CIP-5: Enable Swapping of vCOW to COW

CIP: 5
title: Enable Swapping of vCOW to COW
author: @netrunner.eth, @middleway.eth
status: Active
created: 2022-02-15
    1. CIP-4: COW liquidity incentive program (*optional)

Update 31/03/2022

Vote passed with 48M votes in favour (230k against) and has been executed. Details available on cow.eth Snapshot here

Update 21/03/2022

This proposal has been moved to the voting phase. Voting is available on cow.eth snapshot here

Simple Summary

The purpose of this CIP is to gather support within the community for enabling the swapping of vCOW tokens into COW tokens. COW is a standard ERC-20 token which can be transferred and traded freely.


This CIP will advance CowAO by allowing vCOW holders to swap vCOW for COW tokens. This will allow the token to become transferrable tradable outside of the CowDAO ecosystem encouraging price discovery of the COW token. Consequently, CowDAO will be able to proceed with additional important proposals such as the Community Grant Program, Affiliate Program Incentives, Solver Incentives, and more.


It is proposed to enable the swapAll function in the vCOW smart contract by sending COW tokens from CowDAOs treasury into the vCOW contract. The proposed deployment code is available here.

  • Before execution, the code will need to be updated with the final amount of vCOW that have been claimed and will be eligible for swapping. This will be known by 25.03.2022 when airdrop claims will officially end.
  • The execution transaction will transfer the needed amount of COW tokens from CowDAOs mainnet safe to vCOW mainnet contract
  • Additionally the needed amount of COW tokens will be bridged and sent to vCOW contract on Gnosis Chain to enable swapping of vCOW on Gnosis Chain.

Changes to CowDAO voting

As of now, CowDAO is governed by vCOW token holders. Assuming no changes to governance rules, COW token holders will not be able to vote on future proposals.
It is proposed to change CowDAOs governance rules and adapt its snapshot space to count both vCOW and COW as valid for voting on CowDAO proposals.

Incorporation of additional proposals for a combined execution

CIP-4: COW liquidity incentive program
As the COW token becomes tradable, the community might want to consider a liquidity incentive program that will reward liquidity providers. The rational for joint execution is detailed in the proposal.

At the moment it is still unknown if the proposal for COW liquidity incentives will be approved. If it will be approved before this proposal, it is proposed to execute them jointly. The proposal for swapping vCOW to COW is independent and will be executed upon approval even if liquidity incentive program is not approved prior.

Safe Transaction Data

The below transaction data is an example including estimated amounts. Final amounts can be added only after March 25th.

      "to": "0xDEf1CA1fb7FBcDC777520aa7f396b4E015F497aB",
      "data": "0xa9059cbb000000000000000000000000d057b63f5e69cf1b929b356b579cba08d76880480000000000000000000000000000000000000000016bb35807dac17f86600000",
      "value": "0",
      "operation": 0
      "to": "0xDEf1CA1fb7FBcDC777520aa7f396b4E015F497aB",
      "value": "0",
      "data": "0x095ea7b300000000000000000000000088ad09518695c6c3712ac10a214be5109a6556710000000000000000000000000000000000000000001c84f8a471f4d997418000",
      "operation": 0
      "to": "0x88ad09518695c6c3712AC10a214bE5109a655671",
      "value": "0",
      "data": "0xad58bdd1000000000000000000000000def1ca1fb7fbcdc777520aa7f396b4e015f497ab000000000000000000000000c20c9c13e853fc64d054b73ff21d3636b2d97eab0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001c84f8a471f4d997418000",
      "operation": 0

Tenderly Simulation

Preliminary simulation with estimated amount for the mainnet transfer:

For simulating the next steps you’d need to create a fork on Tenderly as this requires to simulate approval on the bridge contract and then contract interaction.


  • Encouragement of price discovery of the COW asset;
  • Encourage more people to interact with the CowSwap protocol;
  • Imbues the $COW asset with value based on supply/demand dynamics;
  • Enables the CowDAO treasury to use its native asset for ecosystem growth;
  • Allows people the ability to transfer the token between wallets;


Phase 2 proposal: TBD

Edit (09.03.2022): The proposal has been updated to reflect a concrete proposed code implementation for CowDAO to execute, and some additional details to consider.


Let make it happen, hell yes from me, lets make CowSwap great again


still curious how snapshot make it? bcause we had 2 different chain


Let’s see power of DAO in work!:handshake:


Thanks @netrunner for your proposal. I’ll add a few comments and points to consider. Looking forward to see more comments and considerations people think should be taken into account with respect to your proposal.

To be more accurate technically , and AFAIK the intention is to enable the conversion from vCOW to COW, by sending COW tokens from CowDAO’s main safe to the vCOW contract.

Once COW tokens will be available on the vCOW smart contract, vCOW owners can redeem their vCOW for COW.
One important point to consider is, until the final amount of vCOW that were claimed remains unknown, it is not possible to send the accurate amount to vCOW SC.

This is another critical point. We’re waiting for a special snapshot strategy that enables voting for different instances of a token on multiple chains. The Zodiac team is working on it and the ETA is around two weeks.



1 more question when cow token will deploy? after or before vote


It has already been deployed to 0xDEf1CA1fb7FBcDC777520aa7f396b4E015F497aB. The address should be the same on both Mainnet and Gnosis Chain. The initial total supply was transferred to the the CowDAO’s multisig.

As @middleway.eth metioned, to make vCOW swappable to COW, it would be required to submit and execute a proposal that will transfer the amount equivalent to all claimed tokens to the vCOW contract, thus enabling the swap method (so vCOW can be swapped for COW at 1:1).


for swap vcow to cow i already know

thanks for answer my question

:+1: :+1:


This looks some strange when you warm up people around and then there are no tools to vote. I would say that 1-2 months of waiting is not best strategy, the hype will subside and traders will forget about this token.

10% of votes on mainnet will covered Gnosis Chain votes.

So in the end:

  1. we need wait 6 weeks until claiming time finish?
  2. we need wait more 1-2 weeks for vote, IF Zodiac finish special snapshot app?

ETA for trading early-mid of April?


I agree with this proposal. Let the whole cowmunity be aware of this.


Thank you @netrunner for creating this proposal, really cool to see a first proposal being created!! :cow:
Making the vCOW token transferable would indeed facilitate more use cases that could help grow the CowSwap ecosystem. For example, a liquid COW token could foster decentralization by facilitating solver rewards and subsidies that attract more players into the game; it would also allow growth by offering users stronger incentives (eg reward payouts for affiliate program; protocol subsidies).

We don’t need to wait for 6 weeks, but IMO it makes more sense: as @nlordell mentioned, to swap vCOW for COW, the already deployed COW tokens can be send to the vCOW contract, thus allowing all vCOW token holders to swap their tokens into the equivalent amount of COW. So far, only half of all vCOW tokens have been claimed and we don’t know how many will be claimed until the end of the 6 weeks period. If we move ahead with this proposal now already, we would have to send the full equivalent amount of COW as there are vCOW to the vCOW contract. It is likely that some balances remain unclaimed. By sending the full amount of COW into the contract now, it is guaranteed that some COW tokens will be lost forever, as there is no way to send them out of the vCOW contract.

In general, I would propose to focus on some token utility first, e.g. CowSwap’s founding proposal included the idea to facilitate fee discounts for token holders. Adding more functionalities to the token will increase its perceived value and hopefully reinforce users to hodl.

I don’t see any reason why the vote should not be prepared such as its final outcome coincides with the end of the airdrop period. Then no further delay would be required.

I want to add one open question for discussion that should be answered before voting on the transferability:
As the token is currently not transferable, its vesting is not enforced. In other words, all vCOW token holders have full access to their balance (whether they received it as airdrop or as investment option). They also currently hold full voting power on their entire balance. If the token becomes transferable, then the conditions of investment options should of course be met (conditions = vCOW received for investment options are subject to a 4 years linear vesting schedule). The vesting schedule would be facilitated by the Smart Contract such that it only allows users to swap those vCOW for COWs that already vested. On a smart contract level it is clear how the vesting can be enforced.
The open discussion however is, whether the vesting should also be enforced in the governance: Should vesting COW tokens have full voting power, or should only those tokens that already vested be eligible for voting? This should be defined timely to ensure a snapshot vote module is in place to facilitate governance accordingly if / once the token becomes transferable.


Ofcourse it would be nice to have the token tradable but on the other hand maybe its better to do that when holders can get real value out of the CoW token, such as staking, fee discount etc. Otherwise it will be a large dumpfest because there is no value (other than to vote on proposals) for the token.


I think we should focus into providing some utility for the vCOW tokens before we enable unlocks. e.g. A very good suggestion that I read about in the GNOSIS forum was to allow reduced trading fees to vCOW holders.

Providing utility to vCOW will reduce the supply of COW, which can definitely help the price.


Sounds great lets do it!


Let us make it happen


Agree here, there are many details to be ironed out before making tradable, who will provide the liquidity for mainnet and GNO, what exact parameters can vCOW control, roadmap for token utility


i fully agree with this proposal


i fully agree with this proposal.


If it is beneficial to every participant, it is good.


weiidone i like cowswap make the change,