Blockchain Groups From Major Universities are Powerful Voters in Defi Governance Protocols

By Crypto Bucket

Researchers conducted various studies at universities in the United States of America. The data that was collected was based on the type of governance that was used. It was studied whether these major universities. Participated in decentralized finance (defi) governance. This was compared to the number of voters in the last governance proposal held by Uniswap. Some of the largest numbers came from universities, like:

  • Harvard
  • Stanford
  • Michigan
  • Berkeley
  • MIT
  • Columbia
  • Penn

Blockchain University Groups Identified as Major Players in DeFi Governance Decisions

Jack Purdy is a prominent researcher at messari.io. He recently sent out an interesting tweet. He had come upon a discovery while looking into DeFi governance protocols. Some prestigious US universities. Were involved in the voting process for a Uniswap governance proposal.

“Universities have increased their participation. And have become some of the prominent ones in crypto governance. Uniswap released a proposal that listed 15 of its largest voters. Six of them were universities. That puts it at over $600 million in tokens of useless governance.” Jack Purdy.

Powerful University Voters in DeFi Governance Protocols

There were no official representatives identified from the universities. The voters that take part are rarely officials, but rather students. These are students that participate in blockchain projects from school.

It is difficult to verify the truth behind Purdy’s tweet. But, one way that works is by using the website withtally.com (Tally). The site is a web portal that digs into governance systems in cryptocurrency. It explores the governance of many projects. Some of these include:

  • Indexed
  • Uniswap
  • Gitcoin
  • Fei

Results from the projects tend to vary. For example:

  1. Compound: The project had 52 governance proposals. There were 1.72k voters that were eligible and the project received an engagement rate of 41%.
  1. Uniswap: The project produced just six proposals. There were 4.53K eligible voters and the project received an engagement of 18.62%

Uniswap has a number of proposals, including:

  • A DeFi education fund. This was executed and received 15 million votes against it. It won because of the 79 million voters that voted in support.
  • Reducing the UNI submission threshold to 2.5 million. This proposal was executed and received two million votes against it. It won because of the 14.4 million votes that were cast in support of the threshold.
  • Uniswap Grants Program v0.1

A lot of the voters try to leverage the governance system for Uniswap. Harvard Law Blockchain is one of these groups. It is a voting power and has some of the top advocates in the industry. When put against other voters in the system, Harvard Law Blockchain was fifth.

The major universities that are involved in the Uniswap governance voting include:

  1. Blockchain at Berkeley – 11 voters
  1. Stanford Blockchain Club – 13 voters
  1. Blockchain at UCLA – 16 voters
  1. PennBlockchain – 20 voters

Compound Voting Power and Top Advocates

A larger portion of the representatives include venture capitalist funds and corporate entities. They represent a huge part of Compound’s governance proposals.

University groups utilize the governance system at Compound. They hold some of the highest positions among the voters. This allows them to leverage the system of governance in favor of Compound.

Voters at Compound face competition from different firms. These include:

  • Bain Capital Ventures
  • Polychain Capital

Blockchain groups from these universities participate in the Compound governance system. Their main competition comes from corporate entities, but they hold up well. A good number of the Compound voters come from universities. These groups include:

  1. Blockchain at UCLA
  1. Blockchain at Michigan
  1. Blockchain at Berkeley
  1. Stanford Blockchain Club
  1. MIT’s Bitcoin Club

Ishaan Hiranandani is a member of Blockchain at Michigan. Hiranandani explained that those who take part are mostly students. “[Blockchain at Michigan] is completely student-run, though we have advisors in the space for help,” Hiranandani said.

The news of some universities participating in these proposals was not welcome by all. Some individuals feel it is unnatural to have universities involved like this. Some even labeled the participation of universities in important governance as “cringe”.

On Twitter, an account only known as Defimoon gave some strong points. Some of what the account tweeted were:

“What you do not want is woke, leftist academics ‘governing’ and in charge of your DeFi protocol. VCs who are strongly connected to leftist academic institutions. With huge stakes in governance in your favorite DeFi protocol,” the individual added.

However, this statement was not unanimously agreed upon. Not everyone agreed with Defimoon’s stance. Some people actually vouched for widespread participation of universities in DeFi governance. “I totally disagree,” a Twitter account called Defibrillator replied to Defimoon’s tweet. 

“A lot of times, these groups are student-run and, in any case, you cannot pick and decide who is or isn't involved in crypto. Even if it offends your political bias, broad participation is a good thing.”

Whether people agree or not, universities are involved in the process. It would be best to come up with a system that works for all sides. This new system should also be able to accept new participants into the fold.

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