Founding Documents for the Centrifuge DAO? Part 3 & 4: Code of Conduct & Levels of Engagement

Founding Documents ( cont’d)

This piece is a continuation of Founding Documents for the Centrifuge DAO: Part One

Document Three: Code of Conduct

Every individual has their own ‘right’ idea of behavior and principles, but to be a superbly functioning DAO that governs a great protocol we should adhere to minimum standards.

Without a Code of Conduct there is no clear ‘code of behavior’ that binds everyone and no clear way to act when someone is acting in an aggressive or otherwise negative way. Because of the online nature of DAOs this can quickly spin out of control. There are many DAOs who have reached unenviable environments of trolling and factional fighting. In the worst cases there is outright abuse and aggressiveness, in others, passive aggressive questioning becomes the norm and combativeness is the overarching vibe.

Calls for stronger facilitation and a Code of Conduct have often been defeated by claims that it limits ‘freedom of speech’, the ‘possibility of dissent’ and thus the goal of being ‘truly decentralized’. But it is a grand fallacy that decentralization equates with everyone being able to say or do whatever they want: there is still room for dissent in a group with a Code of Conduct - in fact dissent becomes healthier - we can dissent in a way that is agnostic not antagonistic.

The lack of a Code of Conduct and moderation brings about a lack of decentralization much sooner, either in the form of the demise of the group, or via inaction, caused by FUD, antagonism and regression.

It’s important to remember that a DAO channel like discord or a forum is not a social media platform - it’s a place for governance discussion. Moderation is the normal activity of ensuring that users can participate in the DAO, in governance and building the protocol free of harassing messages or exposure to FUD or trolling.

Members of the Centrifuge DAO have voted that moderation and enforcement of the Code of Conduct should be done by the Governance and Coordination Group who play the role of facilitators in the DAO (i.e. their objective is to hold process).

A code of conduct provides a clear ‘code’ of behavior outlining what is encouraged (in line with the Shared Mission and Guiding and Operating Principles) and what is not accepted nor encouraged and, crucially, what will happen if someone breaks the code.

The below is an example of what a Code of Conduct could look like:

Our Pledge

In the interest of fostering open access , we as contributors and DAO owners pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone.

All participants in the DAO should use our principles to guide action as well as abiding by the following:

No tolerance for abuse

Our goal is for everyone in our Community to feel welcome, which is why we encourage members to contribute in a way that is inclusive, supports learning, and promotes the engagement of others. To that end, malicious behavior, harassment, and offensive language that is in reference to (but not limited to) age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, nationality, neurodiversity, personal appearance, race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, will not be tolerated.

Be a good poster

  • Include only relevant portions of the original message in replies.
  • Be respectful of others’ views, and refrain from personal attacks.
  • Don’t cause FUD
  • Don’t share Personal Messages (PMs) of others without permission
  • All defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal material is strictly prohibited.

No spam

Content posted to DAO channels must be on-topic and constructive. Promotional content, content designed to create backlinks, trolling, links to harmful websites, or content unrelated to the topic at hand may be removed.

Sybil Rules

You can only use one account on the Centrifuge Forum. If you’re found to be using more than one, you’ll be asked to delete one.

Follow the thread

If you’re responding to a RFC, or discussion please only respond to what the creator of that discussion is bringing forth. If you want to introduce a completely new point (i.e. unrelated to what the discussion is about) start a new thread in the relevant category. We can’t make progress if people are cluttering up discussions with unrelated points and new ideas.

Scope of the CoC

The Code of Conduct would apply both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community, at conferences, and DAO offsites. Examples of representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event. Representation of a project may be further defined and clarified by the Governance and Coordination Group.


If a member breaks the code, those appointed to enforce the code are tasked to take action as stipulated in the code concerning bans or permanent expulsion, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community. Currently, the Centrifuge Proposal (CP) Framework includes the step that: to remove a group (or individual in a group), a CP-1.2 must be created and passed by governance. This means that they are removed from our DAO channels (Discord, Forum, Slack).

Instances of spam, abuse, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported by contacting the Governance & Coordination Group Ivan: Imdior_CKZ | CFG#8610 Orhan: Rhano | CFG#6808.

All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. The GCG is obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident.

Founding Document Four: Levels of Engagement

Origins of the mis-focus on inequality

Not all contributors are the same and they do not all have the same context or expertise, experience, capacity to contribute or make decisions, nor do they have the same amount of tokens.

Some owners do not want to participate in governance which is made evident that even in the ‘most active DAOs’ governance participation rarely pushes above 10%.

Some only on very large proposed changes while some members want to participate in every decision. The community consists of different people, holders, different layers, and knowledge. Some people are more intricately involved in the DAO and belong to its work delivery and facilitation groups, or provide services.

This should be acknowledged in different levels of mandate and involvement in the DAO while we strive to meet our Principles.

Some info asymmetry is ok…

Many people in DAOs argue that everyone must be involved in all decisions and have full access to all information. There are many instances where this so-called fully flat structure (i.e. everyone is equal and should therefore have equal access) have failed. To counter this there have been waves of experiments in delegating tokens and voting power to another voter (see here in Gitcoin, Maker DAO and SafeDAO for leading examples) shows one part of the way forward.

Part of the answer lies with ‘Delegation’ but the need for expert input is not solved by delegation alone. Building a protocol is obviously not solely the act of voting: it involves ideation, proposal creation, discussion, integration of feeding, politicking for votes, voting and execution. To do all this, a chat tool where lots of in-depth information is shared with high context contributors is essential. Quality work and knowledge transfer cannot be done in a gaming tool like Discord with permission-less access, thousands of passive holders.

If the Levels of Engagement is passed by governance DAO members would be invited to a Centrifuge DAO slack via ‘levels of engagement’ criteria.

The four levels of engagement the GCG could propose are:

Daily contributors: CNF team, Kf team, Ambassadors
Active: Active forum/gov participants, VCs and active investors: Bloccelerate, IOSD, ex-founders etc
Partners: Involved representatives from Aave, Maker, Polkadot, Embrio, SR Labs, etc
Issuers: New Silver, BlockTower, etc

This is a not exhaustive list and does not list all the members that would be in each level

Anyone can become a token holder (i.e. purchase tokens) and these users are still able to govern the protocol by participating in governance, however, unless they move levels of engagement, they will have limited access to the communication chat tool of the DAO. The GCG would decide role distribution and give access where needed.

:crystal_ball: :herb: :mechanical_arm:

That’s all for now!

Looking forward to hearing what points you’d like to see in a Code of Conduct, and your thoughts about ‘Levels of Engagement’


Thank you for bringing this up and sharing your opinions, Kate!

Code of Conduct

I fully agree here. I personally don’t think that the crypto space - or humans in general - are ready (yet) to embrace an environment without clear guidelines and rules for how to behave. A quick glance at other DAOs and Social Media platforms quickly confirms this.
Just as it is important to agree in order to improve certain aspects of a project, it is also important to disagree to find solutions to our problems. However, this must be done with integrity and respect (for each other and the project) and a CoC would provide the necessary tool to obtain this, in my opinion.

It is crucial that these rules are agreed on at a very early stage and that they are very clear and leaves as little as possible (ideally nothing) to personal interpretations so they can be enforced appropriately with objectivity in mind. An ambiguously or poorly defined CoC could have the opposite effect.

Level of Engagement

I think it makes perfectly sense that those with the relevant expertise, desire and level of commitment should have access to different communication channels in order to keep the discussions constructive and make progress. I believe this can be achieved and still preserve transparency.
Anyone can still make their voice heard by posting their ideas/feedback on the Forum and anyone can still vote on all proposals - this is not the privilege of the few. To me, that is one very important element in decentralisation.

I am curious to hear what others think.


The crypto world impresses with its heterogeneity and diversity. It unites people all over the world. In crypto communities, different people can discuss the future of the project, and innovative ideas. In the discussion, you can meet from young maximalists and professors of mathematical sciences, from art lovers to engineers, from bank employees to lawyers. And all of them are part of the project’s eco-system and play a key role in the development and future of the project.

Basically, the crypto community is very well-mannered and friendly people (IMHO), but the larger the community, the higher the risk of conflict situations within the community.
It is not necessary that someone is specifically insulted or rude to someone. Conflict can occur due to a simple misunderstanding.

Code of conduct - should be a fundamental document that will regulate conflict situations, describe what is acceptable and what is not within the community, and help to avoid a crisis within the DAO in the future.


I agree that this is very important to include all layers of our Community: Issuers, Partners, VS, Active participants, Team, and Ambassadors.
All of them could and should provide feedback and should participate in Project development.

The Team can not know everything and take into account the interests of everyone.
Only comprehensive, multifaceted feedback from all participants will make it possible to understand the needs.
And based on feedback, improve and/or take into account the opinion of the community in future development.


Hm…Just was thinking now that maybe Collators should be included here or you considered them as Active Forum/Gov Participants? :upside_down_face:

Good point! I think they should be included as Active :ok_hand:

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Finally getting around to reading this over thoroughly. Might be getting ahead of myself, but I’ve got some questions I’d like to ask about and think it could spur good conversation.

I think the initial content here (knowing it’s just an example proposal) is spot on when it comes to social engagement. How do you imagine our CoC should, or should not, address behavior that introduces more risk and complexity? For example, many of the participants in our community will be paid participants, either by the protocol itself or through business facilitated by the protocol, should the CoC attempt to set standards and guidelines for them?

My base assumption here is that working in a DAO offers incredible opportunities for reach and flexibility, but those opportunities can easily lead to misalignment or abuse, even if unintentional. Just think about how a large protocol partner, and potential CFG holder, could make proposals that are harmful or unfairly beneficial or outright bad for the protocol (and wouldn’t be considered a governance attack). I know the culture of our community would do a great job of processing that, but you can imagine a set of standards around disclosures, expected behaviors, etc. being helpful. Perhaps it’s not worth developing into our CoC right now, especially as legal agreements can be relied upon to truly mititgate high-risk financial activity, but I’m curious to learn what others think about this.

Do we have a lot of anons in our community? I see no reason why we shouldn’t support anons, one of the benefits of the internet is that no one knows your a dog, but it’s also one of the challenges. Can anons become mandated actors? This is an area where I can see some challenges and how our CoC could help.

Other areas of complexity where a CoC may be relevant (truly thinking out loud here), are nuanced strategic discourse and operational working processes. The open communication of a DAO makes it easy for noise to be created, well intentioned and otherwise, (just think of operational actors being accused of acting in bad faith or retroactively critiquing decision making). Transparency and good communication practices are an excellent cures here, can we embed this in our CoC?

And finally, a clarifying question :person_raising_hand:, would something like a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) exist for us? Standards of conduct are very similar to standards of practice, but the founding document here feels like it should be different than what may be used to address specific behaviors or areas. Or is it really an all encompassing conduct standard?


Good day!
I have one question about membership, DAO, and the regulatory side.

Daily contributors, Active contributors, and Partners may have access to essential information or information that could/should be regulated.

How this point will be regulated inside DAO? Does this mean that all members should sign NDA and pass KYC?


Ciao Asad thanks for thinking through this. I agree that some of your points may be better addressed once we’ve got the MVP CoC up and running - to start with it can be safe enough to try to create strong foundations and open enough that we can amend as we go.

But to put some thinking out in response to your future scenarios

Can you give me a concrete example of behaviour that introduces more risk and complexity? My instinct is that a CoC would necessarily not capture this. Some decisions will bring more risk and complexity, with potential up-side (for example, a new fintech going through our Governance Process (in this case CP 5: the Pool Onboarding Process (POP) V2)) where launching as a pool on Cent Chain would be decided by token holders. If a proposer brings too much risk, and if the governance process works, they will not be added as a Pool.

We have the governance measures in the Centrifuge Governance Process and Framework to address many of the decisions that will ‘improve’ (or mitigate harm to) the protocol. But perhaps I’m missing your point…? Can we talk through some examples?

The Centrifuge Code of Conduct would apply to the behaviour of all participants when interacting with our DAO, protocol or on behalf of (i.e. using DAO comms tools, making forum posts, attending a conference on behalf of, completing work or entering a negotiation on behalf of). If they’re paid or unpaid but interacting with or representing the Cent DAO - the CoC should apply.

Yes, I’ve seen this happen often, and because of large token holdings or ‘brand influence’ there is a claim of legitimacy. Are you saying that we could try to uses the CoC to prevent bad proposals or bad actors or both?

I think that instead of trying to solely use the CoC to act as a stick for behaviour (especially the behaviour of participating in governance which is what I think you’re getting at) I would advocate that all parts of the draft Founding Docs are important (as well as other levers). Can we discuss how we use all the parts of Governance to help us make good decisions?

We have the governance process (i.e. the steps required to have a proposal passed by the DAO), governance itself (i.e. ideating, creating proposals, sharing, discussing, integrating feedback, convincing others, voting) reinforced by culture (what’s normal here, how we communicate), legal agreements (contracts between parties), the Founding Documents (including the CoC) as well as tokenomics.

To me these can be used together to drive understanding and alignment throughout the governance cycle: example

  1. Before someone makes a proposal they know what the DAO stands for (Shared Mission/Principles)
  2. Due to the Levels of Engagement they have a clear role in the community, necessary info and education and understand how to contribute
  3. Our Governance Process is clear and simple, and they follow the steps knowing that it enables due process
  4. They have seen how our DAO members behave and interact (both Principles, CoC and just straight out culture)
  5. Incentives and tokenomics are clear, people vote in what they believe serves best interest.

How all these tools of Governance can be used together, while still allowing for flexibility, benefit of the doubt and assumption of goodwill, and the capacity to dissent is the beautiful conundrum of governance that people have been trying to crack for thousands of years! Let’s add our little hammer :hammer:

As for allowing Anons: I disagree - I don’t know if there is a place for Anons in this DAO, it reduces accountability and grows chances of Sybil attack - of course it is very hard to eradicate this, but by having a rule about it at least we have something. Keen to hear from all those who disagree and why? :smiley:

Tagging some contributors who may have opinions on any of the above @SYZ @ctcunning @cassidy @Rhano @DamjanKM @lucasvo @robtorti


I do have some thoughts about one of the important points @akhan is addressing.

I personally don’t think it makes sense for the CoC to address bad actors/proposals in relation to Governance proposals - or rather, I don’t think it will have any effect.

If our governance process works, and people follow it, we should be able to catch these type of harmful proposals in the discussion phase (off-chain), assuming DAO members with the relevant expertise points out the unfairly beneficial/harmful/bad part. But in order for this to work, we need (the right) people to actively participate in the discussions to provide input, i.e. we need more mandated groups with specific expertise.

We’ve had situations in the past where potential harmful (on-chain) proposals were made, and also without following our Governance process - I think this is a risk that comes with open governance.

To mitigate for those kind of spam/harmful proposals, I proposed to increase the amount of self-bond for creating an on-chain proposal back in March (which passed and got implemented). However, if we talk about a big token holder, then this self-bond (currently set to 1000 CFG) will most likely not be a barrier to carry on with the bad intentions.

There are many factors to consider in situations like this

  • Is the governance process followed?
  • Is it an off-/on-chain proposal?
  • Is the proposal directly harmful to the protocol or is it “just” unfairly beneficial.

But I don’t think we will be able to properly enforce a CoC in this context. We will just have to remain vigilant and monitor all proposals (which is one of GCG’s tasks).

But maybe someone else has another view on this matter and I am curious to hear it.

Hi @ImdioR I’m not sure. We need to look into this.

I strongly believe that the fourth part of the Founding Docs, the Levels of Engagement, could be used as a lever to escape the lack of context and responsibility that results in lack of participation.

The thinking is that DAO members would only get invited to the roles 'Active Contributor’ and 'Daily Contributor’ together termed ‘Core Contributor’ if they meet certain criteria (tbd). Creating the criteria of who becomes a Core Contributor (and who decides and invites, and how they’re onboarded) is crucial and the Governance and Coordination Group and those who have opinions should weigh in here, but I have created a loose outline below:

I redrew the diagram to make it clearer.

Those who are invited to be in these Roles are expected to be well educated on the protocol, governance, growth etc, in term they will create and have access to richer information and context, via invitation to the DAO internal chat tool, which will be quite different than the fully open discord, and a Core Contributors monthly call, again which will be higher context than the Community & Governance Call - those invited will be expected to contribute.

Thus, if you hold one of these roles you are expected to have higher context discussions and potentially make the decisions which are not made better by getting the input of the whole DAO.

A key objective of Core Contributors (i.e. Level 1 and Level 2) Role holders is to push decisions out to Level 3 members, decisions which are made better by getting the input and governance of the whole DAO. For these ‘whole DAO’ decisions the goal of Active and Daily Contributors would be to generate high engagement/participation for these governance processes. More debate is needed to address the question of 'what decisions are better made by a smaller group, which decisions need the input of everyone) but a simple guideline could be ‘if a proposed change is irreversible and has high impact’ it should be pushed as far out as possible. If not - use the appropriate decision making tool (i.e. consent, advice process, autocratic)

Benefits and Risks
I think the benefits are that having these roles and levels will drive more coherence by creating more
visibility of tasks and needs via information sharing. But instead of projecting info into a void, it will be steered towards those who actually have capacity to act (and who have opted in to do so). This can create responsibility: if you are an Core Contributor you have role and accountabilities.

So what are the risks here?

Does this make sense?
Is it clear that I am suggesting Level 3 are largely passive stakeholders and would not be invited into things like the DAO ‘internal chat tool’ and monthly DAO Core Contributor Call but who would receive notifications/info about when a DAO-wide decision is in process and clear ways to participate?

I’d be keen for feedback from some DAO members about whether they agree with this idea of Levels of Engagement and Roles: @hardik @kritikos @SYZ @Yarosl6 @amikure @Tjure07 @akhan @ctcunning @roollie @lucasvo @DamjanKM :cyclone:


I’d love to see the roles (Active Contributor and Daily Contributors) reflected in the user profiles in the forum to identify who is a core contributor.
I personally recommend to use the term “Regular/Recurrent Contributor” or something similar instead of “Daily Contributor” which would imply these persons are contributing to the DAO every single day

Yes, this makes sense for me. How would the notification system look like? Via Email or other sources?

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I have a few comments on the different ideas in this thread:

Code of Conduct

While most online communities have a code of conduct that bans abusive, discriminatory etc. behavior I think that isn’t enough to establish how we work together and I would suggest we try to take it further. There are few areas that we could try to expand the code of conduct into:

  • Inviting discussions in a productive way; it’s easy for online communities to be distracted by discussions that are brought up again and again by different community members without much regard for what was discussed in the past. A made up example: The Ethereum core developers agreed to moving to proof of stake many years ago. It’s not productive to have a different person every two months start a new thread on why they think it’s dangerous and then expect the core developers to answer and respond.
  • Taking the time to summarize, document and communicate in the right channels to ensure our remote and distributed team stays well in sync
  • Encouraging open discussion and direct feedback instead of behind the scenes politics.

Levels of Engagement or DAO Workplace Manual

I think clear levels of engagement is one way we can organize as a community but I think there’s more to a functioning organization than just levels. Perhaps we should agree to a few best practices, processes and tools outside of the governance process that could largely be seen as a practices of how we work together that we document and adhere to. Examples here of what we could add to this doc would be:

  • Policies on how to create, name and moderate channels in our DAO slack
  • Practices on how to keep meetings minutes
  • How we define our roles, responsibilites etc. in the DAO

I think there’s a fair amount of agreements we want to make informally and document that don’t need a CFG holder decision. How the active contributors within the DAO organize doesn’t necessarily need to be voted on by CFG holders. CFG holders should direct priorities, have a way to review work performed and give new mandates. This is how I would differentiate what could go into a DAO workplace manual / handbook vs. what is a formal governance proposal & decision.


Thanks for your comments, helpful in drawing attention to the details of these ideas.

Levels of Engagement and a DAO Workplace Manual are quite different concepts. One, Levels, is a design concept that, even while seemingly small, in my experience fundamentally changes the dynamic of how people engage in a group:

i.e. by having additional criteria for entry (on top of token holdings) there is a change in the quality of participation

Both Levels for Engagement and a DAO Manual for how work is done can be helpful but one does not replace the other.

Many of the very detailed guidelines you reference, like:

…are functional ‘how-tos’ that any workplace needs and I agree should definitely not decided by governance. People have more than enough know-how to decide these things without asking token-holders - this is what I mean when I ask us to further define:

A practise for keeping meeting minutes is not an irreversible high impact decision and if I was a passive token holder and I received a notification prompting me to vote on this I would blink in disbelief :grinning:

I’d like to move forward with Kate’s recommendation.

We should simply agree to a simple standard and launch on this topic.

For those in level 3, or elsewhere, who want more or less info, they can simply opt-in or meet guidelines for what we need in order to get into chats/info spaces they aren’t in.

I think participation, voting, etc… are a good driver to start with in the community, as driving more engagement and communication is the highest priority imo.

We can iterate from there.

But let’s launch.


Second what @ctcunning is saying!

Thank you for all your input everyone - this is very valuable to us!

The Governance and Coordination Group will gather all the feedback from this thread, our Governance calls and conducting individual interviews with community members and make a proposal for the founding documents in January.

We are thinking to create two separate RFCs (one for Doc 1 & 2 and another for Doc 3 & 4).

If they pass our Governance process, they will lay the foundation for our vision, principles, rules for how we behave in the DAO (Code of Conduct) and the Levels of Engagement.

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Yes this makes sense as both parts of the Docs (1&2 and 3&4) gathered different feedback. I assume the final version (after voting) of the founding docs will be published in one document

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thank you for your work