TL;DR — Monetize your voting ability
Voting Valued is an experiment. I’m not sure how it will be received, or whether it will be successful, particularly in this market. However, I find its design to be extremely intriguing and I’m curious whether it can unlock value for all key stakeholders in the EOS community, including tokenholders, EOS Block Producers (BPs) and proxy managers. What’s more, I believe it could be structured in a way that does not violate any aspect of the current Constitution, creates greater alignment of incentives between EOS voters and BPs, and supports a healthier EOS mainnet overall.
Subject to feedback from the EOS community, as well as the results of a “proof of concept” testing period (see below), I intend to establish an EOS voter proxy called the Voting Valued Proxy (VVP) built around the following preliminary framework.
The VVP Framework
- Voting Valued will sell applications to EOS Block Producers (BPs) to allow them to be considered for the Voting Valued Proxy. Application pricing will be based on a tiered and dynamic pricing model (see below). All applications will be collected during an Application Period.
- Following the Application Period, all application fees will be held in escrow (an EOS multisig account) during an Evaluation Period conducted by the VVP managers
- At the conclusion of the Evaluation Period, VVP will vote for the Top 30 EOS BPs (or fewer, if fewer than 30 BPs apply) based on our review. Evaluation feedback will be provided to all BP applicants
- Application fees submitted by SUCCESSFUL BP applicants will be REFUNDED to each successful BP within 24 hours of the end of the Evaluation Period
- Application fees submitted by UNSUCCESSFUL BP applicants will be RETAINED by the Voting Valued account
- The Application Period, Evaluation Period and subsequent VVP voting will occur over a two-month cycle (the “Voting Period”). Consequently, the VVP will vote six times per year
- Voting Valued WILL DISTRIBUTE 50% of all EOS tokens retained from unsuccessful BP applicants to the EOS accounts that proxied their votes to VVP during the applicable Voting Period. Distributions to each EOS account will be made on a time- and vote-weighted basis (see below)
- Assuming at least 30 BP applicants, a minimum of 6 BPs must be rotated out of the VVP every two months, and no EOS BP can remain in the Voting Valued Proxy for more than 18 consecutive months
As mentioned above, BP application pricing will be based on a tiered and dynamic model. The preliminary BP pricing model per two-month period is as follows:
Preliminary pricing is subject to change based on demand, as well as feedback from the community regarding this proposal. However, pricing at a baseline level (i.e., ≤ 1 million proxied VVP votes) is loosely based on the average daily reward for BPs in each position category, meaning that BPs (assuming they are in a paid position) could apply year-round to VVP for a total of 6 days of rewards, or approximately 1.67% of their total annual rewards (6/365; actual percentage of total earned awards could be more or less depending on the change, if any, in BP positioning over time). As the VVP proxy gains support, the cost to BPs increases, but does so on a descending scale. While overall costs rise, it is intended to be offset by the greater reward for BPs in terms of the number of votes available.
Cumulative EOS accrued by Voting Valued over the course of one year will depend on 1) the number of proxied votes to VVP, and 2) the number of participating BPs for each two-month Voting Period. Note that if 30 or less EOS BPs participate, distributions to EOS accounts which proxied their votes to VVP will be zero. For illustrative purposes, the cumulative annual EOS which would be accrued by Valued Voting based on the preliminary pricing framework at various levels of BP participation is presented below. 50% of these amounts would be distributed to EOS accounts which proxied their votes to VVP over the course of the year.
The total EOS distributed to each proxied voting account is both time- and vote-weighted, meaning that the allocation of awards passed to proxied voting accounts is proportionate to the relative weighting of an account’s votes among the total, and then discounted by the time, if any, that the account has not proxied their vote during each two-month period. To clarify, here are two simple scenarios:
- Alice proxies her account to VVP which contains 1,500 EOS for two full months
- Bob proxies his account to VVP which contains 500 EOS for two full months
At the end of the two-month period, Alice receives 75% of all distributed EOS and Bob receives 25% of all distributed EOS.
- Alice proxies her account to VVP which contains 1,500 EOS for one full month
- Bob proxies his account to VVP which contains 500 EOS for two full months
At the end of the two-month period, Alice receives 60% of all distributed EOS and Bob receives 40% of all distributed EOS.
What happens next?
I am now submitting this concept for review and feedback from the EOS community. There are numerous variables and potential issues to consider prior to launching such an initiative. If the idea is generally viewed favorably by the community, we will then enter a “proof of concept” phase. During this phase, EOS tokenholders who are interested in potentially monetizing the value of their votes should show their support for this proposal by proxying to the Voting Valued Proxy account. VVP would requires at least 750,000 proxied EOS votes in order to prove that the concept is viable. EOS accounts which proxy their votes to VVP prior to a snapshot at the end of the proof of concept phase would be eligible to receive an additional 15% of any retained EOS tokens from Voting Period 1.
If you are BP and would like to (confidentially) submit your interest in participating in an initiative like this, please email us as email@example.com. If you any have questions, comments or concerns regarding this proposal, please reach out to me on Twitter at blockchainkid or on Telegram @theblockchainkid.
The remainder of this post has been structured as an FAQ-style response to what I suspect will be the key questions, comments and concerns regarding Voting Valued and the proposed VVP framework.
1) Isn’t this Vote Buying?
No. This is the exact opposite of Vote Buying. BPs only “pay” when the Voting Valued Proxy does NOT vote for them. I prefer to call this concept “BP Value Staking.” Essentially, BPs would be staking EOS based on the belief that they will perform well enough during our review process to recoup their stake.
VVP is providing a consulting service for EOS BPs which includes complete feedback regarding their successful or unsuccessful application. Profit from our consulting service is passed to EOS tokenholders as a 50% dividend.
2) Why is this good for the tokenholders?
Participating in this system potentially enables tokenholders to monetize one of their most valuable assets: the ability to vote on the EOS mainnet.
3) Why is this good for EOS Block Producers (BPs)?
Assuming the VVP gathers a meaningful number of votes, BPs could earn significant incremental voting support by showcasing their abilities during the application process. Mandatory BP rotation provides sufficient opportunity to support numerous BPs which are worthy of inclusion.
The application process is relatively affordable, even in this market. If less than 30 BPs participate in this initiative, then the cost of application to BPs will be zero. If more than 30 BPs participate, the average annual application costs at a baseline level (i.e., sub-1 million proxied votes) should be less than 2% of income for unsuccessful applicants. While costs rise as the proxy gathers votes, the voting reward for BPs also increases commensurately.
Finally, if the VVP gathers significant support, it should powerfully incentivize BPs toward continuous improvement. In other words, if a BP is confident in their abilities, apply and you could be successful. If a BP is not confident or not successful, then improve by addressing those areas and apply again in the future.
4) Why is this good for proxy managers?
This proposed structure provides proxy managers with the opportunity to monetize their knowledge and expertise. Proxy managers spend considerable time researching and communicating with EOS BPs; however, there is currently no clear path to monetization for them. We believe proxy managers are a valuable asset to the EOS mainnet and will slowly die out unless the ability to receive funding exists.
5) What keeps proxy managers honest?
The same thing that keeps most businesses honest: the incentive to earn consistent income by providing a high quality of service, a high level of transparency and ensuring a perception of fairness. As relatively well-known voices in the EOS community, the proxy managers at Voting Valued are also staking their reputations.
It is important for tokenholders to note that this is a trustless process where ownership of EOS tokens is always retained by the user. Only users’ voting power is proxied to VVP.
For EOS BPs, there is more risk given that tokens must be transferred to the VVP application account. However, to help mitigate this risk, the account will be multisig with the keys held by three separate individuals including me, Zack Gall from EverythingEOS and one yet-to-be-determined individual.
6) Why is this good for EOS?
VVP incentivizes users to proxy their votes to “experts” in the EOS community who will then vote judiciously on their behalf. It enables tokenholders to monetize one of their most powerful abilities: voting. It also helps foster a culture of continuous improvement among BPs with the message being quite simple: if you believe in what you bring to the table as a BP, prove it and apply. If you don’t believe in what you bring to the table, then get better and apply.
7) When is the proof of concept testing period?
The proof of concept testing period will commence after (and subject to) the “request for comment” period from the community. There is currently no formal time frame to begin the proof of concept phase. However, if this concept is generally supported by the community, we anticipate beginning the proof of concept phase within one to four weeks after the date of this post. During the proof of concept phase, EOS tokenholders should proxy their votes to the Voting Valued Proxy account as a show of support for this concept. If VVP has 750,000 or more proxied EOS at the end of the testing period, the concept will be deemed viable.
8) What are the risks for me as a tokenholder? What will likely happen?
There aren’t any direct risks for tokenholders since proxying your votes is a trustless process. Users retain full control of their EOS tokens when proxying their votes. However, during the proof of concept testing period, you will technically forfeit your ability to vote if you proxy to VVP since VVP will not vote until the concept has been proven.
Voting Valued makes no guarantees that this concept will be successful or that any EOS will be distributed to VVP proxied voting accounts. At least 31 BPs must participate in this process in order for any EOS tokens to be distributed to the tokenholders.
9) Doesn’t this violate the Constitution?
We do not believe this violates any aspect of the current (or proposed) EOS Constitution(s).
10) How is this different from Chintai or REX?
Both Chintai and REX (still under development) are token leasing platforms which enable users to lease their tokens and associated resources for a return. On Chintai, users must transfer their assets to the Chintai contracts in order to lease, which arguably exposes users to some risk. Users are not exposed to any additional direct financial risk by proxying their votes to VVP. Importantly, VVP provides the potential for an income stream in addition to income from leasing their resources.
11) I am a BP — what do I need to do to apply?
Applications must be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The ONLY ACCEPTABLE FORMAT for an application is a PDF document not to exceed ten (10) pages. On the application, BPs may include whatever information they would like to justify their selection among the Top 30 VVP BPs. In addition, applicants must also provide 1) a transaction ID which proves transfer of the application payment from the BPs primary account to the Voting Valued account, and 2) a time-stamped screenshot from eosnetworkmonitor.io confirming their BP positioning at the time of application. The screenshot must have been taken within one hour of transfer of the time stamped application payment. More details on this will made available if the concept is deemed viable.
12) How do you determine successful applicants?
The VVP proxy managers will select BPs based on criteria that we believe are most important for a healthy and vibrant EOS mainnet. These criteria include, but are not limited to, adherence to the Constitution; strong technical performance; disclosure of key compliance information; geographic diversity; the development of value-add tools for the EOS community; and overall development and improvement of the EOS network. The three VVP proxy mangers include: 1) BlockchainKid, 2) Zack Gall from EverythingEOS, and 3) a yet-to-be-determined independent member of the EOS community.
13) Who has control of the Voting Valued multisig account keys?
There will be three keys to the VVP multisig account. One key will be held by each of the following members of the EOS Community: BlockchainKid, Zack Gall from EverythingEOS, and one yet-to-be-determined individual. If you are interested in beming a VVP proxy manager, please contact me on Telegram, Twitter or at email@example.com. To be considered, you must be unaffiliated with an EOS BP, cryptocurrency exchange and dApp.
Please note that the foregoing EOS proxy framework is subject to community feedback. In addition, this preliminary process is subject change as it is developed and refined.
I am a long-time EOS supporter and advocate for decentralized technologies. I currently maintain two EOS voter proxies called the Mereo Proxy and Mereo Global. My background is in finance, compensation and corporate governance. I currently co-own and operate a compensation and corporate governance consulting firm on the West Coast of the U.S. Thanks for reading.
Voting Valued: An Income Producing EOS Voter Proxy was originally published in Good Audience on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.