SIP 0019 - Exchequer Committee 2021 Budget

The Exchequer Committee has approved the following budget through the end of the calendar year which will be paid from Sovryn’s Treasury to accelerate the development and growth of the application in alignment with the Sovryn Roadmap published in the Black Paper in January 2021.

Exchequer Committee 2021 Budget

Ask any questions or raise any issues you have in the forum thread, and @maxshapiro23 , @Armando , and @yago will do their best to answer them, after which @light will prepare the pull request on github which will enable the vote to be deployed in the governance dapp.


Toward the end of the document it says:

Conservatively speaking, Sovryn’s treasury (excluding SOV considerations) would provide for 2+ years of runway which the Exchequer Committee believes is sufficient in order to fully develop the platform broadly in accordance with the Black Paper.

Do I interpret this to mean that the current strategy is to spend down the treasury funds to a zero balance, with current runway being approximately 2 years, as opposed to an evergreen strategy that would try to live off the treasury balance forever?

Following on that question, does Exchequer have any thoughts they can share about how they think about financial sustainability for Sovryn i.e. how will the protocol be financing development, adoption, customer support, etc, 5, 10, 20 years from now, in particular, given that there’s currently a supply cap on SOV and all protocol fees are currently going directly to Bitocracy stakers with none retained by the treasury?

Also, in SIP-0015 it said:

Due to the immediate necessity of availability of the funds outlined in this SIP, it is proposed that the Exchequer Committee have one month to present a 12 month budget for approval, and in the interim period, the Exchequer Committee will have the mandate to utilize up to 10 BTC from the Sovryn treasury for ongoing expenses. A full accounting of these expenses will be presented as part of the overall budget.

I note first that the budget took two months to produce, one month longer than was approved in the above-quoted section of SIP-0015. This isn’t unreasonably long overdue, however for transparency could Exchequer comment on why the budget proposal is overdue by one month and what, if anything, Exchequer will do to stay within its self-imposed limits in the future?

Second, when will Exchequer make the full accounting of recent expenses available, which as quoted above SIP-0015 says “will be presented as part of the budget”?

@maxshapiro23 @Armando @yago

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As this is the only budget document that the Bitocracy will approve for a year I think it needs to be fleshed out a little more and give and overview of available reserves / burn through.

Given that we are just about to close out the 5th month of FY21, I think it would be better to present the budget as Q1 actual and then Q2-Q4 as budget to generate the budget for the year. In the original SIP15 it stated that detailed quarterly expense reports & would be presented with transcripts so I presume one is available for Q1.

It would also be good to have the total $ budget for the year rather than a theoretical annualised budget as this annualised figure is not representative of the costs that will be incurred this year as we are already 5 months in.

Contributors Active

  • Annual budget of $395k x 12 = $4.74m. Given new team members have been on boarding and not present for the full year the costs for Q1 and part of Q2 may be lower.

Open Positions

  • Annual Budget of $205k x 12 = $2.46m. Again as these positions are open as at today this should be as a maximum 7/12 (balance months of year) so $1.44m.

Recurring Expenses

  • $272k x 12 = $3.26m

One Time Expenses

  • $1.34m

Total for FY21
Contributors Active - $4.74m
Open Positions - $1.44m (Balance of year)
Recurring Expenses - $3.26m
One time Expenses - $1.34m
Total - $10.78m

Per the treasury comment in the budget and assuming the lowest value of $15m held in BTC means that 72% treasury funding will be used in in FY21 (using my $10.78m figure) leaving $4.22m for FY22 vs monthly expected running costs of $872k. In effect this means that the BTC in the treasury could be 100% depleted in by the end of May 2022 and only provide a runway of 12 months from today. Note this could also be shorter if there are further one off costs incurred.

I know the treasury has access to SOV to generate further funding and we all expect (or hope!) that BTC will increase in value in the next 12 months but if a comment is being made in the budget that there is 2+ years runway then we should be clear on how this is being calculated.

None of the above is a criticism and I know you are recruiting for a CFO and probably time pressed, but I think that as the spending is being delegated to the Exchequer committee and the Bitocracy is only voting once a year it should be more formal and have more detail.

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In regards to your first inquiry, the strategy is evergreen. Your interpretation was incorrect, the runway assuming no application engagement was simply being highlighted.

In regards to your second inquiry, it should be partially answered by the response to your first inquiry. That being said and as outlined explicitly throughout the wiki documents, the different Sovryn funds will and can be used to continue to fund expenses.

Lastly, the EC has been working around the clock on a number of different items including but not limited to the budget. Going forward, the EC will do everything they can do to stay within the allotted times as approved by Bitocracy. As far as accounting, the level of detail provided is fully representative of where funds are being allocated. The detail that was provided outlines funds being spent by circle and whether those funds are being used for contributors or other expenses. If the funds are being used for other expenses, we also outlined whether those costs are recurring or not.


Thank you for your detailed comments @Walker377 . The EC will take these points into consideration and we will revert as soon as possible.


Exchequer Meeting notes are published on the wiki, for those who want to maintain oversight:


I interpreted the quoted section of SIP-0015 to mean that a full accounting of how the 10 BTC interim budget was spent would be provided, however re-reading I can see that the “full accounting” may be referring instead to the 12 month budget. Perhaps @yago (SIP-0015 author) could clarify what the intention was here?

Due to the immediate necessity of availability of the funds outlined in this SIP, it is proposed that the Exchequer Committee have one month to present a 12 month budget for approval, and in the interim period, the Exchequer Committee will have the mandate to utilize up to 10 BTC from the Sovryn treasury for ongoing expenses. A full accounting of these expenses will be presented as part of the overall budget.

Is there any news on how the costs are being managed vs Budget? I understood from SIP15 that high level monthly reports would be issued by Exchequer Committee and more detailed quarterly reports. Any minutes availible since the 31st May?


  • The Exchequer Committee will publish high level monthly and detailed quarterly reports detailing the use of funds.

  • The Exchequer Committee will publish transcripts from its meetings at the end of each quarter. These transcripts may be redacted to protect sensitive information.


I would like to see these too. Thanks for raising the issue.

The minutes from May onwards are being collected and will be published soon (by next week). The delay is due to unexpected contributor turnover.

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I had a feeling the reporting ambitions were over-optimistic when presented. There is a lot of work in these things, and the SOV staff is limited. Please remember to underpromise and overdeliver, rather than the other way around. It builds more trust.

Are you able to share how many and/or which contributors departed? No names but just roles and what they did. I’m just curious to understand the turnover and which areas were impacted.

One contributor / exhequer member who was responsible for compiling and publishing notes for the exchequer (which is obviously a trusted position) took an unexpected leave for an immediate health issue; we expected a return, but the health issues were serious enough that the member was unable to return. This occurred over the course of 30 days at the beginning of june.

Shortly therafter, a second member departed for personal reasons. After these two departures, a third member also had short term, non-serious health issues, which resulted in no quorum being possible for a couple of weeks, with another 30 days passing.

During this time, and in the following period, the remaining exchequer members had higher level priorities taking up their time, or previously scheduled commitments demanding their attention, or presence in timezones which slowed down work schedules.

It’s simply a unfortunate turn of events with poor timing that summed up in a couple of months getting eaten up by low level attrition human factors, in an area where the tasks could not be delegated to contributors not named in the budget SIP.

The departure of two members have not stopped the remaining members from carrying out their functions, only impeded their ability to deficate time towards fulfilling their duty of formal reporting by publishing minutes and reports to the wiki. The organization at this level is not in disarray, merely understaffed. All Exchequer members have other key roles in the daily operation of Sovryn which demand as much or more of their attention to keep the Protocol and its products moving forward.

The Exchequer has identified replacements willing to take on the responsibilities of the departing members (which also took up time) and will be presenting them for a vote via SIP, so that they can assume the responsibility of stewarding sensitive (and private) information that is (by design, and under their authority granted in the SIP) not available to the public.

I hope this givesthe community a better picture, and allays concerns they may have.


understood, thanks for the insight. hope all team members are doing well and back in good health. glad to hear it sounds like all is getting back on track

Thanks for the color. A good reminder that everyone’s health and well being is more important.

Thanks for clarifying and best wishes for a speedy recovery to the team members who have suffered with ill health.

I would also like to thank you for being transparent about what has happened.
It is not an easy thing to react and solve such a problem.

We hope that everyone can recover their health. And those who are facing the problem have our full support.

Appreciate everyone’s understanding on this. The meeting summary will be published on Monday.


Meeting summaries have been posted: Exchequer Committee Meeting Notes | Sovryn Wiki


I am interested in filling one of the open spots on the Committee. How do I throw my hat in the ring?