Expanding Compound Governance

To create unstoppable, upgradable financial infrastructure, Governance replaced our team as administrator of the Compound protocol; COMP token-holders and their delegates debate, propose, and vote on all changes to Compound.

The stakes are high — the protocol holds more than $100 million of assets, and dozens of applications rely on Compound markets. Which is why, for the past two months, COMP has been tested in the open, with a limited group of stakeholders.

During that time, the community proved that Compound is upgradable by anybody with a good idea, without relying on our team or middlemen:

  1. Our team added a new asset, Tether, to the protocol
  2. Dharma, an application built on Compound, created a new DAI interest rate model
  3. A community member managed the process to begin deprecating SAI

The functionality to create proposals, delegate and vote performed flawlessly in Coinbase Custody and the voting interface, and no vulnerabilities were discovered.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Governance is ready to scale from our core team and shareholders, to the entire Compound ecosystem.

Distributing COMP

The distribution of COMP will become a core mechanic of the Compound protocol. All users and all applications built on top of Compound will continuously, and automatically receive governance rights, for free— in order to shape the future of the protocol.

“The individuals, applications and institutions that use the Compound protocol are capable of collectively stewarding it into the future — and are incentivized to provide good governance.” — Robert Leshner, Compound Founder

How it works

  • 4,229,949 COMP will be placed into a Reservoir contract, which transfers 0.50 COMP per Ethereum block (~2,880 per day) into the protocol for distribution
  • The distribution is allocated to each market (ETH, USDC, DAI…), proportional to the interest being accrued in the market; as market conditions evolve, the allocation between assets does too
  • Within each market, 50% of the distribution is earned by suppliers, and 50% by borrowers; in real-time, users earn COMP proportionate to their balance; this is separate from the natural interest rates in the market
  • Once an address has earned 0.001 COMP, any Compound transaction (e.g. supplying an asset) will automatically transfer COMP to their wallet; for smaller balances, an address can manually collect all earned COMP

Public Testing, Review, and Planning

An upgraded version of the protocol is now running on the Kovan testnet:

  • The COMP Distribution codebase is available to review on Github
  • OpenZeppelin performed an audit of the release; no issues were found
  • You can manually test the release by setting your web3 network to Kovan on the Dashboard

Developers should plan whether & how to transfer COMP to users; with some planning, the distribution can be a powerful mechanism for user acquisition and participation.

Tracking the Distribution

You can monitor the distribution on a newly created COMP Distribution Dashboard, for the Kovan testnet and future Mainnet release.

Simulated August 2021 data

Next Steps

Allowing every user to participate in governance will be the most important milestone in Compound history — and one worth preparing for.

To begin the transition, we’ll first abdicate the Guardian functionality that allows our team to disable Governance in an emergency; once disabled, COMP holders have complete, censorship-resistant control over the protocol.

Next, one of the members of our team will propose a protocol upgrade to support COMP Distribution — this will likely occur next month. Once activated, the distribution will last for approximately four years—continually bringing more users, and more applications into the governance process.

If you have any questions or ideas, join us in Discord. From all of us at Compound, 📈.

Expanding Compound Governance was originally published in Compound on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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