Governance and Core Contributor Teams

Author: Cateatpeanut, with input from the Mantle Core Contributor Team

Tags: Governance, Core Contributor Teams, Committees


This document outlines the current practices involving the interaction between Mantle Governance and Core Contributor Teams. Its purpose is to provide transparency to the community, and motivate feedback and improvements. It is not intended to be a prescriptive ruleset, but rather describes the norms and allows for case-by-case flexibility. The document will be updated frequently to reflect the current situation, and incorporate feedback and industry best practices.

This document is classified as "Guidance", as many items have not been ratified by the Mantle Governance Vote. Therefore, its contents are subject to the terms of current and future Proposals (MIPs) and Mantle Governance parameters.


"Token Holders" refers to both the current and future holders of $MNT tokens, acquired through purchasing, compensation, or other incentive and distribution programs. This group is analogous to "voters, citizens" in a political context, or "shareholders" in a corporate context.

"Core Contributor Teams" refers to product development and growth teams across multiple Mantle products. These teams are allocated resources through budget proposals. This group is analogous to the "executive branch" within a political context, or the "management team, directors, and workforce" within a corporate context.

"Mantle Governance Vote" refers to the official voting process of Mantle (currently Snapshot) with parameters such as quorum and majority rules defined and modifiable by Proposals. This is analogous to a "general election" or "referendum" within a political context, or the "general shareholder vote" within a corporate context.

"Committees" refers to subject matter specialized bodies, formed and authorized through Mantle Governance Vote, providing technical advisory and oversight for Core Contributor Teams in the interest of Token Holders. This is analogous to "subject matter committees" within a political and corporate context.

"Voting Delegates" receive voting weight from $MNT token holders. This group is analogous to jurisdictional or geographic "representatives" in a political context, or the "board of directors" within a corporate context.

Current Practices

Objective: Token Holders determine the strategic direction of Mantle.

Control of Resources

  1. All development resources and Core Contributor Team incentives, including USDx, ETH and MNT, should be held in Mantle Treasury with disbursements via the Mantle Governance process. This distinguishes Mantle from many other DAOs where major asset resources are controlled by founding Labs or Foundations, with the DAO only overseeing the community allocation of their native token.

  2. Core Contributor Teams request financing from Mantle Governance through the budget proposal process. Core Contributor Teams custody limited amounts of resources, which are replenished through a capital call process, subject to periodic performance reviews, and tracking via the Treasury Monitor. Excessively large capital calls will be rejected (see Budgeting and Finance Guidelines for more information).

  3. All fees generated by the Mantle products are to be directed to the Mantle Treasury. The Mantle Treasury funds all expenses related to Mantle product-suite protocols and operations, in accordance with the terms specified in the budget proposal. As such, there is no "recycling" of resources without first passing through Mantle Governance authorizations.

Classification of Items for the Mantle Governance Vote

  1. "Strategic" items subjected to the Mantle Governance Vote include: launching new product lines and initiatives, modifications to tokenomics, significant spending items or budget allocations, course-corrective actions, organizational structuring, Committee membership and ruleset, select technical architecture choices, and modification of Mantle Governance parameters.

  2. "Non-strategic" items are best delegated to authorized Core Contributor Teams, including: monthly operating expenses, small grants, and technical architecture choices during early phases of development, cosmetic modifications, and critical fixes.

  3. Items that fall between strategic and non-strategic should be delegated to Committees. Committees handle technical decisions concerning architecture, economics, security, and risk. Committee members are expected to make decisions in the best interest of Token Holders, regardless of their roles within Core Contributor Teams.

Roadmap for Committees

  1. The concept of Committees, like the Mantle EcoFund Investment Committee and the Mantle Network Leadership Committee, has been alluded to by current proposals.

  2. Potential future committees include the "Administrative Committee" to support proposal drafting, proposal interpretation and compliance, and establishment of real-world entities. It will also be responsible for assessing sentiment to prompt course correction discussions. The "Economics Committee" will provide advice on multi-product synergies, tokenomics, treasury yield strategies, and long-term Mantle prosperity.

  3. Committee membership and rules may range from "self-determined" to "mandated by Mantle Governance", depending on the Committee's subject matter. High-risk areas such as investments and treasury allocations may necessitate memberships mandated by Mantle Governance with an "any member can veto" rule.

Approval versus Ideation Function

  1. Mantle Governance primarily serves as the organization's approval and oversight function, not necessarily as the "ideation" function. While the forum is permissionless, most strategic ideas and formal proposals are expected to originate from current and future Core Contributor Teams.

  2. Voter participation legitimizes the Mantle Governance Vote, particularly in relation to the protection of minority Token Holder interests.

  3. Voter participation and diversification are not objectives in themselves. Most Token Holders seek potential from Mantle products, and have a high trust in Voting Delegates, Committees, and Core Contributor Teams. By analogy to a corporate context, most shareholders are passive or assign their vote to board members.

Roadmap for Voter Demographic

  1. The Mantle voter and Voting Delegate demographic will likely differ from other DAOs due to the potential of the Mantle product suite and other treasury initiatives. Mantle will likely have multiple product line Core Contributor Teams, flagship dAPP partners, and technology partners such as node operators and modular blockchain technology integrations. The resulting vote-weight demographic will likely resemble a federation of committed members.

Governance Hierarchy

  1. All authority of Committees and Core Contributor Teams originates from the approval and authorization of Mantle Governance through Proposals. These authorizations should be temporary and subject to modification, clarification, and supplementation by Mantle Governance. Any proposals conflicting with this principle are subject to rejection.

Course Correction

  1. Course corrections depend on community and stakeholder sentiment as observed through forum posts, community managers, and other channels. The threshold is not "will this pass a vote", but "whether there is sufficient sentiment to warrant a discussion". The preference is to handle changes through private discussion, as public course-corrective actions are controversial and can potentially harm the brand. The forthcoming Administrative Council will facilitate course correction proposals.

  2. The Mantle Governance Vote can, with immediate effect, modify Committee memberships and rulesets, and Core Contributor Team operating budgets. As such, Committees and Core Contributor Teams should be sensitive to community sentiment, regard Proposal terms as the minimum standard for behavior and transparency, interpret Proposal terms conservatively, and always act in the best interest of Token Holders.

Objective: Preserve the rights and interests of Token Holders.

Economic Rights and Interests

  1. By default, proposals should be drafted to have equal impact on all existing Token Holders' economic stakes. In special cases, a Token Holder may voluntarily choose to dilute their stake and confirm this decision through the Mantle Governance Vote.

  2. Proposals resulting in resource disbursements from the Mantle Treasury are potentially economically dilutive to existing Token Holders. Such proposals must outline how these disbursements contribute to long-term Mantle prosperity. This approach parallels "ROI analysis" in a corporate context.

Voting Rights and Interests

  1. The current voting mechanism is "one token, one vote weight", with no current plans for modification. Any modification proposals must empirically justify how they improve outcomes, and the effectiveness of prerequisite mechanisms like identity systems and Sybil resistance.

  2. Delegation and Redelegation mechanisms are currently allowed as their purpose is convenience, and not for skewing voting rights.

  3. Large Token Holders are encouraged to self-limit their voting weight, or delegate their voting weight to the preferred Voting Delegate or Core Contributor Team.

Objective: Empower Core Contributor Teams to be motivated and competitive.

Executive Flexibility

  1. Constraints on Core Contributor Teams will vary depending on the maturity of product development, adoption, and an empathetic evaluation of working conditions. The aim is to minimize micromanagement by Token Holders and minimize administrative and governance processes that impede progress.

  2. The Mantle Governance process ordinarily spans 2-4 weeks, requiring at minimum a 7-day forum discussion and a 7-day Mantle Governance Vote. Proposals are purposely drafted with broad terms to allow flexible interpretation, ensuring that minor deviations do not necessitate additional proposals.

Privacy and Reporting

  1. In alignment with our crypto-native orientation, we respect the autonomy of Core Contributor Team members and commercial partners to maintain anonymity or pseudonymity, upholding a strong degree of personal privacy.

  2. Financial information will be made accessible via the Treasury Monitor for the purposes of Token Holder review and strategic decision making. Typically, these consist of budget line items. By default, individual compensations or partnership commercial terms will not be publically disclosed. To enhance transparency in the future, we may engage independent auditors to review financial details under NDA.

Objective: Ensure Products and Governance are censorship resistant.

Censorship Resistance

  1. Mantle Products will aim to enhance censorship resistance, progressively through technical architecture decisions and the decentralization of node operators. Progress will depend on product maturity and adoption, as these choices are likely to impose restrictions on product performance and future product development.

  2. Mantle Governance and Treasury will aim to enhance censorship resistance through the adoption of on-chain governance and automated treasuries. These decisions will be based on a thorough evaluation of community sentiment, benefits, risks, costs, and constraints on future flexibility. Given the current stage of Mantle's development, this is not an immediate priority.

Virtual vs Real Life Entities

  1. As a guiding principle, virtual entities are enduring and inherently censorship resistant. In contrast, real-life entities are to be established as modular, swiftly replaceable via proposals, and avoid custody of a critical mass of resources or process ownership.

  2. Mantle Governance should remain a virtual membership and set of rules. Mantle Treasury should largely remain onchain.

  3. Real Life entities, such as various Mantle Foundations or Holdings entities, are to derive authority from proposals. Their constitutions should be drafted with reference to the relevant proposal. Their directorships and internal governance rules should be modifiable by Mantle Governance, compliant with the relevant proposal terms, and compliant with real-world regulations.

  4. Service Providers, like development labs or professional services, are not governed by Mantle Governance. Their relationship is strictly commercial, and they should follow the best practices of the Budgeting and Finance Guidelines.

Additional Information

Diagram: Control of Resources

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