Gauntlet in the future.

For the ACI, moonlighting for direct competition is unacceptable behavior. Gauntlet accepted work for a protocol designed to compete directly with the Aave DAO.

We consider this fact alone as solid ground to launch an immediate ARFC to cut the Gauntlet stream and fire them on the spot. Without the recent responsible disclosure event and the relative near-end of their current stream that might have been our chosen path, but considering these elements, we decided to simply support the non-renewal of Gauntlet.