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DCL LAND voting mechanism

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DCL voting mechanisms

Currently, the sole vehicle for DCL governance is the MANA token - a fungible cryptocurrency with ~2.6 Billion units outstanding. The use of MANA as a governance metric for the entirety of DCL has several shortcomings:

X votes?

Sum of MANA voting power itself isn't explicitly defined

MANA ostensibly has a "total supply" of ~2.6 Billion units. The "circulating supply" has been stated to be ~1 Billion, with the status of the remaining ~1.6 Billion unclear. Previously, it was stated and suggested that portions or all of this remaining 1.6 Billion were locked up and/or unavailable for market participation. During the second auction, MANA from this category was utilized in the marketplace, indicating that those assertions and assumptions were incorrect. No official mention of their role in voting has been made.

"$1 = 1 vote"

Unit MANA voting power cost varies

The most common methods for obtaining MANA include exchanging fiat (currency), Bitcoin, and Ethereum for MANA at market rates. The market rate of MANA in relation to these instruments has fluctuated wildly throughout its existence (from roughly $0.015 US to $0.45 US, 500 "Sats" to 4150 "Sats", and 0.000148 ETH to 0.0122 ETH, respectively... swings of almost 3000% in extreme cases). This volatility deprives MANA purchasing power (and, ultimately, voting power) from those who bought MANA months ago, at $0.45 US, compared with someone who purchases today, at $0.035 US.

Additionally, while there are governance structures that allow one to exchange currency to obtain votes, in the real world these systems are generally derided and seen as corrupt or non-representative of the populations they purport to govern.

From 0 to 100,000 votes, real quick

MANA is a fairly liquid, fungible ERC-20 token

MANA's 24hr volume across all exchanges varies from day to day, but usually it manages to trade over $100,000 US and occasionally over $1,000,000 US in a 24hr period. This allows anyone at any time to purchase a significant amount of votes in a short amount of time, especially given MANA's current fiat value of ~$0.04 US.

It's this "fairly liquid" that presents an issue; vote announcements distort the market in undesirable ways. Upon vote announcement, MANA generally spikes up as speculators with no vested interest in the project buy to attempt to front run investors who wish to maximize their vote. These speculators subsequently sell (and are incentivized to do so before MANA's price decreases), usually resulting in a "rush for the exits" and a corresponding downward plunge in MANA's value (sometimes more drastic than the inital rise, given the current bear market).

1 land = 0 vote

MANA has no explicit or absolute correlation with LAND

MANA's original role was to function as a LAND proxy, not a currency. In that scenario, 1000 MANA was equivalent to 1 LAND parcel, to be obtained when 1000 MANA was sent to the smart contract ( with the MANA subsequently "burnt" out of existence). In this scenario, utilizing MANA as a voting mechanism would have been straightforward and easily quantifiable. However, a unilateral decision was made by DCL to alter that mechanism and convert MANA's role to a currency - with an arbitrarily assigned supply of LAND parcels, MANA as a currency to bid on specific LAND units, and an auction as the means to do so. This effectively decoupled LAND and MANA so that no valid correlation could exist between the two. Given this, the current governance vehicle (MANA) has no quantifiable relation with the instruments it purports to govern. This creates several critcal weaknesses.

Short term vs Long Term

(Or liquid vs illiquid)

Of the two, MANA is orders of magnitude easier to both aquire and dispense with, for both technical and market-driven reasons. Attempting to sell $3,500 US worth of MANA generally takes fractions of a second. Attempting to sell a parcel of LAND for $3,500 US will generally take days, weeks, or months (depending on the parcel). One clearly has a more vested interest in the long term viability of the project; unfortunately, it is the one with zero voting power.

Friend or foe?

Anyone can quickly accumulate MANA, vote against DCL's interests, and sell the MANA with little cost (and possibly a gain)

Speaks for itself, really; MANA - a short term vehicle - trying to govern issues affecting long-term, less liquid, and unrelated instruments makes zero sense. In any scenario involving voting on issues affecting LAND, MANA holders are only affected to the extent they also hold land. Any party holding only MANA is largely (if not completely) insulated from the repercussions of their vote. This makes Vote-by-MANA extremely susceptible to gaming by outside, malevolent actors. In certain scenarios, it may even incentivize them.

Slipping out the back

Could a vote announcment be used to increase MANA volume and buyers, allowing large MANA holders to exit some or all of a position?


What's the alternative?

There may conceivably be several viable models for LAND governance; while it's hard to imagine any that are more discriminatory to LAND owners than the current system, rather than discuss what this author considers inferior options, we will instead focus on what the author considers to be the most balanced. It's left to the reader to propose any models they find superior.

Foremost among these is a system utilized in many representative democracies, as well as corporate restructurings: a bicameral (or more) voting arrangement, with no superiority given to any class. In clear terms; (minimum) two criteria are utilized to form (minimum) two votes, and all votes must pass in their respective classes by their prescribed amounts.

That's not "clear terms".

Sure it is... here's an example:

Class 1: 1 Parcel = 1 Vote

Very simple... you own more parcels, you get more votes. Your investment is proportionate to your voting power.

But what about Whales :"< ?

What prevents large holders from getting together and owning every single vote? The second class that was mentioned:

Class 2: 1 Person (Wallet) = 1 Vote

The number of land owners is in the hundreds: why should the 25 largest dictate everything that happens? This prevents that.

But what about the Ignorant Masses?

You give each class a pass/fail condition with a different weight:

The LAND owners metric (Class 2) gets a simple majority: if over 50% of LAND owners vote For a provision, it passes Class 2.

The LAND parcel metric (Class 1) requires a supermajority, > 66% of parcels, to pass Class 1.

If it passes both Classes, the proposal is passed. If it doesn't pass both classes, the proposal is not passed.

Why would parcels (Class 1) need more votes in their class than people (Class 2)?

Because parcels are the actual economic instrument / investment. Not only would it be near impossible for one entity to aquire 66% of land parcels (and monopolize the vote), but it also drastically reduces the odds of any Class voting against the overall economic interests of the DCL metaverse.

Can't I just make 10 wallets and break up my 10 parcel estate and send 1 parcel to each wallet and get 10 votes in Class 2?

Sure, but:

That does nothing to affect the Class 1 vote, so overall it's semi-useless

You lose the building multiplier for cojoined parcels, which increases with estate size. You're really crippling your development capabilities.

Can't people just buy LAND and skew the vote?

Roughly 10% of available LAND is currently in the marketplace. Some of it is priced at absurd levels (at or above total existing supply of MANA). In a word; no.

But they could!

So before you announce a voting proposal, take a snapshot of current wallets holding land, and current land owners, and use those as the voting rights; once a vote is announced, anyone buying will not be on that list and not have a vote, making buying the vote impossible.

Then they could just buy now and hold for months and vote on all the proposals and you couldn't stop them!

At that point they're investors, and they lose The Game.

But how does MANA vote?

It doesn't. MANA was never supposed to be a governing mechanism for LAND. LAND governs LAND, MANA governs MANA. There's no real correlation between the two currently, and trying to force one will fail.

So that's it?

No, a community member brought up the novel idea of weighting the time an owner holds a LAND parcel to give a kicker / additional voting power. This author finds that concept worth exploring, with say a cap of a fraction of a vote per parcel, and a logarithmically scaling increase.

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