DFINITY Foundation’s vote on Governance proposal #80970 (“Spam proposal”) and #86639 ("Temperature Check")

Dear ICP Community,

Diego from DFINITY here.

We at DFINITY Foundation have seen a lot of questions regarding two community-authored motion proposals recently. On behalf of DFINITY, I would like to address them as best as I can.

The Relevant Motion Proposals

The two proposals are:

  1. #80970 Spam Prevention - Convert from system-based rewards to voter-based rewards by Skilesare.
  2. #86639 Temperature Check: NNS Treasury by dfisher

#80970 (“Spam proposal”): Why DFINITY Voted YES

As Bjoern A from DFINITY noted in the forum, DFINITY voted ACCEPT on #80970 (Spam Prevention) because it would reduce the spam by removing the incentive to create spam.

#80970 (“Spam proposal”): The Controversial Parts

This proposal on its face is not controversial, but it does have some vague wording that many in the community saw as potentially malicious. So it is worth explaining what the intent was.

To be blunt, There was a section that arose much controversy:

A result of this proposal will be a reduction in total minted ICP due to the fact that some voters do not vote on all proposals or follow a voter for all proposals. In a follow-on proposal, the NNS can determine what to do with that “abandoned” ICP. We suggest an NNS treasury but will leave it to a future proposal to finalize that. The following illustration shows the handing out of rewards in the old vs new system.

This section was vague enough that it allowed the following interpretations to be read by some folks:

  1. “Abandoned ICP” implied that there would be maturity created or ICP minted or rewards that would have gone to non-voters, but instead go to some sort of slush fund or dark pool of crypto.

  2. There was a comment by DFINITY about tracking “unallocated rewards.” Some people interpreted it to mean that DFINITY agreed with creating rewards and moving them somewhere else to some other fund.

  3. There were follow-up comments by both the proposal’s author and others in the forum about potentially using these undistributed rewards to fund decentralized work activities.

The misunderstanding is obvious in hindsight so we want to clarify our intent and the proposal itself:

  1. The Spam proposal actually decreases rewards - The spam proposal deliberately is intended to NOT create rewards or maturity. This means that under the actual proposal listed, there would be now much fewer rewards created per day (a drop in rewards or minting). Some users think it could be up to 250,000 less ICP per week entering circulation than before. We expected lots of folks would see this as a win/win.

  2. “Unallocated ICP” is not created in rewards or minted - As Bjoern noted, the intent of the spam proposal is that the system would keep track of the metric (purely for academic reasons) of how many rewards it did NOT create that day. Why? to see how much spam proposal change made rewards drop. No new ICP. No “slush fund” as some mentioned. It is entirely for metrics (imagine dashboards).

  3. Yes, the proposal and proposal’s author kicked around the idea of an “NNS treasury” that could be funded from the ICP not minted, but in the same breath, they noted that this was out of the scope of the spam proposal itself. We, DFINITY, took the proposal at face value and considered it outside the scope of spam proposal and voted accordingly. If the proposal had considered NNS treasury to be a prerequisite or part of the proposal, DFINITY would have voted NO most likely.

#86639 (“NNS treasury”): Why DFINITY Voted YES

As Bjoern from DFINITY noted, DFINITY voted YES because the motion proposal was merely a temperature check to see if the conversation should continue.

We voted YES because we did not want to discourage people from discussing technical or governance topics. We thought that if we voted NO or ABSTAINED it would be tantamount to snuffing out the fragile flame of discussion within the community. After all, DFINITY members have been largely absent from the conversations around NNS Treasury. We like seeing the community get involved more and more.

#86639 (“NNS treasury”): The Controversial Parts

As DFINITY has noted in previous explanations of its votes, it tries to follow certain guidelines in its voting. To summarize, the guidelines are:

In order to elicit a YES vote from the Foundation. We would like to see at the very least proposals match the following criteria:

  1. Tangible - The proposal should be understandable and concrete. A proposal that is “make the world a better place” is not tangible enough.

  2. Achievable - The proposal should be something DFINITY believes is achievable. This means that a proposal to “make the IC consensus protocol be faster than light” would not pass since we do not believe science can make it work.
    a. Furthermore, there should be a “path from proposal to code running on the IC”. This means that an NNS proposal to add a copy on the NNS Frontend Dapp to help new stakers would be valid… but an NNS proposal to “ask entity X to change their website to help new stakers” would not be valid.

  3. About the IC and In the interest of the IC - The proposal should be about the IC and of interest to the IC.

This Proposal was a tricky one even for our subjective tests because it was debated how much it met this criteria. For example:

  • Tangible - the proposal is very tangible. It is about whether the community should continue the dialogue and exploration? It is not something like “solve world hunger.”
  • Achievable - It is very achievable to participate or NOT participate in the discussions around the NNS treasury.
  • About the IC and In the interest of the IC - The proposal is very much about the IC, not say “world hunger.”

One could argue that it was not tangible to “continue a conversation”. That, we think, is a very fair rejoinder and reasonable. We made a subjective call that it was tangible enough but reasonable for folks to disagree.

Lastly, we do think we made a big mistake in our voting: unlike other votes, we did not communicate in a timely manner what the “vote meant and did not mean.In previous votes, we communicated what we wished to convey (and not convey) via our votes. We did not do it this time and we think this was a mistake. We will certainly try to do better here.


Examples of previous votes and their explanations:

(I am in process of collecting these to make it easier for folks to read)

  1. DFINITY Foundation’s vote on Governance proposal #58907
  2. DFINITY Foundation's vote on Governance proposal #52133 (CBD Neuron)
  3. DFINITY Foundation's vote on Governance proposal #52151 (ICDevs.org as named neuron)
  4. DFINITY Foundation's voting on motion "Frequently initiated motion proposal period lasting..." (#52579)
  5. DFINITY Foundation’s vote on Governance proposal #56798

I promise that it truly was meant in that manner. We specifically wanted it considered in a different discussion because it had nothing to do with spam.


“Abandoned ICP” implied that there would be maturity created or ICP minted or rewards that would have gone to non-voters

That is not how i understood it.
No voters no rewards no maturity and thus no extra icp. This reduce the circulation which is the core idea of the proposal.

It was also discussed about the idea to keep the inflation high as if the non voters actively vote and use the extra icp to pump up the treasury fund. In other words using inflation to pump up the treasury fund. This was not part of the temperature proposal, but an idea which should be dicussed / decided in a follow up proposal.

Correct me if im wrong, but this is how I understood it and maybe a lot of other people too.


Good questions.

This is correct. By " “Abandoned ICP” implied I meant that some people interpreted that way… but your earlier statement is correct.

It was also discussed about the idea to keep the inflation high as if the non voters actively vote and use the extra icp to pump up the treasury fund.

This was discussed as an idea, but the spam proposal itself says this is a separate matter to be discussed at another time.

You are right this was discussed in the forums, but the proposal itself considered it separate to be discussed at some other time. That is how we at DFINITY read it.

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Several of us tried to clarify this on twitter too… great that you were able to clarify it!
is excellent news !! everything that reduces inflation and does not change the apy for those who actively participate for many years (like 8), is welcome! :fire: :muscle:


Good afternoon Diego! Hope you are well today.

I can understand where the DFINITY Foundation comes from in regards to how they’ve voted on the proposals, however I think the “controversial” part is a bit misdirected @DFINITY. From my perspective, it seems as though there’s a distrust between the proposing party, and opposing party, in regards to this treasury. I’m sure there are a few reasons for this, but I believe a lot of it comes from the NNS Treasury Townhall - “the proposer, is the voter, is the beneficiary”. Just redflags as to what could happen, not necessarily what will or is.

So I just have a few questions regarding DFINITYs opinion on the situation;

  1. What is their stance on a proposal manufacturing a circumstance to be “solved” by a secondary proposal down the line.
  2. What is their stance on multiple “agendas” being pushed within the same proposal? (ex, Spam proposal, but it doesn’t completely address spam - it reduces inflation & creates abandoned icp)
  3. What is their stance on a treasury using funds that were redirected from the reward inflation schedule, to fund a seperate foundation, opensource libraries, nonprofit projects, etc.
  4. The periodic followee reset proposal passed 6+ months ago, does DFINITY plan to implement this proposal , or will it be left to the community to write the code for this?

Good question.

  1. What is their stance on a proposal manufacturing a circumstance to be “solved” by a secondary proposal down the line.

From DFINITY’s POV, the first proposal did not create a problem to be solved by a second. From DFINITY’s POV, the spam proposal can stand alone. The default interpretation is that of spam proposal is that there is just less rewards created. If DFINITY thought a second proposal was NECESSARY to implement the first, it would have not have voted on the first.


Well Spam proposal does reduce incentive for spam…and it potentially reduce inflation. To give a ridiculous example, if the spam proposal ALSO helped the IC become more environmentally friendly, that would be nice but it was only judged by DFINITY on its intended goal… and the cost of implementing it. If implementing it, would make the IC slower for example, DFINITY likely would not have accepted. If the author had an agenda to reduce inflation, so they used a proposal that reduced spam to get it… it would not matter as much as one thinks. Some people submit proposals to be famous, some people submit them for improving the IC, some submit them to improve their token holding, etc… That is ok. What matters is the proposal itself IMO.

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AFAIK, DFINITY does not have a philosophical stand yet. We can say we have not seen anything that will improve the IC.


Good question. No clever answer. Just harsh truth: the NNS team is working on SNS to the wee hours and this has sucked the air out of other NNS-related work. That being said, some DFINITY leaders brought this up recently (last week at a planning session) and we intend to catch up on it. We need to do better here when things get under the gun.


These are all great questions @Accumulating.icp . Thank you for taking time to write them down.


I suppose “manufacturing opportunistic scenarios” is a more accurate characterization.

Thanks Diego,

It’s a very late hour here so please excuse me if I’m not very clear or if I’m a bit too blunt.

Things I expected Dfinity to address and raise concerns about…Maybe even offer disclaimers before voting YES:

  • the entire concept of “abandoned ICP”.
  • the mention of using “abandoned ICP” for anything else other than it’s intended purpose - rewards.
  • tracking “abandoned ICP” - I get academic curiosity but we could’ve determined the amounts retrospectively and it would have been way less problematic.
  • the treasury proposal in its entirety as it links to a forum post that is providing a lot of details on what the proposers have in mind for it.*
  • the obvious correlation between the spam prevention proposal and the treasury proposal
  • Are links in a proposal not considered part of the proposal?
    *What is Dfinity’s stance on the links in the treasury proposal?
    *What is Dfinity’s stance on the idea proposed in the forum post linked by the treasury proposal which put forward the notion of using “abandoned ICP” to fund the incorporation and operations of a not for profit foundation?

I was disappointed to see DFINITY voting YES for both proposals without anyone batting a eye at all the points above.


AMEN, @AndraGeorgescu . I think if we had communicated BEFORE voting, it would have avoided some heart ache.

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Our stance was only what the “temperature check” proposal asked:

Yes, we would like to continue the conversation in the open. We do not want to be the ones who shut the conversation down. If proposal said “what do you think of this NNS treasury idea?” we would have voted NO.


Yes, the spam proposal both disincentivizes reward spam, and reduces inflation. However it’s opened a third avenue, by the tracking of unminted rewards, for others to suggest to use the (and i say this out of irony) “abandoned” ICP for the purpose of a treasury, and in fact it was even alluded to in the proposal itself.

So does this imply the agenda is only relevant if it will affect network capabilities?

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Yes, i think its clear that proposal #2 (NNS Treasury) can be built on proposal #1 (Spam)… but I also think NNS treasury does not need spam proposal to exist.

Nor did we think that Spam proposal would create a “check mate” scenario where we (the IC community) painted ourselves into a corner where we needed to do some half-baked NNS treasury idea.


I appreciate the honest response here, and the overall response in general. I can understand where the bottleneck comes from here, but I’m glad the team will be working to reprioritize issues like this.


Not so much that it was a checkmate scenario, but it was an opportunistic scenario that created a convenient “out” for where the NNS treasury would get its funding from.