An Alternate View on the Future of Algorand xGov

A, not-so-short video I made after reviewing the Twitter/X Space involving xGov and some of the issues (and possible solutions) we find ourselves facing.

An Alternate View on the Future of Algorand xGov

Please comment and pick apart in earnest, as I am desperately hoping for some changes from our current path and moving forward.

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It’s a good attempt at dissecting xgov i enjoyed listening to it.

You assumption about “bots” and impacts/issues associated with it is overblown. The total voting power of the accounts voting for everything is like 20k algo, e.g. if there are 10 proposals, its 2k algo per proposal - negligible. We offered some solutions on discord, but int he end i think the consensus was, no need ot do anythign about it because it is statistically irrelevant for the outcome of the session.

We’ve talked and discussed this topic in the past extensively, (^^ the second most discussed topic was ludo, which tells you focus is on completely wrong things) - mostly on discord, yet somehow it gets brought up each period. Ignore it, and you’ll see that the big issue really is participation (which is abysmal for lack of better words, - if you remove 3k randos who most likely signed up by mistake in period 1), you end up with a very small pool of xgovs that besides the big whales don’t really have any say on passing (you correctly identified that).

And that is the main issue - a good proposal without backing of a whale has 0 chances of passing for any significant ammount. And it gets harder each period, because of stacking of voting power and bigger “total votes” so for an example(i’m jsut trying to ilustrate here) i’m fairly confident if vestige (largest passsed proposal, and it was a good proposal -well deserved, i think it happened in period 2) proposed that same proposal this period(instead of #2) they would not pass, because they would need 2x the voting power they had in that period -

But all of that doesn’t really matter…because the xgov as it is is being sunset and a new system is taking place…

Not aimed at you: it’s funny how each period around voting time people start talking about what they dont like, how all is shi** etc, but during the actual quarter there is very little talk about it, or people wana do complete 360 and change it all.

I jsut want a functioning system where i can propose something reasonable and if people like it - it has a good chance of passing. Right now that’s not the case, new system to me looks a lot better and closer to that. Let’s push for more transparency on what si being worked on and when we can test it. What are the milestones and deadlines… i’ve offered my help with planning/organizing the deliverables and milestones in teh past - i’ll do it again - but at the end of the day my energy can be spent better elsewhere.

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Thank you for your feedback first off. To the point of the relatively small number of bots. Who is to say their numbers and stake will stay small? It seems any easy vector of abuse needs to be addressed rather than disregarded.

As to sunsetting the current program, I really think this needs to be stopped immediately. There are 0 good reasons to tie xGov voting power directly to online node stake and plenty of reasons not to.

You’re essentially doubling your exposure to bad actors when all you needed was node incentives to begin with and to implement the voted upon, and promised features of xGov that have yet to be implemented (ie. short-listing proposals to be voted on by General Governance rather than the heavy-handed approach we have now).

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This comment is exactly why I am not an xGov and believe Governance became a joke.

I complained for multiple weeks and saw nothing change or improve. People complaining about the same thing at the end of each period is a continuous reminder those in control chose not to give a shit rather than actually improve the system and move us forward towards the ideal end goal. The complaints were likely bucketed in “AF Hate” during that difficult period, but instead people who cared and were passionate were ignored and dispelled.

I haven’t shared it here yet, but I strongly oppose the new xGov being connected to a similar mechanic to node running incentives. It opens up an opportunity for bad actors, and even if these don’t capitalise in the near term they will almost certainly eventually.

With this belief, we are moving from a sub-optimal solution to a sub-optimal solution and so need to further iterate sooner rather than later.

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Why not a consortium of sort like the ATAC for better accountability, responsibility, and most importantly/most lacking leadership? It has been abundantly clear for a while the Foundation’s current mgmt is just not efficient enough to operate on its own. Assign domain experts in categorised disciplines to curate the proposals for risks, as well as prospective benefits. Make it modular, multi-stakeholder. Tezos network differentiates financial and protocol changes, where the latter specifically require validators’ approval. Highlight more voices from developers, make it business-friendly to these vips (with Algokit on the technical side).

Fed up ogs are out there implementing the Skinner’s Law with Ludo as the sacrifice (rightfully so in all honesty) but Foundation, as the organization to R&D to foster and sustain ecosystem growth as its sole purpose, could do it better by making the participation process as easy as possible with each step consistently structured and reinforced with clear UIs.

  • Educate us it’s a loss to not join, even just as a HODLer. Believe it or not, oversight for price support is science, not just structured selling (see Yen) - broadcast current system is poorly monopolized with only whales realistically controlling anything; been hearing good outcomes from quadratic voting system, same goes for RPGF. Increase the value of voting by other parameters via longevity, consistent passion, innovation. John’s proposed Ecosystem Score is a good example though i can’t confirm if the math is okay.

  • Allow/force the grant applicants to explain thoroughly (min. financially/timewise) why and how their projects matter. If the project founders can’t even bother to template a whitepaper (forget graphic des), just throw it out the window immediately or tag a red flag so it makes my life easier filtering through. Many existing xgovs have continuously reacted to the current “dumping” of proposals being overwhelming and these people w full-time jobs are biting through the teeth to review, how on earth does AF plan to onboard anymore without a reform? Why the arbitrary quarterly schedule? Break it into bi-weekly, etc. (Parkison’s Law). Why the lacking notifications/difficult upkeep of the progresses? Make a circle on twitter that mirrors interactions here and discord, make a governance section in the wallets that are funded by the Foundation for ex. Experiment and bring the proposals to people, nudge it to our faces if needed; b/c it’s needed currently per the (or no) outcomes.

  • Allow/force the participants to own their participation more. Offer brainstorming polls (anon or dox/council rep at will) for pre-voting temp check, on-voting, POST-voting forensic (“WTAF did we all just approve?”). The low tx fees are there for these incremental ops, no? If effective, retroactively, award them to show appreciation; cultivate the wisdom when you get the chance to catch one b/c it’s been rare in this wild west crypto market. That’s a real whale in governance aspect. Offer time-weighed voting to show conviction, including the project founders. If one truly believes in future of ALGO and the project, prove it by locking your voting ALGOs. Marginally reward with more voting power or retroactive funding/BD support. Offer incubation pools for grassroot-alike movements w escrow smart contracts, don’t let the Foundation dictate them.

I asked way back if Algorand would be interested in structuring something like Hedera’s global governing council, esp since the Algorand’s focus seem to be institutions and RWA tokenizations. Incorporate @fisherman.algo 's proposals to make the qualifications and general O&M more quantified. Perhaps beginning with categorization of retail/community-oriented and institution-oriented. Tie NFD team’s Reti(?) staking also while at it

All of these are quite literally probabilistic. Personally, I could say the same for the current infra - what did the Foundation seriously expect? It’s overdue to optimise with a lens. Delegate assigned tasks with some “f’ing get to it”, preferably with due dates, some minimum expectations to hold these random joes up to a S&P500 standard. I sense there’s a demand from many crypto investors to wanting to have this as a permanent passive income as much as possible. In this regard, I’m not sure why AF is not using the bounty program anymore - could help out some freelancers out there. Be more value-oriented and ruthless (Algorand’s treasury isn’t exactly opulent today), long-term support > catching up to short term hypes and duplicating apps; I’m actually mainly talking about how decentralisation should be a gradual process with community/ecosystem/ALGO utility maturity, and xGov is nowhere near it. Bounty Explorer | buidlbox

Might come back and edit/add

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I do think that a hard division between changes/additions to ARCs and other categories would be extremely helpful, but this is far from the top of my list. While I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness you’ve put into your reply, I have to pushback on any ideas involving a council or John’s (fisherman) focus on vetting xGovs rather than vetting the proposals/proposers themselves.

I absolutely agree that proposals submissions and voting should not be grouped up together, so as to avoid voting/research fatigue. I also would say that you are spot on with regards to education and that Adri and the rest of the xGov team could be using a lot of resources to make their lives easier and be more effective in their communication.

I do worry there is a tipping point though where we make the process so cumbersome for potential devs submitting proposals that it becomes a deterrent.

Again, thank you for the thoughtful reply!

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I just don’t see a way to vet proposals without a more efficient central oversight like a council though. How would this proceed to ding them individually? Part of my reason to bring in these institutions and more centralisation is for them to possibly offer the traditional resources that have been proven to work for governance/effective treasury mgmt.

I agree xGov program, if ever desired, should push these incrementally and gently but in all honesty the proposed structuring is nothing burdensome for what the incentives the recipients have been getting so far, and not so much in return for the ecosystem/Foundation.

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I don’t think vetting proposals is as difficult as some would make it out to be. The easiest solution would be to separate pro-active grants (of which there should be fewer than retroactive) into their respective categories and allow for more in-depth reviews by devs or technically minded xGovs to opt-in to such categories. Another approach would just be to let xGovs vote as they will (ideally using the system I’ve laid out in other posts) and let the time between xGov voting and being filtered up to Gen. Gov be ample so that any changes to ARCs or technical questions can be more thoroughly vetted by the community.

I see a great desire to “police ourselves” on socials, and I honestly think we’re doing a better job than any central oversight council might. Let us not forget the many failures of AF with grants in the past.