Vitalik Buterin has always advocated the participation of smaller holders in governance. He recently supported Optimism’s governance proposal in his tweets despite the latest backlash on the blockchain. What is the proposal about and what was the backlash that eventually engaged the OP community?
Vitalik with a thumbs up for Optimism
This is a great example of why I'm so proud of @optimismPBC for adding non-token governance (the Citizen House).
Optimism explicitly has goals *other* than just "make OP go up", and the only way to do that long-term is with explicit representation of non-token-holder interests. pic.twitter.com/vofVVx53mC
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) June 3, 2022
In the tweet, Buterin went on to appreciate Optimism for its efforts to use OP token for gas fees. This, Buterin believes, can encourage “explicit representation of non-token holder interests” that will eventually benefit the network.
Buterin then added links to two blog posts where he discussed why he opposes governance models that are token holder centric. The blog posts also talked about the new “houses” in Optimism’s governance structure: Token House and Citizens’ House.
As per Ethereum World News, the Token House features OP token holders, while the latter has NFT owners with “soul-bound” non-transferrable citizenship. Together, they will balance short-term and long-term initiatives. Both will be involved in deciding network parameters and granting citizenships.
What about the governance backlash?
The announcement for the OP token and airdrop was made in April and labeled as a “large scale experiment in digital democratic governance”. Optimism released the long-awaited airdrop on 1 June as part of the new governance called the “Optimism Collective”.
Clearly, the experiment hasn’t gotten off to the best start with the OP token currently down nearly 70% from the airdrop. This led to 0xJohn, a user on the Optimism governance forum, to start a backlash in the community.
0xJohn wrote a post called “Users who sold the initial OP airdrop should become ineligible for all future airdrops” that eventually engaged the community. He proposed that accounts that sold their OP token airdrop should be excluded from future airdrops as these “accounts are not playing a constructive role in the future governance of Optimism.”
The proposal divided the community as some users supported it by showing the door to those who don’t care about Optimism. While there are some that refuted these claims as account holders may have personal circumstances to sell the airdrop. Another fraction of users were worried that punished recipients would switch ships with other scaling solutions such as Arbitrum.