Adding a “Seatbelt” to secure governance proposals

January 10, 2022

Developing tools to strengthen DAO governance is critical to robust decentralization. Today, we’re excited to share a new effort toward that goal. In collaboration with Scopelift, we are releasing Seatbelt, a test suite for governance proposals. Seatbelt can be used by any DAO using Governor Bravo, the governance contracts facilitating DAOs like Uniswap and Compound Protocols. This initial release includes several basic checks (listed below) and generates reports on proposals prior to votes for the Community’s review so that delegates and token-holders have the critical information they need for their decisions. Over time, through collaboration with the Uniswap Protocol community and other communities that can benefit from its development, we hope Seatbelt becomes more comprehensive.

When the Uniswap Protocol DAO upgraded to Governor Bravo last August, a minor bug was found and fixed. We wrote about it here. There was no impact to the Protocol or DAO, but it was an important reminder that governance proposals are often one-way paths and require more infrastructural support to back up security reviews.

At launch, Seatbelt will check Ethereum for new proposals every hour, run a series of checks on all active proposals and publish reports in a GitHub repo for anyone to review. For example, a Seatbelt report on Compound proposal 80 can be found here. These checks will:

  • List all referenced addresses - any address that’s touched by this proposal’s execution
  • Confirm all contracts referenced by the proposal are verified on Etherscan
  • List all state changes and events resulting from the proposal execution

Soon, through continued collaboration, we hope that Seatbelt will also support:

  • Showing compiler warnings in referenced contracts
  • Results from running static analysis tools against the verified smart contracts
  • Simulating proposals locally to identify issues before proposals are submitted on chain

We look forward to working with the Uniswap Community and other communities to continue to improve DAO governance.