@tracheopteryx @lex_node @judge_jowday @sh_brennan @birdman_haxxor


Amidst intensifying regulatory scrutiny of DeFi, we propose that Curve contribute $1M in stablecoins from the Curve treasury to a new LeXpunK_DAO dedicated to legal advocacy for Curve and other builder-centric DeFi communities. The LeXpunK_DAO will be governed by builders from contributing communities (including Curve) and practicing lawyers from the LeXpunK Army. 5% of the current supply of L3X, the non-transferable reputational token of the LeXpunK Army, would be airdropped to CRV holders who support this proposal, to enable direct sentiment polling on relevant legal issues from the Curve community. LeXpunK will effect additional airdrops from time to time, proportionally in line with the relative contributions of other builder communities, with the goal of forming a broad coalition to pool resources for funding shared advocacy goals.

A similar proposal is being made to Curve governance, here: [LINK TO COME]. We also aim to make similar proposals to other value-aligned DAOs and prominent ecosystem builders if the Curve and Yearn proposals are successful.


Growing mainstream awareness of DeFi is coinciding with institutional outrage over the “Wall St. Bets” phenomenon and political change in the United States to brew a perfect storm of aggressive legal threats against DeFi:

  • mainstream media calls DeFi a “shadow financial market” and warns that regulatory action is imminent
  • new SEC Chair Gary Gensler concludes a recent speech to the American Bar Association Derivatives and Futures Law Committee with a warning that many DeFi platforms may involve securities swaps
  • CFTC Commissioner Dan Berkovitz, having googled DeFi, positioned it as being squarely incompatible with the policy of ‘mandatory intermediation’ enshrined in CFTC regulations on leveraged retail commodities transactions and commodities swaps and referenced unfair advantages DeFi has to TradFi due to the lack of regulated intermediaries
  • many blue-chip DeFi projects have already been called in front of regulators or are receiving SEC subpoenas and are forming organized political lobbying efforts which may have distinct and zero-sum goals

DeFi is a DAO of DAOs. These DAOs have many shared goals. For instance, we all aim to build, use, and enjoy open financial technologies. However, DAOs also compete with one another and often differ in ethos and strategy.

Existing advocacy orgs like the Blockchain Association, Coin Center, and the Uniswap-funded DeFi Education Fund have mutually overlapping membership and staff which are heavily intertwined with Silicon Valley venture capital funds and traditional crypto businesses like Coinbase. Many of the teams most directly represented by these organizations have pursued dual token/equity strategies, which means they also seek to accrue value to their equityholders through KYC-gated and censorable forks of their protocols which will cater to institutions and ‘fintechs’.

Builder-centric, bottom-up communities like Yearn, Curve, and SushiSwap have a different cultural ethos and a different story to tell. We are spontaneous, cryptonative communities of builders that have no TradFi backup plan and value openness, lack of hierarchy, and creativity above all else. Thus, we should have our own unique voice in the evolving regulatory landscape, and by doing so we may be able to make or emphasize lines of legal argument that are not as available to other kinds of projects. After all, the former head of the SEC’s CorpFin division views “sufficient decentralization” as the point where traditional regulations end, and there is nothing more decentralized than a community of builders, users and investors that come together with no contracts or rules, no board of directors or stockholders to answer to, yet somehow build remarkable innovations together.

We believe that cryptolaw should be done in the crypto spirit. If DeFi communities want to show regulators, lawyers, and politicians what is special about DeFi, then Orwellian-named trade associations and non-profits staffed by D.C. insiders are not the best way to go. Instead, we should present ourselves as we are–as DAOs, as token communities, as builder communities. The values underlying these modes of expression are too important to cast aside in the name of expediency when the going gets tough and there are legal threats. On the contrary, the values of openness, transparency, and decentralization are DeFi’s greatest defense to traditional regulation and should be front-and-center when regulators and politicians interface with DeFi communities. This is why LeXpunK was created–to bring lawyers and builders together under a shared ethos that is as disruptive to law as it is to finance.

Through a new, community-funded LeXpunK_DAO, we will not merely hire existing lawyers or fund existing traditional advocacy groups–We will bootstrap a new community of lawyers and builders working side-by-side to legitimize and protect shared creative values. This community will become a flywheel unto itself and yield benefits long after these initial donations are spent and far beyond the benefits of the specific projects these donations end up funding.



LeXpunK_DAO will mix long-term strategic advocacy campaigns with rapid-response ‘guerilla lawfare’ raids. LeXpunK_DAO will be structured either as a Moloch DAO, Gnosis multisig, or other DAO implementation; in any case, with balanced representation of LeXpunK Army members and representatives of the contributing DeFi communities. Un-committed contributed funds will be ‘ragequittable’ at the discretion of each community’s representatives.

A. Campaigns

Campaigns are major strategic initiatives, such as:

  • a landmark position paper advocating for positive analysis under securities law, commodities law or tax law of Curve-relevant DeFi primitives such as AMMs and staking-for-fees-and-governance.
  • a legal defense of DeFi developers against regulatory litigation;
  • proposed ‘safe harbor’ legislation legalizing key aspects of DeFi;
  • if/when the SEC files a case premised on a novel, expansive view of securities laws that could adversely affect DeFi builders (for example, that all project participants are collectively responsible as an ‘unincorporated association’); the LeXpunK_DAO would file an amicus curiae brief in the litigation

Campaigns will be defined with thorough specifications and funded with pre-announced bounties. Campaign fulfillment will be by teams hand-picked by the Advocacy Fund Multisig. Relevant experts–both lawyers and developers–will be recruited from within the LeXpunK community, other DeFi communities and, if needed, from traditional law firms; these will be our ‘MandDAOlorians’ working for a piece of the bounty. A ‘taskmaster’ will be assigned from the most trusted ranks of the LeXpunK Army–typically an experienced attorney–who is not eligible for the bounty, but receives a flat fee to monitor the working group’s progress, help remove blockers and make the final determination of when the project has been completed to spec and the bounty is due to be paid. Upon project completion, the team members themselves will decide how the bounty should be allocated, using a yearn ecosystem offshoot–coordinape. Campaigns will be pre-checked with the LeXpunK community through L3X snapshot polls.

B. Raids

Raids are rapid-response initiatives tailored to respond to current events in realtime. Examples of raids would be:

  • a politician like Elizabeth Warren sends an adversarial public letter regarding DeFi to a regulator; the LeXpunK_DAO funds a rapid public response detailing community views about her questions;
  • a contributing DeFi protocol suffers from a hack or exploit and the team needs help coordinating with law enforcement or CEXs to help block or recover funds
  • builders from a contributing community receive an informal SEC inquiry; the LeXpunK_DAO helps strategize and marshal a legal team to defend the builder

Raids will be funded on an emergency, ad hoc basis at the discretion of the LeXpunK_DAO.


The time is now. Let’s do cryptolaw the crypto way.

Read up on LeXpunK:
(1) LeXpunK: The New Legal Praxis
(2) Autonomous Lawyering
(3) Rise of LeXpunK Army



Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.
your proposal if it’s already been created


This is how we campaign for crypto regulations that work for everyone and not just a handful of protocols backed by large VCs. More importantly this is how we ensure defi remains about transparency and decentralization instead of slowly transforming into some tradfi side show reserved for protocols with deep pockets and paid DC politicians.


Just chiming in to say that as I mentioned in yearn I am strongly in favor of this proposal: [Proposal] - Fund Builder-First Legal Activism DAO - #3 by lefterisjp - Finance -

This is imo the right way to campaign, worldwide, for crypto regulations that help DeFi thrive as a field.


Poopster approved. We must protecc the disciples of defi


I really like this proposal and I think it could invite an opportunity to really grow and develop community and community power (like the impact of some subreddits, or any online community) particularly through decentralized organizing.

I would imagine that this is not a top-down “here’s how we fix this legal issue” solution, but rather a “let’s all try different approaches/experiments/ideas towards achieving our shared vision” kind of emergent thing.

In short, I think this could be super great. And may provide lots of opportunities for folks to engage and support the community in ways that were not apparent to them before hand.


Absolutely agreed that a Legal Activism DAO should be formed for the benefit of not only Curve Finance but for all legitimate, non scammy projects. Perhaps Curve Finance can seek for a banking license & partnerships with TradeFi banks for swapping of stablecoins & maybe also gain a market share in the Forex market in the future.

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I strongly support this proposal. I believe it’s the best way to align the necessary legal work required at this stage of Curve’s and DeFi’s development with the goals and values of our community (transparency, fairness, inclusivity, etc.).

While the focus may seem US-centric, the USA will be the most aggressive in going after Curve and other projects regardless of where they or core contributors are domiciled, as US regulators view their reach as global. Other countries will likely look at how the US regulates crypto when formulating their own laws. It’s critical we fight back, and LeXpunK Army and methodology is in my opinion the way most consistent with our community beliefs.

We should also lobby other top projects to follow suit. This is going to be a long and continually evolving process, we can only win if we unite and pool resources, stay focused and vigilant.


We honestly have no interest in pursuing partnership with tradfi institutions or banks. They are welcome to use Curve, on the exact same basis that everyone else is.
Large protocols cozying up to institutions is a slippery slope, we’re here to replace them, not cozy up to them.


This is excellent. Full support from me.


yes, there are plenty of projects pursuing TradFi integrations; we want to focus on the builders obsessed with keeping DeFi punk


As a hedge fund that owns a significant amount of CRV, we definitely support this proposal. I would suggest putting together a list of attorneys in DC that you believe would have the greatest impact. I would contact to see if he knows someone that could be the lead counsel for Curve and work with him on lobbying effectively in DC.

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Does LeXpunk_DAO currently have a group of lawyers in mind? I assume the proposal authors have a legal background, but not exactly clear on that. Will there be some kind of vetting process to add and remove legal representatives, or are these kind of bounties that anyone can contribute to?

Do the DAO members have any priorities for what might be the most urgent campaigns? I’m under the impression from previous discussions on the forum that Curve is limited in its ability to take legal action, and also vulnerable, by its not having any legal status. Specifically a status that limits the liability of DAO members. Is this an important consideration to LeXpunk_DAO, and if so, would it be capable of helping move Curve toward some level of compliance in the eyes of regulators?

I find this whole concept of a legal DAO fascinating, and interested to see where it goes. Thanks for bringing this proposal to us!

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The DAO is composed of many different types of people from various backgrounds (builders, crypto degens, lawyers), but most are lawyers who are active in crypto, and want to find a way to support crypto projects while respecting crypto values (transparency, accountability, fairness, etc.). You can read more about them on their site: LeXpunK Recruits: DAO1

Their approach will be very targeted, so we can clearly understand and approve the specific engagement, likely costs, goals, etc., to ensure proper accountability. Money will be tied to performance.


Great questions.

The biggest LeXpunK telegram group currently has 92 curated members, many of whom are excellent lawyers with long traditional legal careers prior to their involvement in crypto. We plan to source work from this community as much as possible, but in certain cases we might recruit attorneys or law firms for a specific project where their expertise is needed, even if they are not really embedded in the community.

We will be setting up a LeXpunK administrative entity (separate from the DAO) that can do boring things like pay people with proper tax reporting and, in a pinch, could be able to serve as an API between LeXpunK member DAOs and the traditional legal system.

Additionally, we have been actively discussing alternative entity models for DAO builder teams that could help them do this independently; creating a scalable model for this might be one of the first LeXpunK_DAO campaigns.

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Given that other projects are also contributing, could you start with something more modest like $250K and see whether this team actually makes an impact? I’d only support more if the strategy took into account global initiatives into DeFi regulations.

I respect all the participants on an individual basis but this still looks like opportunism to respond to local irritants like US tax law and US congressional log-jams. The proposal doesn’t mention a single non-US regulatory body. It needs to be much more ambitious, outward-facing and equitable. Where are the LATAM representatives? Who’s representing APAC and EMEA?

Curve has value largely due to its global investors. The treasury has value because investors and traders around the world participate in the pools and stake CRV.

I simply don’t agree with the idea that US law will define global regulation for crypto. The world has moved on in a big way. For example, the FATF didn’t sit around while the US sat on its hands for 4 years. Where is the FATF, you may ask? Here:

2, rue André Pascal
75775 Paris Cedex 16 FRANCE

That’s Paris, in France.

Want better bang for your buck? Who’s our guy/gal knocking on the door of the FATF President and the representatives from the other FATF member coutries? And what proposal are they taking with them?

I also have serious reservations with the partisan approach to this initiative. Singling out Senator Warren is uncalled for. Even if I look at the depressing regulatory situation for DeFi in the US, there are signs of hope. For example, there are many shared values between progressives like Elizabeth Warren and the DeFi industry that can/should be explored here:

  • Want greater transparency and auditability of financial products? Tick.
  • How about equitable access to finance generally? Tick.
  • Low cost banking? Tick.
  • Accelerate the distribution of stimulus and social security payments? Tick.
  • Fairer distribution of investment returns? Tick.
  • Recuced impact from rent-seeking intermediaries, exploitation and bail-outs? Tick, Tick, Tick.

Senator Warren might be approaching this a different way for different goals with a different constituency (who are, let’s not forget, potential customers and investors in Curve) so this group would be better served having a sound bi-partisan foundation with bona fide, card carrying progressives and liberals engaged in the messaging and strategy (which doesn’t appear to be the case here). Without that, I predict the legal DAO having minimal impact on the US regulatory environment and zero impact outside the US.

Simply put - no partisan projects please. There are Super PACs for that.

I know there’s a bunch of Ripple-haters here but there’s a lot to learn from their approach. Say what you like, but they went about it the right way. They reached out to banks and payment providers to understand their pain points and used those relationships to gain access to key decision-makers. They fought their way into every major regulator’s office. They got seats at the table where ISO standards and internet payment protocols are being defined. It’s slow, dirty work that actually makes a difference because it is aimed at building consensus.

DeFi is all about consensus and we need support across the financial industry sector. Yet the language in the proposal is about “campaigns” and “raids”.

Where’s the stealth and slow grind required to pull this off for DeFi? Who’s our industry body? Where are our documented standards? Why isn’t there stronger outreach with regulators, standards bodies and industry groups who actually make a difference? Who’s thinking about the precariously exposed developers and project teams with their arses hanging in the breeze?

If the proposal was instead something like “We’re going to set up a simple industry group representing the interests of DeFi globally. We’ll reach out to all major platforms for members and funding (that includes folks building on Polkadot, BSC, AVAX, Flare/Ripplenet etc etc). We’ll build a set of DeFi industry standards and legislative models and push them in front of decision makers at the FATF, industry bodies, EU Commission and G9…”, I’d probably reply “shut up and take my money”.

I predict that if we take that approach, instead of this group begging for attention and responding reactively to threats, our door will be the one everyone will be rushing towards.

DeFi is at a critical juncture. We, as an industry, need to coordinate. I agree that the industry needs a “fighting fund” but not in the absence of a body that reflects shared strategic business, rather than legal, objectives.

That’s my counter-proposal.


Have you spoken with the team at Otonomos? I think they are quite advanced on that topic, there might be some synergies there.

While I very much enjoyed the tone of your proposal and support it, I tend agree with @Daimon that a more nuanced approach might be more constructive in reaching our goals.


Hi Daimon - Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback.

Let me give some initial thoughts and then I can come back around with more comprehensive responses (and you can also message me further, I am happy to take further suggestions).

To a couple of the points – to clarify, this is not a blank check. We are not drawing on the funds all at once, this is important for accountability and that we are fulfilling needs. Further, the deliberative process, prioritization of efforts and costs of each project are collaboratively sourced with the communities.

On the point about global reach - this point is well taken and we have fielded (and are responding to) similar feedback (see Army of Crypto Lawyers Propose New ‘Builder-First’ DeFi DAO - Decrypt "beyond these [initial] initiatives, the organization is “already hearing strong feedback about the need to broaden our scope to include in our purview regulations on a global scale so we anticipate having specific working groups focused on the EU and other extra-jurisdictional issues”). We have already started focusing on recruiting non-US army members to build out our capabilities and knowledge base.

100% agree that this is not a partisan project nor do we have a partisan approach (frankly, the politics are incredibly mixed). Your points are well taken, there is a need to educate, shape sensible counterpoints etc. The Warren callout was a function of the timing of the initial proposal (we thought the questions posed would present a timely educational opportunity so used it as an example/case in point – the curveball being Gensler never publicly responded and we have had a snowball of intervening events such as the infra bill, Beyer bill, etc).

To this point: “DeFi is all about consensus and we need support across the financial industry sector. Yet the language in the proposal is about “campaigns” and “raids”.” We agree, we are building a broad, passionate and motivated community. Consensus building is happening right now and there are significant efforts outside of the scope of a “funded” vs. not analysis. We will pursue all viable avenues here – traditional means of advancing political efforts, putting out policy positions, educational campaigns, etc.

To this point " If the proposal was instead something like “We’re going to set up a simple industry group representing the interests of DeFi globally. We’ll reach out to all major platforms for members and funding (that includes folks building on Polkadot, BSC, AVAX, Flare/Ripplenet etc etc). We’ll build a set of DeFi industry standards and legislative models and push them in front of decision makers at the FATF, industry bodies, EU Commission and G9…”, I’d probably reply “shut up and take my money”." We have already had shared efforts with more bridge building in process and we are fielding many requests for general contributions/donations to work on public goods. This is a major passion of ours and we are already working on best practice primers, forms/model language for the space in our GitHub – these efforts are taking shape to be part of a broader LeXpunk DAO (I keep calling ShaDAO, no one is biting) while the activism DAO is attempting to be leaner/narrower to respond to the specific community needs/priorities…

Again, these are some quick responses – things are moving and evolving quickly, our goal is to be agile and responsive. Please continue to give feedback and share concerns, it is very helpful to us and ensuring alignment.


Thanks @SH_Brennan for the considered reply.

The OP was a request for money. Since there is no specific project/task being funded and it’s not clear who the stakeholders are, $250K seems generous taking into account that this proposal is being funded by multiple platforms. I know that won’t fund a legal defence for a securities lawsuit but I’m not sure this type of fund is suitable for litigation beyond a handful of amicus briefs anyway.

If this is a pitch to the Curve community, it needs to sell the value prop. Which then begs the question: why is Curve funding a DAO where the ROI is negligible? Curve isn’t facing an avalanche of securities law issues. Its exposure is about the same as every other DeFi platform. If Curve was ever singled out by the SEC, this legal fund won’t scratch the surface of the eventual legal defence budget.

So let’s go back to first princples so I can think through the implications.

My clients come first. They decide what’s important. In this case, the community and investors are the client. It’s their money. They need to drive the initiative and direct the focus with our help. Hence my call for a community driven and funded DeFi Industry Group that covers multiple platforms and would allow for proper membership and cross-jurisdictional support. You want to build it on a DAO? Sure, we can do that. But at least we’ll have the right stakeholders engaged to manage the objectives and outcomes. And it’s a very safe bet that the first thing on their mind won’t be funding amicus briefs by securities lawyers in the US.

Maybe that’s one of the missing pieces here - did this proposal come out of a conversation with clients to understand what their main concerns are? Going through the campaigns more closely, I don’t see alignment with the needs of any of my DeFi clients:

  • a landmark position paper advocating for positive analysis under securities law, commodities law or tax law of Curve-relevant DeFi primitives such as AMMs and staking-for-fees-and-governance. - US Securities law
  • a legal defense of DeFi developers against regulatory litigation; - US Securities law
  • proposed ‘safe harbor’ legislation legalizing key aspects of DeFi; - US Securities law
  • if/when the SEC files a case premised on a novel, expansive view of securities laws that could adversely affect DeFi builders (for example, that all project participants are collectively responsible as an ‘unincorporated association ’); the LeXpunK_DAO would file an amicus curiae brief in the litigation - US Securities law

Maybe this stuff is exciting for securities and litigation specialists but we need to open this up to a broader set of concerns and deeper strategic goals. I was really surprised to see not a single strategy covering IP - even though my recent foray into the Rarible licence uncovered a swathe of issues for NFTs. Not one word on industry protections for devs, many of whom are deeply exposed on a personal liability level. No advisory group. No global response to deal with the FATF on the VASP requirements or a response to the EU Commission on MiCA.

The proposal seems developed by securities lawyers who will fund costly campaigns by other securities lawyers.

We are not going to convince Congress or the SEC to upend 75 years of precedent overnight. And while pushing for change is a fantastic goal, the legal DAO won’t be the one to do it because it not driven by the industry itself. We all watched Chairman Gensler’s speech and can see the writing on the wall for a lot of projects who don’t have their house in order. Chairman Gensler thinks the regulatory clarity is there. I tend to agree. However there was a number of other thinly veiled messages in the Aspen speech that went unremarked and point to a way forward. These messages are based on the sound public policy grounds for the Securities Act and the SEC’s recent stance towards ICOs (with governance tokens coming next).

If we’re providing sound advice to our clients, it needs to consider the public policy behind the laws, anticipating what that path forward might look like and providing options to be explored. Gensler offered an olive branch when he said: “Come and speak to us at the SEC about your project”. I know this doesn’t look like one of your campaigns but it will need to occur soon - it’s about agreeing, as an industry, how best to approach this in a collective fashion and sit down with the SEC as a collective voice. “Unity”, as the old union saying goes, “is strength.”

The industry group needs to be the DeFi equivalent of FATF, SWIFT or ISO. That would allow for economies of scale, more reasonable and predictable membership fees, clear objectives and goals and sufficient clout to make regulators and politicicans take notice. It’s significantly more ambitious than what is being proposed by the OP but will get the right legal outcome for the industry. We should be aiming for self-regulation just like other giants of the financial services sector. We need to incentivise good operators and show the public we can deal with rogues.

We’re well past the stage of cottage industry and hobbyists and need to fund organisations that reflect that reach.

I’m a technology lawyer and have to deal with a wider range of problems. After my clients receive their obligatory “we don’t know, maybe, probably” legal advice on US Securities law (which is promptly shelved), the next thing they want to know is how to set up the business correctly and get operational.

Looking past the not-terribly-exciting securities law issues, my clients also want to be forewarned on more pressing regulatory and practical legal issues that affect their operations - including things like obtaining insurance, the likely impact of VASP requirements, raising capital, creating decentralised markets for commodities and property, NFT licensing, money transfer business laws, the travel rule, KYC, AML, privacy, contracts of various sorts etc etc. They’re targeting 3-4 large markets and need to understand the pitfalls in each jurisdiction. They want to get out in front of this stuff and they’re not waiting for a green light from the SEC for the simple reason that it will never come and you can’t run a business looking over your shoulder. Anyone who’s had experience in-house would know that.

None of the above topics are listed campaigns. It’s as if we’re re-hashing 2017 all over again. Believe it or not, a lot of us have moved on and if the SEC comes knocking, we’ll leave plenty of soft toys for them to chew on while we get on with business - just like every large enterprise does everywhere in the world. Where’s the strategy around that?

Want to make real change? Let’s start by getting DeFi employing more people - lots of them. Let’s make this industry exciting to work in. Let’s find ways to engage folks who would never touch crypto. There’s a dire need for support and we know people across the board are out of work. This is the future of finance - for people of all walks of life, around the world.

DeFi needs more than just PhD grads and securities lawyers. It needs accountants and sales staff. HR and marketing. We need payroll and purchasing. There’s a reason tobacco and big pharma and big oil and defence companies and banks survive and it’s not just money. It’s their people. These industries employ thousands of workers across the world. That is how they are normalised when there are plenty of reasons for them to be marginalised.

Lawyers should aspire to becoming trusted advisors to their clients. That often means using smart, retail politics and prudent business practice. A bit more of that would go a long way here and save a lot of time and money.

“Seeing such a huge lump-sum donation to a small group of lawyers out of a DAO, and how quickly it was approved, opened our eyes to the urgency of ensuring that diverse DAOs and builder teams have a voice in cryptolaw debates,” they said.

I bet it opened some eyes. But I don’t know if the solution to a small group of lawyers with a big bag of money is a big group of lawyers with a smaller bag of money. :innocent:


Vote is up: Snapshot


I strongly agree with this suggestion, which is of great significance to the development direction of DAO’s legalization. But specifically, there’s still a long way to go in terms of how regulators enforce legality, and I’m glad we’re taking the first step.

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