Proposal: Provide 50,000 DAI to fund the creation and initial development of the Lexicon governance platform

Proposal: Provide 50,000 DAI to fund the creation and initial development of the Lexicon governance platform

Lexicon is our code name for a set of tools for managing decentralized governance. The initial idea was to just provide a way to manage HOPR Association and HOPR Community Trust governance, but on talking with legal advisors and other projects within crypto, it became clear there is an opportunity here for this to grow beyond the HOPR ecosystem and fill a much-need gap in web3.

Entities to be governed would register on Lexicon, and legal templates would also rapid establishment of legal entities in appropriate jurisdictions.

Governed entities would be matched with the relevant token holders and the platform would automatically implement their chosen processes, customized from a wide range of parameters. Token holders would connect their wallet and Lexicon would display relevant governance options based on their holding.

Lexicon would provide moderation, auditing and legal services. It would also provide opportunities for community members to be remunerated for their governance work while retaining their privacy, neither of which is possible without a legal wrapper. (For example, work for the Community Trust and trustee must legally be unpaid, but our legal advisors think it’s possible for Lexicon to be the registered enforcer of the community trust, allowing community members to fulfil this role within this entity without having to reveal a lot of identifying data)

There’s a lot of exciting angles to the platform, including improved tooling (Snapshot has dominated for too long), automation (one-click implementation of on-chain proposal), the audit market (legal and code checks) and legal templates for quickly setting up governance in appropriate jurisdictions.

Everyone we’ve talked to has been excited by the possibilities, but this is separate enough from the HOPR Association’s main work that we believe it should be its own spin-off project.

However, we do think this is another good opportunity for the community to invest in something at ground level, rather than going to VCs (I’m particularly concerned about VC control of a decentralized governance project - the incentives are not well aligned).

This funding would be used to cover legal costs, setup costs and fund the initial development of prototype modules which can be used to apply for web3 grants. There are a lot of opportunities for modest-sized grants (<50k) in web3 right now, but we’re more likely to raise further funds once a proposal is developed.


In exchange, the Community Trust would receive:

  • Free registration on Lexicon, as well as zero fees for the first 12 months
  • $50,000 in equity, under the same terms as the HOPR RiSe investment
  • Equivalent terms as any seed investor in a potential future token launch, at a value of $50,000

The last point is vague because the funding model for Lexicon is still unclear to me. Initially the plan is to apply for grants, but we’ve only been talking about this for a week and interest is already stronger than I expected.

But there are centralization considerations, and legal implications.

One thing I’m intrigued by is the idea of raising investment but capping each investment at 50k or 100k, to prevent whales from gaining too much control.

But that might not necessarily be a token-based investment model. The governance platform will itself need governance (via itself :crazy_face:) so having a token could make sense. But governance tokens are a regulatory minefield, and I don’t like tokenizing things for the sake of it. In general the business model would be subscription / fee based, which doesn’t require its own token.

But if there were to be a token-based model, the Community Trust would be considered a seed investor at $50k at what ever terms the earliest investors end up receiving.