BIP-[XXX] Aura Multisig Blacklisting for Governance

The votes that made this outcome were all added last minute by wallets that are unequivocally owned by Humpy.

Actually 30 minutes from closure. It is my usual habit to vote before close, not prohibited. Everyone had 3 days to vote . If it pleases you, i will change my timing.

Just to make clear, this was a decision made by a single actor who deservedly acquired a lot of voting power and I’m not questioning the outcome of that snapshot vote. But that doesn’t change the fact that it IS a single actor voting against almost everyone (if not everyone) else in the community.

Allow me to answer by quoting your right-hand man Solarcurve:
1.
Our governance system places BAL holders as the final authority. There is no such thing as a long term vision of the DAO that is not aligned with the vision of BAL token holders. The DAO operates at the pleasure of BAL token holders (they can choose to stop funding us anytime). I believe we should give every opportunity for token holders to express their desires so that the DAO can better serve them.

2.
if two BAL holders have more voting weight (tokens) than a vast majority of other holders, it is appropriate that the desires of the two big holders win out over the vast majority. That is how our system is designed to work.

Aura and other veBAL derivative protocols have sovereignty to decide how to use their veBAL.

And Aura did, by voluntarily and without force, proxying Aura’s veBAL to their corresponding aura investors through viAura strategy.

Similarly to how Aura governance voted to remove voting power of Viaura, which affects me directly. The balancer governance decided to continue with the current strategy of vote. Aura governance decision stops at Aura.

I am not a lawyer but can hardly see a court case if Aura just used the veBAL that they have in the Aura smart contracts as this doesn’t break any rules.

There is loophole, whether deliberate or not, that currently allows Aura to vote with its total veBAL, plus all its viaura holders can vote with the SAME underlying veBAL. In theory 2 times their veBAL. So more votable veBAL than what Aura actually owns.
I am also not a lawyer, however most laymen would conclude to voter fraud should that occur!

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This all seems rather circular. In relation to veBAL voting strategy, Aura initially proxied the vote share of its veBAL to flow through to its corresponding vlAURA holders. Through Aura governance, the Aura community recently proposed and passed AIP-17, which is the governance resolution to modify the voting strategy (see: [AIP-17] Change Aura Governance to Maximize Representation in Balancer DAO Votes - Proposals - Aura Finance). There’s no dispute that AIP-17 was authorized by a legitimate governance process and vote of the Aura community.

Moreover, none of the folks expressing their current complaints about AIP-17 in this forum expressed those complaints - or any complaints - on the Aura forum in relation to AIP-17.

Once AIP-17 passed, Aura had the ability to double vote its veBAL share on Balancer governance Snapshot proposals.

It then came to light that the somewhat perfunctory task of remedying this issue - not counting double Aura’s veBAL votes - required veBAL governance approval. The proposal for BIP-112 was then made on this forum to remedy that issue and the proposal went to Snapshot.

Humpy, you and Andrea both voted to reject BIP-112. This voluntary voting strategy obviously and knowingly perpetuated the double vote issue that BIP-112 would have remedied.

It is therefore, in my opinion, a rather circular approach for the very same actors who knowingly enabled the double-voting strategy to continue to now complain about it.

And it seems fairly clear that all of the quotes that Humpy referenced above concerning the ultimate interest of veBAL voters supports this conclusion. vlAura holders spoke on AIP-17 and approved it. veBAL holders then spoke on BIP-112 and rejected it. By that method, veBAL holders knowingly enabled the double-vote issue to continue, subject of course to anything that may happen in the future regarding veBAL and/or vlAura governance.

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Aura requested Balancer DAO approval through BIP-44. Every change in strategy of vote should be agreed by Balancer DAO.

Moreover, none of the folks expressing their current complaints about AIP-17 in this forum expressed those complaints - or any complaints - on the Aura forum in relation to AIP-17.

This was put on forum Nov. 8 and goes to vote Nov. 10, a big change with just 2-3 days of debate… only learnt through snapshot, I voted against. My vote was my complaint.

Once AIP-17 passed, Aura had the ability to double vote its veBAL share on Balancer governance Snapshot proposals.

Aura always had the ability to double vote since viaura strategy was introduced. Balancer DAO voted NO to changing aura voting strategy and to remedy the loophole through this topic BIP. Voting against BIP-112 doesn’t green light Aura to commit fraud.

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We are basically saying the same thing, though I won’t use terms of art like “fraud,” particularly when they have no application to this situation.

Voting no to BIP-112 still knowingly perpetuated the double-vote strategy that was enabled by AIP-17. Before AIP-17, the double-vote strategy was not in accordance with Aura governance. Now it is, and the votes on BIP-112 could have fixed it, but instead they knowingly perpetuated it.

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We are basically saying the same thing, though I won’t use terms of art like “fraud,” particularly when they have no application to this situation.

Respectfully, we are not.

Balancer DAO is independent of Aura DAO, Aura wants to change how it votes on Balancer DAO, the latter should agree to any voting strategy change.
What Aura governance decide doesn’t supersede Balancer governance, as Aura is voting on Balancer snapshots.

Before AIP-17, the double-vote strategy was not in accordance with Aura governance.

Double-vote is not a strategy but a fraud: voting twice with same VeBAL.
We are fixing an unpatched loophole through this BIP, not perpetuating anything.

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Yet, the “unpatched loophole” was not solved despite there being a viable mechanism for doing so on account of your voting against BIP-112. Those no votes and this proposal that followed its rejection are essentially seeking to neuter Aura’s own governance, presumably because you don’t like the result of AIP-17. So you’re exercising governance power where you can - here, in Balancer - to try to neuter AIP-17. I get it.

The other side of the same coin is the above-referenced approach perpetuated the same issue that BIP-112 sought to solve. That was always a risk associated with the above approach of rejecting BIP-112 as a means of trying to neuter AIP-17. I get that, and I think you do, too.

Nonetheless, here we are. Words like “fraud” don’t help to identify the problems or solve them. Rather, what we really have are issues concerning one’s perception of anticipated tactics that could be considered Machiavellian, at worst, in response to tactics that likewise could be considered Machiavellian, at worst.

And the cycle goes on and on.

It’s not lost on me that these are all second-order problems. We’ll all still be right here in this same spot regardless of the results of this next veBAL voting round. If we all believe and are investing time, energy, and assets into Balancer (and/or derivatively so through Tetu or Aura), what do these endless second-order governance issues really accomplish besides causing us to take our eyes off the issues that really matter?

So, how can an agreement be reached to solve the first-order problems? And what does that agreement look like?

@humpydumpy007, do you have any ideas?

Because until we solve the first-order problems, we’re cursed to continue to endlessly spend our time and energy on the second-order issues that the first-order problems will continue to create.

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I’ve been thinking about this all day.

Technically Speaking:
Code is law and these governance processes exist to authorise specific changes to said code. The snapshot strategies define how votes are counted. There could have been a strategy in place that blacklisted AURA from voting as demonstrated by the code above, but it was not put in place.

Following AIP-17, AURA is obligated to run snapshots and vote with all it’s veBAL for the majority choice. It is also the individual choice of each vlAURA HODLer or delegate, if they choose to vote. Those who do, will create the double voting effect everyone is talking about.

Principally Speaking
Aura was seeded by a Balancer Grant and conceived as part of a larger strategy around veBAL. It was always assumed, as evident in the code and in prior governance around vlAURA’s participation in Balancer Governance Snapshot strategies, that Aura would inform Balancer about changes to how it handled voting with its veBAL and Balancer would pass governance to maintain the integrity of 1 token = 1 vote.

On competition and Tetu
There is a clear relationship between BalancerDAO and Aura. At the same time, I’ve seen a number of members of the Balancer and Aura communities appearing in the Tetu discord to provide suggestions and generally positive engagement. It has recently been made to seem like Aura is trying to crush Tetu or deprive it of autonomy or licence to operate now that it has a bit of veBAL. The only existential threat to a protocol I have seen so far in this recent barrage of governance proposals is this:

There’s been conversations going on about caps for a very long time, and how to regulate veBAL to handle much more complex AMM mechanics, and yes, to try to prevent humpy from voting with an ever increasing and very large share of veBAL for a single pool. At the same time there’s been a lot of developments, and now any pool with 50% boosted ETH provides reasonable fee flows. Why are we still stuck in this cycle?

Nothing that is going on here is an attempt to declare war on Tetu. The technical developments in the ecosystem have brought us to a point where everyone could probably get most of what they wanted if everyone would chill out and try to work out “peace treaty” BIP. For now though, this is just more of the same. Tetu is lucky to have fallen into a decent supply of permalocked veBAL. It’s a nice tailwind in a bear market. I’m personally excited to see what they make of it.

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Thanks for your comments @humpydumpy007, I’m on the same page on all your points.

Regarding Solarcurve being my right-hand man: I think this is a consequence of both of us (and really most contributors in the Balancer ecosystem) having a similar desire to see Balancer succeed in the long-term, without putting short-term profits/returns first.

I think it’s clear to everyone by now that, even though you are playing by the rules and doing nothing wrong, if every veBAL holder was doing the same as you are (directing almost all the liquidity mining you vote for to yourself) Balancer would be much better off without any LM and zero inflation. Or liquidity mining could be replaced by a very simple staking mechanism where BAL is sent to veBAL holders pro-rata. No more complicated gauges.

I’m optimistic though that there is a path forward where the whole ecosystem is happy, including you: Balancer IMO owes you a lot for your trust and large bet/support for the project. I do say that sincerely.

At the end of the day all veBAL holders are locked and in this for the long-term, so it should be just a matter of talking so we can all agree on a path forward together.

Lastly, thanks for kindly offering this:

If it doesn’t matter to you I think large stakeholders voting early gives more time for everyone else to make up their minds about voting (some have more complex setups and require time) in case they don’t like the current result. I think many people didn’t vote last weekend because they thought the result was already what they wanted + quorum was reached, so why bother.

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You did not just use a quote by Lessing that got horribly misappropriated by a small segment of ‘DeFi bros’ to bypass the traditional legal system and become an apologist for something that is both universally despised and illegal? Surprised it took you all day.

Lessing also theorized that code itself should be governed by values enforced through formal law. So, the ultimate question is, what values does AURA support? And, secondly, can those values stand the scrutiny of AURA’s peers (other DAOs), investors and crypto media?

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The point I was making is that in DAOs built by developers, code is an expression of values/law/rules and the purpose of this governance process is to codify how the protocol operates. The words in a governance forum post or snapshot provide color and context, but the code and/or specifications of on-chain(or in this case off-chain) actions to be taken also tells a story and has meaning of its own.

This statement was taken out of context. The rest of my post further concludes that it was implied in all prior governance that it was up to Aura to determine how they wanted their veBAL votes to be handed and the lack any conversation, code, or other efforts to blacklist Aura from voting directly with the veBAL in the VoterProxy or from delegating said veBAL to be voted with demonstrated the intent to give Aura autonomy over how it votes with its veBAL.

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Im not quite sure your point. Code deference is a well-accepted standard for governing documents and Balancer Foundation’s governing documents reflect that.

Are you saying code deference cant be built into governing documents?

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Do you condone AURA voting with all it’s veBAL for the majority choice simultaneously with vlAURA hodlers or delegates choosing to vote? If you do not condone it, then your representation of what’s occurring is dangerously flirting with whitewashing.

Code deference should not be brought up for an edge-case like the one I’m opposing - no critical proposal should occur until fairness and due process is restored. AIP-17 is one solution.

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And how exactly is “fairness and due process” restored without passing a governance vote to eliminate double voting?

btw sounds like you agree that code deference is in fact a thing but dont really want to discuss it.

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I really don’t see how this promotes fair governance that provides equal rules to all wrappers.

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I don’t condone a single voting bloc amassing and applying control against the will of most of the rest of developers and voters in the ecosystem. I do think that is the case here. I don’t condone trying to change the intent of prior BIPs in order to revoke a stakeholder from having autonomy over how they vote with their weight.

I am happy that there are not other votes going on, because I really don’t think governance should move forward until this is settled.

I hope that in the near future we can move to some sort of quadratic voting system for non-economic votes that shape the future of the protocol such as these, in order to restore a bit of balance to this process and allow us to move back to having intelligent conversations instead of tit-for-tat arguments.

More than anything I don’t think all this conflict is good for anyone, other than maybe people looking to sell BAL this week.

These are my personal opinions. It’s clear there are a lot of different ones of those here right now. In the end I still dream of a day when the major stakeholders of Balancer Governance come together and reach out some sort of compromise, instead of only communicating through contentious governance that seems quite a regular occurrence these days.

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A clarification on my comment:

Specifically on this point made by Humpy:

Whether laymen could conclude double voting as “voter fraud”, this would be a conclusion made out of context. I think we all agreed that Aura has sovereignty to use it’s veBAL as it pleases. IMO Aura never wanted to double count votes (and their pushing BIP 112 is proof of that). The problem is that Balancer’s snapshot had a loophole and that is on Balancer governance to blame, not on Aura’s. There’s two ways to solve this loophole, blocking Aura’s address or removing the vlAura strategy. Let’s vote and decide which of the two is chosen.

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Agreed! So will the snapshot have each of these two valid options? Let’s see… oh wait, only one of these votes was allowed by the GC to go to Snapshot.

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I absolutely agree with Fernando’s sentiments–well said. This BIP is regarding a minor issue that has been blocked by a bad actor who has been deliberately causing chaos by abusing the BAL governance process. Let’s vote, get this issue taken care of, so we can deal with the larger issue at hand, which is deciding how to prevent the whale from 51% attacking the Balancer protocol.

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I completely agree here sir. :+1: it is a simple fix, the people arguing probably have self-interests and that affects Balancer’s governance in “a not so positive way”…

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