With respect, the DAO ratified compensation packages for core contributors and the Head Chef as part of Sushi 2.0. The salaries reflect the highly detailed and sensitive nature of the work required to develop and maintain the infrastructure and product stack and manage risk at the protocol and org level. I urge anyone questioning the mostly engineering-based team’s output to check our GitHub, which is regularly in the top 5 in DeFi by commits at any given time: SushiSwap · GitHub. The rest of the team, such as BD, have secured grants allowing operational continuity independent of the Treasury, and our recent marketing hire has dramatically boosted our brand messaging and presence.
Regarding the protocol, Sushi is unique in its multi-chain scaling needs and had acquired considerable technical debt due to its historic fast-paced multi-chain deployment schedule. I briefly wrote this in my Head Chef’s “Year in Review” Medium post recently. Throughout this year, we focused on building a proprietary solution to address the issue. Additionally, innovative products like Route Processor, now in its 4th version, have allowed us to aggregate liquidity in novel ways to increase swap routes.
I understand it isn’t easy to see the value of these improvements at the moment due to the reduction of liquidity and volume on networks like Arbitrum, where Sushi had a top 3 presence. However, I believe the infrastructure improvements we developed in the past year will provide a renewed opportunity for Sushi in 2024 to recapture its status on networks like Arbitrum once we complete its renewed value proposition with fresh tokenomics. Please note that many new DEXs on Arbitrum that have surpassed Sushi on volume have newer emissions models that allow them to attract liquidity to their DEX. Also, a good portion of volume gets boosted with low-fee stable swap pools, which make almost no fees.
FWIW, I think an operations team performance review aligns with the DAO’s expectations. I will produce a document detailing the scope of the team’s accomplishments for 2023. Also, we planned the release of a governance dashboard in Q2 of this year that would present an easily accessible and transparent view of expenses, development milestones, etc. I spoke about it and shared some screenshots earlier this year. However, we backlogged its deployment to dedicate all engineering resources to mission-critical product development. We aim to release the dashboard by Q1 of 2024.
Lastly, regarding pay, the DAO hasn’t needed to liquidate Treasury-held Sushi to pay salaries for operations team members in over two years; operations are mostly self-funded through grants. In the past 14 months, the Business Development team has secured grant agreements totaling ~10M USD. Previously, the Treasury funded the multi-chain expansion initiative at the expense of the DAO, and we’ve changed that process into a positive sum outcome for the DAO.
Hopefully, this adds some context to the quality of the team and why the DAO pays their salaries.