Winding Down the Current Senate


We have taken the joint decision (Team/Senate) to put our current setup into hiatus for the time being. This is not because the elected representatives aren’t doing a great job, but rather that they were ahead of what was envisioned for the initial incarnation of the Senate.

This document lays out the involved reasons, remediation, and medium/long-term steps.

The Senate was created with two core objectives:

1. To elect a body of community members with a diverse skill set who would evaluate and fund/decline grant applications from people wishing to deploy on our chain.

2. To reduce/remove this task from the core team, and enable them to focus on building.

After some passionate community engagement, the 9 Senators were chosen. It is at this point where the first oversight occurred which ultimately fed directly into the problems we have witnessed.

We failed to clearly define the objectives and remit of this initial senate.

The core team work in a very agile manner and our desire for the initial term was for the Senate to take a very light touch approach to governance and proposal review. What we failed to recognize was that we had highly skilled individuals from across a variety of industries, many of which are much more regulated and prescriptive than crypto tends to be.

The Senate immediately set about creating a number of artifacts including:

• An application form which also stipulated/asked for payback terms.

• A manifesto that laid out procedures, processes, remit, etc.

• Templates for budgeting and milestone planning

• Project management techniques

Going even further: they started to look at fund profitability, negotiated terms for rewards to stakers, considered investing in launches, and created LPs while also utilizing other Kujira tools to generate yield in a way that avoided detracting from the potential yield of our normal investors.

These are all laudable endeavors which demonstrated a commitment far beyond our expectations as founders. This type of activity/level of activity was envisaged as Phase 3 or 4 of a governance and investment strategy. As such this started to create issues as the founders were being approached by people wanting to build yet feeling ‘penalized’ — and while this wasn’t the case, it did lessen the effect of one of the core objectives in that the core team were now being sought to mediate.

As previously mentioned, the key oversight was that we failed to nail down remit, which was more aligned with avoiding bad actors as opposed to protecting the fund. That was always planned for later phases once the chain and market cap had grown.

The fact that the Senate had undertaken this task is laudable, but was a burden and became excessive overhead during this embryonic phase.

This led to the next key issue, and although not the reason for the hiatus per se, was a catalyst which made us realize that the Senate had matured (with pure intentions) beyond a level that we feel is sustainable in the immediate term. The ‘light touch evaluation of grant applications’ had become much more than that with some — if not all — of the Senators regularly clocking up in excess of 10 hours per week. This wasn’t the intention at our current size and was unsustainable in a ‘voluntary’ position.

Furthermore, unfortunately, in addition to the Senate’s level of effort being unsustainable in a voluntary capacity, as a result of the early state of other linked initiatives and the current structure of our budgetary model, it doesn’t make sense for us at this point in time to have the Senate be a paid position.

We have nothing but praise for the work that the Senators have produced and will definitely be utilizing the structures and governance designed at a later date when we are able to match the investment in time/scrutiny.

For the time being, we must first lay out a clear set of objectives accompanied by a growth and evolution plan that is matched in the Sentinel, our Ambassador Programs, and Outreach Initiatives. They must all evolve together.

For now, the light touch will be conducted by members of the wider team (which has grown) and will still free up the founders’ time accordingly.