DAO Governance

The mechanics, current status, and history of DAO governance of Panther Protocol


Panther DAO was recently launched as part of the TGE (Token Generation Event) at the very end of January 2022. The TGE set in place the foundational structures necessary for long-term governance, as described in the LaunchDAO proposal, which transferred control of the core smart contracts from LaunchDAO to Panther DAO. See the Control section of the LaunchDAO proposal #3 documentation for the technical details:
DAOs cannot materialize from thin air as fully fledged decentralized entities - they need to be bootstrapped somehow via a centralized entity. However, if that centralized entity has too much control at the beginning, then it undermines the foundations on which the DAO was built.
With that in mind, Panther was launched from the very beginning in a decentralized manner via LaunchDAO (see the announcement on our blog and the LaunchDAO documentation for more information on this). This was a solution to the "chicken and egg" problem of needing a vote to democratically launch a DAO, but not having a token to measure voting power until the DAO is launched. This "chicken and egg" problem was described and neatly solved by Gro when they launched their DAO using a dedicated "xGRO" launch token - see their blog post on this for more information. Panther drew inspiration from this approach and took it to the next level by making the decentralized launch private using Zero Knowledge Proofs, in alignment with our privacy mission.

Current status

We are now in the early stages of establishing more comprehensive governance tools and processes which will make it easier for the Panther community to participate in DAO governance.
The first stage is already complete, namely:
  • Setting up the pantherprotocol.eth namespace on and conducting the first governance votes.
  • Staking of $ZKP on Ethereum Mainnet is operational, and this conveys voting power to stakers. See the Staking section for more details on staking:
  • Expanding staking and voting rights to $ZKP holders in Polygon.
Decentralized governance was bootstrapped via LaunchDAO and already has all the necessary primitives. However, it is currently operating with "training wheels" on to minimize the risk of attacks or other mishaps in the early stages before it has had the chance to prove itself and gain the full confidence of all stakeholders.
In particular, this means that initially, there is an emergency veto power for proposals, to defend against possible 51% attacks via rogue proposals. It is expected that this safety mechanism will never be used, and it should be noted that it is controlled by a 3 of 5 multisig, of which three parties are entirely independent of Panther's core team. This veto will be relinquished as soon as possible, as explained in the next section.

The future

In the future, further steps will be taken to mature protocol governance:
  • Both on-chain and off-chain voting will be supported.
  • Other forms of voting may be supported, such as quadratic voting.
  • More sophisticated platforms will be provided for the community to discuss and author proposals in a structured fashion.
  • The emergency veto safety mechanism will be relinquished as soon as there are sufficient $ZKP stakers to achieve economic security against malicious attacks.
Any changes in governance structures will of course be subject to approval by the DAO, and executed in a decentralized manner, similarly to how the DAO was launched in the first place.