CIP-183: Adjust Quorums & Voter Approval Ratings

CIP-183: Quorums & Voter Approval
Category Governance
Criticalness High - Relates to voting
Impact High - All members of DAO will be affected
Duration Until Modified
Total Budget $1

The original City Council wrote in the Charter that 1 NFT = 1 vote. This was because we did not consider that some people could have dozens or even hundreds of votes. The original City Council also created two levels of quorum for voting:

Original Quorums:
$1 to $10,000 250 NFT votes, 51% approval rating
$10,001 to total treasury of $2.3 million 500 NFT votes, 51% approval rating
Any vote that doesn’t require money 500 NFT votes, 51% approval rating

This has become a problem.

There is one CityDAO citizen who has over 200 NFTs, another citizen with over 100 NFTs and another with over 80 NFTs. Quite a few people have 20-40 NFTs. I, myself, have 21 NFTs.

This means that even though CityDAO has 6000 citizen, 4 people have 400 votes.

It only takes 500 votes to pass a CIP for over $2 million, bankrupting the DAO. Some may argue that this is unlikely. But it’s possible. Some may argue that the multisig would refuse to send the money. Maybe. But our current system allows a small number of people to get together and pass a CIP to bankrupt the DAO. Let’s fix this.

The new proposed system would still count 1 NFT as 1 vote for quorum with the following amendments:

  • 1 vote = 1 quadratically-counted NFT
  • An algorithm will be used to determine the quorum for different request amounts
  • An algorithm will be used to determine the voter approval rating
Quorum Algorithm 50 + (1/2 * (square root of $ Ask))
Voter Approval Rating Algorithm 66 + 24 ($ ask / treasury)

Under the new system, the quorums and approval rating requirements would move up along with the amount of money requested. There may be more perfect solutions but this is definitely better than the dangerous loophole we currently have.

Amount Requested by CIP Quorum Required*
$5,000 85
$10,000 100
$50,000 162
$100,000 208
$500,000 404
$1,000,000 550
$1,500,000 662
$2,000,000 757

*The quorum numbers represent the number of quadratic votes required. This means the square root of the number of NFTs held by a citizen. I have 21 NFTs. The square root is 4.58. So, rounded down, I would only get 4 votes. A citizen with 100 NFTs would only get 10 votes. A citizen with 81 NFTs would only get 9 votes. There’s no way a few people could pass a CIP for a million dollars. The treasury would be safer.

Amount Requested by CIP Voter Approval % Required**
$5,000 66%
$10,000 66%
$50,000 67%
$100,000 67%
$500,000 71%
$1,000,000 76%
$1,500,000 82%
$2,000,000 87%

NOTE: To amend the Charter will require a quorum of 200 counted quadratically. Currently, it takes 1000 votes counted non-quadratically to amend the Operating Agreement (OA). This CIP does not intend to alter or amend the OA. This includes NOT changing how votes are counted for altering or amending the OA. They will be counted non-quadratically as 1 NFT = 1 vote.

Again, this is not a perfect solution, but it seeks to protect the treasury from very large requests.


I have been troubled by the thought voter turnout is so low. I wonder what people would think about lower the quorum and upping the percentage to pass?

Perhaps 1/3 instead of 1/2 in the quorum and then 70 + 25($ask/tresury).

Forgive the dumb question: I thought we passed a CIP that did quadratic voting?

I am generally supportive of what this CIP is trying to do. Also have similar concerns as to Scott since voter turnout has been really low.

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In April, 2022, @lyons800 suggested a CIP for quadratic voting (CIP-48: CityDAO Conversion to Quadratic Voting). It passed and Will Hollley adjusted Snapshot so it counted the square root of the number of NFTs people held. However, we never applied it to voting because but it didn’t change the quorums. It would still have been 250 votes for under $10K and 500 votes for over. Counted quadratically, that was seen as too difficult to reach. That CIP was viewed as incomplete and void.

In that initial CIP, Lyons stated that “In recent Snapshots, there have been many people who hold multiple citizen NFTs having a large impact on voting outcomes.” That was a year ago, and has become an understatement. Without the support of one of the holders of many NFTs (Lyons, Scottfits, Chance or a Chinese member whose name I don’t know) it’s almost impossible to pass any CIPs. This CIP is attempting to deal with that.

Thanks for the refresher David! This is an important CIP to pass then.

We are in a bit of a tricky situation - we set the quorum too high and nothing will get done, and we won’t even be able to adjust the charter to lower the quorum.

obviously we don’t want to set it too low, and make it possible for just a few people to run everything (if we wanted to be ok with that then we should move to a city council form of government).

@ScottA can you show a table of what the 1/3 quorum numbers would look like?

It is a tricky situation. As it stands now it is pretty broken. The more I think about it the best path is to move the quorum lower and focus on a higher pass rate. While still not perfect it does get around the issue David illuminated above and does make it harder the more you ask for, putting a natural restraint on how much to ask for and getting rid of the silly 10k barrier. It just makes sense for so many reasons.

I will post those numbers. @Nick123

Numbers for quorum if adjusted to 1/3 instead of 1/2

Amount Requested by CIP Quorum Required*
$5,000 74
$10,000 83
$50,000 125
$100,000 155
$500,000 286
$1,000,000 383
$1,500,000 458
$2,000,000 521

Adjusted approval rating for 70 + 25($ask/tresury).

Amount Requested by CIP Voter Approval % Required**
$5,000 70%
$10,000 70%
$50,000 71%
$100,000 71%
$500,000 76%
$1,000,000 82%
$1,500,000 89%
$2,000,000 95%


Thanks Scott. Just thinking out loud here and comparing the two.

For a 100k proposal this would require 155 quorum and 71%.
The 1/2 quorum example would require 208 quorum and 67%

For a 1M proposal this would require 383 quorum and 82%.
The 1/2 quorum example would require 208 quorum and 76%

For a 2M proposal this would require 521 quorum and 95%.
The 1/2 quorum example would require 757 quorum and 87%

Just looking at these, I do like lowering the quorum, otherwise it seems like it will be hard to pass much, especially with the quadtratically counted votes. I’m less worried about reaching the approval %. So I support modifying the CIP to the 1/3 quorum.

For the charter amendment: is there a required approval % too?

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Thanks for this @Nick123. So here is what I am learning towards.

Use the equation above for the pass rate, but I would actually make it go to 100%. This is a trick that would just ensure that some money will always be in the treasury.

For quorum just make it 250 NFTs with no jump to 500. We don’t really want to mess too much with this until we have an identity solution. We don’t want to incentivize the moving of NFTs. To me, this basically solves a lot of issues. The thing is people won’t vote for proposals knowing they won’t get to 500 as a vote against but knowing 250 is achievable, people will vote. Given a high percentage pass rate, no votes will mean a lot more. 500 votes just seem impossible now. This makes quorum easier, but passing for higher sums of money harder. A good balance.

The Charter approval amendment quorum is 200, according to the CIP as written now.