GIP-29: Spin-off safeDAO and Launch SAFE Token

GIP-29: Spin-off safeDAO and launch SAFE Token

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GIP: 29
title: Spin-off safeDAO and Launch SAFE Token
authors: Lukas Schor, Richard Meissner, Christoph Simmchen, Tobias Schubotz
status: phase 2
type: meta
created: 2022-02-09


  • Spin-off the Gnosis Safe project from Gnosis Ltd, similar to the CowSwap spin-off
  • Create a SAFE Token to govern the Gnosis Safe ecosystem and infrastructure through the establishment of an independent SafeDAO.
  • Setup the independent Safe Foundation in Switzerland to protect strategic off-chain assets (IP, Github repositories, strategic investments), issue the SAFE Token, and foster the Gnosis Safe ecosystem.


Gnosis Safe has become critical infrastructure for Web3, safeguarding digital assets for DAOs, institutions, collectives and individuals. Gnosis Safe users manage, in self-custodial manner, $100B worth of assets (source, Feb 7, 2022) on Ethereum Mainnet alone. This signifies a major milestone towards smart contract account adoption. In order to get Gnosis Safe to the next level, an ecosystem should be established around this new account standard.

In order to enshrine Gnosis Safe as a community-owned project, we should launch the SAFE governance token. Introducing the SAFE Token establishes Gnosis Safe as a public good and community-owned account standard. The spin-off will also enable the Gnosis Safe project to have an even stronger focus on its mission: increase adoption of smart-contract-based accounts.

If the community votes in favor of this proposal, SAFE Tokens will be distributed to stakeholders of the Safe ecosystem interested in shaping the future of smart-contract accounts.

Token Utility

The SAFE Token will be used to govern and curate essential infrastructure components of the Safe ecosystem, including:

Safe Protocol

  • Safe Deployments (core smart contract deployments across multiple networks)
  • Curation of “trusted lists” (Token lists, dApp lists, module lists)


  • Decentralized hosting of a Safe frontend using the safe.eth domain
  • Decentralized hosting of governance frontends

On-chain assets

  • ENS names
  • Outstanding SAFE Token supply
  • Other Safe Treasury assets (NFTs, tokens, etc.)


  • Ecosystem reward programs
  • User rewards
  • Value capture
  • Future token utility

By giving control over the core components of the Safe ecosystem to the SAFE Token holders, the SafeDAO is enabled to introduce value capture and reward programs that supercharge the Gnosis Safe ecosystem flywheel. Important: The visualisation does not constitute the tokenomics, but rather just showcases areas where token mechanisms can be implemented.

Token Supply

At genesis, 1 billion SAFE Tokens will be minted by the Safe Foundation. The SAFE Token has a fixed token supply.

Token Distribution

The total supply of SAFE Tokens will be distributed as follows.

Relative shares of the circulating token supply (left) and full 8 year token release schedule (right).

How do I benefit as a GNO holder?

As part of the SAFE Token distribution, 20% of the total supply will go to the benefit of GNO holders.

GnosisDAO Treasury

15% will be vested to the GnosisDAO Treasury over 4 years. As this is a significant share and to prevent governance centralization of the SafeDAO, the following commitments are given:

  • GnosisDAO should not have >7% of the circulating supply
    • If the liquid ownership stake of GnosisDAO surpasses 7%, it must further distribute it, by selling, issuing to GNO holders or other means.
  • SAFE Tokens should be used to decentralize GNO holder structure
    • When tokens are issued to GNO holders, this should be done via a lockdrop rather than a retrospective airdrop. This guarantees that tokens are directly used to attract new GNO holders rather than just reward past holders.

Joint GnosisDAO <> SafeDAO Treasury

5% will be allocated to a joint treasury, controlled by the GnosisDAO and SafeDAO in a 2-out-of-2 Multisig. This joint treasury will be used for rewards that are in the mutual interests of the Safe and Gnosis communities. For example, rewarding Gnosis Safe users on Gnosis Chain leading for increased adoption of both.

What will be the relationship between GnosisDAO and SafeDAO and their respective teams?

GnosisDAO will remain a significant stakeholder of the newly formed SafeDAO. GnosisDAO will benefit from Gnosis Safe’s success and maintain a significant governance share in the Gnosis Safe ecosystem. Even though the Gnosis Safe team and the GnosisDAO will become seperate entities, they will maintain a mutually beneficial relationship and aligned goals. This is further established using the SAFE Token shares vesting into the GnosisDAO Treasury and Joint Community Treasury. Together, both communities will work towards the vision of making Gnosis Safe the primary account on Gnosis Chain and inspire other chains to embrace smart contract accounts.


The plans outlined in this proposal are subject to discussion and change. They may also need to be (re)structured to take account of legal, regulatory, or technical developments as well as governance considerations. This document should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in any transactions. You are solely responsible for your own investment decisions and transactions.


Wow, this is incredible!

Good luck to the SafeDAO team!


Can’t you manage it directly with GNO token? At present, GNO is of little use


Similar concerns would also apply to Cowswap. The reason for this multi-token approach is to have focused token utility and giving the tokens into the hands of the relevant stakeholders. It’s more scalable.

GNO’s main utility going forward will be staking for the Gnosis Chain and governing the GnosisDAO treasury. Having one token involved in very different projects (such as Gnosis Chain vs. Cowswap vs. Gnosis Safe) means a loss of focus while having added complexity. It would just get increasingly harder for new projects to adopt GNO as each project will have different optimal token distributions and token properties.


The Safe is one of the most important crypto primitives and building blocks in Web3 today.

Notably, it’s a building block that spans all sectors of the space: DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, wallets, etc so will experience consistent growth over time even through short-term market cycles and fads.

I commend the Gnosis team on pushing to move the primitive to a DAO structure…so long as high-quality/security standards and willingness to continue innovating are sustained (and I think they will be). Excited to see how the project grows and thrives under this new setup. :call_me_hand:

My team and I have been developing on top of the Safe and Safe SDK for the past 6 months and have TONS of ideas for improvements, tweaks, and new innovative features :eyes:. We’d be happy to help out on the Grants/Bounties/RFP side of the DAO if this proposal goes through and look forward to growing a strong community and ecosystem together! :muscle:


This is a great idea! Looking forward to implementation. To put things into a bigger picture perspective, Gnosis Safes store 5% of all cryptocurrencies.

A few thoughts:

Why the joint treasury between the SafeDAO and the GnosisDAO? Is this to keep a certain amount of supply out of voting if there’s disagreement?

It’d also be great to see the SafeDAO actively incentivizing and creating easily accessible, transparent data on the state of Gnosis Safes. Some of this information can be inconvenient to access. As a specific example, the most prominent Gnosis Safe Dune dashboard is filled with timeouts on some of the most important charts Dune Analytics

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Is it right to say that GNO is for staking and SAFE is for driving user & ecosystem adoption? Would be great if there’s any elaboration on the detailed plans for the 10% (5% from ecosystem + 5% from user) token distribution.

I am all for this. Particularly if it helps develop the ‘app store’. I think it will give an opportunity to app developers to create functionality that exists solely within the Safe interface (like the now defunct CMM app). Keeping aside some of the new tokens for this would be great

Couple of observations

  1. I do not see any explicit mention of the locked GNO benefiting from this drop? Please see for context.

  2. Users don’t seem to have a lot of say (5% across them all) in the protocol future. Is this the intention? If not, maybe they can be given extra voting power?

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Agree, the App Store seems like a good fit to explore initial token mechanisms.

  1. This will be part of the 15% share for the GnosisDAO Treasury, after this proposal passes, there can be more specific proposals how these 15% are distributed exactly. But a lock drop similar to Cow makes perfect sense, in my opinion.

  2. The 5% is only a retrospective user reward. There’s likely going to be further user reward programs using the community treasuries in the future. But also want to highlight that, as SAFE is proposed to be an ecosystem token, it’s also important to recognise ecosystem participants (developers building on Gnosis Safe), so users are only one of the relevant stakeholders that should participate in the safeDAO governance.


do it of course let’s launch SAFE Token


Good team !
Good luck to the SafeDAO team!

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Love the proposal, but why not start with a larger immediate drop to GNO token holders? This would help quiet the voices saying that at the moment, GNO holders own 100% of SAFE, while after airdrop, they’ll hold 5% with the option of more in the future after additional discussion. I would like to see the safeDAO reduced by 5% and the GNODAO reduced by 5% with both going directly to GNO token holders. 15% of a liquid 50% feels more defensible than 5%.


I think some of the SAFE tokens should be distributed to safes that hold a certain minimum amount of assets, as well offer them options in other products, like COW or GNO.

If we are already going to get their attention, let’s think how to spin that off and push for further revenue :wink:

As the founder of [SAFE] Safecoin, I would question the value of switching to a ticker that has already been heavily in use for over 4 years. SAFE is growing and more active all the time, and I do question if this would just create more confusion than anything.

I would strongly suggest taking the time and investing the creativity into deciding on a new ticker which clearly relates to your project and is not already heavily in use. There are a lot of great names out there. Certainly it is a free world but this is probably going to lead to more credibility than creating, for instance, a conflicting “BTC” or “ETH” or “SAFE” ticker.


I think some of the SAFE tokens should be distributed to safes that hold a certain minimum amount of assets, as well offer them options in other products, like COW or GNO.Good luck!!!


I believe your team can come on, Dao

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I think there is a lot to process here and I think it would be great if the number of days for locking is extended by another 48 hours (atleast for the lock. I would personally have liked given good 4 weeks of review time for new participants. There is too much history for new participants to review here.). The lock time was only mentioned 8 hours before the end time by Stefan.17:00 GMT is 12:00 PM EST and 09:00AM EST. This is detrimental to east coast and west coast contributors.

Most essentially, if the goal is to decentralize fully and bring in new participants, there should be more time for project reviewers to review the GIPs. It looks like there has been a lot of tokens under discussions in the past. Hence it has been hard to comprehend and would appreciate extension of the lock timeframe.


The current lock deadline for GNO holders is primarily for receiving the vCOW airdrop. For future airdrops (such as SAFE) there will presumably be another deadline, allowing additional GNO holders to lock or people to buy GNO in order to participate.


Won’t airdrop to users benefit mostly to DAOs with a large multisig? And why not, but in this case 5% seems like a strange number. It will be diluted in the treasuries of the DAOs. The token risks being forgotten, abandoned or never used to vote. Having to claim it can be a solution, like vCOW. Or why not make a list of the biggest or oldest or loyalest (or whatever criteria) DAOs and offer them an exchange? There would be diversity directly in SafeDAO’s treasury. Or something like the Solidly veNFTs on Fantom? I’m just thinking out loud.

I think if a user airdrop is made using AUM as a factor, there should be diminishing returns, meaning a Safe with $10M in assets should not get 1000x more tokens than a Safe with $10k. I definitely like the COW model of giving purchase options to users! But would suggest this being decided on at a later point via the outstanding SAFE token supply in the treasury. The user airdrop should only be retrospectively rewarding the loyal users / early adopters and shouldn’t be sold in my opinion. But open to be challenged on this.