Multi-choice Proposals on realms

Frigate
8 min readSep 24, 2023

A Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a community with no central governing body. Instead, its members govern themselves collectively in a decentralized manner. The DAO usually makes decisions in favor of its members through a proposal and voting process.

Photo credit: blockgeeks.

Realms provides a platform for creating and managing DAOs on Solana. Realms dapp serves as the default front-end for on-chain DAO management. It offers essential support for multisig wallets, NFT, or token community DAOs, along with a comprehensive set of tools for operating and overseeing a DAO.

Realms: All your DAO tools in one place

As explained, DAOs reach decisions through proposals and a voting process. Think of this as a democratic senate chamber, where each member (meeting certain criteria) can propose and vote on proposals submitted by other members. While many DAO’s use democratic system, some use other governance system.

Who can set up a proposal within a DAO on Realms?

Only a member of a DAO is eligible to submit a proposal. Specific rules, such as minimum token holdings for token community DAOs and member verification status (for example, Civic Pass verification), further determine the "who". All of these rules around “who” are subject to the DAO’s governance.

Before we delve into the “how-to” aspect, let us recount a significant moment in history. Solana witnessed a historic event on August 8th, 2023, when the Deanslist DAO created and voted on the first multi-choice proposal on Solana.

What the heck are multi-choice proposals?

As the name suggests, multi-choice proposals introduce a dynamic decision-making process, deviating from the binary “reject” or “support” votes commonly associated with DAO voting processes. These proposals enable a DAO to vote on decisions that require more than one option, making them particularly useful for expeditiously resolving complex issues.
Imagine having to select the best color for a T-shirt among five different options. With multi-choice proposals, you can avoid creating five separate “yes” or “no” proposals for each color, thereby streamlining the decision-making process. Multi-choice proposals are also valuable for ranking decisions, especially helping prioritize among multiple pressing issues within a DAO.

How to create multi-choice proposals

In the next few minutes, I will walk you through creating a multi-choice proposal. But first, we need a DAO. Please visit the Realms dapp. For our demonstration, we will be using the ABC DAO.

  1. Choose your DAO

To access the DAO, use the search bar above, search for your DAO, and click to open it. Alternatively, you can click on “create one” (learn how to create a new DAO on Realms here).

Once you’re on the DAO homepage, the next step is to connect your Solana wallet. Realms supports various Solana wallets, whether on mobile or PC.

Once your wallet is connected, you’ll see your governance power on the right side of your screen.

2. Deposit governance tokens on realms

This power represents your influence within the DAO. A higher governing power means you have more influence over DAO governance. If you haven’t done so already, you will be prompted to deposit your governance tokens onto Realms. To do this, click on the “deposit” button (as of now, Realms requires you to deposit all of the community’s governance tokens in the connected wallet).

The amount of tokens you deposit will determine your governance power (voting power) in the DAO.

Multiple-choice polls

On realms, there are basically two types of proposals: the conventional “Executable proposals” and the new “non-executable proposals,”, also known as multiple choice polls. Executable proposals usually involve smart contract triggers and have a relatively higher impact on the DAO structure. Examples could include treasury management, DAO fund transfers, the minting of tokens or NFTs, and more.

On the other hand, non-executable proposals do not directly trigger smart contract execution. Instead, they are closely related to governance, policy and decision-making, strategic partnerships, or general suggestions.

3. Set up a multiple choice poll

Now that we have our governance tokens deposited, let’s proceed to set up a multi-choice poll.

Click on the “new proposal” button and give your proposal a title and description.

You’ll be presented with two types of proposals to choose from, as well as a button for council vote (which, if left off, makes the proposal a community proposal), meaning anyone with community tokens deposited on Realms can vote on it.

Next, we pick multiple choice polls,

Select which wallet rules to follow for the voting mechanism (if there are more than one).

The next step is where you add the options. You can add as many as necessary, though it’s recommended to keep it simple.

4. Publish the proposal

Finally, you can either publish the proposal for voting or save it as a draft to be completed and published later.

5. Vote on the proposal

Once you’ve created a proposal, the next screen you’ll encounter is the voting screen. Here, all members of the DAO who have deposited community tokens on Realms can select one or more options to vote on.

After making your selections, click on vote. You will need to approve the transaction in your connected wallet.
Users have the freedom to withdraw their vote and pick another option or choose to abstain from voting, as long as the voting period has not concluded.

It’s important to note that in a multiple choice proposal, selecting more than one choice is possible, and doing so does not divide the user’s voting power (the deposited community tokens). The user’s voting power is counted towards all of their chosen options.

6. Finalize the proposal

Once a proposal has passed (and the voting period has elapsed), it will have to be finalized. The proposal can be finalized by any DAO member with community tokens deposited on realms.

7. Check the voting result

The voting results can be viewed by clicking on the explore button just below the votes. The results will be presented as percentages, reflecting how members voted, with gray indicating members who did not vote and green indicating members who did vote.

When a proposal has been finalized, the leading option will have a checkmark, indicating the DAO’s choice on that proposal.

After voting, what next?

What follows after the vote depends on the DAO and the nature of the proposal. As mentioned earlier, a multi-choice proposal is non-executable and does not trigger any smart contracts. If the DAO’s decision necessitates smart contract execution on Realms, an executable proposal must be created to facilitate that.

Some best practices to keep up with when creating multi-choice proposals:

  • For small DAOs, it is advisable to keep the voting duration relatively short, preferably less than 3 days.
  • When setting up a multi-choice poll, it’s recommended to select a voting rule in which a proposal passes only when the total voting duration elapses.
  • Keep the title concise and straightforward, using the description to provide a thorough explanation of the proposal.
  • Limit the number of choices to under 10.
  • Include an abstention option: Realms offers this option during the proposal setup as “None of the above.” This ensures that members are not compelled to vote and can choose to abstain.
  • Always set a significant minimum token requirement for creating a proposal. This ensures that only committed DAO members with enough community tokens can propose changes.

Possible challenges you will encounter while using realms

  1. Realms currently lacks the option to deposit or withdraw a portion of your governance tokens.

While this feature has not been implemented yet, there is a workaround available.
To deposit only part of your tokens, you can send a portion of your governance tokens to another wallet before proceeding with the deposit on Realms.

2. Difficulty in Withdrawing Governance Tokens from Realms:

If you encounter challenges when attempting to withdraw your governance tokens from Realms, follow these steps:

Start by withdrawing your vote from any open proposals.

If, after this, you are still unable to withdraw your tokens, the next step to consider is to release all your proposals.
You can do this by navigating to “My governance power”

Click on “my proposals” at the far right

On the window that opens, click on “release all”

This action will release all proposals holding your community tokens; after this, you can go ahead and withdraw your governance token

Conclusion

Multichoice proposals are a great improvement to DAO governance, taking even more DAO activities onchain. This feature, however, is relatively new and there are certainly more improvements we will see in time.

Did you spot any bugs or do you have any feedback to help realms improve, the team will love to hear from you, join our discord and share your thoughts, also give us a follow on twitter, and connect with other great minds on anything SPL GOVERNANCE

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