Governance Proposal - Supporting the DeFi Education Fund

Thank you for this comprehensive proposal and the significant information! I have a question about the budget you shared.

Your budget has $1.1m/yr salaries, for four people. According to your website, you have a CEO, a CLO, a Communications & Operations Senior Manager, and a Policy Associate. I do believe a nonprofit needs to attract the best talents, but even with competitive compensation, that seems a lot for four people most of which lack a lot of professional experience? Admittedly it’s sensitive personal information but any detail you can provide would be helpful for consideration of this funding request?

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Regulation poses an existential risk that we need to mitigate. Therefore, an allocation of 1 million UNI is too low.

We should set aside a budget of 10 million UNI over the next five years to fuel initiatives aimed at mitigating regulatory risks. Besides DEF, few have demonstrated as much commitment to the DeFi mission.

But those are longer conversations we can have in another thread.

Here are our recommended next steps for the DEF team and delegates:

  1. DEF: move this to snapshot.

  2. Delegates: Cast your votes and push this 1 million UNI forward. We should avoid wasting their and our precious time.

  3. Delegates: start discussions and (potentially) establish a committee on regulatory derisking. Let’s be real, what do we know about this issue? Let’s find some people who know this to do this.

  4. DEF: move to a full DAO vote.

As delegates, our most crucial decision is the proper allocation of tokens to the right resources. To me, DEF is vital.

On some other comments:


We don’t need constant updates; it’s our duty as delegates to stay informed.


While more transparency is better, it’s not necessary since all their deliverables are public.


We should avoid driving talented individuals away by underpaying them, especially when we have a treasury of 4 billion. We already lack talent.

The truth is, they could easily increase their current salary tenfold if they chose to join Latham & Watkins today. You don’t like it but that’s the market you are competing in.

Let’s get this to a vote.


@lex-node makes some very good points. I’d recommend the DAO to opt for a payment stream or trache payments based on pre-agreed communication milestones for this request.


The DeFi Education Fund has been a valuable advocate for the crypto space since its inception. While some of that work is difficult to quantify, these types of public policy efforts – especially for DeFi protocols – are going to be critical moving ahead. The post outlines in detail the legal advocacy efforts, regulatory measures, and various legislative perspectives the Fund has provided. I personally support resourcing the DeFi Education Fund team with UNI tokens to continue their work. Public policy advocacy is a public good and my general belief is that well-resourced projects like Uniswap should bias towards funding actionable public goods projects.

That said, there’s been some understandable commentary around how much should be granted, to what degree the DeFi Education Fund should report on their activities (and has done so in the past), and the potential impacts of a UNI token sale on the broader community.

One way to solve these issues would be to split the funding into tranches, with the release of later funding tranches conditioned upon the DeFi Education Fund meeting certain agreed-upon benchmarks – ensuring that both operational needs and transparency / accountability conditions are met. So, fund an initial tranche and agree on the conditions for the second tranche now. Then have the Foundation (or another independent entity) serve as an agent to release the remaining amount of the DeFi Education Fund’s resources based on adherence to the criteria. This reduces the burden on governance, increases accountability and ensures that any sales of the $UNI tokens will be spread out and have less impact on the community.

One last note: it makes sense for the DeFi Education Fund itself to abstain from the voting process if they retain any voting power. This should be a requirement for all proposals moving forward to eliminate any perceived conflicts of interest from the proposer.


Hey all -

I’m supportive of another round of funding for the DEF, and appreciate the work they’re doing on the front lines. Amanda and Miller were a great addition to this month’s governance call and I’m excited for that to be a regular thing.

With regard to the calls for more oversight, can i suggest a compromise rather than another committee? The proposal can send DEF 500k UNI up front and lock up the other half in a streaming contract (sabilier, llama, something) that vests linearly. The funds in the streaming contract could be clawed back by a governance vote.

This would partially de-risk the spend by governance. Also worth recognizing that that reduction in risk comes at added operational friction and price risk for the DEF.


Here are a few simple ways we can implement a clawback provision with Llama:

  • No vesting
    • Funds are transferred to DEF account
    • UNI token holders have the ability to clawback funds
    • Additional option: give UNI token holders the ability to veto large fund transfers from DEF account
  • Vesting
    • Using Sablier streams, funds unlock linearly to a DEF account
    • Unvested funds can be clawed back by UNI token holders
    • Vested funds can be managed by DEF

Both options ensure operational effectiveness, transparency, and oversight by token holders. With the vesting option, the drawback is that DEF will not be able to withdraw a large amount at once if needed.

If a clawback provision exists, UNI governance will potentially be more comfortable to allocate a larger amount to DEF.


Updated Proposal & Temperature Check

We’ve updated the proposal (below) to incorporate the feedback and thoughts we received on the prior version. Thank you to everyone who helped us make this proposal better. Significant changes:

  • Token Smart Contract Streaming: DEF would receive 500k tokens upon passage of this proposal and 500k would be locked up in a streaming contract that would “vest” linearly over 12 months. Governance could vote to stop the streaming of the remaining tokens at any time. We are looking into the best way to implement this idea and will update the forum thread with confirmed details once we have them.
  • Community Transparency and Engagement: The DEF team will host monthly community calls that Uniswap community members can join to hear updates on our work, learn about high priority policy and regulatory developers, and have questions answered. We’ll also keep a thread on the Uniswap governance forum up to date with our monthly updates.

GFX has initiated a temperature check on this updated proposal. Thank you all!


Since its founding via a timely Uniswap Governance governance proposal in 2021, the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) has fought to advance and protect the potential of DeFi in the public policy sphere. The threat that misguided policies and overreaching regulators pose to DeFi has never been clearer. This proposal is to provide DEF with one million UNI tokens in two tranches to support them in fulfilling their mission.

See our CLO Amanda Tuminelli discuss our recent work on Unchained this morning.

DeFi promises to revolutionize how people engage in economic activities. In particular, the openly accessible and decentralized characteristics of DeFi protocols means that anyone with an internet connection and a wallet can participate in the global economy in a way that would not be possible without DeFi. To do so, DeFi upends the structure of traditional financial services and related policy making approaches. That upending has brought with it intense interest, suspicion, and hostility from entrenched interests and regulatory bodies around the world.

DEF has defended DeFi from legislative threats that would require DeFi developers to implement protocol access restrictions or requirements designed for CeFi businesses; regulatory proposals that would mandate centralization if finalized; and in the courts against overzealous regulators. In late March, we sued the SEC over its policy on airdrops and its campaign of regulation by enforcement that is crippling DeFi and crypto development and participation in the United States.

Over the last few years, DeFi’s policy challenges have become more real, more imminent, and more numerous. For example, in the U.S. alone, there are at least half a dozen bills actively under consideration in Congress and two rulemakings pending finalization that would effectively prohibit DeFi development. Luckily, public policy education and advocacy has borne—and can continue to bear—fruit for DeFi.

Without doubt, building a public policy environment welcoming of DeFi and decentralized governance will be a long and arduous struggle, but we know that Uniswap Governance shares our commitment to winning that debate—and it is winnable—so that the benefits of DeFi can be felt and enjoyed by as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

DEF is eager to continue leading the fight on behalf of DeFi. With additional resources, we can build out our team:

  1. super charge our impact litigation efforts to reshape the legal landscape to DeFi and DAOs’ benefit;
  2. expand our outreach to legislators and double down on our educational efforts;
  3. more vigorously challenge the regulatory onslaught targeting DeFi; and
  4. enhance our ability to engage in state-level debates and jurisdictions outside of the United States.

If DeFi development and DAOs are to have a future in the United States, we need to double down on our advocacy efforts to protect DeFi from the myriad policy risks it faces while proactively laying the foundation for longterm policy solutions favorable to DeFi and DAOs. We stand ready and able to do so with the community’s backing and appreciate your consideration.


DeFi’s policy challenges are immense and interest in DeFi has only grown since the DEF got to work in 2021. Following the collapse of FTX and with the return of the bull market, there is acute interest in DeFi on Capitol Hill and state legislatures, as well as inside federal and state government agencies. Providing meaningful educational outreach about DAOs and DeFi to lawmakers while also assisting in the legal defense of decentralized organizations is a role not played by anyone else in the US.

At this time, DAOs and DeFi protocols face several potentially catastrophic threats: a live IRS proposal would mandate the creation of intermediaries to conduct tax reporting (i.e., ban on disintermediated systems) and a live SEC rulemaking would define anyone loosely related to a DeFi protocol—including the underlying chain’s miners/validators—to be national securities exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange. Moreover, bills written to regulate CeFi often inadvertently capture DeFi protocols and subject them to compliance obligations designed for CeFi businesses.

If DeFi development and DAOs are to have a future in the United States, we need to double down on our advocacy efforts to protect DeFi from these myriad policy risks while laying the foundation for longterm proactive policy solutions favorable to DeFi and DAOs. There is a reason TradFi businesses collectively spend over $1 billion per year on U.S. lobbying and policy efforts: it works, and we’re making it work for DeFi.

DEF focuses specifically on fighting for policy outcomes favorable to decentralized finance developers and users on the ground in Washington, DC. A summary of our past work, which has included defending DAOs in court, as well as providing comment and consultation to regulators to avoid burdensome rules and regulations in the US and around the world, below. This proposal would expand our budget so that we can expand our legislative, regulatory, and legal advocacy and education efforts on behalf of DeFi and DAO developers and users.

If DeFi development and DAOs are to have a future in the United States, we need to double down on our advocacy efforts to protect DeFi from policy risks while proactively laying the foundation for longterm policy solutions favorable to DeFi and DAOs. We stand ready and able to do so with the community’s backing, and we appreciate your consideration.

Team, Social, & Contacts


The DeFi Education Fund is a nonprofit organization with a demonstrated history of being in the trenches fighting for DAOs and decentralized finance. Whether looking to provide legal assistance when DAOs and their members are targeted, providing educational resources, or fighting for policy changes, the DeFi Education Fund is the only major crypto advocate that focuses solely on decentralized web3.


Why are you raising money now if you have about two years of runway at your current burn?

We are seeking Uniswap Governance’s further support now for three primary reasons.

First, we need a good sense of our longer term funding in order to expand our efforts and take on the long term projects that our work often requires, which can play out over several years. For example, our legal challenge of the patent covering oracle tech that is being used against DAOs will likely take a total of at least two years from start to finish. Our lawsuit against the SEC will probably last several years. If we did not have a good expectation of being able to operate two years after starting those efforts, we would not have been able to take them on at all. In addition, because we hold tokens long term, we are exposed to crypto market price fluctuations.

Second, unexpected, ad hoc projects that we are well-positioned to take on in defense of DeFi can be extremely expensive. For example, we expect the challenge to the oracle patent to cost nearly $500,000 over its entire course. A legal challenge to proposed rules that would de facto ban DeFi in the United States would cost well over $1m. We have no ability to predict with certainty when and if those expenditures will be necessary, and without a sense of our longer term funding situation, we can’t take on those types of unexpected, but critical, projects while also expanding our day to day efforts and team.

DeFi needs more dedicated advocates working on its behalf. With a larger budget, we can hire more people.

When and how would you plan on selling this proposal’s tokens?

It is important to us that DEF remains aligned with the DeFi community and our supporters over the long term. Upon passage, 500k $UNI tokens would be transferred to DEF’s on-chain Coinbase $UNI wallet, and 500k would be locked up in a streaming contract that would “vest” linearly over 12 months. Governance could vote to stop the streaming of the remaining tokens at any time.

We will hold half of any tokens we receive for at least 12 months from the date we receive them, and we will pre-disclose all sales plans in writing.

How are you going to keep Uniswap Governance up to date on your activities?

The DEF team will host monthly community calls that Uniswap community members can join to hear updates on our work, learn about high priority policy and regulatory developers, and have questions answered. We’ll also keep a thread on the Uniswap governance forum up to date with our monthly updates.

What about the tokens from the 2021 proposal?

We received our initial grant of one million $UNI tokens from the Uniswap Governance in July 2021 and sold half of the tokens shortly thereafter. In February 2024, we began selling portions of the other half of the tokens according to an 18 month written sales plan. We will sell in July 2025 the last of the UNI tokens we received in July 2021.

Why are you asking us for money and not other DAOs?

We are, and we will definitely continue to “pass around the hat”! We seek Uni governance’s continued support as a community that is building for the long term. Uniswap Governance took a massive “leap of faith” in generously funding an organization that did not yet exist to do work that would benefit every DeFi project and DAO. We hope that our track record of work has proven valuable to DeFi projects and users such that Uni governance and other projects’ governance will continue to contribute to our work going forward.


In good faith and for the best of the community, we proposed a parallel proposal.

If the original DeFi Education Fund Temp Check passes, then the original Temp Check will take precedence. But if the original Temp fails then this parallel proposal can be used to move to Onchain as long as “Do not fund the DEF” is not the most voted. This allows the community to have more options as some might be supportive of funding the DEF but not the full amount of 1 million UNI tokens.

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I am shaking a little bit reading this thread.

Maybe I am the one who is disconnected from reality but…

The last 5 years I have been traveling in some 30 countries - including the USA.

I think I have a decent idea of the cost of living in those countries, as well as how this cost differs depending on your “lifestyle” (or “class” for some).

I can’t make sense of the amounts that are requested there. Being 1M or 300k UNI. I just can’t. I want to keep an open mind on the profession of lawyer. I guess I am also biased after monitoring the FTX debacle and seeing how much money seems to just “fall into the sink”.

Yes, I am crypto-native, but my personal life is very “down to earth”. I pay for food, lodging, moving. Those things are generally cheap fore me compared to the value they provide. I understand the meal I am eating. I understand my contribution to the bus I am taking or the gas I use for the car. I appreciate the bed and the roof above my head. I happily pay for those things.

I’ll 100% admit that I know nothing about the lawyer world. Probably as much as my grandma knows about computer. I have a few working brain cells however and so I would be happy to eat some content and be educated about what justifies a such amount of money from Uniswap the DAO.

I won’t argue about the separation between the apps and the protocol, nor about who collects front-end fees vs. who pay bills.

I just would like to have some beginning of understanding of why this order of magnitude of money is requested today, and what is the expected output. So I can make my mind around whether this is a necessary evil or totally disproportionate.

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In addition to the tranche, I suggest a matching formulae so that (a la gitcoin) the more other protocols independently chip in to “match” uniswap DAO the longer the runway. This addresses the free-rider problem in that other DeFi gets the benefits without shouldering the upfront burden. Some random thoughts … $1M/yr/4 people = 20k/month plus change. Let (numbers pulled out of thin air)

  1. UniSwap DAO commit to 5k/month x 3 months
  2. if another non-connected protocol matches, this goes up to 5k x 3months x 2 = 30k + matching 30k
  3. if 4 others come in then 5k x 3months x 3 = 45k x 5 = 225k
  4. if 9 others come in then 5k x 3months x 4 x 10 = 600k
  5. so it looks like if you can get 8-15 matching sponsors you will reach your budget range +/-50% for salaries

Litigation and lobbying are topic specific so there should be a litmus test of relevance then a (capped) pro-rata cost contribution (100% if UniSwap is the party down to zero for say FTX appeal) … this can be a contingent budget line-item subject to such litmus test. And auditable drip-drop smart contracts (with clawback) to prevent silly games in unenforceable promises (eg astroturfing with friendly DAOs and payola).

Outcome of this matching formulae

  • can get 8-15 co-funders … then it broadens your financing base without single point of failure
  • can’t get 8 matching … suggest that it lacks the public good element and you get a small survival amount for 3-6 months to gather such support
  • can’t get any support which means insufficient perception of value … the legal amicus curia briefs may mean tactical grenades but is not decisive enough to sway legislators and therefore equivalent to money poured down hole.

Uniswap DAO can twiddle with the parameters of base, supporting runway (I think the formulae is a sqrt function of # supporters) and pro-rata contingency but I suggest it allows for more nuanced drip-drop funding rather than big-bang wistful thinking hope for the best. The advantage for DeFiEdFund is that it diversifies their funding base and the #matching supporters is a test of relevancy.

If you are the NativeLabs doing the Aqua product, then I’m happy you are so gung-ho and enthusiatic … in which case are you publicly willing to co-fund DEF (matching UniSwap proposed tranching?) … At a mere hypothetical $60k/year does this meet your standard of vital?

The following reflects the views of L2BEAT’s governance team, composed of @kaereste and @Sinkas, and it’s based on the combined research, fact-checking, and ideation of the two.

We’ll be voting in favor of funding the DEF as we value the contributions they’re making to the space with their work and we’ll be voting in the parallel vote to allocate 300,000 UNI. A similar vote was carried out in Arbitrum where we’re also delegates, and we also voted in the proposal’s favor opting for a similar amount in USD terms.

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This request is for a substantially large amount of $UNI tokens.

  • Uniswap v3 UNI/ETH 0.03% Pool has 4.5k ETH in total buy-side liquidity ($13m).
  • 2% depth of $200k-$300k on Tier 1 exchanges like Binance and Coinbase.
  • DEF has already received 1m UNI tokens in 2021 from the Uniswap DAO.
  • The requested amount is much larger than most UNI proposals.

Our sentiment reflects that of others — Our belief is that Uniswap’s large contribution has been unjustified given the lack of responses on the forum. Going forward, more accountability and transparency is required.

We would like to highlight that:

  • DEF has yearly expenses of around $2 million. They have a runway of around 2 years.
  • DEF has made commitments to provide monthly updates via calls and governance forum.
  • 1m UNI is around $7m; this amount gives DEF around 3.2 additional years of runway.

While we do see the benefit in funding the DEF and believe their work is valuable, we see no reason that an upfront commitment is required from the DAO — especially for such a large amount. A yearly contribution would be more appropriate, giving the DAO flexibility to pivot on their contributions based on the updates provided by DEF.

We voted against this proposal and instead voted for a 300k UNI contribution in the amended proposal by Stablelab.

Thank you for your patience while we got the on-chain proposal together, which GFX Labs just posted. And thank you, thank you, and thank you again for governance’s support on the temp check.

Here is a document that explains the technical implementation details of the proposal from the Llama team.

Please let us know whether you have any questions! Thank you!


Аccording to the decision of the DeFi Education Fund Temp Check- Options, the majority voted for 300,000 UNI. I think it’s incorrect to change the community’s decision; it’s unacceptable.
I would be happy to support the decision to allocate at least 1,000,000 UNI if this decision was made in a snapshot.

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It looks like according to the way the proposals were set up:

“If the original DeFi Education Fund Temp Check passes, then the original Temp Check will take precedence. But if the original Temp fails then this parallel proposal can be used to move to Onchain as long as “Do not fund the DEF” is not the most voted.”

Original (1m)

More Options (300k - 1 million)

As one of the “YES” voters for the original proposal in 2021, we applaud seeing DEF fight alongside crypto projects like Beba LLC and James Harper. We want to see more of DEF assisting in such legal battles helping smaller organizations opposing oppressive legislation and setting new precedents for better crypto regulations.

We were considering voting “No” because the majority of the delegate votes supporting 300k UNI incentives. However, given the stipulations of the original proposal and since a lot of the votes for 300k in the temp check are now voting in favor of the 1 million on the onchain vote, we decide to vote “YES” for the 500k UNI + 500k UNI streaming.

Been reading through the reports and financials - $250k / mo burn rate, and a budget proposal of $200k / mo for the next 12 months. That’s 1m UNI an additional $11.3m, an additional 4.3 year runway, and we should be very diligent to make sure the funds are going to good use and be ready to stop the stream if needed.

Some thoughts-

  • DEF should prove it can fundraise equal or near equal amounts from other sources. The Arbitrum proposal is for DEF receiving up to 1.5m ARB ($1.2m)
  • DEF has provided a monthly budget breakdown but we also want to see a list of specific battles DEF is tackling for the next year besides the oracle patent and the de facto DeFi ban.
  • We also want to see an easier way to sort through DEF’s accomplishments. Reading through the DEF financials page, we have to click through month-by-month. The Arbitrum proposal does a good job of summarizing some of DEF’s largest accomplishments.
  • If broader education is a goal, we would also like to see growth plans there (# of newsletter subscribers, social media growth plan, etc).

We signed up for the newsletter, but not clear when future DEF community calls are or where the previous ones are archived.


The following reflects the views of L2BEAT’s governance team, composed of @kaereste and @Sinkas, and it’s based on the combined research, fact-checking, and ideation of the two.

We voted in favor of the proposal during temp-check, and although we voted to allocate 300,000 UNI, we’ll vote in favor of the on-chain proposal to contribute 500,000 to DEF. The original proposal mentioned that it would take precedence if it passed (with the options provided in the parallel proposal serving as an outlet to go to an on-chain vote with a reduced amount if the original proposal failed).


Hey all! My name is Nathan Hennigh and I just joined the DeFi Education Fund as the Head of Community Engagement! I’m excited to get better connected with the Uniswap community and to be a voice of the community’s needs!

The DeFi Education Fund is excited to host our first ever DeFi “State of The Union”! We will discuss the work being done by DEF to advance and defend the rights to DeFi as well as all the important news regarding DeFi policy and regulation! Be sure to tune in tomorrow on X at 6:30 PM UTC.


Welcome to the Uniswap governance! And thank you for the engagement.

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