EIP-?: Zodiac - A composable design philosophy for DAOs

This is a long overdue post to discuss the Zodiac standard as an EIP.
You can keep track of this EIP’s progress at PR #5005 in the EIP repo.


eip: 5005
title: Zodiac Avatar Accounts
description: A composable design philosophy for programmable accounts.
author: Auryn Macmillan (@auryn-macmillan), Kei Kreutler (@keikreutler)
discussions-to: https://ethereum-magicians.org/t/eip-zodiac-a-composable-design-philosophy-for-daos/8963
status: Draft
type: Standards Track
category: ERC
created: 2022-04-14
requires: 165

Abstract

ERC-5005 (Zodiac Avatar Accounts) is a philosophy and open standard for composable and interoperable tooling for programmable Ethereum accounts. Zodiac-compatible tooling separates the account taking actions/holding tokens (known as the “avatar”) and the authorization logic into two (or more) separate contracts. This standard defines the IAvatar interface, to be implemented by avatar contracts, while the authorization logic can be implemented with any combination of other tools (for example, DAO tools and frameworks).

Motivation

Currently, most programable accounts (like DAO tools and frameworks) are built as somewhat monolithic systems, wherein account and control logic are coupled, either in the same contract or in a tightly bound system of contracts. This needlessly inhibits the future flexibility of individuals and organizations using these tools and encourages platform lock-in via extraordinarily high switching costs.

By using the Zodiac standard to decouple account and control logic, individuals and organizations are able to:

  1. Enable flexible, module-based control of programmable accounts
  2. Easily switch between tools and frameworks without unnecessary overhead.
  3. Enable multiple control mechanism in parallel.
  4. Enable cross-chain / cross-layer governance.
  5. Progressively decentralize their governance as their project and community matures.

Specification

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

The Zodiac standard consists of four key concepts—Avatars, Modules, Modifiers, and Guards:

  1. Avatars are programmable Ethereum accounts. Avatars are the address that holds balances, owns systems, executes transaction, is referenced externally, and ultimately represents your DAO. Avatars MUST expose the IAvatar interface.
  2. Modules are contracts enabled by an avatar that implement some control logic.
  3. Modifiers are contracts that sit between modules and avatars to modify the module’s behavior. For example, they might enforce a delay on all functions a module attempts to execute or limit the scope of transactions that can be initiated by the module. Modifiers MUST expose the IAvatar interface.
  4. Guards are contracts that MAY be enabled on modules or modifiers and implement pre- or post-checks on each transaction executed by those modules or modifiers. This allows avatars to do things like limit the scope of addresses and functions that a module or modifier can call or ensure a certain state is never changed by a module or modifier. Guards MUST expose the IGuard interface. Modules, modifiers, and avatars that wish to be guardable MUST inherit Guardable, MUST call checkTransaction() before triggering execution on their target, and MUST call checkAfterExecution() after execution is complete.
/// @title Zodiac Avatar - A contract that manages modules that can execute transactions via this contract.

pragma solidity >=0.7.0 <0.9.0;

import "./Enum.sol";


interface IAvatar {
    /// @dev Enables a module on the avatar.
    /// @notice Can only be called by the avatar.
    /// @notice Modules should be stored as a linked list.
    /// @notice Must emit EnabledModule(address module) if successful.
    /// @param module Module to be enabled.
    function enableModule(address module) external;

    /// @dev Disables a module on the avatar.
    /// @notice Can only be called by the avatar.
    /// @notice Must emit DisabledModule(address module) if successful.
    /// @param prevModule Address that pointed to the module to be removed in the linked list
    /// @param module Module to be removed.
    function disableModule(address prevModule, address module) external;

    /// @dev Allows a Module to execute a transaction.
    /// @notice Can only be called by an enabled module.
    /// @notice Must emit ExecutionFromModuleSuccess(address module) if successful.
    /// @notice Must emit ExecutionFromModuleFailure(address module) if unsuccessful.
    /// @param to Destination address of module transaction.
    /// @param value Ether value of module transaction.
    /// @param data Data payload of module transaction.
    /// @param operation Operation type of module transaction: 0 == call, 1 == delegate call.
    function execTransactionFromModule(
        address to,
        uint256 value,
        bytes memory data,
        Enum.Operation operation
    ) external returns (bool success);

    /// @dev Allows a Module to execute a transaction and return data
    /// @notice Can only be called by an enabled module.
    /// @notice Must emit ExecutionFromModuleSuccess(address module) if successful.
    /// @notice Must emit ExecutionFromModuleFailure(address module) if unsuccessful.
    /// @param to Destination address of module transaction.
    /// @param value Ether value of module transaction.
    /// @param data Data payload of module transaction.
    /// @param operation Operation type of module transaction: 0 == call, 1 == delegate call.
    function execTransactionFromModuleReturnData(
        address to,
        uint256 value,
        bytes memory data,
        Enum.Operation operation
    ) external returns (bool success, bytes memory returnData);

    /// @dev Returns if an module is enabled
    /// @return True if the module is enabled
    function isModuleEnabled(address module) external view returns (bool);

    /// @dev Returns array of modules.
    /// @param start Start of the page.
    /// @param pageSize Maximum number of modules that should be returned.
    /// @return array Array of modules.
    /// @return next Start of the next page.
    function getModulesPaginated(address start, uint256 pageSize)
        external
        view
        returns (address[] memory array, address next);
}
pragma solidity >=0.7.0 <0.9.0;

import "./Enum.sol";

interface IGuard {
    function checkTransaction(
        address to,
        uint256 value,
        bytes memory data,
        Enum.Operation operation,
        uint256 safeTxGas,
        uint256 baseGas,
        uint256 gasPrice,
        address gasToken,
        address payable refundReceiver,
        bytes memory signatures,
        address msgSender
    ) external;

    function checkAfterExecution(bytes32 txHash, bool success) external;
}

pragma solidity >=0.7.0 <0.9.0;

import "./Enum.sol";
import "./BaseGuard.sol";

/// @title Guardable - A contract that manages fallback calls made to this contract
contract Guardable {
    address public guard;

    event ChangedGuard(address guard);

    /// `guard_` does not implement IERC165.
    error NotIERC165Compliant(address guard_);

    /// @dev Set a guard that checks transactions before execution.
    /// @param _guard The address of the guard to be used or the 0 address to disable the guard.
    function setGuard(address _guard) external {
        if (_guard != address(0)) {
            if (!BaseGuard(_guard).supportsInterface(type(IGuard).interfaceId))
                revert NotIERC165Compliant(_guard);
        }
        guard = _guard;
        emit ChangedGuard(guard);
    }

    function getGuard() external view returns (address _guard) {
        return guard;
    }
}
pragma solidity >=0.7.0 <0.9.0;

import "./Enum.sol";
import "./IERC165.sol";
import "./IGuard.sol";

abstract contract BaseGuard is IERC165 {
    function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId)
        external
        pure
        override
        returns (bool)
    {
        return
            interfaceId == type(IGuard).interfaceId || // 0xe6d7a83a
            interfaceId == type(IERC165).interfaceId; // 0x01ffc9a7
    }

    /// @dev Module transactions only use the first four parameters: to, value, data, and operation.
    /// Module.sol hardcodes the remaining parameters as 0 since they are not used for module transactions.
    function checkTransaction(
        address to,
        uint256 value,
        bytes memory data,
        Enum.Operation operation,
        uint256 safeTxGas,
        uint256 baseGas,
        uint256 gasPrice,
        address gasToken,
        address payable refundReceiver,
        bytes memory signatures,
        address msgSender
    ) external virtual;

    function checkAfterExecution(bytes32 txHash, bool success) external virtual;
}
pragma solidity >=0.7.0 <0.9.0;

/// @title Enum - Collection of enums
contract Enum {
    enum Operation {Call, DelegateCall}
}

Rationale

The interface defined in this standard is deliberately made to be compatible with the most popular programmable accounts in use today in the Ethereum ecosystem, so as to be maximally composable with existing tooling.

Backwards Compatibility

No backward compatibility issues are introduced by this standard.

Security Considerations

There are some considerations that module developers and users should take into account.

  1. Modules have unilateral control: Modules have unilateral control over any avatar on which they are enabled, so any module implementation should be treated as security critical and users should be vary cautious about enabling new modules. ONLY ENABLE MODULES THAT YOU TRUST WITH THE FULL VALUE OF THE AVATAR.
  2. Race conditions: A given avatar may have any number of modules enabled, each with unilateral control over the safe. In such cases, there may be race conditions between different modules and/or other control mechanisms.
  3. Don’t brick your avatar: Be warned, there are no safe guards to stop you adding or removing modules. If you remove all of the modules that let you control an avatar, the avatar will cease to function and all funds will be stuck.

Copyright

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

5 Likes

What makes me uneasy about reading this EIP is that much for the terminology isn’t borrowed from past EIPs but that it is rather copied from Gnosis software and other places of the web.

I’d have no problem with this EIP if its language was either self-referentially defined or pointing back to prior EIPs.

I guess here’s a norm: Consider boardind a flight and only downloading ethereum/EIPs. There’s no WIFI, can you understand the document inflight (e.g. reading other EIPs is fine)?

IMO this document wouldn’t pass the test. E.g. what is a “Gnosis Safe,” a “Zodiac?” What is this philosophy?

I think that’s a really great observation! I’ll have a crack at removing the language that makes references to, or assumes knowledge of, things outside of the EIP repo.

Ok, I made a PR which both generalizes the language and removes external references. Also edited OP with the corresponding changes.