There was some really healthy discussion about this on the Org call (7/7/21) but I’d like to just expand on that a bit here.
As I see it, the lack of ‘autonomy’ at INDEX launch is becoming an issue in the contributor consciousness, having an impact on morale, and challenging the ethos of what a ‘DAO’ is. INDEX was launched as a governance token, not a DAO (the word ‘DAO’ does not appear in that initial post; ‘Decentralized Organization’ does . . . IC was not conceived as an autonomous entity). We have grown over time into something that wasn’t initially contemplated - IC was conceived as a marketing arm for Set and is now outgrowing that mandate - so how do we move forward?
Establish what areas IC currently has autonomy (per the original Medium article):
The INDEX Governance Token
The Index Coop has launched with a native token (ERC20) called INDEX that binds the Index Coop with its holders, enabling community-led ownership and governance. To facilitate sustainable growth, INDEX holders are responsible for important decisions including:
Adding Indices: INDEX holders are responsible for sourcing, developing, and supporting new index strategies that have broad market appeal.
Controlling the Community Treasury: To attract a robust set of participants and methodologists, INDEX holders will devise incentive programs to attract and retain index methodologists, liquidity providers, marketers, community, developers, and other experts.
Updating Fee Configurations: In the traditional financial world, index vehicles monetize through an expense ratio/management fee and/or via asset lending. To enable sustainability, the community will be responsible for finding the correct balance in deploying value accrual mechanisms.
Enhancing Indice Performance: As components in indices can be used in governance, staked, or lent, INDEX holders will be responsible for determining how to best allocate constituent assets for achieving greatest yield, proper influence, or to satisfy other community-determined goals.
This mandate is fairly narrow, so, have IIPs expanded it?
The short answer is, ‘no’ or ‘not much’ - operationally IC is still a marketing arm for Set. I have put together an IIP resource in the Community Handbook to show how IIPs have shaped the areas of Governance<>Community<>Treasury<>Product
What is The Coop contributor community doing now that isn’t in the original mandate? What are we looking to do?
This is the challenge and what I think @gregdocter is looking to drive forward; I’m in full support.
The path forward:
As I see it, there are no ‘blockers’ to going from ‘DO’ to ‘DAO’; just some required hard work and communication. Other than agreeing to what it is that we’d like our community to look like and passing the required IIPs to make that explicit, we’re very much in control of our own destiny. As I see it, IC was conceived by TokenSets and wouldn’t be here were it not for that ideation - they established an allocation of governance tokens that are becoming more distributed over time, and despite their large governance power, Set are unlikely to kill (or even stifle) the golden goose just because it wants to spread it’s wings. I think this is a case of being in violent agreement on most things, and just fleshing out what a full handover of operational control looks like.
As a side note, I believe Set has a window to cede control (outside of governance) according to The Howey Test . . . I’m not well-versed in this area, but it may be relevant so raising it here.