Agora: a Plutus governance module

As Cardano’s Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) grow stronger, they naturally attract B2B/B2C (Business to Business / Business to Customer) web2 companies that offer them products and services.

The problem is that there is no standard governance framework for these companies to participate effectively in shared decision-making.

The entire process of submitting proposals, delegating to the project and voting stages (liquid democracy), executing proposals (involves sending funds from the treasury), must be included so that a governance framework becomes the norm at Cardano.

B2B/B2C businesses, DAOs, DApps, and community members will be able to use Agora to create proposals, vote on them (any token holder can vote), or delegate their vote, block a proposal after approval, and launch a proposal blocked after the expiry of the deadline.

Agora aims to bring together the tools for the development of Cardano DAO and to serve as a single governance library for decentralized projects, on the Cardano blockchain.

The Agora project is not a DAO. It doesn’t have tokenomics or even a token, it’s just a Plutus library, a standard for government.


Agora is a simple model to build chain governance, to unlock B2DAO business models and open source DAO tools, from a set of Plutus smart contracts which are composed to form a government system suitable for the chosen design . .

Agora is built on the Compound Governor Apha model, which is the main governance module used in Ethereum DeFi (Compound, Uniswap, Gitcoin, Fei).

Implementing EVM smart contract design patterns has been the biggest challenge in building Agora to date. The developers overcame this issue by reverse engineering the Governor Alpha framework targeting the Plutus eUTxO model.

In the DAO design, initiating a proposal will require the proposer to have a certain number of governance tokens (GT). A script is then created to handle all voting interactions. Any fungible asset native to Cardano (including ADA) can be used as a governance token.

The life cycle of a proposal will be divided into phases.

Draft phase

During the draft phase, a new UTXO is created in the proposal script. At this stage, only votes in favor of co-signing the project are counted. In order for the proposal to proceed to the voting phase, a GT threshold must be staked to support the proposal. This threshold will be determined by the system and may itself be a “governable” parameter.

Voting phase

phase In the voting phase, users can use their entries to vote for or against a proposal. There is potential for controversy within the system and therefore voting on proposals may need to be limited. The method by which a user’s votes are weighted and the thresholds needed for proposals to be accepted are determined by protocol.

blocking phase

Once the voting phase has been executed, the proposal will have been approved or rejected. A delay will be applied between the approval of a proposal and the execution of its effects, to allow users to prepare for incoming changes in the system. Additionally, it will give system maintainers the ability to intervene in the event of hostile action.

Execution phase

Failed interactive proposals will no longer be failed. The only value they hold is your state thread tokens and the minimum ADA requirement, so little value is lost.

Successful proposals will be verified by the Governor Component, which will issue “Government Authority Tokens” (GAT). Burning these tokens will be a prerequisite for making changes to the system. Therefore, possession of a token will serve as a form of “license” to make the changes.

There will be a limit before which the effects of a proposal must be executed. Since the effects of any approved proposal will necessarily have been approved by the community, it can be assumed that community members will have received incentives to ensure that the effects are enacted soon after the proposal is approved.

The roadmap

Agora v1 will be open source. Most of the features required for v1 are now complete, including proxy voting. The goal is to deliver full v1 functionality soon after opening the library and develop v2 functionality as well as any additional functionality requested by Cardano DAO framework developers.

Agora v1

  • Governor
  • Treasury
  • Stakepool
  • Proposals
  • Effects

Agora v2

  • Breakdown of rewards
  • Escrow Staking Pool Solution

3 months– Full v1 functionality (Governor, Treasury, Stake Pool, Proposals, Effects) and working with ecosystem developers to include additional feature requests. Complete documentation covering all functions of the governance module.

6 months– Full v2 functionality (rewards distribution, escrow pool solution) and includes additional feature requests.

12 months: Integrations with other DAO tools/applications (e.g. any Tally/Snapshot wallet solution), UI/X application to interact with Agora from an easy to use web application.

The budget

The promoters detail the need for financing, for a total of 100,000 USD.-

Total time 1,075 engineering hours

  • Extending Agora functionality to manage Stake Validators 175
  • DAO Cash 25
  • Multi-actor functions 50
  • Implementing Plutarch Testing Tools (apropos -tx) 100 Gold
  • files via Plutarch-test 50
  • 100 Proposal Effect Script Templates
  • Governor script that acts as a central authority issuing authority tokens and initializing proposals 100
  • Monomorphic proposal script to track the progress of 75 proposals
  • Deploy a monomorphic staking pool set to only system settings 100
  • Security Audit 125
  • Documentation and guides 75
  • Now UI/X 100 frontend application

The team

The team consists of several senior Haskell/Advanced Plutus engineers, who build Agora smart contracts, and expert developers from the MLabs Cardano (IOG Plutus partner) ecosystem, with over 80 Haskell developers working on some of the most major ecosystem projects.

Library contributions to date include Plutus developers from LiqwidLabs, MLabs, and ADAO.

Liqwid Labs is a team of expert Haskell/Plutus engineers and full-stack developers building the first native lending and borrowing protocol on Cardano.

CTO Emily Martins has been a professional Haskell developer for over 6 years and is a polyglot able to create concise and secure code in multiple languages.

MLabs is a leading Haskell development store in the Cardano ecosystem. As IOG PlutusPartners, they work closely with the Plutus team which focuses on improving off-chain tools and infrastructure for Plutus developers. Over 80 Haskellers working on innovative community projects, including:

The experience gained from building Liqwid and working with one of the most prolific early Plutus developer companies gives them access to the most talented pool of Haskell/Plutus developers in the ecosystem. Developers working at Agora apply their additional Plutus experience to successfully implement this governance product on Cardano.

B2DAO business model: Agora’s governance library will help B2B/B2C companies submit proposals to provide their services to the Cardano DAO under a streamlined process that currently does not exist on-chain.

Open source tools: Agora is soon to be open source with a structure for developers in the Cardano ecosystem to contribute to the library.

DAO2DAO business model: Agora unlocks the full potential of cross-protocol governance transactions between 2 or more Cardano DAOs


You can read the original proposal on IdeaScale: Agora: Plutus governance module

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Helen D. Jessen