Voting Delegate Structure is Non-Trivial

It occurred to me today that the seriousness of what we’re doing, demands that we make no assumptions. Sure, there are existing successful DAOs (and presumably many more that have failed) and we can learn from them and follow the basic form and hope for the best. But I think we have an opportunity now to radically re-imagine what representative governance looks like, through the lens of decentralized finance.

We’re the Sovryn space badgers on the cusp of the Layer2 outskirts of the cryptoverse. So it’s on us to build the first outpost at these depths. We need to build something more robust than the sum of all previous stress tests and more resilient than all existing representative democracies. And so, I summon you… nay, I beckon you! dramatic music plays, build a representative governance structure that you would feel comfortable making decisions about your roads, sewers, water supply. We should build a governance model which has in-built, code-based protections against the most flagrant consolidations and abuses of power.

It’s non-trivial when we discuss the incentive models of our delegates. It’s non-trivial when we define the prerequisites for serving as a Bitocracy delegate. It would be ideal if we could develop these ideas more with narrative so that we can parse out the memetic thematic archetypal forces which influence our negative and positive perceptions about world governments and politicians. Then we can define Bitocratic governance and the constitutional code which will be framed as a plain text NFT… the Codestitution. I want the Space Badger dressed up as a colonial statesmen wearing a wig and holding a feather next to an ink pot, drafting the Codestitution.

Here’s some thoughts I was spit-balling on Twitter today:

Interesting opportunity for a Bitocratic discussion here. Can we build-in programmatic restrictions which limit a delegate’s total voting power to a fixed percentage of all ‘possible’ votes? Or, as a percentage of all current voting power? Which would be better? Or neither?

Limit this weighted % severely enough, and we could benefit from having our most engaged community members act as delegates as well. Would be great to select @exiledsurfer, @EdanYago, @SovrynStorm, or @lightcoin, etc. as delegates. But we cap % influence of delegates very low.

We may also wish to cap delegates’ voting power in a way which considers the larger metrics of the Bitocracy. Perhaps we unlock new delegate candidacies w/ each successive 100 or 1000 new SOV holder wallets? I like the idea of correlating size of community w/ size of governance.](

What do you guys think? @yago seems to have some interest in some of these ideas. It’s actually what started me thinking about this. Earlier in the Twitter thread, somebody suggested that Yago serve as a delegate and he explained why he was not comfortable assuming that role and his explanation makes sense. However, I’m not satisfied with that and you shouldn’t be either.

I want us to build a governance model which gives Yago (and all team members) the capacity to serve as delegates. We must build to constrain conflicts of interest between delegates and the interests of the users and project that the leadership team is instrumental in building. So we structure the governance with some of the advantages of limited powers that we used to value in the US.

I think we all want Yago to have a meaningful deal of influence and for those of us who are aligned with his thinking to be able to delegate our votes to him and likewise with other community leaders. But we need to protect against the number of Sovryns who can be represented by a single delegate. That’s actually potentially a more important relationship than we’ve given consideration to up to this point.


A limit could be used to constrain the power of a good-faith delegate. However we could not technically constrain the power of a delegate who would either publicly or secretly seek to circumvent the limit by designating multiple addresses that stakers could delegate too. At best we could rely on social conventions to prevent public circumvention of the rules, which leaves only the possibility of secret circumvention (for example, they could operate under a new pseudonym and try to amass voting power under that new pseudonym). Maybe this “soft limit” would be good enough? Still, I think it’s worth asking, if we implemented a limit like this, would @yago still be apprehensive about being a delegate? If so, then we haven’t really solved the underlying problem preventing him from being a delegate.

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Nice thoughts here @light. Yeah, of course the sort of ‘symbil attack’ vulnerability exists in ways that have’t (yet) been sufficiently solved in a decentralized context. I’ve been keeping my eye out for good “proof-of-human” projects that can validate the authenticity of a human being to at least mitigate bot sybil attacks. It’s a problem for a lot of what we’d ideally like to be able to do in crypto… airdrops and different UBIs as notable examples. I’ve been running an Idena node for a while to explore this sector in greater detail. I think we should make sure to move in this direction if a very high quality non-KYC proof-of-human integration becomes available, that could be useful in governance as well as on the app.

But the core “problem” we’re trying to solve isn’t stopping people from voting in alignment with Yago or any other community leader. That’s fine. I’m even fine with there being delegates who have their sole platform as, “I vote 100% in agreement with how Yago votes”. I think those people will run into problems because they may find that there are times when community leaders wish to keep their vote confidential which is something that’s more difficult to justify as a delegate. I would assume that a delegate would have to be accountable to their stakers. I’m already answering questions in my delegate thread comments in this forum, and I imagine that if I stopped doing that, then I would have less support as a delegate than someone who actively responds to all comments.

Even so, as a delegate myself, I am still free to vote however I choose without informing anyone before the vote. I assume my vote is recorded publicly. So community leader delegates, like the potential @yago delegate example, could still vote their conscience discretely if they choose not to divulge their decision before the vote. The community may resent that if and when it happens. However, my understanding is that voting is transparent, so after the vote we should all be able to see which addresses voted yay and nay. The topic of blind voting is worth consideration as well, but that should have its own thread. It may be best to establish a rule in which votes are blind except for delegate votes which are transparent. If there are programmatic ways to conduct trustless blinded voting, that could be interesting to explore as well, but I’m theoretically against in on principle. I can’t think of a ton of benefits off-hand.