Silvio Micali's (Algorand Founder) Decentralized Governance Proposal 11-24-2020

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Since blockchains live in a highly adversarial environment, is it worth taking into account attacks to the governance (e.g. collusion and corruption) as well as attacks to the consensus?

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Attacks to the consensus is what the entire consensus model is created for - handling various mechanisms of attack. If every actor in the system were assumed to be honest, then these systems would be far, far simpler. :grinning:

Governance will presumably be just transacted contract operations submitted by governance account holders and protected like any other Algorand transaction.

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Attacks to the consensus is what the entire consensus model is created for - handling various mechanisms of attack. If every actor in the system were assumed to be honest, then these systems would be far, far simpler. :grinning:

Yes, of course, I know that. I wasn’t questioning the meaning of consensus protocol here.

Governance will presumably be just transacted contract operations submitted by governance account holders and protected like any other Algorand transaction.

The point is: is there any possibility for a group of governors to collude and vote for governance decisions that can potentially undermine the ecosystem?

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The decentralization of the governance is a very complex issue, I believe. Starting with funding of grant proposals will simplify and will measure the level of participation to see if an expansion is feasible. An informed participation will require a serious prior preparation.

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It seems that if the first round of voting will be regarding funding of projects collusion is a real concern. Though in the example it had half of the circulating algo locked in for governance (if I read it correctly). If this is the case collusion would be nearly impossible.

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I would like to see a tiered approach based on the length of time a person is willing to lock up algo. Increasing rewards for increased time. On the other hand, it would open up the possibility of the same group of people making decisions for an extended period of time and I don’t know if that would be a good thing either. And with weighted voting depending on the amount of algo locked up a hierarchical voting structure is created from the beginning. I understand those with more skin in the game should have a louder voice, but on the other hand it seems antithetical to decentralized. I believe the percentage reward should be justification for locking up more algo rather than the weight it gives your vote. Admittedly, I could be far off in my understanding of how this will work.

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*The document does not specify it clearly but I assume that the funding of grant proposals will be done in an automatic manner. For example, when a proposal wins, the required funding in ALGOs will be transferred to the proposal’s account automatically by a smart contract.

In my opinion, the role of foundation in this proposal should be revised:

The foundation has no way for safeguarding the protocol against unpredicted attacks.

For example in K-out-of-N voting, governors can vote for any k items they like and by vote of 25% of the governors any item can be added to the voting session. In case a large number of governors misbehave there will be no safeguards. Don’t forget that we are still experimenting this governance protocol and there should be some type of safeguards against unpredicted situations.

It seems that in this proposal, the role of foundation is mostly providing information. There is no need to define this role inside the protocol. Foundation can advertise and provide information using blockchain or social media. There is no need to designate it inside the governance protocol.

The liveness of the protocol is dependent to the existence of the foundation.

How this protocol will work if foundation is shut down by the government? I think many parts of it can not work smoothly. There will be no one to choose the voting items for voting sessions. There will be no one to choose the rates in dutch auctions, etc.

Instead of this, If the foundation had some kind of veto power, I think that could be more useful. Veto power could safeguard the protocol and at the same time the protocol would not be dependent to the existence of the foundation. That veto power could be lifted after a certain amount of time, for example 5 years.

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I believe that the emphasis should be almost exclusively on incentivizing participation by the individual in governance. This would certainly motivate the maximum number of individuals to participate on a frequent basis, thereby making it nearly impossible for some small group to make large, quick moves that are very disruptive. It is only through widespread, dedicated individual participation in the governing of our own lives that we can achieve true freedom.

Or something like that.

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I am new to Algorand and would like to participate in this governance program. How does one go about starting that process?

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Hi @2ball, I’m Johanna, community lead in Europe for Algorand Foundation. To answer your question, we’re currently building out the governance program, and in advance of the shift to governance rewards, the Algorand Foundation provides participation rewards to holders of Algo. Please visit https://algorand.foundation/faq to see how easy it is to receive participation rewards. In the meantime I’d recommend the Discord channel below as a good starting point:

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