Recognizing The Synapse Foundation
For almost a year, the Synapse Protocol has been a valuable tool providing users a platform to execute decentralized and permissionless transactions between L1 blockchains, L2 rollups, and sidechains. The numbers speak for themselves - Synapse has become the most widely used generalized cross-chain token bridge and messaging protocol, enabling over $11 billion in total bridge volume in nearly 1 million unique transactions and supporting over 150k unique users.
Recently, the community unveiled its vision for Synapse’s future as an Ethereum-based optimistic rollup and cross-chain messaging system, a bold and exciting evolution of the protocol that will further entrench it as critical infrastructure in a multichain world. DAO approval of the upgrade would only be the beginning, and as the protocol grows and matures, so must the Synapse DAO. The community must continue to incentivize contributors and participants to drive innovation, but do so in an organized and efficient manner.
The Synapse Foundation
To that end, the Synapse Foundation, a Cayman Islands exempted foundation company, was created to provide that requisite organization and help drive efficiencies to facilitate the continued growth of the Synapse community. Should the Synapse Foundation be recognized via Synapse DAO governance according to this proposal, the Synapse Foundation will adopt as its purpose the facilitation, support, promotion, representation, and advancement of the open-source development and adoption of the Synapse Protocol and Synapse Chain, including:
- Supporting appropriate research and development activities and projects through grants, contractor agreements, bug bounty programs, and otherwise, as directed and funded by the Synapse DAO;
- Educating the public on the Synapse Chain and Protocol, decentralized autonomous organizations in general, interoperability, chain security models, blockchain-based asset portability, and decentralized applications; and
- Engaging with various businesses, partners, banks, regulators, authorities, and other third parties to the benefit of the ecosystem.
The Synapse Foundation will not have any profit-making purpose and although it may have an operating budget (as addressed below) it will not receive any fees, compensation, or remuneration of any kind for any actions taken in furtherance of the above. It has no owners, shareholders, or members, and is managed by an independent director from a regulated fiduciary services firm. If this proposal passes, it will exist exclusively to act for the benefit of Synapse DAO participants and for the growth of the protocol.
Synapse Foundation Advisory Board
To ensure the Synapse Foundation acts in accordance with the above, it is further proposed that, should the Synapse DAO recognize the Synapse Foundation pursuant to the above, the Synapse DAO elect five members to a newly-created Synapse Foundation Advisory Board, made up of both community participants and/or non-Synapse DAO participants, for one year terms (unless removed and replaced by the Synapse DAO by majority vote). If approved according to this governance proposal and upon amendment of the Synapse Foundation’s governing documents, the Advisory Board would serve as special advisors to the Synapse Foundation to ensure the Foundation’s actions align with the interests of the Synapse DAO, including taking into account and implementing Synapse DAO governance directives to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Advisory Board would be able to request directors of the Synapse Foundation resign following a majority vote and, for certain initiatives, be delegated authority by the Synapse Foundation to carry out actions to be taken by the Synapse Foundation.
It is proposed that Advisory Board member elections proceed as follows:
- Participants in the community may nominate any individual - whether a Synapse DAO participant or not - to be considered for an Advisory Board “seat” during a one-week “Nomination Period”.
- At the conclusion of the Nomination Period, a one-week “Voting Period” will commence, during which Synapse DAO participants may cast votes for the nominees. Voting is done on a cumulative basis (that is, each Synapse DAO participant is allocated one vote per $SYN token held, and those votes may be cast in any way the DAO participant sees fit. For example, a holder of 500 tokens may cast all 500 votes for the same candidate, split 100 votes each over five candidates, or whatever allocation the holder pleases).
The Foundation’s operating budget would consist generally of administrative costs (including the independent director fees and other operating expenses) and legal fees paid to effectuate and implement governance proposals, contracting with outside parties and contributors, and similar costs. To cover these costs, this proposal would initially allocate $150,000 per year to the Foundation for normal operations. Any unused portion of the budget allocation at the end of each fiscal year would roll over to the following year and be applied against the subsequent year’s budget allocation.
The budget may be revisited as required by the Advisory Board in consultation with the independent director of the Synapse Foundation and additional governance proposals may be made to adjust the budget allocation as necessary.
All grants to be made to contributors will be approved and allocated by the Synapse DAO on a case-by-case basis, and the Synapse DAO may delegate decision making authority with respect to grants to the Advisory Board in its sole discretion via governance. To the extent required (e.g., if the Foundation is expected to contractually retain a service provider), the relevant governance proposal should set out those amounts to be transferred to the Foundation for disbursement.
Onward and Upward
If this proposal for recognizing the Synapse Foundation is passed by the Synapse DAO, community participants will be able to make governance proposals to fund the Synapse Foundation to carry out grant funding for engineering, business development, governance management, research, analysis, and any other activity that would benefit the Synapse DAO.
Note, the Synapse Foundation is not intended to be the only organization or entity supporting and contributing to the Synapse Chain and Protocol. Community participants are encouraged to consider, discuss, and implement additional entities and structures to facilitate the growth of Synapse. The Synapse Foundation is just another step forward in the pursuit of decentralized governance and empowering community participants to contribute to the growth of Synapse.