Why I voted “No” on the CIP-1694 polls

So, the results of the CIP-1694 polls have been in for a few days now:

Cardano Ballot:




By the way: The 12 million ADA voting “Yes” by the Cardano Foundation are more than 10% of the Cardano Ballot and almost 50% of the Summon ballot. I still think that it’s a very bad idea if the powers that be vote themselves in a poll that is supposed to measure the community sentiment.

And I have been one of the few dissidents voting “No”.

Actually, I was 16 of the dissidents in the case of Cardano Ballot. I put my stake on 16 different accounts when being forced to shortly move from hardware to software wallet. Because I could. And to show how ridiculous a head count – that does not count heads, but accounts – is in such votes. But it’s still only 7.5k ADA of those “No” votes. So, some people with bigger bags must have also been a bit disgruntled.

I want to give the reasons in the following:

Problems with the poll

The poll itself had some problems:

Biased question

The question asked was:

Based on the current progress, should we as a Cardano community continue to develop and deploy minimum viable on-chain governance as described in CIP-1694, subject to the final approval of the SPOs?

That immediately raised a lot of questions what exactly happens if we vote “No”. Especially combined with Hoskinson’s announcement that they will burn the governance keys if the community does not approve what has now been build. There may be non-harmful ways to interpret that, to throw the towel and let others take over, but it sure made the impression of a threat of a rather catastrophic outcome to lots of users.

So, this left nearly everyone who can at least somehow live with the “current progress […] as described in CIP-1694” voting “Yes”. And only the ones who would rather have nothing than what is currently worked on voting “No”.

It would have been good to have at least a bit more detail, single questions on issues that have been discussed a lot – “Do you want pure stake-based voting weight, quadratic voting, or number of wallets (despite its problems)?”, “Should delegations to dReps expire?”, … – and/or a nuance between “That’s great!”, “It must be ensured that future developments will happen!”, “Do not start it, before considerable changes have been done!”, and “Throw it away and back to the drawing board!” for the general “How should we continue?” question.

Just having a “take it or leave it” question on the whole thing is just an acclamation, a Napoleonean plebiscite: “Should I become emperor or do you want total chaos? You have a choice!”

Hardware wallet participation and interpretation uncertainty

Immediately after the poll was announced, people realised that hardware wallets cannot participate with how Cardano Ballot is built up to now, although workarounds (not using signData but signTx with a “transaction” that is not and cannot be submitted to the chain and has the payload in its metadata) are long known and are employed for example by the alternative Summon poll.

Not seeing the importance of hardware wallet support beforehand is a considerable failure in judgement, but what happened afterwards made it worse.

People were told that they should just create an additional hot wallet with just a couple of ADA. This is in stark contrast to the FAQ to this day stating:

The Cardano Ballot is a stake-based system; therefore, the total power of a wallet will be determined by the amount of ada staked in that wallet at the time of the Snapshot (November 21st, before 21:44 UTC).


So, after this nobody knew anymore if it is supposed to be a stake-weighted vote (in which case “just voting with a small hot wallet” is quite meaningless) or if it is supposed to be counted by votes with all of the problems (or rather the complete impossibility) of identifying unique voters.

Moreover, in his video stream on the topic, Hoskinson made it appear like they were conscious about this problem, another vote when the currently developed signData functionality for Ledger and Trezor will be available was already planned from the start, and comparing these votes would be a totally interesting experiment.

None of this has been announced before this video stream happened, waiting for the Ledger and Trezor implementation is totally unnecessary when using the signTx workaround, and I don’t really like being gaslighted in making a fuss about a nothingburger because some hastily invented things should have allegedly been known before. No, they were not, you just made that up!

And if anything this led to even more confusion: Is this thing now the oh so important temperature check? Or should we wait for the “real” temperature check when hardware support is (maybe) available some time in 2024?

Total clusterfuck!

Problems with the process up to now

“Based on the current progress, […]”
I see a lot of problems with how what we are looking at now came to be:

Not neutral from the start

As @KtorZ wrote in the pull request discussion on CIP-1694 (https://github.com/cardano-foundation/CIPs/pull/380#issuecomment-1460574579):

We’ve arguably never really discussed what Cardano governance should look like prior to the CIP. There has been visions and ideas from many sides, but it’s never really been “agreed by the community”. Yet it’s a recursive problem: agreeing on something of that scale requires some form of governance in the first place.

I’m sure he would not see that as such a big failure (he’s one of the authors after all), but I do. Yes, it is partly a chicken-and-egg problem. But organising a rather open process where multiple approaches and proposals have a chance would have in my opinion been possible.

Going into the discussion with a quite detailed proposal that already contains a lot of design decisions – we use dReps, we write a constitution and establish a “constitutional committee”, we use pure stake-weighted voting, … – narrows the debate quite a bit. And everything questioning one of these decisions is at a disadvantage from the start.

Moreover, it was not made clear what requirements a competing proposal would have to fulfil. “These things – hard forks, parameter changes, treasury disbursements, open polls – have to be decided somehow. Every ADA holder has to have access to the decision process. …”

By the way, similar problems exist in Catalyst operation: The IOG Catalyst team regularly comes up with very detailed ideas of how the thing should “obviously” work and the discussion is then seemingly naturally narrowed to some details in these ideas, but does not allow discussing principles anymore: “How should categories be scoped?” instead of “Should there even be categories?”, “Do we want to allow No votes?” instead of “Which voting method do we want to use in the first place?”, “What rules do we want for community reviewers?” instead of “Should there be ‘official’ (and paid) reviews at all?”, …

No equal access to implementation

That was made even worse by starting to implement it half-way through the discussion, again without stating anything against what interfaces in the cardano-node competing proposals would have to implement which functionality at a minimum (in addition to the fact that Haskell developers are notoriously hard to even find). So, this made competing with the proposal given to us from above even more pointless. Who would support some outlandish proposal when there is a proposal backed by the founding entities that is already almost finished and tested on the “Sanchonet”?

The necessity of implementing proposals will become a recurring problem of governance. It only makes sense to vote on a hard fork if someone™ has implemented it. It is made a bit better by the recent move of the core repositories from IOG to Intersect MBO. But it are more or less still the same people up to now, it is not clear at all what a proposed hard fork has to fulfil to be merged into the node implementation, so that voting on it even makes sense, the code is not really documented in a way that a lot of teams could implement something there, … It will be a long way until this becomes something that can be called “decentralised”. And maybe, just maybe this should have been the first step?

CIP discussion largely ignored

There was a huge discussion on the original pull request of CIP-1694: https://github.com/cardano-foundation/CIPs/pull/380

Admittedly, a lot of that could be seen as noise, a linear discussion on a single pull request is not the best format for debates on fundamentals, and some improvements on details were done. But a lot of more elementary questions were just sidelined and ultimately forgotten.

I firmly believe something like Voltaire (or Catalyst for that matter) needs a much more open process, starting as said above with just some basic requirements and giving some support for groups to form around several competing proposals on an equal footing, with clear guidelines where and how to provide the finished proposals.

And such a process has to be shepherded by the current powers. “Why don’t you do it, while we are doing our thing with the full power of our communication channels and access to the core development team?” is just super cynical.

Workshops as exclusionary participation simulation

Various in-person workshops and a few online ones are always cited as receipts how much the community participated in the process.

Such workshops are a very exclusionary method in my opinion. They all require participants to be available at a very specific time and in-person workshops also require considerable effort for travelling and accommodation. All who cannot afford one or the other are completely excluded.

Moreover, I believe that they often only simulate participation because the organisers can decide totally freely what they take from them, what small changes they can take and advertise as “We heard the community!!!” and what they discard as: “Nice that you have an opinion but nope!”

Problems in CIP-1694

“[…] as described in CIP-1694, […]”
And I also still have some concrete problems with the content of CIP-1694:


I still think that dReps are a very bad idea. They allow some popular persons to accumulate enormous amounts of voting power to the point where it makes zero sense to participate and try to stand against them leaving us with just the choice which of these super VIPs to support.

We already know from stake pool delegations – with a lot of delegations staying for years even after a pool retires and no rewards are paid anymore – that people will just do fire and forget delegations and probably seldomly check if the dRep really acts in their spirit. If one dRep takes a really bad side on a particular topic, it will be a Herculean, almost impossible task to convince people to switch delegations.

This could have been made less bad with at least two things proposed amongst other places in that CIP pull request discussion:

  • Limit the maximum voting power of dReps similarly to the saturation of stake pools, so that delegators would have to look for another dRep to delegate to or risk that their voting power is wasted.
  • Let delegations expire so that delegators are forced to at least shortly reconsider their choice from time to time and dReps cannot accumulate a base delegation from people who are not really interested and will virtually never switch irrespective of what the dRep does or does not do.

And this is potentially a quite large risk to the hope that we “can fix this later” since it is only a “minimal viable governance” to get started. Once a small group of dReps has so much power, their vote is needed to change that again. Maybe, they are selfless enough to do that anyway, but there is a risk in asking people: “Do you want less power?”

Delegation incentives

The CIP we just “voted” on still contains:

There will be a short bootstrapping phase during which rewards will be earned for stake delegation etc. and may be withdrawn at any time. After this phase, although rewards will continue to be earned for block delegation etc., reward accounts will be blocked from withdrawing any rewards unless their associated stake credential is also delegated to a DRep. This helps to ensure high participation, and so, legitimacy.


People shall be coerced into delegating under any circumstance if they are interested or not or if they feel informed enough or not, otherwise they won’t be able to withdraw staking rewards.

I have no idea if that is already implemented in the Sanchonet code, but it is definitely part of what was just approved by 90% or more of the poll participants.

This makes the effects from the previous section much worse since it forces even people to do potential fire and forget delegation who would normally just say: “Well, I’m neither interested nor informed. I’ll just let the other people do that.”

Moreover, it forces even CEXes who want to continue to stake to delegate to a dRep.

Yep, they all can just delegate to the automatic “Abstain” dRep, but will they? And what does it get us when a very large percentage of votes is always and automatically “Abstain”?


It is quite unclear (to me) what this constitution shall really look like.

The example in the CIP itself – “The Cardano network must always be able to produce new blocks.” – is almost trivial and would in my opinion not even need to be written down. Yes, of course, we want the chain to continue to operate. And some of the safeguards – allowed intervals for certain parameters – can maybe just be written into the code in the future. But that would be just a hard fork enabling these rules, restricting the allowed governance operations. Do we need a constitution for that?

Other ideas – “Cardano will always have a fixed supply of 45 billion ADA.” – might one day become controversial. The reserve getting slowly emptied and rewards therefore getting less and less is already very visible. Maybe, we need long-time inflation. Maybe, fixed supply was just a broken ideology. Yes, those will be hard discussions. They can be had on a discussion to change the constitution, but why? Why not just have them on the appropriate hard fork and parameter change discussions?

And then there are some who want very ideological things – “We, the Cardano community, firmly believe crazy conspiracy narratives about the Fed!” – in the constitution: https://forum.cardano.org/t/constitutional-amendments-protecting-cardano-from-the-central-banks/125059

Which of those variants will it be? And do we need that?

Constitutional committee

The constitutional committee is as per CIP-1694 supposed to only vote if a government action respects this strange constitution of the previous section. But there is actually no safeguard that they really restrict themselves to that. They can declare whatever they want as “constitutional” or “non-constitutional”. And, in contrast to the Supreme Court and similar highest courts in other countries, Cardano has no judicial tradition that could alleviate that. We do not have a pool of established jurists and could restrict the committee to be drawn from them.

And as for the dReps, there is a risk that the constitutional committee blocks further development of the governance system on the claim that the changes are “unconstitutional”.

Yeah, the dReps – and, if you don’t share my reservations on dReps, therefore the community – could decide to no-confidence the committee and vote a new one. But why even have them in the first place?

Do we even need such a thing? In a first attempt at minimal viable governance? Where the decisions are only such mundane things as hard forks, parameter changes, and treasury disbursements?

In contrast to the hopes and beliefs of some, we are not at the point, where we build and have to decide on the destiny of a network state. We are “just” managing a cryptocurrency blockchain here. If we can’t even get people to not vote for self-destruction, it should probably self-destruct for good.

“Election” of constitutional committee

CIP-1694 doesn’t even have a proper election of the constitutional committee members, just some strange “new constitutional committee” governance action that does a whole slate of changes to the committee, removes several and adds others in one go.

We can’t vote to just have no confidence in a single member, we always have to no-confidence the whole committee. We can’t vote for or against single candidates for the committee, but only on these whole slate governance actions. If you want to remove or not elect a specific candidate, you have to propose a different governance action doing almost the same except for this one candidate. Or maybe it is more promising to do a slate with more differences? Or maybe both?

And if more than one of them are successful, according to CIP-1694, the first that was accepted to the chain wins. So, it pays to be quick and submit the first proposal(s) for a new committee. If multiple get over the thresholds, the quicker one wins. What kind of election system is that?


Some of the points in this post, I have previously brought up in a post to both the CIP discussion https://github.com/cardano-foundation/CIPs/pull/380#issuecomment-1472917236 and this forum https://forum.cardano.org/t/minimal-viable-governance/115621.

Nothing has changed since then. On the contrary, other points in this post have come in addition to that.

So, I had to vote “No” on those “Is everything peachy with CIP-1694?” polls.


I hope you didn’t move the funds itself away from the HW? This would be an unnecessary risk! You could easily send it to a base address composed of a payment address of your HW and a stake address of a hot wallet. Also no need to use 16 different stake addresses, one was enough…

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I actually did. But only for a few hours.

I did realise that that would have also worked later.

Well, if I wanted to count as 16 No votes instead of 1, just in case they analyse by number of votes and not by stake, I had to distribute it over 16 stakes. … As said: “Because I could.”


Thank you! A very in-depth analytical article. I will need a while to read carefully and comment later.

Another thought. Today on X, Adam Dean wrote:

The power isn’t the problem, abuse of it is.

And I kind of disagree with that. Even with only well-meaning and competent dReps, unrestricted accumulation of power could lead to a suboptimal state of the governance system.

If only a handful of dReps have the vast majority of voting power distributed among them, it becomes pointless for smaller dReps to even participate and for delegators to delegate to a dRep not part of this handful.

And I honestly don’t think that that is an obscure scenario. Just imagine that voters in general elections could give unlimited votes to any candidate of their choice. I really would expect that the few politicians who are known and popular through traditional and social media would get the enormous majority of votes and the other hundreds of representatives would be quite completely irrelevant. It has reasons that parliaments are designed to consist of equals with one vote each.

A couple of years ago, the German Pirate Party did some Liquid Democracy (LD) experiments. (They never became the decision system of the party because there was huge opposition due to various concerns – vote privacy etc.)

In a very short time, one man – a quite humble linguistics professor – became the super delegate who could basically decide all votes on his own … because people thought – rightfully – that he was nice, knowledgeable, and intelligent. And he didn’t campaign (and I think also not really wanted) that much power, let alone abuse it. But also, of course, didn’t have time to give all the hundreds of proposals in that system due diligence. (Small political parties are expensive and time-consuming hobbies, not a full-time job.)

And – by the way – that system was real Liquid Democracy. So, delegations could be given transitively to other delegates globally, for specific areas, or for single topics. And such delegation chains could be broken at any time by people just voting themselves without having to withdraw the delegation.

Side note: I’d expect LD advocates to be quite shocked that people call what is built here with CIP-1694/MVG an implementation of LD although it does not have transitive delegations at all and is, hence, missing one of the key features.

So, he often chose to give the author of the first in his view good proposal in a topic the delegation for that topic. Choosing a good impartial topic delegate who is not an author of one of the competing proposals would have probably been better, but arguably much too much effort for hundreds of topics. And that instantly gave all later counter proposals or improvement suggestions a huge disadvantage in opposition to the one chosen. Still, nobody in this whole setup was doing anything malicious, but just the design of the system made it much less promising to put work in alternatives.

And if you deemed a topic rather important and the proposal currently supported by such a transitive “super delegation” really bad, you had to campaign for the delegation chain to be broken. Which unnecessarily poses the risk to make the whole thing personal. Even if you purely argue with regards to content, it always has a taste of: “This delegate does a bad job! Abandon them!”

There are a lot of differences to the system we are building (or rather getting proposed from above?) at the moment. We do not have a concept of topics with competing proposals (although that might be a good idea, perhaps?), we just decide on rather technical issues, not on parts of a party platform, we do not have transitive delegations.

But the basic risk that very few people could get a lot of decision power is the same in my opinion and – without any bad intent – they can use it without (always) employing the necessary amount of due diligence, sometimes getting overwhelmed by their biases, or excluding alternatives very early, too early.

And some of the differences potentially make it worse. Not having transitivity and not having area and topic specific delegations gives the dReps global power that they cannot even delegate further. Incentivising everyone to delegate (see original post) encourages quick decision based on sympathy and popularity.

Maybe, this is all too late. I tried many times on different channels in the last months. And I’m still (see original post) very much disappointed that the discussion was never started with “How do we want a governance system to look like?” but with: “Hoskinson and IOG had another iNgEnIoUs idea and you are graciously invited to discuss some minor details.”

I don’t really expect a large catastrophe. Tweaking some parameters and deciding on some hard forks that people who know what they are doing have developed with (hopefully) enough feedback for months cannot do that much bad. We survived the founding entities and the founder. We will also survive dReps.

But if it is much less great and satisfying than expected, I reserve the right to say: “Told you so!”


Thank you @HeptaSean for your educational and thought provoking posts.

I confess that I voted yes using a small amount of Ada I had in some hot wallets, because I refused to work around the hardware wallet limitations, and also I figured that the poll would mean little due to it’s many limitations. But I voted that way largely as a result of many of the concerns you outlined.

I thought that some governance was better than no governance so moving forward seemed better. I believe the majority of Ada holders by total stake have already been around for a long time and want Cardano to succeed for reasons that predominantly align with Charles Hoskinson’s - IOG’s views. I believe these long term holders, and IOG, have been generally good custodians to date and won’t make decisions that undermine the long term goals. Moreover I believe that if some catastrophic decision was imminent Charles would use his voice to mobilise support against it.

But these are not good reasons because they exist in the world of trust and assumptions rather than reality.

I am quite certain that IOG’s staking design models didn’t consider that people would be so uninterested that they would leave so much Ada staked with pools that have been shutdown for months or years. Yet that is what we see. Furthermore, we seemingly have no good tools to “wake up” sticky delegators and have them actively participate for the rewards they earn. It concerns me that early dreps could obtain similar sticky delegations and thereby cement longer term power.

I am starting to regret my vote as I am also concerned with the current concept of dreps. I am further intrigued about your story of how the humble linguistics professor politician became the super delegate, which was obviously a not predicted outcome.


By the way – and kind of derailing: There was an article about that in the largest political magazine in Germany – and it even got translated to English:

Different than the view from inside, of course, and members from back then – that the Pirate Party was close to relevant feels like ancient history now – could probably argue days about the view of that article as well as mine, but for what it’s worth at least a proof that I’m not just making things up, here. :grinning:

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Thank you for writing this up @HeptaSean, it is thoughtful and sincere. If everyone put this amount of care into thinking critically about this crucial phase, the project would be unstoppable.


I share all of your frustrations with the poll.

Except possibly “CIP discussion largely ignored”. I agree completely that a GitHub pull request is not well suited to this kind of discussion, you can imagine how hard it was for me to keep up with it. But I did try my best to address everyone’s concerns. There is no way that I could have made everyone happy, and ultimately I did have to say “no” a lot (due to the other author’s opinions, due to practical engineering constraints, due to me knowing that as the ledger team lead I was under time pressure to deliver, etc).


I share your worries regarding the popularity contest aspect of the dReps. To a large extent, though, this just codifies on-chain what would happen off-chain. I think your real criticism here is that you would prefer apathetic ADA holders to have no say instead of a random choice they make at one point in time. I think that is certainly a reasonable stance. Of course, if we end up in the situation where the vast majority people do not care about the health of the system, then we are in a degenerate state no matter what. On the flip side, if the vast majority do care, then we can not handle the congestion of everyone voting without a DRep.

I am skeptical that putting a maximum voting power on the dReps would be effective. This means that the optimal strategy for dReps is to split their stake, and offer several addresses to delegate to. I supposed eventually, if you are forced to split your stake up into enough parts, the fees would start to become a counter-balance. But the situation would be messy for potentially very little gain. Some kind of identity validation would solve this problem, but that is an unsolved problem as far as I can tell.

Having delegations expire is reasonable. This would negatively effect those that do trust their dRep for an extended period of time, but do not wish to be bothered to re-delegate very often. but maybe it is still worth it.

blocked from withdrawing any rewards

I think it is completely unfair to say that anyone is coerced here, for precisely the reason you mention, namely that people can chose to abstain. The idea is to issue a wake-up call for people to actively opt-in or opt-out of being involved in governance. Otherwise it is implicit, and it is my strong opinion that explicit acknowledgement is always better.


I can explain why I personally like the constitution. First, it is my opinion that there is no way that we can ever codify everything we want in code. So I would prefer to at least explicitly state the remaining values and goals. I like thinking about how even though the US declaration of independence was completely broken on day one (“all men are created equal” was not true on day one), it has been echoed throughout US history and by Lincoln and King. I realize that people could converge on ideologies that I do not agree with, but I still prefer to know explicitly what direction people expect. Of course this is all made more confusing by the stake based voting, so it is more like the direction of a publicly traded company than a state.

election of the CC

Having a full election on-chain is a large undertaking, and so it was placed off-chain. Some of your concerns could be addressed by a good UI, but I still understand feeling that this is potentially too important to leave off-chain. This was definitely done for expedience of delivery, which was not something I had control of back when I worked at IOG.

comparison of the CC to the supreme court

I’ve always felt that there was a tension in Cardano between the “academic, peer-reviewed work” and having a democratic system, namely that sometimes we want the experts to have an outsized vote. I always thought about the CC more as experts who can prevent disasters than judges interpreting precedents. It of course matters who actually gets elected.


Thank you for voting with conviction. and thanks again for this great post.


Welcome to the forum, @Jared_Corduan! :grinning:

I very much appreciate you coming out of your “Cardano retirement” to answer here.

I want to stress that it wasn’t my intention to blame you personally for that!

I hope that the whole “process” section of my original post makes clear that I would have wanted a completely different approach to it – first collecting requirements, then slowly starting to flesh out several competing designs that could influence each other, merge, fork, … – and not putting the burden of managing the feedback on a single employee who happens to be the author of a pull request … and by the way also not putting a “time pressure to deliver” on anyone.

Going from a vague idea of somehow establishing on-chain governance directly to one (and for all intents and purposes only one) detailed CIP in one leap just seemed and seems wrong to me.

On the one hand, dReps do not necessarily take load off the chain. Delegating and redelegating are also transactions. If the governance system gets used a lot and people are engaged, closely monitoring which dRep best suits them, it would be very well possible that you save voting transactions just to get a huge amount of delegation transactions.

On the other hand, there would be ways to save: Just doing one ballot transaction per epoch for all governance actions together instead of one transaction per voter (dRep or individual) and governance action, do the votes on a Hydra head or other sidechain/roll-up thingy and just commit the result to the main chain, …

Without the (in my opinion unnecessary and counter-productive) time pressure and with a more clean slate approach, there would for sure have been ways.

I also did argue a lot against the pipe dreams that “SSI” or “DIDs” could magically allow to do a one person, one vote system in the foreseeable future. It just doesn’t work. You still need identity verification, worse, unique identity verification that somehow has to be rooted in traditional authorities … and therefore potentially excludes parts of our global community who do not happen to have access to that kind of infrastructure. Just “putting it on a blockchain” solves nothing for providing a provable identity to those who don’t have one right now.

Nevertheless, I slowly came to the conclusion that ideas that need stake splitting to be exploited – saturation limits for dReps as we are discussing here or @Kenric_Nelson’s quadratic voting proposal(s) – still can be a considerable improvement over just letting stake accumulate to voting power totally unhindered.

I guess that is a agree to disagree situation. Conflating two things that have nothing to do with each other – staking and governance – just to incentivise participation does not seem right to me.

I fully agree on the first sentence, but I’m completely unsure about the second. It very much depends on what we write in there and what not. If it is too ideological, it could very well restrict Cardano from aiming to be a neutral financial operating system for everybody to just a toy for that faction that happens to follow that ideology.

I must have missed where that off-chain vote is specified. Is it supposed to result in the governance action that then just affirms it? What happens if a competing governance action, not being the result of that off-chain vote is also put to an on-chain vote … and potentially is successful?

As above with the votes on governance actions in general, I am not really opposed to take things off the main chain into sidechains, roll-ups, Hydra heads, … But I’d still like it specified precisely. With some discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of different voting methods etc. pp. Which again clashes with the time pressure under which this was done.

On the optimistic side, there is a good chance that we can develop things further even after this will probably have started.


pleasure is all mine!

thank you for that. sorry if I was a too defensive, I suppose I still worry about my own culpability. :sweat_smile: In that case, I think we are totally aligned.

That’s absolutely true, and does highlight an implicit assumption we were making, namely that these activities are likely to be far fewer. If this turn out to be false, then direct voting is preferable.

Absolutely, this is a much better plan imho. This did come up a lot, both on github and the one community CIP-1694 event that I attended. But, as you’ve guessed, it was ruled out for time pressure (something which I had to accept as axiomatic).

I would love to know how you made this leap. I’ve talked about this several times with @Kenric_Nelson as well, but I’ve yet to see how it adds adds any protection (and it definitely makes a mess of things for anyone trying to be optimal).

Are you hesitant about a constitution, even if the majority of stake rallies behind it? If the majority of stake doesn’t want to be the financial operating system for everybody, wouldn’t you rather know this fact so that you can place you efforts elsewhere? Is the counter argument that maybe at some point in time, the majority is misaligned with you, but that it’s easier in the future to realign if we do not explicitly call things out? (ie, make less sticky situations).

No, I don’t think it is specified anywhere. It’s just out of scope for CIP-1694 (though I agree that it is something everyone should care about). There were supposed to be many other accompanying CIPs.

As for your specific example, there are a few things to note. Since the election are off-chain, there’s is (in my mind) no notion of a bad way for a governance action to end up being voted on. It’s up to the community to rally around standards. At least for now, before some roll-up-Hydra-head solution could be enforced. And the actions do not get enacted quickly, they are only resolved on epoch boundaries, so if there are competing actions, a good UI will surface the dispute. (there’s the whole hornet’s nest of how to solve the spam problem, which can be solved with either fees, deposits, or perhaps filtering based on votes acquired, etc).


What a great post. I just want to isolate one of the key arguments you made which is the concern for the centralization of power of dReps (or SPOs).

One facet that intrigued me a few months ago, albeit half baked, was how one coin one vote was a problem that we were trying to tackle with methods like quadratic voting, etc. This is an attempt to tackle in in only those two dimensions, whereas we can increase the dimension by 1 by adding a majority across factions that gather their power in separate methods. This is already being partially done by the constitutional committee, the dReps, and the SPOs.

Perhaps for individual issues we can also include direct vote akin to propositions, where, yes in a way if there was transitive delegation effectively one is voting twice on the same subject, but in a way this helps cover any discrepancy implied by an agency problem with dReps. Certain topics (or perhaps all) will also have “the will of the people” as a 4th vote which would be determined by DIDs, a faction that would be the most removed from ADA buying power, and (ideally, or perhaps even in practice) could likely have done more diligence on a particular subject of strong interest than the other parties because only so much diligence can be done across thousands of potential topics when you zoom out into the future.

I have not followed these discussions super closely but if it has already been brought up then that has my vote of confidence.

Edit: reading your critique on DIDs is also a good point, but wouldn’t this be a system that self corrects over time? There would be an active incentive to “industrialize” in this manner in order to participate. At the same time there needs to be a real tether to society, for better or for worse, in order to make it real and not just us playing on computers and digits wholly disconnected. That being said, this opens up a vector for corruption and manipulation, but I think that too may be solvable by some sort of independent verification method (again a half baked thought).

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Here is a practical idea that successfully addresses all of the concerns raised above and more cardano-improvement-proposals/CIP-x/README.md at main · paradoxicalsphere/cardano-improvement-proposals · GitHub

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