Understanding and Improving the Governance Participation in API3 DAO


Dealing with voter fatigue and finding the right onboarding incentives are points of struggle for every DAO. The fact that DAOs do not have any information on their non-participating members makes the puzzle harder. DeepDAO believes that it is possible to understand $API3 token holders down to their interest categories and activity patterns to point toward measures to improve voter participation.

We propose conducting a data-based segmentation of $API3 token holders to find out the largest segments of non-voters, voters with decaying participation scores, etc. to point toward the right onboarding steps/incentives for them.

How to address this

Governance activity in different DAOs provides valuable insights into the characteristics and preferences of wallet holders. It serves as a window into their interests, motivations, and potential contributions.

For example, taking a closer look at 0xjean on DeepDAO:

*screenshot is cropped, please visit DeepDAO to view the full profile

we observe a strong inclination towards identity products(from participation in DAOs like Proof of Humanity, Sismo, etc.) and Public Goods (from participation in DAOs like UBI DAO, Gitcoin, etc). This presents an opportunity for some other DAO 0xjean is a member of to leverage this interest by introducing DAO participation badges or some initiative focused on public goods. These tangible incentives can not only recognize and reward active participants but also serve as a magnet for other enthusiasts with similar interests, encouraging their engagement and involvement in the DAO’s decision-making processes.

Similarly, we can identify other categories of mass interest and introduce new initiatives to the DAO. For instance, if there is a substantial segment of members expressing interest in data analysis or research, establishing a dedicated research guild could be a strategic move. Having understood that the 100s of $API3 token holders are looking for gig work, the DAO could open more avenues for contribution for these people.

This proposal aims to create interest and activity-based segmentation of $API3 token holders so that the DAO can find methods to retain and onboard new addresses to API3 DAO’s governance. Armed with this knowledge, API3 DAO can optimize its governance processes, create better onboarding flows, prioritize new initiatives, and foster a more vibrant and engaged community.

Note that we aren’t directly incentivizing governance participation but trying to introduce genuine initiatives that make participation more attractive and more useful to a wider audience.


A very high-level plan of action for analyzing the 20k+ $API3 token holders:

  1. Get the DAO resumes of all $API3 token holders (granular activity & memberships), as aggregated by DeepDAO
  2. Based on (1): Label each address’s interest (NFTs, DeFi, Investments, Gaming, gig work, etc.) “Interest” is defined as membership or activity in a DAO category over a threshold. Label their activity on API3 DAO (persistent voter, long-term dormant address, non-voter, an address that used to participate, an address that is getting less interested in participating over time, and more.)
  3. Repeat step 2 with different interest/activity categories to optimize the segmentation. We now have a well-segmented view of $API3 token holders with info on how large each segment is.
  4. Label bots & vote miners: recent research by DeepDAO identified voting miners’ activity across the DAO ecosystem. We use this data to check for malicious actors.
  5. Based on DeepDAO’s domain expertise in Web3 and governance, work with API3 DAO to define the right incentives/onboarding steps for each segmented group.


  1. A report with analysis of all governance participants of API3 DAO and non-active $API3 holders. This will answer questions like who are the primary participants, which are the largest segments of active, and inactive participants, which segments have the highest attrition/retention, etc.
  2. A CSV file with all $API3 token holders and their category interests, as reflected by the DAOs they vote in.
  3. Based on (1) & (2), a brainstorming session with API3 DAO to come up with an action plan to onboard inactive segments of voters. One such step could be introducing NFT badges if we discover a large number of people who are interested in NFTs or starting guilds if we discover a segment of users that are looking for gig work.


Milestone 1:

DeepDAO dives deeper into $API3 holders and finalizes the optimal labels & interest categories.
Time required: 4 weeks from the start of the project

Milestone 2:

DeepDAO hands over deliverables (1), (2) & (3)
Time required: 2 weeks from Milestone 1 completion

Funding Requested

We request total funding of $15,000 with the following breakdown: 33% ($5,000) after Milestone 1 and the remaining 67% ($10,000) after Milestone 2.

About DeepDAO

DeepDAO is the #1 discovery and analytics engine for the DAO ecosystem. We aggregate, list, and analyze financial and governance data for over 12.5k DAOs and 6.9M governance token holders across different chains and governance platforms. DeepDAO is widely recognized in the ecosystem and media as the go-to source for data about DAOs.

Can you share some previous examples of the type of data you’d provide for this $15k package? Do you only provide this service or are there more comprehensive services?


While I generally understand the intention of this exercise, I’m not fully convinced because of the numerous inferences. Some use addresses only for certain types of activities, some are a legal entity’s address, some have been exploited or lost keys, etc. – and then there is no substantive way to reach the controllers after the exercise is completed beyond an NFT that a controller may or may not notice. I think the information available at https://tracker.api3.org/wallets (and when clicking on an address there) is probably the extent of what’s useful to draw inferences.

Overall I think governance participation is improved by creating powerful and useful services that bring in participation by their merit, such as attracting participation from developers or users of dApps that leverage API3’s data feeds or OEV-share that want a more direct role in their data feeds or their OEV value retained (or that are planning on building or funding something of their own using the services). But, I can see how this would be useful for identified addresses and persons that may be reachable.

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While I think this is an interesting service for certain DAOs, I would agree with @Erich that at this stage API3 governance will benefit most from focusing resources on utility and services.

Thank you for the feedback @dcroote , @Erich & @kurthagel !

I think the information available at https ://tracker.api3.org/wallets (and when clicking on an address there) is probably the extent of what’s useful to draw inferences.

The dashboard looks super interesting! However, it primarily focuses on token ownership and governance power, and we aim to delve deeper to understand the individuals behind the wallets.

Not a lot has been done in DAOs to improve engagement other than directly incentivizing it. By analyzing the DAO activity of wallet holders, we can uncover valuable insights into their interests, preferences, and motivations, helping us design effective strategies for long-lasting engagement.

It is true that there are limitations in terms of communication. But web3 and DAOs possess strong network effects that can facilitate the dissemination of new initiatives to a significant portion of token holders. We are actively working on running this optimization experiment with several large DAOs, and we anticipate obtaining clear results within the next few months. I’ll gladly share these findings and restart the discussion!

@aman I like the idea. Before API3 commits to anything, can you share such an analysis report? The 0xjean user only shows the DAOs they used not any interpretation of his activity/ interests oe I couldnt find it on the website

and then there is no substantive way to reach the controllers

@Erich as most of the stakers use the dashboard to stake and withdraw it would be possible to display (once logged in) in there any messages that they otherwise would ignore, e.g. etherscan tx with API3 specific messages in data section. E.g. “We would really like to talk to you because of your specific interests in X, Y, Z. DeepDAO identified you as possible contributor for our subteams X_toTheMoon, Y_ecoFreaks, Z_guild. Let us work together. Please contact X@api3.org” (or something much much shorter saving gas costs)

that leverage API3’s data feeds or OEV-share that want a more direct role in their data feeds or their OEV value retained (or that are planning on building or funding something of their own using the services)

coincidentally I talked to @KenKarv (I hope this is the correct nickname here) today about this. I also want to see not only just more stakers but they should contribute / be more committed / vote more often. Real “skin in the game” by real players in the game, not just spectators who payed for watching the game and catching a little reward / a hot dog every week. It seems I had exactly the same idea, usage of DAO services should require a stake, perhaps “only allowed to use the services, when staked with X minimum amount for the duration of using the service, and always participated in voting during that time”

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Thanks for the feedback, @Pseudonym .

We’ve started working with a couple of communities on this, so I’ll share a report closer to their completion. Regarding interpretation of the data available on DeepDAO profiles - there is actually quite a bit there. For example, each DAO you belong to belongs to a category. If you are active in several DAOs that belongs to the same category, that says something about your interest in the category. We can even go a step deeper, and do things like keyword extraction on proposal contents of all governance interactions of an address to get more granular interest categories. When we do this across 1000s and 10000s of addresses, actionable patterns start to form.

it would be possible to display (once logged in) in there any messages that they otherwise would ignore

Exactly! This data can be used for a ton of optimizations - from customizing reach out messages on DeBank, to finding the right people for a beta test (or understanding their biases).