Gnosis Votes on Whether to Spin Out DeFi Infrastructure Project as Independent DAO
Gnosis is considering a spinout of one of its key units in its ecosystem.
By: Samuel HaigByte
In a move that could change the structure of one of the most important pieces of DeFi infrastructure, the community behind Gnosis is voting on whether to spin out Gnosis Safe, its popular multi-signature digital asset management platform.
Gnosis Safe supports the Ethereum and Web3 ecosystems. Many leading crypto protocols, including Curve, Aave, and Chainlink, use Safe. The protocol now holds more than $107B worth of Ether and ERC-20 tokens, or roughly 5.1% of the combined cryptocurrency capitalization according to CoinGecko.
“We believe the SafeDAO to be the best vehicle to steward development across the Interface, Infrastructure, and Protocol layers of the Safe project,” tweeted the Gnosis Safe team.
If the Feb. 9 proposal is approved, Gnosis Safe will establish itself as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) independent from Gnosis Ltd and rebrand as SafeDAO. The DAO will operate as a Swiss-based foundation to protect its strategic off-chain assets including strategic investments, intellectual property, and Github repositories.
Vote counts for the governance poll will be revealed when the poll concludes on Feb. 16.
The proposal appears to be garnering support on social media and the Gnosis governance forum. Forum-goer “Corbin.eth” described Gnosis Safe as “one of the most important crypto primitives and building blocks in Web3 today” and commended the team for pushing to reorganize it as a DAO.
The spin-off will be governed by the SAFE token. Tokenholders will be able to vote on governance matters concerning all aspects of SafeDAO’s operations, including tokenomics, value capture mechanisms, technical changes to the Safe protocol, and the management of on-chain assets such as ENS domain names, NFTs, and treasury assets.
SAFE will have a fixed supply of 1B tokens to be minted at genesis. The SafeDAO treasury will control 40% of supply. The Safe Foundation will also control 15%, with up to 7% allocated to grant funding initiatives.
The GnosisDAO treasury will receive 15% of the supply on a four-year vesting schedule. However, the proposal asserts that GnosisDAO should not be in control of more than 7% of the circulating SAFE supply at any moment. It adds that GnosisDAO will be required to distribute the tokens to other entities “by selling, issuing to GNO holders, or other means.”
A further 5% will be allocated to a joint treasury controlled by both GnosisDAO and SafeDAO requiring signatures from both parties to mobilize funds. The tokens will be used to incentivize activities that serve “the mutual interests of the Safe and Gnosis communities.”
“Even though the Gnosis Safe team and the GnosisDAO will become separate entities, they will maintain a mutually beneficial relationship and aligned goals,” the proposal states. “This is further established using the SAFE Token shares vesting into the GnosisDAO Treasury and Joint Community Treasury.”
Safe’s user base and ecosystem will also each receive 5% of supply, with the tokens evenly split between a liquid airdrop and a vested airdrop. The remaining 15% will be used to reward “current and future core contributor teams.”
Gnosis co-founder Stefan George advised users to stake and lock GNO tokens by Feb. 15 in order to qualify for the airdrop.
“It doesn’t matter when the GNO was purchased,” added George. “You could even buy GNO now and lock it.”
GNO holders that lock their tokens by Feb. 15 will also qualify for an upcoming vesting airdrop from CowSwap, an MEV-protected DEX aggregator and the first protocol to spin out from Gnosis. The drop will distribute 5% of CowSwap’s token supply.