DRep Code of Conduct workshop in Oslo

Recap of the first Delegated Representative Workshop that was held in Norway, Oslo the 20th January 2024.
Written by Thomas Lindseth and @Eystein_Hansen

We where lucky to have 14 attendants who in general had quite a lot of experience with the CIP 1694 DRep and where familiar with the concept of the Catalyst DRep. At all of these workshops it is a question on how much emphasize to put on the learning part of it and how much on the development part of it. For this workshop in particular we leaned a lot on the development of the DRep both in terms of more general things like tooling and how to brand, but also in questioning and trying to improve on the Code of Conduct for the DRep.

After an initial speech about how being a DRep is a global thing and with many people rooting for the workshop across the world and how this can mean inclusivness on blockchain in ways current governance system cannot we moved on to discussing what could be motives for becoming a DRep and introduce the question with asking how we can tell a story to those outside of our own governance bubble in regards to why become a DRep, if it was about the community supporter role, the way you could create organisational DReps or to support liquid democracy as some examples to start the debate.

We used a method similar to what was done during the CIP 1694 workshop with individual stickies on Miro then identifying common themes and finally voting in a democratic way on the top 3 ideas. The main thing highligted by the workshop attendants was the role the DRep has in protecting and maintaning the blockchain and the ecosystem and then on second place (tied) the more functional and creational/changing aspects of the DRep role.

Our next workgroup discussion was on how to become a DRep. Here we focused on the fact that its fairly straightforward for anyone familiar in the ecosystem to get a sanchonet address, get tADA from a faucted and using GovTools or Command Line Interface (CLI) but we wanted also to focus the discussion on how to make it easier for someone who had never heard of Sanchonet and was new to Cardano governance to be able to easily become a DRep.

Here our workshop attendees focused and agreed in a vote that most important was the platforms for education the role of DRep with second place how wallets has to be a natural platforms for DReps and finally a third shared place was to make sure there was incentives and on how to ensure also organizations has incentives to onboard themselves or theire customers as part of a larger DRep organisation. We also had an interesting discussion on the fact that you as a Staking Pool Operator know roughly how much time and effort you are spending while for a DRep this is currently more of an unknown so more educational material on the practicalities of being a DRep should be part of these educational platforms.

We then discussed the DRep Code of Conduct and three imporant charachteristics we have identifed so far in the work leading up to the workshops. The workshop attendees had a shorted down version of the current Code of Conduct ([Master] DRep Code of Conduct - Google Docs) at hand during the whole day to study and prepair for this part of the workshop.

For competence we focued on how this could enable efficent covernance and how DReps should disclose forms of competence and how could we actually in an objective way measure it and should time and resources be part of such a disclosure? Here our workgroup agreed three main things was important. You needed Certificates for competence (so a third party could certify your competence), you needed endorsement socially (so peer recognition) and finally some form of chain data of voting activity also would show patterns that yould reveal something about a given DReps competence.

For organisations we introduced the topic to the group with asking how do we uphold groups or organisations to standards where we can prevent collusion of hiddend influence and how one could encurage transparency in organsational DReps. Here the workinggroup considered that there should be some form of lobbying rules for organisational Dreps, disclosure rules and blockchain analytics could help show patterns of organisational behaviour.

For the last topic we where ofcourse carefull in trying to define what is “fair” but focused on how to prevent voter delegationm fatigue from arbritary voting of DReps or voters that voted with undislcosed economic interests. We discussed how it was better to focus on incentivizing good behaviour than punishing bad as it would be very hard to diferentiate someone doing arbritarty voting vs just voting with little rational so to incentivize actually providing such a rationale. Another cool idea was to provide community notes or a review of sorts for anyone doing a governance data to get a more balanced discussion with as much information as possible on a topic. A return topic when it comes to fairness is ofcourse quadratic voting and it was so in this workshop as well.

After a bit of a dive into the Code of Conduct that we sadly did not have more time to go further into we then had a presentation by Micheal Meadoff from IOG on the DRep Pioneer program that is going to be rolled out where they also will include the DRep Code of Conduct.
You can watch this presentation in this video

After Michael, Ben O’Hanlon talked about DRep mapping. You can watch this presentation here.

After the presentation by Ben it was natural to discuss DRep branding.

The discussions extended to the topic of DRep branding and tool development. Participants agreed that to safeguard the DRep role from becoming a popularity contest among crypto influencers, it’s crucial to provide delegators with transparent and informative tools. These tools should highlight a DRep’s performance and streamline the discovery of local DReps, strengthening the community-centric nature of governance.

Finally it was time for the speedrunning session on DRep tooling where the participants split into three smaller groups to brainstorm innovative ideas for DRep tooling. Several creative proposals emerged during this exercise. One proposal that drew some debate was the concept of a vote market. Another popular idea, which garnered second place, was integrating affiliate programs for DReps with wallets to simplify the delegation process. The most favored suggestion, which ultimately emerged victorious, was the notion of basket voting. This approach would empower voters to delegate their votes to coalitions aligned with specific issues like sustainability, effectively streamlining the decision-making process for ada holders.

Video playlist with the full workshop as well as the presentations by @benohanlon and @Michael_Madoff can be found here

After the workshop we all met at a local pizza place for food, beer and ofcourse more Cardano talk.
Here we were also met with other members of the Cardano community who were unable to attend the workshop.
We discussed everything from memecoins, and NFTs to governance and leadership structures, new developments in projects and so much more.


Link to Miro board here