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Submitting a Community-Spend Proposal

WARNING: under active development.

Do not use this information to submit a proposal.

If you have a final draft of your proposal ready to submit, you may want to push your proposal live on the testnet first. These are the three primary steps to getting your community-spend proposal live on-chain.

  1. Hosting the final draft of your community-spend proposal with IPFS (InterPlanetary File System)
  2. Formatting the governance proposal that will be on-chain
  3. Sending the transaction that submits your governance proposal on-chain

Hosting the full community-spend proposal

When you've finalized your community-spend proposal draft, convert it to a PDF file. Upload the PDF to the IPFS network:

  1. either by running an IPFS node and the IPFS software, or
  2. using a service such as

Ensure that you "pin" the PDF file so that it continues to be available on the network. You should get a URL like this:

Share the URL with others and verify that your file is publicly accessible.

The reason we use IPFS is that it is a decentralized means of storage, making it resistant to censorship or single points of failure. This increases the likelihood that the file will remain available in the future.

Formatting the governance proposal

Prior to sending the transaction that submits your proposal on-chain, you should create a JSON file. This file will contain the information that will be stored on-chain as the governance proposal. Begin my creating a new text (.txt) file to enter this information. When you're done, save the file as a .json file.

There are five (5) components:

  1. Title - the distinguishing name of the proposal, typically the way the that explorers list proposals
  2. Description - the body of the proposal that further describes what is being proposed and details surrounding the proposal
  3. Recipient - the Cosmos Hub (hex-based) address that will receive funding from the Community Pool
  4. Amount - the amount of funding that the recipient will receive in micro-ATOMs (uatom)
  5. Deposit - the amount that will be contributed to the deposit (in micro-ATOMs "uatom") from the account submitting the proposal

Once on-chain, most people will rely upon network explorers to interpret this information with a graphical user interface (GUI).

Simple example

In this simple example (below), a network explorer will list the governance proposal as "Community Pool Spend." When an observer selects the proposal, they'll see the description. Not all explorers will show the recipient and amount, so ensure that you verify that the description aligns with the what the governance proposal is programmed to enact. If the description says that a certain address will receive a certain number of ATOMs, it should also be programmed to do that, but it's possible that that's not the case (accidentally or otherwise).

The amount is 1000000uatom. 1,000,000 micro-ATOM is equal to 1 ATOM, so recipient address cosmos1qgfdn8h6fkh0ekt4n4d2c93c5gz3cv5gce783m will receive 1 ATOM if this proposal is passed.

The deposit 512000000 uatom results in 512 ATOM being used from the proposal submitter's account. There is a minimum deposit required for a proposal to enter the voting period, and anyone may contribute to this deposit within a 14-day period. If the minimum deposit isn't reach before this time, the deposit amounts will be burned. Deposit amounts will also be burned if quorum isn't met in the vote or if the proposal is vetoed.


"title": "Community Pool Spend",

"description": "This is the summary of the key information about this proposal. Include the URL to a PDF version of your full proposal.",

"recipient": "cosmos1qgfdn8h6fkh0ekt4n4d2c93c5gz3cv5gce783m",

"amount": [


  "denom": "uatom",
  "amount": "1000000"


"deposit": [


  "denom": "uatom",
  "amount": "512000000"



Real example

This is the governance proposal that Gavin Birch (Figment Networks) used to create Prop23, the first successful Cosmos Hub community-spend proposal.

You can query the proposal details with the gaiacli command-line interface using this command: gaiacli q gov proposal 23 --chain-id cosmoshub-3 --node

You use can also use Hubble or gaiacli to query the transaction that I sent to create this proposal on-chain in full detail: gaiacli q tx B8E2662DE82413F03919712B18F7B23AF00B50DAEB499DAD8C436514640EFC79 --chain-id cosmoshub-3 --node

Note: "\n" is used to create a new line.


"title": "Cosmos Governance Working Group - Q1 2020",

"description": "Cosmos Governance Working Group - Q1 2020 funding\n\nCommunity-spend proposal submitted by Gavin Birch ( of Figment Networks (\n\n-=-=-\n\nFull proposal:\n\n-=-=-\n\nAmount to spend from the community pool: 5250 ATOMs\n\nTimeline: Q1 2020\n\nDeliverables:\n1. A governance working group community & charter\n2. A template for community spend proposals\n3. A best-practices document for community spend proposals\n4. An educational wiki for the Cosmos Hub parameters\n5. A best-practices document for parameter changes\n6. Monthly governance working group community calls (three)\n7. Monthly GWG articles (three)\n8. One Q2 2020 GWG recommendations article\n\nMilestones:\nBy end of Month 1, the Cosmos Governance Working Group (GWG) should have been initiated and led by Gavin Birch of Figment Networks.\nBy end of Month 2, Gavin Birch is to have initiated and led GWG’s education, best practices, and Q2 recommendations.\nBy end of Month 3, Gavin Birch is to have led and published initial governance education, best practices, and Q2 recommendations.\n\nDetailed milestones and funding:\n\n\nBeyond the milestones, Gavin will lead the GWG to engage in and answer governance-related questions on the Cosmos Discourse forum, Twitter, the private Cosmos VIP Telegram channel, and the Cosmos subreddit. The GWG will engage with stake-holders to lower the barriers to governance participation with the aim of empowering the Cosmos Hub’s stakeholders. The GWG will use this engagement to guide recommendations for future GWG planning.\n\nRead more about the our efforts to launch the Cosmos GWG here:\n\n-=-=-\n\n_Problem_\nPerhaps the most difficult barrier to effective governance is that it demands one of our most valuable and scarce resources: our attention. Stakeholders may be disadvantaged by informational or resource-based asymmetries, while other entities may exploit these same asymmetries to capture value controlled by the Cosmos Hub’s governance mechanisms.\n\nWe’re concerned that without establishing community standards, processes, and driving decentralized delegator-based participation, the Cosmos Hub governance mechanism could be co-opted by a centralized power. As governance functionality develops, potential participants will need to understand how to assess proposals by knowing what to pay attention to.\n\n_Solution_\nWe’re forming a focused, diverse group that’s capable of assessing and synthesizing the key parts of a proposal so that the voting community can get a fair summary of what they need to know before voting.\n\nOur solution is to initiate a Cosmos governance working group that develops decentralized community governance efforts alongside the Hub’s development. We will develop and document governance features and practices, and then communicate these to the broader Cosmos community.\n\n_Future_\nAt the end of Q1, we’ll publish recommendations for the future of the Cosmos GWG, and ideally we’ll be prepared to submit a proposal based upon those recommendations for Q2 2020. We plan to continue our work in blockchain governance, regardless of whether the Hub passes our proposals.\n\n-=-=-\n\nCosmos forum:\nCosmos GWG Telegram channel:\nTwitter:",

"recipient": "cosmos1hjct6q7npsspsg3dgvzk3sdf89spmlpfg8wwf7",

"amount": [


  "denom": "uatom",
  "amount": "5250000000"


"deposit": [


  "denom": "uatom",
  "amount": "12000000"



Sending the transaction that submits your governance proposal

This is the basic command for using gaiacli (the command-line interface) to submit your proposal on-chain: gaiacli tx gov submit-proposal community-pool-spend <proposal.json> --from [key/address]

This is the complete command that I could use to submit a community spend proposal right now: gaiacli tx gov submit-proposal community-pool-spend proposal.json --from gavin --gas 500000 --fees 7500uatom --chain-id cosmoshub-3 --node

  1. gaiacli is the command-line interface client that is used to send transactions and query the Cosmos Hub
  2. tx gov submit-proposal community-pool-spend indicates that the transaction is submitting a community-spend proposal
  3. --from gavin is the account key that pays the transaction fee and deposit amount
  4. --gas 500000 is the maximum amount of gas permitted to be used to process the transaction
    • the more content there is in the description of your proposal, the more gas your transaction will consume
    • if the number isn't high enough and there isn't enough gas to process your transaction, the transaction will fail
    • the transaction will only use the amount of gas needed to be processed
  5. --fees is flat rate incentive for a validator to process your transaction
    • the network still accepts zero fees, but many nodes will not transmit your transaction to the network without a minimum fee
    • many nodes (including the Figment node) use a minimum fee to disincentivize transaction spamming
    • 7500uatom is equal to 0.0075 ATOM
  6. --chain-id cosmoshub-3 is Cosmos Hub 3
  7. --node is using Figment Networks' node to send the transaction to the Cosmos Hub 3 network

Note: be careful what you use for --fees. A mistake here could result in spending hundreds or thousands of ATOMs accidentally, which cannot be recovered.

Verifying your transaction

After posting your transaction, your command line interface will provide you with the transaction's hash, which you can either query using gaiacli or search the hash with Hubble. The hash should look something like this: B8E2662DE82413F03919712B18F7B23AF00B50DAEB499DAD8C436514640EFC79

You can see whether or not your transaction was successful with Hubble: Verify tx with Hubble

Troubleshooting a failed transaction

There are a number of reasons why a transaction may fail.

  1. Running out of gas - The more data there is in a transaction, the more gas it will need to be processed. If you don't specify enough gas, the transaction will fail.

  2. Incorrect denomination - You may have specified an amount in 'utom' or 'atom' instead of 'uatom', causing the transaction to fail.

If you encounter a problem, try to troubleshoot it first, and then ask for help on All in Bits' Cosmos forum: We can learn from failed attempts and use them to improve upon this guide.

Submitting your proposal to the testnet

I intend to expand this guide to include testnet instructions. You may want to submit your proposal to the testnet chain before the mainnet for a number of reasons:

  1. To see what the proposal description will look like
  2. To signal that your proposal is about to go live on the mainnet
  3. To share what the proposal will look like in advance with stakeholders
  4. To test the functionality of the governance features

Submitting your proposal to the testnet increases the likelihood that you will discover a flaw before deploying your proposal on mainnet. A few things to keep in mind:

  • you'll need testnet tokens for your proposal (ask around for a faucet)
  • the parameters for testnet proposals are different (eg. voting period timing, deposit amount, deposit denomination)
  • the deposit denomination is in 'muon' instead of 'uatom'
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