Crosschain governance: a new integration Connext x Zodiac (Gnosis Guild)

Massimo Lomuscio
Published in
5 min readNov 3, 2022

As DAOs have evolved over the last several years, they’ve become increasingly complex organizations, trailblazing the way for a future where organized work happens in a more inclusive and transparent way.

Several DAOs have accumulated considerable treasuries during their lifetime, consisting of both their native tokens and other assets. As DAOs continue to evolve, and an increasing number of people join them, more complex processes and tools will be required to coordinate their globally distributed (and sometimes anonymous) members.

While some of the tools that DAO use are off-chain (take Discord, for example), a new wave of tools that facilitate on-chain behaviour is emerging to coordinate and administer daily activities and important governance actions.


When a DAO is formed, it is critical that its members select only tools that meet the highest standards of security available to protect the interest of all the token holders and stakeholders in general.

Moreover, as protocols continue to expand to multiple chains, their controlling DAOs need to expand their capabilities beyond their traditional “headquarter” on the origin chain.

This is where crosschain tools built on Connext come in:

DAOs can now interact with multiple chains without having to disperse their liquidity or erode the experience of their members.

Crosschain tools are intended to solve some current and expanding problems for DAOs and their members:

  • What happens when a DAO, controlled by a multisig wallet on a specific chain (the HQ), needs to change a parameter (fee switch, for example) on the smart contract of another chain?
  • How do we increase participation of DAO members by lowering their cost of voting?
  • How can DAOs communicate onchain with other DAOs on different chains?

Enter crosschain governance.

Enter Connext x Zodiac.

The expansion pack for DAOs, Zodiac is a collection of tools built according to an open standard. While the ecosystem flourishes today with hundreds of DAOs using different platforms, protocols, and tools, Zodiac’s composable design philosophy enables DAOs to act more like constellations, no longer confined to monolithic designs.

The Zodiac open standard enhances existing practices in the DAO ecosystem, making popular platforms newly composable, as well as establishes new practices in DAO-to-DAO collaboration mechanisms, with a special focus on multichain governance.

“The Zodiac ecosystem, maintained by members of Gnosis Guild, has principles that perfectly align with Connext, as both systems rely on modularity to provide the best security and flexibility for developers”, explained Auryn Macmillan, co-founder of Gnosis Guild.

The Connext Module was built on the work of Zodiac’s previous AMB Bridge Module, expanding its capabilities to account for different interfaces and data validation methods.

How it works

The Connext module was built to be lean, efficiently combining with the other modules in the Gnosis Safe. Let’s look at a brief example:

Let’s say, for instance, that a DAO on chain A (daoA) needs to control a Safe on Chain B (safeB).

They would simply need to deploy an instance of ConnextModule on Chain B, then enable it as a module on safeB by calling safeB.enableModule(ConnextModule.address).

The ConnextModule has a user-defined variable, connext, that should be set to the address of the connext XReceiver contract deployed on Chain B.

Essentially, the user trusts that this address will only pass messages that were initiated by a call to a corresponding ConnextModule on the correct origin chain, that originSender corresponds to the address that made the call on the origin chain, and that _origin corresponds to the ID of the chain where the message originated.

If all of these things are true, then the ConnextModule will correctly validate incoming messages, only accepting messages from the IXRecevier when the originSender is originAddress (daoA, in this case) and the origin is the ID of the origin chain (Chain A, in this case).

Once it’s set up, the full flow looks something like this:

A successful proposal in daoA causes daoA to call Connext.xcall(), some cross-chain magic happens under the hood which causes the corresponding XReceiver on Chain B to call ConnextModule.xReceive().

The message is then validated to ensure it was called by the correct XReceivercontract, the originSender is correct, and the origin is correct. If so, then the connextModule calls safeB.execTransactionFromModule() to trigger the safe to execute whatever message was passed from daoA on origin.

Connext x Zodiac Use Cases

Abstractly, the ConnextModule is an out-of-the box way for accounts on one network to control accounts on another network.

More concretely, this might mean a DAO on mainnet Ethereum controlling a treasury on Gnosis Chain, a DeFi protocol DAO on mainnet controlling a deployment of its protocol on Polygon, or a grant-giving DAO on Optimism controlling receiving addresses on a variety of other chains and layers, etc.



One of the best features of Connext is the ability to bundle crosschain token transfers along with messages. This opens up a wide variety of new use cases that will help to expand the feature set of DAOs and ultimately the way we think of them in the future.

Do you want to learn more? Join the upcoming Twitter Space on whatsNext for DAOs

About Gnosis Guild

Gnosis Guild is a society for interdependent software with the values of conviviality, co-ownership, and experimentation at its heart. Incubated by Gnosis, we operate as a small team using the tools we build.
Gnosis Guild is a core contributor to Zodiac and a keeper of the open standard.

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About Connext

Connext is a network for fast, trustless communication between chains and rollups. It is the only interoperability system of its type that does this cheaply and quickly without introducing any new trust assumptions. Connext is aimed at developers who are looking to build bridges and other natively cross-chain applications. To date, over $1.5b in transactions have crossed the network.

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