What Is a Governor Contract?

What is Governor?

The Governor contract pattern is a commonly used open-source smart contract that allows token holders to control a DAO with fully on-chain voting.
The Governor contract is responsible for managing DAO proposals. It keeps track of the status of proposals, and it counts the votes to see if they pass. If a proposal passes, the Governor executes the proposal on-chain.

Proposals can do anything that's on chain: send funds from a treasury, update the parameters of a DeFi protocol, change permissions of sub DAOs, mint NFTs, or modify the rules of the Governor itself.

How does Governor work?

A Governor contract manages proposals and their lifecycle (ie. proposal creation → voting on a proposal → executing a proposal).

A Governor contract also needs a token contract, which provides the Governor the voting power of different addresses.

Why do DAOs use Governor?

The main benefit of Governor is that the DAO's decision-making happens completely on-chain. Token voters don’t need to trust a third party to count their votes or to execute their transactions, because the smart contract does it entirely on-chain for them.

Additionally, DAOs can use whatever application they want to interact with governance, because anyone can call the smart contract.

Who made Governor?

Governor was originally released by Compound as Governor Alpha and later Governor Bravo to run their lending protocol, and proved to be very popular. Many other projects forked that pattern.
Governor was later standardized by OpenZeppelin, who maintains a library for secure smart contract development.

Is Governor customizable?

Yes! Tally’s app expects a certain interface, but there’s lots of flexibility. To learn more about configuring and deploying a Governor, check out our developer docs.

Add your Governor contract to Tally

If your DAO already has a Governor deployed, add it to Tally here!

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