Up to now, the DFINITY Foundation has mostly abstained from voting on Motion proposals to the Internet Computer’s NNS. The foundation will start to regularly vote on governance proposals. This article explains the intent behind this decision, but the basic version is that this is the latest iteration in the DFINITY foundation balancing two goals:
Goal #1: The foundation wants to voice its opinion in motion proposals.
Goal #2: The foundation does not want to drown out other voices. In fact, the foundation wants to encourage more people to propose & vote for NNS proposals and emerge as leaders in the IC ecosystem.
The foundation used to vote on motion proposals at Genesis. This was because the “wait for quiet” feature was not yet implemented, therefore a proposal would only pass by an absolute majority. As participation in governance was still very low, therefore the foundation had to vote for a proposal to pass with a sufficient majority. Please note: even though the foundation never had absolute majority voting power, a lot of neurons followed the foundation via default following. In order for the community to be able to voice their opinion, the foundation always waited until the end of the voting period and voted as the majority had voted up to that point.
Since “wait for quiet” was deployed, the foundation has, in general, abstained from voting on motion proposals because there were still a lot of neurons following the foundation for all topics, and the combined voting power of the followers and the foundation might have drowned out the community sentiment.
This came at a cost: many people who are too busy to follow community topics rely on the foundation to vet proposals and think critically about them, but we believed it was more important than to encourage the community to make more of its own decisions, surface more leaders, and promote proposals.
A few things have changed in the last few months:
- There are now more named neurons that users can follow in the NNS Frontend dapp.
- The NNS has disabled default following for proposals on the governance topic and governance proposals (motions in particular) gain a much higher weight. Users used to be able to follow neurons on “all topics” (including Governance, of course). These changes have led to increased participation.
- The community has been creating more of its own governance proposals.
These changes now allow the foundation to vote with its appropriate voting power on motion proposals.
Currently, the foundation has an ICP stake that gives it 22% of the total voting power.
|Staked ICP||Voting Power||% of total|
Participation in voting on motion proposals is currently is lower than the total voting power. Indeed, motion proposal participation has a maximum of just below 100MM voting power for proposals without the foundation and DFINITY’s full 89MM voting power is close to unilaterally deciding certain proposals.
To address this, the foundation will vote as follows:
- with its full voting power (89MM) on all proposals that are not governance
- with about 59 million voting power (out of 89.6MM) on governance. This is 14% of total voting power (59MM / 412MM), and 37% of the maximum voting power observed in governance proposals (59MM / (100MM + 59MM)). More specifically, the foundation will vote with neurons 2000-2055.
The foundation may be using its full voting power on governance proposals as well, in case the decision is already clear and voting with the additional 30 million will not change the outcome.