Major Arbitrum Delegate Gauntlet Unable to Vote in $40M Grants Proposal

The Ethereum contract address solicited for delegation by Gauntlet is incompatible with Arbitrum.

By: Camila Russo Loading...

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In the wake of a major Arbitrum vote this week, Gauntlet, a reputed technical service provider, finds itself in a conundrum. Despite holding the seventh-largest delegate position on Ethereum's largest Layer 2 network, it is unable to cast a vote.

The issue? The Ethereum contract address solicited for delegation by Gauntlet is incompatible with Arbitrum, leaving them effectively voiceless in governance decisions. One such decision ends this Friday, when Arbitrum delegates will choose to allocate grants worth 50M ARB, or $40M, with ARB at $0.81 at the time of writing.

The dilemma highlights the still nascent state of blockchain governance, as even one of the most technically-savvy organizations in the ecosystem has its hands tied because of the seemingly innocuous fact that it chose an incompatible address.

Major Voting Block

Gauntlet holds a voting block of 12.6M ARB, a position that was just recently bolstered with 8M ARB by an anonymous delegate who was probably unaware Gauntlet can't exercise its voting power.

Gauntlet CEO Tarun Chitra said in an interview Gauntlet set up its delegation platform reusing the Safe wallet address gauntletgov.eth from the Ethereum mainnet, as they were primarily concerned about "governance apathy and opsec."

Can't Reach Delegates

After setting up the wallet, they realized the Safe team would not be deploying the Ethereum mainnet-based contract onto Arbitrum, in order to prevent replay attacks.

Chitra said Gauntlet created another address, but the process of moving its voting power there has proven challenging as it doesn't have a way to contact delegates.

"We have only been able to reach one major delegate which has assured us they will migrate soon," Chitra said. "Afterward you will see Gauntlet active in Arb as we are across DeFi."

100M in ARB

Arbitrum's grants program, formally called the Short-term Incentive Program, has 97 teams asking for 100M in ARB. Delegates are reviewing each proposal to decide which projects will receive funding.

Major teams are vying for approval, including Curve Finance and Balancer. GMX has the biggest ask at 12M ARB, with initial votes indicating it will pass. Notably, delegates were set to reject Lido's 4M ARB ask with 42% voting against.

Granted funds are expected to be distributed by the end of Jan. 31, 2024.

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