In the previous installment of Moonwell Governance 101, “Getting Started: What Happens Where”, we gave a top-down overview of where governance occurs and what resources are available to those looking to learn more and stay informed. In this second edition, we will be narrowing our focus on one of the most fundamental aspects of Moonwell Governance: delegation.
Delegation: Activate Your Voting Power
Governance rights over Moonwell are provided by the WELL (Artemis) and MFAM (Apollo) tokens, standard ERC-20s on the Moonbeam and Moonriver parachains. In order to use these governance tokens to propose changes to the protocol and participate in voting, you must first delegate them.
To delegate a governance token means to activate its inherent voting power and assign it to an ERC-20 address. This address can be your own or that of another who will represent you in Moonwell Governance. You have the ability to update to which address your WELL or MFAM tokens are delegated at any time.
How To Delegate
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what it means to delegate one’s WELL or MFAM tokens, let’s take a look at how to do so. Upon visiting the Moonwell Apollo or Artemis dApps, Moonwell Governance Portal, or Claim Site with un-delegated governance tokens, you will be automatically prompted to delegate. By clicking “Activate Your Voting Power” from this modal, you delegate your governance tokens to your own wallet address.
From the transaction log, which is accessed by clicking your wallet address in the top right of the page, you will find a “Your Voting Power” button. By clicking this, you can view your total voting power and change to whom your tokens are delegated.
You will see that there is no option to “Change Delegate” for Safety Module staked tokens. This is due to the fact that staked WELL and MFAM are automatically self-delegated and are unable to be delegated to another address besides that of the staking wallet.
To delegate held governance tokens to another address besides your own, click the “Change Delegate” button on the above modal. This will bring up another window where you will find a text box to input an alternate address to which you would like to delegate, and a “Delegate To Someone Else” button to initiate the transaction.
Note that if you choose to delegate to another address, you will retain full ownership and custody of your tokens. You are only assigning the token’s inherent voting power, not transferring the token itself. Those whom you delegate to have no ability to access the underlying token from which the voting power is derived.
Delegating To An Alternate Address
Why would anyone want to delegate their voting power to another address besides their own? The fact is that participating in governance can be a serious time commitment. There are proposals to vote on, discussions taking place on the Governance Forum, and protocol/ecosystem developments to stay informed of. For those that care about the health and development of Moonwell, but may not possess the time or energy to regularly participate in governance, delegating to another person or entity may be a good option to consider.
The delegation mechanism functions similarly to that of voter registration in democratic forms of government. In Moonwell Governance, you have the option of either choosing direct democracy (delegating to yourself so that you may vote on proposals directly) or representative democracy (delegating to another person or entity who advocates for your shared values and can vote on your behalf).
Another scenario where it may make sense to delegate to an address besides your own would be to assist another community member in reaching the proposal creation threshold. Let’s say that someone has shared an idea or proposal on the Governance Forum that you would like to see implemented, but said person lacks the required voting power to submit it to the Governance Portal for on-chain voting. In this situation, you could delegate to their ERC-20 address and help them reach the threshold required for proposal creation.
Finding a Delegate
If you are looking for a person or entity to delegate your tokens to and vote on your behalf in Moonwell Governance, the Delegation Pitch category of the Governance Forum is where to go. Here you will find a variety of community members and Moonwell contributors who have nominated themselves as delegates (representatives). In each post, you should find a delegate’s background, their statement of intent, and an ERC-20 address to delegate to if you so desire.
The term delegate has multiple meanings. It can be used as a verb to describe the action of assigning WELL/MFAM governance rights and voting power to an ERC-20 address. It can also be used as a noun to describe an individual or entity who represents others in Moonwell Governance.
Registering as a Delegate
For those looking to represent others in Moonwell Governance or acquire enough voting power to reach the proposal creation threshold, feel free to read through the Delegation Pitch Guidelines and nominate yourself as a delegate by creating a post on the forum. It is recommended that delegates regularly vote on proposals, contribute to active forum discussions, and let their constituents know where they stand on specific issues.
Moonwell is an open lending and borrowing DeFi protocol built on Moonbeam and Moonriver. Moonwell is supported by the Lunar Technology Foundation, which is responsible for fostering the development of the Moonwell protocol and its ecosystem.