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n late 2023, Giotto submitted a proposal to the Polkadot treasury titled "Autonomous Marketing Initiative for $DED" which requested 1 million DOT tokens to promote a supposed new meme coin called $DED. At the time, many community members voiced skepticism around the vagueness and professionalism of the proposal. However, it ultimately passed with over 50% support from the treasury. This granted Giotto control of $1 million worth of DOT tokens from the shared community pot. 

Polkadot logo in black, white and pink colour with crystal background
Polkadot Community Files Lawsuit Against Treasury Milker Giotto

Red Flags Emerge 

In the following months, little substantive progress was made on developing the $DED coin or marketing initiative. Questions mounted around what Giotto and his team were actually accomplishing with the funds. This week, the truth was revealed - $DED did not exist at all and never had any product or use case. it appeared the whole proposal was an elaborate ruse to drain treasury funds. understandably, the community felt hugely misled and manipulated by Giotto's actions.

Calls for Accountability 

The fake $DED proposal sparked widespread outrage. Community members began demanding that Giotto return the misappropriated DOT tokens. When he refused, proposals were submitted to forcibly slashing his stake as punishment. Others called for legal means to hold Giotto accountable and recover damages. This led to proposal #603 which allocates $250,000 from the treasury to fund a lawsuit against Giotto over the $DED proposal scandal. With over 80% support, it demonstrates the strength of sentiment against Giotto in the Polkadot community.

The Issue on the Tables 

If proposal #603 succeeds in financing legal action, it could have ripple effects on governance and accountability in decentralized networks. By taking the unprecedented step of suing an individual actor, Polkadot shows it prioritizes protecting community interests over complete decentralized autonomy. However, others argue this sets a poor precedent of resolving disputes through centralized legal means instead of on-chain governance. Either way, the saga has damaged trust in Polkadot's capacities and highlighted governance challenges of blockchain networks at scale. The dust is still settling on this ongoing controversy.

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