Delegate voting is live on the Aragon App! You can now delegate your voting power to another address to vote on your behalf. When you want to claim your voting power, you can do so at any time within the App. This is available for any token-based DAO.
Delegate voting, a form of liquid democracy, is when you delegate your voting power to someone else to vote on your behalf.
Delegate voting is a common governance choice for DAOs. It’s challenging to maintain context on all decisions happening in the organization, so it’s helpful to delegate to someone who is able to keep up with proposals and governance.
Being able to opt out of delegation is just as important as opting into it. In the Aragon App, you can change your delegation at any time. And, you don’t need to delegate to someone else—you can claim your voting power and exercise your voting rights on every proposal yourself! Delegated voting gives tokenholders the option of representative or direct democracy.
Here are a few of the benefits of delegating your voting power:
Improve decision-making within your DAO
Not all token holders have the time to keep up with every discussion and new conversation happening in the DAO. Delegation enables token holders to choose an expert to vote on their behalf, removing the burden of making so many governance choices.
This can improve decision-making because a smaller group of individuals with specific expertise can make the decisions, rather than all token holders having to weigh in on everything.
“Members of Aragon DAOs can now delegate their voting power to other members with deep knowledge or experience in a particular area, allowing the DAO to make more informed and efficient decisions.”
—Ruggero, Senior Front-end Developer at Aragon
This is especially important for protocol DAOs, which are DAOs that manage smart contract protocols such as rollups, liquid staking derivatives, or decentralized exchanges. Often, token holders need to maintain significant context for voting in protocol DAOs, because the votes make direct changes to the contracts. This means the voters need to be able to read the smart contract code or have a technical understanding of what’s happening for them to be able to cast an informed vote. Delegation can solve this, because token holders can delegate their votes to representatives who do have this additional context.
Token holders can reclaim at any time – keeping delegates accountable
Delegates don’t have power unchecked—they are held accountable by token holders, because token holders can claim their voting power at any time—there’s no need to wait for elections to do so. If delegates are not best serving the interests of their token holders, the token holders can undelegate their tokens and start voting themselves, or delegate to someone else.
Enhance DAO security with increased token participation
Delegation can increase token participation, because DAO members that might have missed votes or purposefully skipped them because they didn’t have enough context on the proposal can have an informed expert vote for them.
This increased token participation enhances your DAO’s security because it makes it harder for an individual or coordinated group to purchase tokens and pass proposals unilaterally. The more tokens participating, the safer your DAO is.
Save on gas fees because of consolidated votes
By bundling votes together, you can save on gas fees because not everyone has to vote. For example, instead of 50 members each casting their own vote and all paying for them, maybe just 10 delegates would cast votes. Having more voting power does not increase your gas cost, so this can help the DAO members save on gas fees they would have been paying.
How delegation works in the Aragon App
Delegate your current and future voting power to any address
Go to “Governance” and click “Delegate” to delegate your current and future voting power to another address. So, if you purchase or receive more governance tokens, that voting power is delegated to the new address until you claim it. You can only delegate your full voting power—you cannot split your delegation.
Delegate the ability to create proposals
If your DAO has a token gate on who can create proposals, such as requiring holding one token to be able to create a proposal, the power to create proposals is delegated to the new address as well. If you want to reclaim your ability to create proposals, you will need to claim your voting power.
Claim your voting power at any time
You can claim your voting power at any time, but if you do so during a live proposal, you won’t be able to vote until a new proposal is created. This is because a snapshot of voting power is taken at the beginning of each proposal.
Delegation is permissionless—there is no process to become a delegate
You don’t need to become a delegate in the Aragon App—your address is already capable of receiving delegation. So, how do you get the word out to your other DAO members that you want to be delegated to? Simply give your address to other DAO members so they know that you’re interested in receiving delegation! You can post your address in DAO coordination channels like a forum, discord, or telegram chat. Or, reach the wider world by posting on social media or launching a delegate website.
You retain control of your tokens—delegates cannot access your tokens or redelegate
Meta-delegation is not allowed, so your delegate cannot delegate tokens to someone else. If you sell or transfer your tokens, the delegate’s voting power is reduced by the amount you sold or transferred. If you buy more tokens, the delegate’s voting power is increased by the amount you purchased.
Watch how to delegate your voting power in our guide below:
Next up: Delegate profiles
Coming up next in the App are delegate profiles. Being thoughtful around who you choose as a delegate is important, because delegates make decisions for the organization. You don’t want your DAO members to only delegate to familiar faces or popular DAO members— it’s best to choose people who actually have the context required for making the best decisions for the organization.
Stay tuned for profiles that show more detailed information about who your delegates are!
Any token-based DAO can delegate tokens. So, get started today! Head to the Governance page on the Aragon App to delegate your voting power to any other address. Or, check out this guide to learn more about delegation.
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