The Harmony Foundation is committing 4 million ONE tokens to kickstart the Validator DAO. This will be the first of many DAOs the Foundation will be seeding over the next 6 months. We are committed to decentralization and a DAO that directly represents the needs and interests of a community is a powerful way to accomplish this goal. Once kickstarted, DAOs will ensure their long-term sustainability through their impact and utility to their community.

The validator community has already shown their commitment to validator-specific issues through their engagement in core protocol discussions and votes passing two out of the four proposals submitted to date. The Validator DAO will further enrich the community by ensuring a vibrant and robust ecosystem and supporting the growth of the Harmony network from the over 100 validators currently operating to over 1,000 in the near future. This can be accomplished by presenting best practices, standardizing on-ramp procedures for new validators and ensuring that there are clear lines of communication and strong methods of advocacy.

The needs and interests of the validator community are best discovered through a high level of participation and deliberation. These issues are not limited to the Harmony blockchain and, as such, we encourage engaging with and bringing in best practices from multiple chains chains.

Background:

Harmony launched the industry’s first fully sharded proof-of-stake layer 1 blockchain in June 2019 with 152 external slots and upgraded the mainnet to open staking in May 2020 with 320 external slots run by community validators. Since then, the network has expanded to 1,000 total validator slots with external validators running 800 of them.

How will it work?

The Validator DAO will comprise an Initial Council of 5 community nominated and elected validators who will set out the procedures necessary for the DAO governance. Details of this operation will be published by the Initial Council.

How will it be supported?

The Harmony Foundation has been running Pangaea Validator Academy since the fall of 2020 helping new validators get elected by delegating tokens. It will use the staking rewards earned from those delegations to kickstart the Validator DAO with 4 million ONE tokens into the Validator DAO wallet in 8 equal installments over the course of the next 8 months as soon as the Initial Counsel is elected. The Council will be responsible for competent treasury management as well as ensuring that the funds are deployed to the best of their ability.

Beyond financial support, the Harmony Foundation will continue to provide insight, introductions and any other assistance as may be requested.

Why is this happening?

Decentralization is a powerful tool in harnessing those devoted to similar goals. In order to make our decentralization stronger, to empower our community and allow them to set their own course, we knew that the community needed funding to be as effective as they could be.

This new Validator DAO will be focused on the health and well-being of the validator community. It will drive network governance, putting into place and practice the variety of mechanisms needed to support both voting and accountability. The Validator DAO will evangelize the benefits of both running validator nodes as well as delegating stakes. It will also be a driving force for partnerships, marketing and collaboration both within the Harmony community and the larger multi-chain staking ecosystem.

The Validator DAO will also take part in bootstrapping and uplifting new validators. In coordination with the Pangea Validator Academy, efforts will be made to get new and smaller validators elected.

What happens next?

The Initial Council will draft the initial governing document of the ValidatorDAO.

The Harmony Foundation will bootstrap the Validator DAO with an initial funding of 4 million ONE tokens over the next 8 months. ONE tokens will be deposited into a multi-sig Gnosis Safe to be managed by the 5 designated representatives of the Initial Council as voted on by the validator community.

Elections

May will be an exciting time for the Validator DAO. By the end of this month, the Initial Council will be elected.

May 9th: Submit your candidacy on talk.harmony.one

On May 9th, a new Topic will go live on talk.harmony.one with the tags “Governance”, “Staking” and “Validators”. If you are an active validator and wish to be considered for election, please visit talk.harmony.one, find the relevant thread and add your profile to the comments with the subject line: “Validator DAO Council Candidate: XXX” and putting your validator name in for the XXX.

And then it is time for open campaigning amongst the validators. Engage with your peers on reddit, on telegram, on discord or twitter. Post youtube videos. Include the tag #HarmonyValidatorDAO and engage in valuable public debate. Keep it civil. Keep it true to the Harmony culture.

May 16th: Reddit Town Halls

During the week of May 16th, there will be a series of Reddit Town Halls. Think of them as multi-person AMAs. Depending on the number of candidates, RockTheBlockchain (our fantastic reddit moderator) will host several candidates at one time to answer questions from the community and — perhaps — engage in a bit of a debate. (Fisticuffs not guaranteed).

May 23rd: Vote!

Voting will open on May 23rd on governance.harmony.one. You will need to be an active validator to vote. Each validator will be given 5 votes, but you may only vote for a candidate one time. The top 5 recipients will populate the Initial Council of the Validator DAO. You must vote before May 28th.

But What Will I Have To Do?

As we mentioned above — the Validator DAO will be focused on decentralization, security and governance. However, to run an operation like this there will be several sets of responsibilities that will need to be taken care of. In some organizations, one person fills one responsibility, in other organizations, all of the work is shared amongst all of the people. We will leave it to the Initial Council to determine the best way to operate.

It is expected that the Council will meet on a regular basis to address the needs of the DAO. We believe that treasury management and accountability are vital components of the DAO and, as such, believe that a Treasurer of some sort will help manage the books.

Accountability and transparency are also qualities that we would like to see in our DAOs. We believe that the meetings should be publicly viewable, that decisions made by the Council should be recorded and that how specific Council members voted should be a matter of public record. To that end, we believe that a Secretary is a vital component of the Council.

While less defined, it is important that the Council sees the role that Community, Marketing and Technical Integration plays in executing their missing. Thus, candidates that will support such initiatives are encouraged to apply.

These responsibilities are simply general, broad strokes of what we believe the DAO will need. To be honest, if you are willing to work hard, be creative, and commit to improving the Validator community and Harmony at large — throw your hat in! We would love to have you!

Just the beginning

This is simply the first step (and first DAO) that we are taking to ensure that our community can be masters of their own fate. Modeled after this initial DAO, Harmony will be launching other mission specific DAOs over the course of the next few months.

Join us. Let’s make Harmony together.