Forta Proposal - Permissionless Launch (FP-1)
The Forta Foundation is excited to officially kick off the formal community governance process using the Forta Proposal Process framework for the first time! This “Permissionless Launch” proposal has been dubbed “FP-1” as an easy reference.
The Forta Network has been operating on a decentralized basis with the FORT token for over a month in the Fortification Network phase. FP-1 is being introduced by the Foundation to propose the following 3 key actions that, if approved by FORT token holders, should allow Forta to evolve from the current phase to become fully permissionless, such that anyone, anywhere in the world will be able to acquire FORT tokens and start contributing work in the Forta Network (the “Permissionless Launch”). The FORT token is integral to the incentive structure that secures Forta on a decentralized basis - network participants need to first acquire FORT in order to operate a node or to signal on a detection bot, as both require staking.
The 3 actions proposed to achieve the Permissionless Launch (each of which are described in more detail below under the same headings) include:
1. Council Election - FORT token holders delegate community governance to the Forta Governance Council, comprised of the initial candidates set out below (the “Council”) by a majority approval vote on Snapshot pursuant to this FP-1, beginning on June 1, 2022 at 4:00 pm (UTC) and ending on June 5, 2022 at 4:00 pm (UTC) (the “Election”);
2. Infrastructure Transfer - following the Election, the Foundation shall transfer signing privileges of its material Forta Gnosis Safe multi-signature wallets, as well as authority over any custodial accounts (the “Wallets”) to the Council (the “Transfer”); and
3. Whitelist Removal - following the Transfer, the Council shall take such actions and do such further things it deems necessary or appropriate in order to accomplish the Permissionless Launch successfully, including but not limited to signing any Wallet(s) transactions required to remove the whitelist restriction from the FORT token contract.
The Foundation believes that the actions proposed in this FP-1 and the achievement of the Permissionless Launch will help evolve the Forta Network into a permissionless and even more decentralized protocol, allowing the Forta community to grow even stronger and further Forta’s mission to monitor all transactions and protect all assets in Web3. A “yes” vote for FP-1 is a vote that the Forta Network is functioning on a decentralized basis such that it is ready to be made permissionless and a vote for each of the steps listed above, which together constitute the Permissionless Launch.
Although Forta has already been operating on a decentralized basis with the FORT token for over a month during the ongoing “Fortification Network” phase, the FORT token still has technological transfer restrictions in place that prevent it from being transferred to anyone that hasn’t been whitelisted by the Foundation to participate in the Fortification Network.
Due to overwhelming interest to participate in the Fortification Network (over 10,000 applications to date), only applicants that have demonstrated technical experience running blockchain nodes can be prioritized in the whitelisting process. Further, and out of an abundance of caution, the Foundation has not whitelisted applicants from certain geographical regions due to regulatory uncertainty, including those resident in the US (unless they meet the definition of an “accredited investor”).
Despite these limitations of whitelisting, the Fortification Network has still attracted over 1,200 active node runners across 7 major blockchains (Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, BSC, Optimism, Arbitrum and Fantom). Deploying detection bots has always been permissionless, and there are currently over 600 active bots deployed to the Network (by hundreds of independent developers). These bots are emitting alerts to over 7,000 subscribers, covering a wide range of Web3 protocols. Further, dozens of protocols like Maker, Lido, Compound, and Liquity are relying on Forta alerts for system critical monitoring. An independent market for bot development work has already taken shape, with 16 protocols issuing grants so that both users and the protocol itself can be protected.
The breadth of the Forta ecosystem shows that even with a whitelist in the Fortification Network phase, Forta is already operating on a decentralized basis as a robust, open platform. However, the vision of Forta posits that only a fully permissionless platform will be powerful enough to address the rapidly evolving risk landscape on blockchains, where every new smart contract deployed introduces novel risk vectors that could affect thousands of interconnected protocols and millions of users.
No single company with a centralized solution could possibly address this enormous attack surface by itself, as it would need to define every risk that should be monitored across all smart contracts as Web3 expands. Instead, a permissionless platform like Forta is required, one that allows anyone in the blockchain world to define the system critical risks that affect their products, their protocols and their personal assets and then allows them to craft custom threat detection bots that can keep those assets safe. Further, these detection bots should be run against every block by a decentralized network of nodes that monitor and emit accurate alerts, secured by a token-based incentive mechanism, rather than be run by a centralized provider that carries risks of censorship, fraud and single points of failure.
The Forta Network was designed to unleash the power of a decentralized permissionless platform to provide real-time security and operational monitoring that can cover all transactions and protect all assets in Web3. The Foundation is making this proposal because it believes that the actions proposed in this FP-1 and the achievement of the Permissionless Launch could evolve the Forta Network into a permissionless and even more decentralized protocol, allowing the community that makes Forta powerful to grow even stronger and help the Forta Network further its mission to monitor all transactions and protect all assets in Web3. FP-1 asks the growing community of FORT token holders if they believe that Forta is functioning on a decentralized basis such that it is ready for the Permissionless Launch and if the following 3 actions should be taken.
1. Council Election
The first action item included in this FP-1 is for the Foundation to create a proposal on Snapshot for FORT holders (for clarity, including FORT bridged to Polygon and those nodes holding FORT stake shares) to elect the seven initial Forta Governance Council members listed below (the “Council”), which shall be determined by a majority approval vote (the “Election”). The Foundation shall create a Snapshot Space for the Forta community and post the proposal, which will be open for voting from 4:00 pm (UTC) on June 1, 2022 to 4:00 pm (UTC) on June 5, 2022.
The Foundation has compiled the following ballot of seven candidates, who were nominated by early members of the Forta community to serve on the initial Council:
1. Demian Brener - Founder & CEO @ OpenZeppelin, the company that founded and incubated Forta
2. Hart Lambur - Co-Founder @ UMA, proven Web3 protocol and active Forta user
3. Jeremy Sklaroff - GC @ Celestia, seasoned crypto lawyer passionate about decentralized technology
4. Jonathan Alexander - CTO @ OpenZeppelin, the company that founded and incubated Forta
5. Juan Garre - Director @ the Forta Foundation, a serial entrepreneur running operations for the Forta Foundation since its inception
6. Mat Travizano - Founder @ Rewilder, serial entrepreneur now focused on tackling environmental issues with blockchain technology
7. Tomasz Stańczak - Founder @ Nethermind, one of the earliest members of the Forta community, developing detection bots, contributing to core development, running scan nodes and actively involved in the ecosystem
For clarity, a “yes” vote for FP-1 is a vote for the approval of all seven candidates listed above, which together will constitute the initial Council. If Elected, the Council will be required to act in accordance with the Governance Council Bylaws, which set out the authority and obligations of the Council. In this blog post, you can read more about the Bylaws and mechanics of the Council, including removal and appointment procedures for Council members. The intention is that once the Bylaws are battle-tested and governance is hardened, the Bylaws will be published publicly by the Council.
Like other community governance frameworks, the Council combined with the Forta Proposal Process is only a starting point and the governance framework is expected to itself evolve over time with input from the Forta community.
2. Infrastructure Transfer
Following a successful Election, the Foundation shall transfer signing privileges (on a majority M-of-N basis) over the Foundation’s material Forta Gnosis Safe multi-signature wallets, as well as authority over any of its custodial accounts (collectively, the “Wallets”) to the Council, including but not limited to the Wallet(s) holding the admin keys for the FORT token smart contract located at 0x41545f8b9472D758bB669ed8EaEEEcD7a9C4Ec29 on Ethereum and located at 0x9ff62d1FC52A907B6DCbA8077c2DDCA6E6a9d3e1 on Polygon (the “Transfer”). The Bylaws give the Council the authority to manage the Wallets and sign transactions.
3. Whitelist Removal
Following the Transfer, the Council shall take such actions and do such further things it deems necessary or appropriate in order to accomplish the Permissionless Launch successfully, including but not limited to signing any Wallet(s) transactions required to remove the whitelist restrictions from the FORT token smart contracts.
The Foundation estimates that following the Election and Transfer, the Whitelist Removal and therefore the Permissionless Launch should take approximately two weeks to complete. The Council may take any other actions it deems appropriate in order to accomplish the Permissionless Launch successfully and in a reasonable amount of time, at all times in accordance with the Bylaws. In the event that such estimated timeline is not achieved, the Council shall provide updates to the community through the Forum or other appropriate medium.