Road to decentralization
As outlined in the Panther whitepaper, Panther is on a continuous path toward decentralization. This approach is by design, as the protocol focuses on building a solid foundation to support further development, adoption, and decentralization of the protocol.
Panther has been decentralized since day one, launching through a decentralized token and smart contract generation event called 'LaunchDAO.' Members of the Panther community directly participated in this launch. In addition to receiving a $PreZKP non-transferable token, which serves as a badge of honor, voting members also received $ZKP tokens after the token launch.
Through Snapshot, the Panther community can vote on Panther Improvement Proposals (PIPs). PIPs cover various topics, from democratic procedures to code releases. Once a proposal is published on Panther's Snapshot page, it can be voted upon by the community. If the vote does not pass, no action is taken, preserving the community's power to decide the protocol's direction.
Before a proposal moves to Snapshot, it should be discussed on Panther's community-managed forum, Discourse. On the Panther forum, the community can make new topics or contribute to the existing discussions to let their voice be heard.
Building up to the launch and deployment of Panther Protocol v0.5, Panther achieved a significantly higher level of decentralization through Panther Improvement Proposals 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Through these proposals, various protocol components were governed, deployed, and configured by the Panther community.
PIP-8 set the stage by putting more responsibilities in the hands of the Panther community by onboarding new Snapshot Authors and Admins. Authors are community members who can publish a PIP draft from Discourse onto Snapshot. At the same time, Admins are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the platform's governance structure by enforcing DAO governance rules and values. The Panther DAO Council introduced by PIP-14 decides if a proposal draft from Discourse is suitable to be voted on and serves Panther's interests.
PIP-8 also defined the process of electing future Snapshot Authors and Admins. PIP-8 sought to enhance decentralization by augmenting the number of Authors and Admins within the Panther Protocol ecosystem. The proposal successfully onboarded two Panther contributors and six community members as Snapshot Authors empowered to propose changes on Snapshot.org. Furthermore, two new community-elected Admin accounts were added as signatories on the Gnosis Safe multisig wallet, which serves as the sole admin account for Panther's Snapshot.org space. The multisig wallet operates under a "2-out-of-3" signing policy, ensuring that changes to the Snapshot.org space's settings are approved by at least two of the three whitelisted Admins.
PIP-8 increased community participation in the protocol's governance and eliminated potential points of failure. Introducing new Snapshot Authors, Admins, and a multisig for Admin actions improved the protocol's resilience and decision-making process. These permissions are valid for six months, after which the community proposes and votes on a fresh set of nominees to continue in the role. The second election of Admins and Authors occurred through PIP-15, which put these functions solely in the hands of community members.
PIP-9 and PIP-10 also formalized the terms for the staking program, giving the community a direct route to decide how a significant amount of funds would be distributed among stakers. The community has since also expanded the Advanced Staking program, executed CEX listings for $ZKP, and formalized its procedures, among other things.