Thoughts on the cost of onchain voting

The cost of onchain voting is high but can be minimized. Polling all @PA-Holders for your thoughts on if, how, and when this could be improved. My core assumption is that the more ETH in the hands of PA holders is good for PA but that this should be balanced with other concerns.

Voting Cost

Using this prop and transaction for example:


  • Each prop requires 10 votes
  • Each vote costs ~$2.50 USD in gas fees
  • This prop covers $1,410 in ops costs
  • 26 PA holders voted on this prop
  • Minimum cost = ~$2.50 * 10 = ~$25 (~2% of $1,410)
  • Total cost = ~$2.50 * 26 = ~$65 (~5% of $1,410)

The problem

  • The cost of voting makes it impractical to pass many smaller props.
  • Gas costs reduce total ETH held by PA holders.
  • Gas costs will go up.


  • Batch props — E.g. Use snapshot to capture votes for individual sub-props offchain and create a batch prop to vote onchain. Offchain votes could involve any community member.

  • Budget props — WG funds for some period of time are wrapped up into a budget prop similar to the example prop above. This allows funds to be managed by the WG without the cost of additional props. Ideally funds would be transferred to a multi-sig or other wallet controlled by the WG.

  • Recurring transfers — Can a prop be used to enable recurring transfers? If so, it would reduce gas costs by avoiding future props needed for each transfer. If not, maybe this could be a nice feature to propose to builder DAO?

In closing

  • These are just some thoughts on my first contact with onchain voting and the dynamics I’ve observed as a result. Maybe it’s totally worth the cost and I’m missing the point.
  • I do not think this is urgent or the most important topic for PA to address right now, but it will impact the culture that emerges around PA governance. If the goal is to encourage a “prop culture” in which holders propose frequent small props, then the cost may need to be addressed.

this is a really interesting topic with the recent rise of price of eth + average gwei. personally i think it actually expands past just the voting question – to a broader one of how does the PA network deal with rising gas costs generally speaking (at the time of writing this, it is $31 to settle the current auction and kick off the next one. that is insane).

there is something very strong to be said for the peace of mind regarding permanence + decreased rug risk that operating fully onchain + on L1 brings. however as u pointed out, that has actually always brought with it financial burden on PA members, and this will only grow over time.

snapshot is a great tool (was a big user of it during my early D_D days), but would require some manual intervention to incorporate it into the nouns protocol based onchain governance we currently operate with, and would signficantly increase the capacity required to maintain an effective governance/proposal pipeline

ignoring the privacy issues currently plaguing only onchain governance (these issues can also be thought of as a feature – but prob only because what we are governing isnt “important” yet), i do really appreciate the transparency + efficiency that programmable onchain governance allows, particularly in the way that actions can get executed immediately following the passing of a proposal, and the clear line of sight you have on the life cycle of an idea/proposal.

circling back to the point i made regarding L2s, I think the time for us to start seriously considering what that means for PA (“picking” an L2 to start experimenting with, or starting our own using something like OP stack) is here. thx for starting this conversation


agreed on the point that snapshot is a push but there is nouns connect now, the configuration for snapshot also wouldnt mirror the current onchain dao settings.

not directly on topic but i was also thinking about how bad it is to not have momentum during onchain voting cycles with a dynamic quorum, we are fortunate to have holders that hold multiple PA tokens to get us over the hump but it’s not how it is supposed to work no?

1 Like

This was dropped in a Neume convo with @estmcmxci & @djfnd yesterday. Still trying to understand the mechanism a bit more. Anybody know what’s up?


Thanks for adding context to this discussion. I had no idea it cost that much to settle an auction. Looks like the cost is even higher when founder tokens are distributed.

Curious to hear more about your thoughts on using an L2 for PA. I’m a bit fuzzy on the subject and about to expose my own ignorance here. Were you talking about using a rollup to batch DAO interactions or something else?

it hasnt always been that much to settle an auction (or do other core dao actions), but these costs have been slowly rising since we went onchain (Dec 2) and are approaching/already past levels that may potentially prohibit community participation.

when I was referring to using an L2 for PA, its mainly about moving our network of content/communication + governance there. i have more confidence that we can move content/communication there in the short term (ex: deploy assembly press to L2, build applications in that environment) as opposed to governance where it seems crucial to be very confident over the long term preservation of history (and unclear if any current L2 environments being created offer that), but both are worth exploring (ex: how do we want to bridge mainnet onchain rep to L2, do we want to deploy nouns protocol contracts on L2, etc)

1 Like

can you clairfy what you mean by lack of momentum? and whats happening now being now how its supposed to work?

dynamic quorum isnt a feature in the version of nouns protocol we are using, but even if it were I dont think anything would be different, as DQ just stipulates a floor amount of YES votes required depending on how many NO votes are submitted for a given prop. whether or not those yes/no votes are coming in from a small/large distribution of members is a separate discussion i think

ok i meant the voting quorum from members and momentum in the sense that can a prop reach quorum regardless if it’s good or bad without the proposer self campaigning through other channels