A high-level overview of governance architecture.


$ethDYDX, $stkDYDX and $wethDYDX ("Governance Tokens") grant holders the right to propose and vote on changes to dYdX v3. dYdX governance is based on the AAVE governance contracts, and supports voting based on the holdings of the Governance Tokens.
Proposals must pass a given threshold and percent of yes votes based on the type of proposal.
The voting and propsing power of the Governance Tokens enable the Governance Token holder to make proposals and vote on governance proposals. Note, the governance token holder may delegate such powers to other Ethereum addresses.
There are 8 smart contracts at the core of dYdX Governance:
  • The $ethDYDX, $stkDYDX and $wethDYDX Token contracts: have snapshots of each address’ voting power at different blocks in time.
  • The Governance Strategy V2 contract: contains logic to measure users' relative power to propose and vote. The dYdX Community voted to upgrade the Governance Strategy contract to Governance Strategy V2 to endow $wethDYDX with the same governance functionality as ethDYDX for voting and proposing in dYdX v3 governance.
  • The Safety Module contract: contains logics to stake $ethDYDX tokens, tokenize the position and get rewards. Token staked the safety module retain full governance rights.
  • The Governor contract: tracks proposals and can execute proposals via the Timelock smart contract.
  • The Timelock contracts: can queue, cancel, or execute transactions voted by Governance. The functions in a proposal are initiated by the Timelock contract. Queued transactions can be executed after a delay and before the expiration of the grace period.
  • The Priority Timelock contract: The same as the timelock contract, but allows a priority controller to execute transactions within the Priority Period (7 days) before the end of the timelock delay.
Smart contract architecture
dYdX on-chain governance allows for:
  • Voting on proposals to be executed by any authorized executor contract
  • Snapshotting token holdings at the start of a proposal
  • Separate delegation of voting and proposing powers
  • Setting governance thresholds including proposals, quorums, and vote differential powers
  • Changing how votes are counted (by changing the “Governance Strategy” smart contract address on the Governor contract)

Proposal Types

There are four types of proposals with different parameters which affect the length and execution of a proposal, i.e. critical proposals that affect governance consensus require more voting time and a higher vote differential, whereas proposals affecting only protocol parameters require less voting time and can be quickly implemented. An executor must validate each type of proposal.

Short timelock executor

The short timelock executor controls the following:
  • Incentive contracts including the Liquidity Module, Safety Module, and Merkle Distributor Module
  • funds in the Rewards and Community Treasuries
  • minting new tokens
  • all proxy contracts except the safety module
  • guardian roles on stark proxy contracts
Starkware priority timelock executor
The Starkware priority timelock executor owns the StarkEx Perpetual Exchange contract. It can execute proposals that control the configuration of dYdX v3.
Depending on the action to be taken, the Starkware team may need to be involved in order to correctly implement the change on the exchange. For this reason, this executor is provided with a “priority controller” role, which provides Starkware with a period of 7 days (Priority Period) in which only they have the ability to trigger execution of a proposal.
Starkware does not have control over which protocol changes are made. Only $ethDYDX and $wethDYDX token holders, via dYdX v3 governance, have the ability to approve or deny changes to the exchange protocol.

Long timelock executor

The long timelock executor can execute proposals that generally change parts of the dYdX v3 that affect governance consensus.

Merkle-pauser executor

The Merkle-pauser executor can execute proposals that freeze the Merkle root, which is updated periodically with each user's cumulative reward balance, allowing new rewards to be distributed to users over time, in case the proposed root is incorrect or malicious. It can also veto forced trade requests by any of the stark proxy contracts.
The initial timelock parameters are as follows:
Initial timelock parameters