Governance compendium

James Ray edited this page Oct 16, 2018 · 29 revisions


governance Documentation chat

governance flowchart

Legalese: this is not necessarily an endorsement of any of the sources in this compendium.


Against on chain governance

  • blog post from Vlad. Snippets: "On-chain governance makes node operator participation in governance completely unnecessary." However, node operator participation is necessary for the current protocol. Thus, changing to on-chain governance is very risky. "Unless there are governance processes that get Sybil-resistant input from node operators, on-chain governance therefore always has the potential to disenfranchise node operators (and users) of the blockchain." Vlad's reply to a comment to this post.
  • Vitalik's post on plutocracy

Projects working in blockchain governance

  • Democracy Earth: it is "an open source and decentralized democratic governance protocol for any kind of organization. It "uses proof of identity for sybil resistance via blockchain birth certificates, proof of attention, quadratic voting and liquid democracy; governance platform for an organization of any size).
  • Aragon:

Aragon is a project that aims to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of organizational structures by using blockchain technology. We want to empower people across the world to easily and securely manage their organizations. We provide the tools for anyone to become an entrepreneur and run their own organization, to take control of their own lives

By making it possible for everyone in the world to organize, we are enabling a borderless, permissionless and more efficient creation of value

While the following projects do not have blockchain governance as a mission, they do relate to governance or deliberately use or plan to use governance mechanisms:

  • Maker DAO a stablecoin that uses a utility and governance volatile MKR token, for holders to use in governing the DAI stable coin
  • Havven: another stablecoin that involves issuing tokens against a distributed collateral pool. James Ray's opinion: this seems simpler than DAI, while also intuitively seeming to be more desirable. See e.g. this Twitter thread for a related proposal to issue a token against a distributed pool of ethical assets, which should result in less downside volatility and more upside volatility or potential for growth.
  • Pocket Network. A decentralized blockchain which incentivizes running a full node and relaying transactions, supporting connecting to blockchains. See also, which has a link to their white paper.

Mechanism design


It's important to try to match rewards in protocol as closely as possible with the true utility provided, which isn't done well with a volatile cryptocurrency. Protocol participants have external incentives such as capital costs.

Liberal Radicalism

An alternative societal funding mechanism to capitalism and representative democracy that provides (near) optimal funding provision of public goods. Related to governance because governance is often concerned with allocating a budget.

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