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Griff Green’s disclosure ‘mistake’ sparks heated debate among Optimism DAO

Griff Green’s disclosure ‘mistake’ sparks heated debate among Optimism DAO
Crypto philanthropist Griff Green failed to inform Optimism DAO that some grant seekers were clients of his firm General Magic. Credit: Rita Fortunato/DL News.
  • Major Optimism delegate Griff Green’s ties to a company helping grant seekers secure funding failed to disclose his financial interest.
  • Optimism DAO has concluded that it was an honest mistake and that no harm was done.

Optimism DAO, the community behind the Ethereum scaling blockchain Optimism, has been locked in a spirited debate over undisclosed financial interests of a major delegate involved in its grantmaking process.

The delegate in question is Griff Green, a well-known founding member of The DAO, crypto’s original decentralised autonomous organisation, and co-founder of General Magic, a crypto grants consultancy service.

It’s the latter position that courted controversy in July.

This stems from the fact that General Magic helps small crypto project teams research and apply for grants from bigger organisations like Optimism.

Last month, it was revealed that Green had failed to inform Optimism DAO that some grant seekers were clients of General Magic and that the company charged between 7% and 50% of the total funds awarded in the grant for their services.

The DAO grew concerned that Griff had a financial incentive to ensure the prospective recipients were successful, which risked running counter to Optimism’s code of conduct regarding the prohibition against self-dealing practices

NOW READ: How a Harmony grant programme became a ‘money-grab’ for Blu3 DAO members

Community members were especially concerned as Griff’s major delegate position meant he had the voting power to pass grant proposals.

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Some delegates also argued that grantees added the cost of this commission to the funds being requested, thus increasing Optimism’s financial burden.

An honest mistake

Green said the situation was not an attempt at grift at the expense of Optimism but an oversight on his part.

“I acknowledge my mistake,” Green told DL News. He added that he supports many projects on the DAO forum but did not disclose the ones that had ties with General Magic.

“It should be made clear that I abstained from voting on all projects where I had a conflict of interest,” Green said.

He stated that he only supported these projects on the forum to help them get visibility although some DAO members argued that it was possible that he leaned on other voters to sway their votes in his favour.

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“This was the first time we helped external groups apply for grants from Optimism and also it is the first time that this grants process was tried in Optimism.

Green stated that the situation was a learning experience for all involved and has led to important clarifications in Optimism’s code of conduct.

‘No harm no foul’

Green’s situation is the latest controversy within Optimism’s grant ecosystem, with the project having dealt with mismanagement issues among grantees in the past.

The debate over Green’s failure to disclose his financial interests seems to have been amicably resolved within the DAO.

“For what it’s worth I think this whole thing falls pretty neatly into ‘no harm no foul’ territory, especially considering Griff [Green] was never the marginal vote on any of these, and a whole lot of proposals didn’t even make it to this round,” Jack Anorak, a member of the Optimism Grants Council, said on the DAO forum.

NOW READ: Arbitrum and Optimism raked in $5.5m last month from fees. But they’re not spending it

Despite the resolution, some DAO members urged the community to more closely examine so-called public goods organisations’ activities.

They stated that these organisations have a tendency to use DAO grants as cash cows.

For Green, this characterisation does not apply to his endeavours.

“I don’t receive any income from this work, I am actually more of a donor than a businessman,” Green said. “I work to make the world a better place and have spent most of my crypto doing so.”

Griff was also part of a whitehat hacking coalition called the Robin Hood Group that initially saved 70% of The DAO’s Ether but was rendered moot following the hard fork of the chain that eventually ended the saga.

Osato Avan-Nomayo is our Nigeria-based DeFi correspondent. He covers DeFi and tech. To share tips or information about stories, please contact him at

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