My take on IOTA’s Community Treasury

We had our first meeting on Discord to discuss the community treasury. We were more or less unanimous that we want to have a treasury, but we couldn’t agree how it should look like. This is totally normal. We all come from different parts of the world, have different backgrounds and experiences. It’s hard and more or less impossible to agree on a single governance structure.

Why not have multiple treasuries?

IOTA is all about freedom and everything running in parallel, from the way you achieve consensus on Layer1 to Smart Contracts on Layer2. Why should the treasury be any different? We should all have an equal say in proportion to our voting power. That is the idea behind IOTA and that is the fairest wait to allocate funds that belong to every single one of us.

People who want to fund exchange listings can do so with their portion of the budget. They can allocate it as they see fit.

People who want to fund community projects can do the same with their portion. Everyone is free to choose what they want to do and how they want to spend the resources that belong to them.

The problem with the single treasury approach is that it leads to centralization over long periods of time and it doesn’t reflect the opinion of the wider community if it only votes YES or NO. If 50.1% of the votes say NO, the voice of the other 49.9% are never heard. Not only that, but when you vote YES or NO your vote is hardly ever 100% YES or 100% NO. Maybe if you had a 3rd, 4th,5th … option you would have voted for something else.

In the multi treasury approach everyone can chose to work on and contribute to something their passionate about in regards to IOTA. Multiple treasuries working on the success of IOTA. This should not be seen as a competition, rather as a collaboration. Everyone allocates the resources in the way they feel would be most beneficial to IOTA. Within each treasury you have full consensus and you know that people who govern the treasury are fully committed to that vision. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be there, they would be a part of another treasury.

The voting mechanism is also important and I suggest a reputation system that amplifies your voting power the longer you’re part of a treasury. We could do this with DID. Anyone is free to join any treasury, but once they do, they start from a clean slate. The longer they’re part of the treasury the higher the multiplier of their vote. Currently we have 1 token = 1 vote, because it’s hard to do 1 person = 1 vote in a decentralized system without any central actors. This can of course change and any treasury should have the right to implement its own voting structure.

Basically, we all want IOTA to succeed and prosper, but we all have different plans/ideas on how to achieve that goal. This is totally fine and it’s even vital for IOTA’s true decentralized nature. Of course, not all treasuries will be successful, but having multiple will diversify the risk and increase our chances of success.

We’re basically creating a system for efficient resource allocation and voting. Imagine companies wanted a new feature in IOTA. With this approach they can go directly to the treasury that’s funding that new feature and contribute by donating some funds. Multiple companies and even individuals who feel that this feature is important can donate and contribute. They probably don’t care about other stuff so they don’t want to fund other features.

For now, in these early stages, it’s important for us to agree on the way we want to proceed with the treasury(s) and future governance. When we finally reach an agreement on what kind of treasury(s) we want, we’ll find a way to build it(them) in the most efficient way possible.