Arbitrum Governance Divided Over $2.4M Research Coalition

Some community members raising concerns the Coalition's cost is excessively high with proposed comps as high as $1.3M in annual salary equivalent.

By: Camila Russo Loading...

Arbitrum Governance Divided Over $2.4M Research Coalition

Arbitrum token holders are split on a $2.4M proposal to fund a research coalition, with some community members raising concerns its cost is excessively high.

Roughly 57% of participants are in favor of funding the coalition, while 41% object, according to the Snapshot governance platform. The vote started on Nov. 3 and ends Nov. 10.

The proposal, posted on the Arbitrum Foundation's forum, recommends forming "The Arbitrum Coalition" to streamline decision-making and improve governance.

Projected costs total 2.2M in ARB, Arbitrum's native token, for a one-year term. With ARB at $1.1 at the time of writing, the group would cost $2.4M for 12 months of work.

Arbitrum is the largest Layer 2 network on Ethereum with $7B of assets locked, according to L2Beat. Layer 2 networks take computation off the Ethereum main chain to allow for faster and cheaper transactions while retaining Ethereum security.

Notable Members

The group would be initially made up of Blockworks Research, Gauntlet, and Trail of Bits, "whose mandate is to empower delegates with resources for making the most informed decisions possible."

L2Beat would be a DAO Advocate, which "functions as a referee between the DAO and the coalition."

~$1M Annual Comp.

The professionals working in the Coalition are each expected to receive the annual salary equivalent of between $780,000 and $1.3M in ARB tokens.

Trail of Bits is slated to receive $800,000 in ARB for "8 engineer-weeks" quarterly, or 32 engineer-weeks for one year. If this were one full-time engineer working those 32 weeks, their annual salary would equal $1.3M.

Similarly, Gauntlet is proposed to receive $327,000 in ARB for 15 "quantitative researcher weeks." If this were one full-time researcher working those 15 weeks, their annual salary would equal $1.1M.

Blockworks Research is expected to be compensated with $780,000 in ARB for a minimum of 13 "analyst weeks" per quarter, which is equivalent to a full year.

L2Beat would be paid $96,000 in ARB.

"Please Clarify"

Some ARB token holders were perplexed.

"Is this one full time person for $780k a year? I must be reading it wrong. Please clarify," said Giveth co-founder Griff Green. "In the mean time, seeing what I see, as much as we need the help, we can find better offers."

Blockworks Research replied that the amount quoted for their team is a maximum and that they will take the responsibility of "having to dedicate any additional resources" to one full time researcher if needed.

Nick Cannon, the VP of growth at Gauntlet said his firm's services are priced at below market value.

"Speaking for Gauntlet, and ToB said the same, we priced the Coalition work significantly lower than elsewhere," Cannon posted on X.

Concentration of Power

On top of concerns about compensation being too high, a community member who goes by dk3 in the forum voiced concerns over concentration of power.

The same members will "review and provide opinions on proposals, cover those proposals publicly via Media Networks, vote on proposals, review the security concerns of a proposal, and then execute the Arbitrum network upgrades," they wrote.

Cannon clarified that "Gauntlet does not vote for proposals where we would have financial gain. Trail of Bits has no voting power (see forum) and I've personally told Blockworks we would not participate unless they abstained as well from the Coalition vote."

Arbitrum parent company Offchain Labs launched ARB to much fanfare in March, ceding control and ownership of the Layer 2 blockchain to its community of users and investors..

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