HIP-4: Network governance quorum

Summary : This is the start of a proposal to initiate talks about changing the minimum quorum for a vote to pass, which currently sits at 66% of total network stake.

Background : The network governance was set with the expectations that most, if not all, validators would vote. As we can now see in practice, this is hardly possible. While there are still 7 days left to vote on the two proposals, I feel we would need to change the minimum quorum needed. Currently, even the EPoS bounds proposal, that everyone agrees on, is below the 66% minimum quorum. The final snapshot is taken at the last epoch in which the proposals close, so these percentages can still vary, however given that some validators will not vote (including Kucoin, the largest one, Binance, Huobi and a few others), the total voting power immediately drops well below 90%, which does not give us a high margin to pass a vote, if not all voters agree. And we all know that is also not possible all the time.

Motivation : This proposal should lighten the minimum quorum needed in order to pass a vote, so it includes the fact that more than 10% of total network will never vote.

Specification : My suggestion is 51% of total network stake to pass a vote. While this is still high, given this is concerning core Harmony network, it should still be a high quorum needed to pass a vote. Essentially that will still be way over 50% of total network stake that will actively vote, eg. the majority. This can be discussed further below as this is merely a starting point and a suggestion.

Suggested voting options : to be decided:

proposal 1: 51% of total network stake needed to pass a vote

proposal 2 (by @RoboValidator): how about 66% of participating validators + 51% participation required.
One issue with requiring 51% agrees is if we do eventually get to close to 100% participation, a controversial proposal with 51% agree vs 49% disagree would pass whereas it normally wouldn’t with the existing 66% global quorum rule.


As said, lets discuss this below.

I would also include that the first two proposals also fall into the same minimum quorum needed, as will be decided and voted upon in this proposal.

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I think this is a good idea since validator participation will likely be far from 100% given that exchange-run validators are unlikely to vote.

Another tweak to this rule could be requiring a 66% majority among validators who participate so that this rule can scale with participation. In this case, the number of agrees has to outnumber disagrees by 2:1.

I wish there was a way to implement a policy where if a validator does not vote, they lose elected status. I suppose this is impossible to do, yeah?

@RoboValidator that can also be one option, however there can be corner cases when not a lot of validators vote, so that would need to implement a minimum % of total network that needs to vote, then 66% out of that to pass the vote. The idea here is not to allow small participated votes to pass since we are talking about something as delicate as core Harmony network proposals and changes.

@Wenneson unfortunately not, MAYBE in the future with on chain governance, but even that is not likely in my opinion.

Howabout 66% of participating validators + 51% participation required.

One issue with requiring 51% agrees is if we do eventually get to close to 100% participation, a controversial proposal with 51% agree vs 49% disagree would pass whereas it normally wouldn’t with the existing 66% global quorum rule.

this is a good idea yeah, my aim was to make it as simple as possible, which this one isnt, but it is more generally correct i think. I will edit the original post to include this suggestion

Genuine problem. My suggestions would be to do one of the following:
1 - reduce quorum to 40%
2 - introduce proxy voting where a validator has permanently delegated their voting to another validator
3 - introduce penalty mechanism e.g validator is forced to be 10% above effective ePos for 10 epochs

At the same time, since Harmony has introduced governance after almost a year, you need to consider the following:

  • up the game in reaching out to validators.
  • Increase social media announcements,
  • reach out directly.
  • capture validator email addresses on-chain and send emails for all proposals
  • i can add notifications in HarmonyAnalyticsBot as well for all proposals
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Hey BigB :slight_smile:

First one is doable imo, slightly low maybe but then again this is why we have this discussion, so we can find out the best way to do it. Numbers 2 and 3 are very hard to do and would require on chain governance, which we dont have yet and we dont want to rush it since most other projects also dont have a good way of doing this yet. I think Cosmos comes the closest but even there i see issues.

As far as Harmony things go, they will support but i feel this is mostly in us, the community, to drive forward and let validators know what we are up to. That said, we asked for Harmony to be a little bit more proactive too, since their tweets reach to more people than we can.

Those notifications on smartstake dashboard would be great though yes!

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Agree with mindstyle, but I worry that 40% is too low. In reality, on a hotly debated issue where people are truly motivated to vote… they will. More people voted for the 5% fee than the EPoS proposal… just to vote against it.

I think that 51% is a reasonable number to expect. We don’t want to make it too easy!

Side note… we might be able to inspire more Validators to participate if there was some sort of incentive.

If you were to add some sort of voting log to your site… even if it was Red/Yellow/Green dashboard lights, signifying voted 100% - 95% of the time - Green, 80%-95% - yellow, <70% of the time - Red… or something to that effect, we might be able to ensure maximum participation.

@mindstyle - can we make this retroactive? So that the two votes currently up will be included in whatever we decide with this?

I actually like the one from @RoboValidator too, the one ive put in the original post then. It would prevent passing controversial proposals while still allowing most to pass on a 66% quorum, with a minimum of 51% network stake needed to vote to make it legit.

Would need more discussion here though, so we come to a consensus on which to use. Im hoping other validators pitch in too.

And i think the current two proposals should fall within the same new rule we decide upon here. We obviously overshot with the 66% total network stake for a proposal to pass by quite a lot.

for the offtopic parts:

  • yes, having some gov voting history on dashboard would be nice, its better there so delegators can see
  • i asked for validator names in gov app instead of showing addresses, its more revealing
  • we are already incentivising these two votes btw: https://twitter.com/POpsTeam1/status/1379897568214331394
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I def like @RoboValidator’s 66% of participating votes, with more than 51% of the combined total as well, as long as it isn’t shot down for being too complex to accomplish.

ONE more side issue, that is definitely related… I noticed that the snapshot seems to include more “total delegation” than the staking site, by a considerable amount. Is it possibly counting the ineligible Validators? If so, we should probably correct that.

yes it does show those too, as unelected validators are also allowed to vote :slight_smile: i believe this is good as we allow them to have a say too since its not so easy to get elected. The downside is ofc that the unelected stake that will never vote also counts (those that have been delegated by binance but have quit), but i think its fair to all the rest.

I like @RoboValidator 's suggestion. 66% of participating votes with more than 51% of combined total.

my guess we should focus more on engaging the validators to join the process than adjust the governance for yourself;

I mean building for a fair governance is not a simple task and it must include preparation period when most of validators are able to test the spirit.

engage, invite, spread more about the process

If you have read it through, the issue is we allow unelected validators to vote, so their total stake also accounts in the voting app. Many of the unelected ones have binance delegations but are inactive and will never vote, since they basically quit.

Then there is Binance, Kucoin and Huobi accounting for more than 10% of total stake, who also wont vote.

This means that with the 66% rule, basically no one would have to be against the proposal, in order to make it pass. As we all know, thats usually not possible, there are always people that disagree.

As you can see on both proposals, the vast majority agrees, with the epos bounds having no one that disagreed, and the minimum network fee having a few that disagreed, but voted just there (total % of votes is higher than in the epos bound proposal). This leads me to believe many voted just because they care about themselves and the fees, and not the others. I see no other reason why they didnt vote on the other proposal then, even just to disagree with it too. We did also engage a lot of validators, but chasing everyone down for each proposal isnt easy, and shouldnt have been needed.

In light of all this i think we should change it to 51% of total network stake needing to vote, and out of that 66% quorum to make the proposal pass.


not sure but maybe the solution to count 66% from a participated stake, this will exclude binance/kucoin/huobi and similarities, because i’m 100% sure we’ll never get all together to measure by the part of overall stake

besides, I tried to vote today and was not able Opps, something when wrong! when wanted to give my vote

Yes but imagine having to curate the “exclude” list all the time, since validators may go inactive in the future. That is nota long term solution imo.

I replied in the other topic too.

Ok since its obvious that by the old rules, none of these two proposals will go through, we need to decide what and how to do.

My suggestion is to do a vote proposal for 51% of total network stake, and out of that 66% quorum to pass a vote. At the same time I would change these rules for both proposals that end today, since the vast majority is for both of those.

I would like to hear what others think, and the team @rongjian @lij @leo


agreed. thanks! so 51% of the network needs to vote. and of those, at least 67% need to vote yes.