How the DAO works

To circumvent the very high gas fees associated with full on-chain governance, Decentraland’s DAO uses a combination of free, off-chain voting for the community and a multi-sig wallet controlled by a “DAO Committee” to enact those off-chain decisions on the Ethereum blockchain. This allows everyone who holds MANA or LAND to participate in the DAO without having to pay any fees everytime they want to vote or open a proposal.

The use of a multi-sig wallet controlled by a committee of trusted persons guarantees the security of the DAO along with guaranteeing that passed proposals result in an on-chain action. A second multisig owned by the SAB provides a second layer of protection on top of the DAO Committee.

The DAO is a complex system created from several layers of entities and platforms, each of which is listed and described below:

Governance UI

The main interface for the Decentraland DAO is located at governance.decentraland.org. This is where users log-in, create proposals, and vote.

Snapshot

Snapshot is an off-chain voting platform that provides a free way for token holders to vote on proposals. By storing both the proposals and the votes on IPFS as cryptographically signed messages, Snapshot allows for secure and easily contested results.

Decentraland’s DAO uses Snapshot to host the proposals and votes generated by the community.

Whenever a proposal is opened at governance.decentraland.org, it is also created automatically on Decentraland’s Snapshot space. This allows the DAO to record and store proposals, votes, and results in a secure and decentralized manner - with the results displayed back on governance.decentraland.org.

Aragon

Aragon is a secure platform for creating and managing the collection of smart contracts needed to run a DAO. The backend of Decentraland’s DAO is built using Aragon, so anytime a proposal that results in a binding action is passed by the community in Snapshot, it is committed to the Ethereum mainnet in Aragon by the DAO Committee.

DAO Committee

The DAO Committee is a group of three trusted individuals who have been selected by the community to hold keys in a multi-sig wallet. This multi-sig is responsible for enacting any passed votes with a binding action, like transferring grant funding, banning a name, adding a POI, or adding a Catalyst node.

The power DAO Committee is checked by the SAB, which has the ability to pause and cancel any action initiated by the Committee.

Every on-chain transaction initiated by the DAO Committee has an automatic 24-hour delay before it is completed, allowing the SAB or the Committee to revoke the transaction.

Security Advisory Board (SAB)

The Security Advisory Board acts as a guarantor of Decentraland’s smart contract security, and is tasked with overseeing the work of the DAO Committee and responding to vulnerability and bug reports in any of Decentraland’s contracts.

The SAB includes 5 Solidity experts that have initially been selected by the Decentraland development team.

Any time a modification is to be made to the LAND or Estate contracts, the update must be unanimously supported by the SAB’s multi-sig. At least three signatories are required with no dissenting votes in order to make any changes to the LAND or Estate contracts.

The SAB has the ability to pause, resume, or cancel any action taken by the DAO Committee.

The Forum

The Decentraland Forum is the communication hub for the DAO. Everytime a new proposal is created, an accompanying thread is opened automatically on the Forum under the Governance section. These proposal topics can be found either by browsing the Forum, or by clicking the “Discuss in the Forum’’ button on any proposal’s detail page in the Governance UI. These threads are a space where voters can discuss the various impacts and issues that might result from a proposal.