New referendum-led governance structure proposed for Polkadot

    Polkadot, the eleventh greatest cryptocurrency with a market cap of over $7 billion, is likely to be getting a revamp of the whole governance system.


    The proposal, which is called Gov2 whereas in growth, may be summarised general as striving to extend each the decentralisation and decision-making effectivity of the community. In order to do that, referenda would be the solely first-class decision-making mechanism. It will distinction with the present type of governance in that many choices may be taking place concurrently.

    With the system that has been in place for the previous couple of years, a technocratic committee has managed points corresponding to timelines; an approval-voted, elected govt “government” has managed parameters, admin and spending proposals; for every part else, a normal voting system has been in place, with long-term stakeholders rewarded with elevated affect.

    Current drawbacks

    This present system has served to restrict the variety of selections occurring directly, given the only “all or nothing” referendum mannequin — that’s to say, all referenda carry the utmost quantity of energy. Partly as a result of this, there can solely be one referendum voted at a time and these votes final a number of weeks by default. Additionally, the elected govt is a centralised physique and likewise not nameless, therefore may be pressured a technique or one other. 

    However, the present system additionally presents options that received’t be modified right here. For instance, 50% of the entire stake within the system ought to, if they’ve enough power of conviction of their opinion, give you the option in the end to command the system’s future. There may also be a better weight assigned to those that are prepared to lock their tokens into the system for longer. 

    Referendum mechanism

    Let’s have a look into how a referendum works, given the brand new community could possibly be working off these quickly. 

    When a referendum is initially created, it’s instantly votable by anybody locally. However, it isn’t in a state the place it will possibly finish, or in any other case have its votes counted, be authorized and summarily enacted. Instead, referenda should fulfil plenty of standards earlier than they’re moved right into a state often called Deciding. Until they’re on this state, they continue to be undecided.

    The standards which must be met are threefold: Firstly, all referenda have a lead-in interval. This is an period of time which should have elapsed after the proposal earlier than deciding can start, offering a discover interval which mitigates the potential of “decision sniping”, the place an attacker controlling a considerable quantity of voting energy may search to have a proposal handed quickly after proposing it, not permitting the general voting inhabitants time to contemplate and vote.

    Secondly, there have to be room for the choice. All tracks have their very own restrict on the variety of referenda which may be determined concurrently. The stronger the Origins allowed on the monitor, then the decrease this restrict.

    Finally, a Decision Deposit have to be paid to mitigate in opposition to spamming or bloating the system.

    Proposals which aren’t authorized after 28 days are thought-about rejected by default. At this level, the Decision Deposit may be refunded.


    Of course, there are points whereby a proposal being voted on is revealed to include an issueIn Gov2, there’s a particular operation for intervening on this method often called Cancelation. This operation instantly rejects an ongoing referendum no matter its standing. 

    Cancellation is itself a governance operation which have to be voted upon by the community with the intention to execute. This poses a potential drawback of timeline, and with the intention to be helpful, getting a cancellation proposal handed have to be considerably quicker than any potential goal proposal handed. As such, cancellation comes with its personal Origin and monitor, which has a low lead-time and approval/assist curves with barely sharper reductions of their thresholds for passing.

    It’s a neat method to stability the worry of centralisation with the realities of effectivity. 

    Final Thoughts

    Of course, that is all solely a proposal. Nonetheless, there are some very fascinating points to Gov2 and will probably be intriguing to see the way it finally ends up. Bear markets are each a time to construct and a time to enhance current infrastructure, so it’s promising to see proposals corresponding to these, whether or not it finally ends up passing or not.  

    Gov2 is about to launch on Kusama imminently, following ultimate skilled audit of its code. Following a take a look at interval on Kusama, a proposal will then be made for the Polkadot community to vote on.


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