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Addressing Low Participation Rates in AAVE Governance

Addressing Low Participation Rates in AAVE Governance

In the realm of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), participation in governance processes is paramount to ensuring the legitimacy and effectiveness of decision-making. However, many DAOs face a common challenge: low participation rates among token holders in on-chain voting. AAVE Protocol, a leading decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, is no exception, with its participation rates currently stagnating at a mere 2.4% of token holders, as reported by Messari.

messari participation rates

The Challenge of Low Participation Rates in DAO Governance

This low quorum poses a significant hurdle to achieving robust and representative governance. Across the broader landscape of DAOs, the struggle to attain meaningful voter engagement is evident, with most DAOs barely reaching a maximum of 40% participation. According to insights provided by Karma, ghost delegates—those who hold voting power but have never exercised it— compose, on average, a staggering 53% of all delegates. This statistic becomes even more alarming when considering the absence of activity in forums or community engagements.

The implications of such low participation rates are profound. They cast doubt on the legitimacy of decision-making within DAOs, potentially undermining trust and confidence in the governance processes. Recognizing the urgent need for effective participation incentives, the Dspyt team has embarked on a mission to revitalize AAVE governance through data-driven strategies.

The core objective of the Dspyt initiative is twofold

  • Increase Participation Rates in On-Chain Voting

Through targeted interventions and incentives, Dspyt aims to substantially elevate the current 2.4% participation rate among AAVE token holders. Defined by Messari as

messari power
  • Enhance DAO Legitimacy

By fostering a more engaged and committed community, Dspyt endeavors to enhance the legitimacy of AAVE's decision-making processes, thereby fortifying the platform's governance framework.

To achieve these objectives, the Dspyt project has outlined a comprehensive plan

  • Data collection

    • Collect data on Aave Protocol token holders and their participation in governance proposals voting. Compare with collected data from Karma, and Tally using python selenium.
  • Analytics

    • Conduct comprehensive analytics on Aave Protocol's on-chain voting participation rates.
    • Examine correlations between variables related to participation patterns to provide recommendations and insights.
    • Analyze how Karma, Tally, and Snapshot affect participation in on-chain voting, which categories of users take part more often, and who publishes proposals most often.

Using this data, it will be possible to reach inactive users and draw a conclusion on how to attract more users to take part in governance.

  • Delegate Outreach and Encouragement

    • Proactively engage with delegates within the AAVE community to foster active participation and solicit feedback.
    • Introduce mechanisms such as potential nomination withdrawal to streamline the delegate selection process and enhance accountability.
  • Educational Content Creation

    • Provide straightforward articles (on Twitter and on how AAVE works and why to actively participate in governance.
    • Governance allows token holders to shape the direction and decisions of the AAVE Protocol. By taking part, individuals contribute to the collective decision-making process, ensuring a more inclusive and representative governance model.
    • Token holders have a direct impact on the evolution of AAVE, influencing decisions related to features, functionalities, and security enhancements. This includes decisions related to lending and borrowing parameters, interest rates, and other critical financial parameters that can impact the value of AAVE tokens.
    • By participating in governance, individuals may earn rewards such as tokens or non-fungible assets, enhancing the overall value proposition for community involvement.


In conclusion, the Dspyt initiative is a beacon of hope in efforts to overcome the widespread problem of low participation in AAVE governance. Through data-driven insights, proactive outreach and educational initiatives, Dspyt aims to usher in a new era of dynamic, inclusive and effective governance in the AAVE ecosystem. Through collective action and community participation, the vision of a truly decentralized and powerful financial ecosystem can be realized.

Despite these efforts, AAVE responded that they currently do not fund projects in this area due to the wealth of existing online resources, but the community participation rate remains very low.