What do you think Decentralized Governance should look like?

I would like to start talking about global governance. Decentralized governance to me means all interests, both big and small, with different solutions, to the various global problems we face. In all time zones, around the world…

I have seen some good conversations going on in various parts of the crypto space lately, and would like to start ONE here.

We don’t have to do it all at once. There will be several facets of global governance… for example - governance for protocol updates doesn’t have to look the same as bounty & grant governance, or even marketing governance. Maybe it is all using the same system. Maybe it is different committees working with the foundation.

We have at our fingertips, the answer to voting fraud, and other issues… both simple and huge. Now we must figure out how to steer it forward into the greatness it could become.

By at least having the various conversations, and looking at the puzzle from all angles, we can ensure that we build something both thoughtful and useful.

Please feel free to comment, or even start your own topic if you want!

Just start talking about it!


Hey Ogre!

I planned to start a thread about this next week, but you beat me to it :slight_smile:

The validator committee we currently have, has already been talking a bit about on chain governance since i brought it up last week. The initial goal is to set governance model, first for network upgrades and such… basically things that pertain validators. The rest, such as grant governing, marketing, partnerships etc, will probably come at a later stage, once we find out a good governing model for that.

For now, the idea is to use an on chain governance system, that allows all validators to vote on network upgrades and other important things concerning the network itself. So basically the more technical stuff. My idea would be we start off with a simple voting dapp on our Harmony dashboard website, where we can see and vote for proposals, or even make them. My personal thought is, for this kind of governance, we do not need a token, as it cant really be transferred anyways, and we already have validator voting power within the protocol, so we can just use that one when we vote -> eg. the system will automatically count our voting power towards whatever we decide to vote on as a validator.

Below is also a section from our document regarding this subject:


  • We need to have a grant program or in-house developer to build a voting website or dashboard similar to https://snapshot.page/ for on-chain governance.
  • voting mechanism should be established, feature proposal ideas from Solana (https://spl.solana.com/feature-proposal) can be referenced in the next stage to enable features on the protocol level.


We plan to have a 100% external validators by q3 2021 and implement it in three stages.

  1. Lose the majority. Harmony internal nodes control only 60% of the voting power by Jan/2021.
  2. Be the minority. Harmony internal nodes control only 33% of the voting power.
  3. 100% external. External validators control 100% of the voting power on the protocol.

Let me know what you think about it and lets start the discussion! :slight_smile:


I think that’s a realistic timeframe to have voting power decentralized, most certainly.

I was hoping that you would jump in here.

Thank you for starting the conversation amongst the Validators!

I think that it makes sense for us to develop some sort of simple voting mechanism, and like the idea of using ONE.

How do we incentivize people to use their ONE? A few questions for people to consider and weigh in on:

  • Is it locked up? If not, people could transfer between accounts. If we are asking people to lock it up, I think that they will want to be compensated… your thoughts?

  • Another question is how do we stop the whales from buying the votes? Granted… it’s just for protocol, so it’s unlikely that they would, but they could. :thinking:. How do we protect the integrity of the vote from that?

  • If it is truly going to be decentralized, we need to make sure that information is translated, I think. Does this forum do that, so that everybody can be informed, and weigh in?

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Basically, for the initial stage with validators, the amount of ONE tokens they have staked is basically their voting power (if they dont mess up election ofc). So the initial stage could just be the voting power, so we dont need to settle on ONE as a voting mechanism just yet, or another token.

For other questions:

  • once we do have a token, if its ONE, maybe it can be locked up and they receive another governance token, but that token should then also have some part in governance, not just a reward token with some monetary value. Might even make sense to just create a governing token as HRC-20 and skip ONE tokens for this part completely.

  • for whales, i dont think there is a good mechanism out yet to stop them from buying, if that governing token comes to market, ive seen that case in DeFi platforms, where a whale can buy a lot of it, if he/she wants it.

  • i am not sure how much people use forums these days (i myself really dont), so or additional information on these things, might make sense to follow snapshot.page model and just create discussions on the same interface where voting happens. I think that is a better solution than a forum, so its all in one place and easily accessible.

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I love the last point, and agree that we should integrate the voting mechanism into a place where the community can discuss the vote before casting it. This is a huge win, from my perspective… and possibly something we could even integrate into the HarmonyHUB App to make it easy for people in parts of the world where their cellphone IS their computer.

///////. On a governance note - Some have been chatting with me in telegram chat about governance.

They are concerned about large Validators having more voting power than small Validators, and that their perspective may be drowned out. That definitely needs some consideration.

Maybe a sliding quadratic vote weight based upon amount of delegations… but the largest validator has no more than 7x the vote of the smallest. Ever. Something along those lines.

Love the conversation!

Aside from the Validators, and protocol governance… some have spoken with me about decentralizing the Grants, and how we use the funds intended to encourage growth on the chain.

I would like to talk about that here. How would people propose governing a budget designed to grow the ecosystem through dev and marketing?

What would your concerns be? Important things to keep in mind? Ideas? Solutions?

A long answer is not necessary! A simple sentence or two can spark a conversation!

A recommendation has been made to connect with Aragon - an organization experienced in running DAO’s. (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)

DAOs are basically what we would be creating with any form of decentralized governance.

Link to their organization:

Ok ill reply to all 3 in this one so we dont clog it up for others, as i know many dont like when stuff are too long hehe.

  1. post: I dont believe that should be a problem, especially as we already have the validator off chain committee where we discuss things and most are responsive and willing to cooperate. I would be more afraid of some big validators not being active enough and not using their voting power, but i think collectively, there is enough of us active to manage it. You gotta realise that most other larger validators taht will be honest, will keep the others honest too, otherwise they are just done for, if you ask me. So currently i dont see this as a problem, because also delegators will notice if a validator is misbehaving and they will surely leave him, thus decreasing his voting power.

  2. post: This one is really hard as there are so many aspects of it. Its also one of those that are probably still long in the future, first one will be network governance and we will go from there. I was part of the original The DAO that Slock.it team helped made (that was later hacked and crumbled), but unfortunately we did not get to the actual governance, where we were set to accept proposals from SLock.it and others, and vote if we will invest the funds in those projects (basically like a large decentralised VC). So what i see here is this, for now, and im probably missing a lot of stuff:

  • there needs to be a good inbound channel for applying for grants, and some clear guidance and metrics on which members would be helped to decide

  • there needs to be clear separation between growing network via these grants and any other form of benefit for Harmony, such as pure marketing, trying to onboard new devs (for example Gitcoin hackathons etc), tools, wallets etc. I think we need to know exactly what each of the things we vote on means for Harmony and what the goals are.

  • I see more issues here with voting power as this would be where everyone holding ONE tokens presumably can vote. Here is where whales come in and could be blocking a lot of good things simply because they want to or have different opinion. How to solve this that the actual governing body functions as it should, im not sure yet, but i guess there are already solutions out that try to mitigate all these risks.

  • tracking and confirming deliverables is also something that i think is needed, or at least an end date, similar to real life business contracts.

All in all, i think a lot of research is needed for this kind of governing, so that in the end it really does benefit the network, and not hurt it by introducing too much birocracy and politics, we all know things take ages to evolve there.

  1. post: Aragon seems ok, but its on ethereum only as far as i know and launching it there is expensive and counter productive for us i guess. Getting them to port it over to Harmony might not be possible or might be expensive, and i guess porting it ourselves also isnt possible, since i doubt its open sourced, but i could be wrong, i didnt check their github for that. I also dont think this takes so much work, for us to not be able to do it ourselves, either via a grant or with the core team even.
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ogre and mindstyle, thanks for the massive thread here with great insights. the team has committed validator externalization as a major milestone in 2021 to focus on. in 2020 we had a good start with open staking, grant governors, pangaea bounties… toward decentralized governance. i repeated everywhere decentralization is our reason of existence.

let me pull in rongjian here to engage for more fairness in our effective proof-of-stakes, leo can lay out the next steps for 40% external validator voting power, li can comment on vested ideas for bounties? many on the team have plans to write more on our https://docs.harmony.one wiki throughout the holiday break. we have a lot to prepare for – how about organizing a community call on this topic in january?


Thanks for the commitment towards decentralization! :+1:

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thanks Ogre and Mindstyle for starting this discussion. Generally for onchain protocol governance, the voter’s incentive should closely tie with the wellbeing of the chain itself. Therefore, using ONE token (as original planned) as the measure for voting power makes a lot of sense. The voting progress should be as simple and straight forward as possible, so a nice and simple UI is needed. I would prefer to have any token holder being able to vote directly, rather than having to delegate to validators, as it creates another layer of friction and issues. Of course, for the already delegated tokens on the validators, the validator can vote with those tokens for the delegators.

Anyway, there needs to be a lot of research on this, similar to the design of onchain consensus voting (as in EPoS), the onchain governance voting should be carefully researched and designed to make sure the decentralization of the chain goes well and it’s self sustainable. So before the full research and design is done, it’s definitely helpful to get more suggestions and discussion beforehand.


Sounds like a fantastic idea! It could be the topic of our first call in the new year.

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Thanks Ogre and Mindstyle to lead the discussion on governance. IMHO, here we are mostly discussing about the validator community as the first step of the governance. For different topic, such as grant, we have already setup a governance model to start with. The key item here is to encourage more participation of validators in the governance process. Ofc, we can integrate tool like snapshot or voting/proposal page on staking dashboard to make the process easier.


Yes I agree, we should start only with validator governance for the network. In that case i dont think even ONE tokens are needed for this first phase, since validators already have voting power.

Then when we expand, we can add ONE tokens support so everyone could vote on proposals or make them.

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Do you have any idea on what the Validator Governance will look like?

What will the Validators be responsible for?

Are we talking about governance where Validators suggest that we code a 5% fee into the binary, so that all Validators have a base fee of 5%, and we can encourage delegators to become Validators?

Everything network related, so upgrades, downgrades, some changes… could be including the 5% min base fee for sure

agree with mindstyle. good example. think about mining pool in btc/eth. validators are the infrastructure of the pos blockchain. so validators can collectively decide/contribute on the infra.

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Segregate voting power in the token. Delegators would have the ability stake only their tokens or their tokens+voting power to a validator, there would be a different yield fo lr on or the other so that people that truly value the network would have the power to vote and people who don’t want to participate on the governance but still have an economic interest on it get compensated. Market will dictate the value of a vote.