MakerDAO’s flash loan could weaken tokenized governance

A recent MakerDAO governance vote was influenced by a flash loan.

The Maker community offered to burn MKRs to prevent this type of incident from happening again

The systems for many DeFi protocols remain centralized, although they claim the opposite.

The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations based on transparency standards.

Decentralized funding protocols strive to gain recognition of governance tokens. However, new forms of weakness are appearing in the system, and MakerDAO is the latest “victim”.

A recent vote on the governance of MakerDAO was marred by a flash loan that allowed a dominant party to influence the outcome and pass the proposal. The team that made the proposal essentially wanted to whitelist access to MakerDao’s course oracle, and therefore took out a flash loan to manipulate the process.

A flash loan is a loan that is taken out and repaid during the same transaction. It has been used in the past to conduct arbitrage trades , most recently on Harvest Finance. In this case, the flash loan was used to influence the token governance vote.

The team detailed these maneuvers on the protocol blog , with the following question: Should the Maker community burn affected MKRs in the event of a governance attack that leads to a redeployment of the protocol?

Does token governance really work?

A DeFi platform named Protocol B wanted to be whitelisted and therefore submitted the proposal on October 23. On the 26th, several transactions took place, allowing the team to secure enough crypto collateral to borrow $ 7 million in MKR, which was used to vote and pass the proposal before being repaid.

While it was not entirely malicious, as the team was transparent in its actions, the move reignited the debate on token governance. Maker has thus launched another proposal to prevent any further exploitation of flash loans.

The purpose of this message is to discourage holders of large amounts of MKR from providing MKR liquidity on lending platforms and AMM platforms until Maker’s governance contracts can be replaced with versions that cannot be attacked by flash loans.

Chris Blec, a finance industry insider who had previously criticized token governance, was just as vehement in the face of this new fiasco.

What a mess.

With each passing day, I am more and more skeptical of tokenized governance.

It’s time for us to start testing tokenless governance. And to reward users who continuously use the product with non-transferable votes.

Less favors for the whales. Power to users.

Power to the whales

The first Uniswap governance vote was also marred by controversy. Its author, Dharma, was one of the biggest carriers of tokens. At the time, he wanted to reduce the quorum, which would give him even more control over the voting process.

Fortunately, in the interest of further decentralization, the proposal did not meet a quorum. She nevertheless garnered 98% of the vote (from a handful of whale accounts).

Other protocols that claim to be decentralized, such as SushiSwap, are also governed by whale accounts. This raises questions about the effectiveness of tokenized governance systems.

As BeInCrypto has previously reported, most DeFi governance systems mirror those of corporations , with large carriers acting as leaders and CEOs.