[RFC] Sushi community governance in the Sengoku-Jidai (the warring DEX period)

Proposed by: Trantor (plus community feedback)

Thank you to all of the wonderful sushi supporters and community members who have reached out to me in private to voice their support for this proposal and to make helpful comments and feedback. This RFC attempts to take that feedback on board and move forward in a more productive and measured way.


Establish a Sushi governing council comprised of 5 members, who have been elected by the Sushi token holders, to decide on the future of the Sushi DEX and the Sushi token. The implementation of any new tokenomics, incentives or other strategies for the DAO moving forward, will be discussed and proposed by the council for decision by the DAO. Establish the Sushi chefs as Service providers to be funded by the treasury in accordance with the decisions of the council. Cease Kanpai 2.0 and implement 100% of fees to staked Sushi holders.


Since the inception of Kanpai 2.0 in December of 2022, the Sushi token has lost its primary purpose namely receiving the generated fees earned by the protocol. Instead, 100% of fees taken now go to the treasury to build up the treasury reserves. In addition, the emission of sushi tokens has nearly completed with remaining emissions scheduled to end in the next few months(Nov/Dec 2023). Whilst this may have helped in ensuring that the treasury received funding, the token holders have lost a significant portion of their utility. Much of this has been a result of the difficulties of managing a DEX during a period of declining crypto interest throughout the recent bear market. Therefore, due acknowledgement must be given to the Sushi team for their work thus far and their commitment to reducing costs.

A review of tokenomics and forum discussions over the past 12 months indicates a serious lack of community engagement and interest. With limited new features or updates of note being implemented by the core team of Sushi since the inception of Kanpai 2.0, this has created an environment where community voices are rarely marshalled in sufficient quantity to make a difference. (As a counter to this point please see the responses in Discord from Jared where he discusses CL, xSWAP and smart pools)

Simple analytics suggest that the TVL on Sushi has declined from peak TVL from over $8B down to a current TVL just above $400M. Whilst this may be understandable in a bear market, it has also seen a significant decline in the total fees, TVL and active users over the past 2 years, especially relative to peer competitors such as Uniswap, Balancer, Curve, Pancake swap etc. This has seen a relative decline from a top 5 DEX to 17th by trade volume and a significant decline in token price and user activity. Please refer to defillama for more details.

Many of these markers of poor relative performance may be as a result of the initial tokenomic weakness of sushi swap or a result of turbulent governance. Whatever the reason, the community has the ability to alter the course of Sushi and to decide on the strategy to take us into the future. Please note, that the work done to increase the value of the treasury has provided Sushi with significant benefit and runway to support operations. This proposal is not suggesting that anything has been nefarious, but instead is implying that sushi has the right to govern itself as a DAO and to “choose its own adventure”.

The above statements may appear overly strong, but without a closer look behind the scenes and clarity on future designs, plans and options for the sushi token and the DEX, it is impossible to maintain blind faith in the team and what has been achieved so far. Instead, the true design imperatives of the DAO should be adhered to and the importance of token holder decisions needs to be centre most to the future of the DEX.

I have named this proposal Sengoku-Jidai, after the Japanese warring states period, to reflect the importance of Sushi marshalling our resources for the challenges ahead!


Enable the Sushi DAO community to take ownership of their own destiny to capture greater market share, trade volume and new tokenomic designs. This can only be achieved through empowering Sushi token holders and allowing the DAO token to find its own true value based on the tokenomic design. This design must be decided upon and discussed by the DAO through the mechanism of the token holders.

  1. Immediately cease Kanpai 2.0 and revert to the previous model with 100% of fees going to xSUSHI stakers.
  2. Establish the Sushi Governing Council through direct elections.


On approval of this proposal, implement an interim governance solution where all DAO activities are to be voted on using snapshot in a direct governance model. This will cease once a governing council has been elected and a more representative style of governance can be implemented.

No later than 15 days after the approval of this proposal, post a vote to elect a new governing council of 5 members who will have the following responsibilities:

a. Establishing a new governing constitution

b. Publishing a state of the DAO to cover expenses and treasury,

c. Confirming the roles, responsibilities and funding of the Sushi team,

c. Publishing a roadmap for discussion on new tokenomic models,

d. Manage votes and snapshots and define criteria for when decisions need to be taken to vote or handled by the council.

This governing council should only serve for a total of 6 months to allow for rapid implementation of any new ideas and to ensure that sushi swap is best placed to make changes and adapt to the impending bull market. After the initial 6 months is completed, the governing council are to facilitate another round of elections to ensure the council remains relevant and representative of the DAO desires. This proposal does not align with the recent tokenomics upgrade proposal and would seek to put that discussion and design on hold for decision by the governing council.

Membership of the governing council:

The purpose of the governing council is to act as representatives of the DAO and to act in the token holder’s best interests at all times. There should be no daylight between the desires of token holders and the governing council, and where differences exist, token holders can vote to remove councillors. The purpose is to push the DAO towards a more decentralised model and to focus on innovation and capturing market attention and value.

The 5 person Sushi governing council, will be made up of individuals who have volunteered to serve in their roles and have been elected by xSUSHI holders. Anyone can apply to become a council member before the initial vote by applying before 31 December on the Sushi forum (date TBC, 15 days after proposal adopted). There are no exclusions and core team members are also eligible to apply. Notably, the purpose of the Governing council is to represent the entire DAO as manifested by the token holders and every other aspect of Sushi operations and governance must be subordinate to this group.


I would once again like to thank the community for the many notes of support in putting this proposal together and for amendments to both the tone and the scope of this RFC. For clarity, I have accepted a role with RAMSES exchange and at this time will not be seeking a position on the council as there may be a conflict of interest. I do believe strongly however, in DAO governance and the future of Sushi Swap!


For: Implement new interim governance procedures, establish elections for governing council to occur no later than 31 December.

Against: Do nothing/ no change


as per feedback from @jojo (a legend in the governance space) tasks C and D can be further refined once the council is in place.


I am certainly not a tokenomics or defi protocols expert, but what I am sure about is that Sushi is no longer the reference dex it used to be. A change is needed, and this is an exciting proposal to start the fire :fire::rocket:


Hey Trantor, thanks for the rewrite. Appreciate the updates in here…

There is no doubt that market participants value a decentralized model for DEX governance. Let’s look at the facts: Uniswap has calcified a divide between Uniswap Labs and Uniswap Governance token holders, resulting in market backlash and worse performance on the UNI token. For years the premise of holding UNI was to gain a share of revenue gained by the fee toggle; only to have this fee go to the Uniswap Labs. Trantor’s points about Sushi losing market share, TVL, and dropping to 17th DEX worldwide in trading volume are well made. To be competitive in 2024 and beyond and deliver value to token holders, we must embrace the nature of a DAO in the Sengoku-Jidai warring DEX period.

Sushiswap has a unique opportunity to strengthen its market position vs. Uniswap by following this proposal. By returning fees to xSUSHI holders and quickly iterating towards a governance model hybridizing a Council x DAO, Sushiswap will be more transparent and able to serve the token holder’s interests. This alone will create a distinct market advantage for the price of SUSHI against many other DEX who are centralized governance entities.

I’m excited to see this proposal move to snapshot.


I think it is great to see a proposal to bring back any utility to xSushi but doing it in a way that is more sustainable with potentially half of the proceeds going into a PoL would be better.

My other concern is with the elections of said council members which could be a lengthy process like we saw in the two previous ones.

Regardless glad to see some community members pushing for more decentralization with a model pioneered by Synthetix which so far has proven very successful.

I would add a poll to your post to see how is the community sentiment so this can be escalated to Snapshot if relevant.


This proposal is by no means perfect and I’m not interested in dictating roles for sushi team, but we need to see some changes happening.
I’d like this to be voted and get a community council to seriously take a look at the state of the DAO and propose some updates that actually drive value to sushi!

  • Implement Governance council proposal- Governance needs to change
  • Do nothing- governance is fine
0 voters

To the mods, this is the poll I am trying to add to this proposal. I am unable to make amendments to the proposal on forum.


Trantor’s proposal addresses the core issues that have led to Sushi’s declining market performance and community engagement.

This council’s mandate to discuss and propose new tokenomics and strategies sends a clear +ev signal to the wider defi community.

Redirecting 100% of fees to staked Sushi holders is a bold move that re-aligns the incentives with those most invested in the success of the platform.

The comparison with peer competitors is perhaps best understood as an indicator of the potential that Sushi has yet to, but is well poised fulfill.

Calling for immediate action through an interim governance solution and the subsequent establishment of a governing council within a set timeframe demonstrates a commitment to agility and responsiveness.

Overall, the proposal merits support. Let’s send it to snapshot.

I’m on board with this plan, Sushi has needed something like this all along and will definitely encourage more participation on accelerating its growth. It’s smart, community-driven, and it’s time to make it happen.

Lots of great discussions on here.

Jared, can you confirm that you consider any proposal to add community oversight to Sushi governance as a hostile takeover and therefore vetoed by you? (I quote from your comments on the other forum post)

Core maintains its veto right in the governance rules to offset hostile takeover attempts by third parties and any detrimental proposals that run counter to the good of the protocol

I think this sets a bad precedent as any implementation of community oversight to Sushi core would in theory fall in to what you describe.

May I request that this proposal simply goes to vote on snapshot to be implemented by the Sushi team. Token holders should decide the future of sushi.

Jared, excuse me but how did you determine this? Sushi stakers haven’t been afforded the opportunity to vote yet…The poll in this RFC, which is in favor, can be easily gamed, is not the final word on this. The final word is a vote to determine if a majority of Sushi Voters are in favor.
Since when is a majority in core needed for a vote to go on snapshot?

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As someone who has held Sushi since 2021 and watched things ebb and flow, I’m surprised to be called hostile by acting in what I consider to be my best interests as a token holder.

I haven’t been active on these forums until now because I considered engaging useless due to how governance decisions were treated. This is a proposal I believe in.

The promise of sushi token is to have governance power over the protocol. If we, the token holders, are unable to take a proposal to snapshot and rule our the protocol which we own a fraction of authority over, sushi token needs to die. I mean straight to 0.

I am not in favor of the centralized style of leadership being exhibited, and believe all of us sushi holders deserve an opportunity to cast our votes on snapshot and find out if the token holders (the DAO participants) are also ready for a change.

Let the token holders have a our say, as our incentives are aligned to token value.


As a Sushi user myself from the early days, witnessing the deployment of MasterChef, the launch of xSushi, the fostering of BentoBox and KASHI and all the other areas far beyond our project that we’ve impacted, I have been deeply engaged with Sushi’s evolution. Along this journey, I have seen various management teams operate under the guiding principle that they work for the DAO, with the token holders as the ultimate architects of our collective destiny.

It is with respect to this journey and the vision of Sushi that I raise a pressing issue: the current management’s reluctance to move pivotal governance proposals to a vote. This practice is misaligned with the values we champion and risks eroding the trust and integrity of our ecosystem.

The team must remember their role is not to dictate but to enable the DAO’s will, reflecting the token holders’ interests. Circumventing the voting process undermines the very fabric of our DAO and dishonors the community’s role as the rightful decision-maker.

Let us not deviate from the mission and values that are the bedrock of Sushi. I call upon the team to reaffirm their commitment to these principles by facilitating a fair and transparent governance process.

I therefore come out of the dark to join fellow SUSHI members, holders and users in asking not directly for a change, but quite simply for our project to organize itself in an autonomous and decentralized way, because these are our founding values.

It’s nice to see some community engagement again and some thoughtful proposals. I’m not sure where I stand on this one. Arguably the multi signers should be this sort of a council. More chefs in the kitchen is not a particularly good thing.

I really appreciate that this proposal focuses on greater decentralization. Also, we should absolutely be working to differentiate ourselves from Uniswap Labs in every way possible. They do not appear to be winning hearts or minds in their efforts.

Having chefs, CTOs, devs, core team, multi-signers, and now a governing council feels like we’re begging for a “warring period” internally. We have done that already and it was definitely not helpful for the Sushi reputation. Previous internal battles paralyzed the DAO.

I like the idea of some sort of board/council, but I really need to see that it offers stability and peace rather than just more headaches that have hindered us in the past.


@captnamazing I’m sorry that I replied to you directly. I thought I replied to the proposal. It was mostly intended for the proposal response.

Hey Nick! I am 100% agreeing with you on this, which is why we should not gatekeep the token holders and enable a vote to happen, regardless of what we think about the proposal, we have to take a step back and allow the holders to voice their opinion.
No opinion matters when some are censored, it stains the whole debate.

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Hey Nick,
thank you for your feedback. The purpose of this proposal is to return power to the token holders. To do that, this proposal requires that the token holders are afforded the chance to vote on their future. That future is based on a community focused DAO where the token holders set the direction of the DAO through their governing council.
That is the crux of this proposal. All of the other positions you mention would be subordinate to the requirements of the token holders as exercised through the community council.

That is how Sushi achieves decentralization and token utility.

I haven’t been engaging here in a while and mostly watched the Sushi development from the sidelines. But I feel it’s time to chime back in.

I did support the original Kanpai Proposal, because the arguments made seemed sound and I believed it the best way to move forward.
A lot of time has passed since that and we really didn’t see the improvement I have been hoping for.
No hard feelings towards anyone, everyone hat Sushis best interest at heart. But if you compare sushi with all the other DEX that are around nowadays, you have to admit it is lacking some things, and it’s time to try something different.

I really like this proposal and think it’s time to turn back towards the core values that all brought us to sushi in the first place. Decentralization and beeing community owned are the core pillars that differentiated Sushi from Uniswap.
Community oversight, decentralized governance and giving the fees back xSushi holders sound like a really good start to do that. This should bring back community interest and engagement, this interest and engagement can be used to spark some growth again, especially with the market gaining some heat again recently.

I don’t think we have to know right now what the final structure will look like in the future. That’s for the community to decide after all. But electing the council of 5 is a good start, and they can start that process of reformation together with the community.
Full support for the proposal from my part, I hope we can move it to snapshot at some point.


Thank you for your response,Kate. Respectfully, I see that you are a new user in our forum and we’ve had this experience previously where persons come out of nowhere and start demanding a vote to happen. This has happened with fraudsters and VCs in the past and I’m reluctant to see just anyone be allowed to vote for something that involves “control” of the DAO regardless of the alleged intent of the post.

I get it. I’m just not sure this is the best way to implement or if it is the best way to solve the issue. Tokens are already used for voting and we already know voting can be dominated by those with the biggest bags. So I’m not sure how this fixes that issue.