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

Thank you for this @theguy . It speaks volumes of your intellectual honesty.

I also appreciate your earlier comments as well so we can discuss openly.


For the community members who feel this way, have these community members attempted to raise funds using any other methods and failed? IMO there are numerous funding paths besides VC’s and NNS Treasury that could be used to raise funds for the types of non profit projects and initiatives contemplated.

Look at other blockchains as examples,

  • Ethereum has raised hundreds of millions through Gitcoin grants for community goods type of projects that are not for profit.
  • Crowdfunding platforms NFT crowdfund which recently raised a record amount in it’s latest crowdfund.
  • Alternatively SNS could be used for funding these types of initiatives.

All these alternatives voluntary contribution funding routes would not carry the same type of risk that are associated with the creation of NNS treasury.

If these proposed projects were proposed to the IC Community through various independent voluntary funding requests, I would anticipate that funds would be raised successfully to support these efforts.

Perhaps the default approach should be to try these low risk funding routes to see if they are viable options, prior to embarking on the high risk endeavor of NNS treasury and only if they fail and prove to be untenable, then seeking other alternatives.


I don’t know the details of them all but from conversations I’ve been involved in or heard of, the gist of it is:

  • Something native to the IC would be the most aligned with improving the ecosystem.
  • The amount of ICP raised across all projects on CrowdfundNFT is fairly low; certainly not enough to attract talent to commit to working on the IC full-time.
  • The SNS seems geared towards decentralization sales where those participating expect some sort of return. This isn’t a good fit for a number of things like code reviews, audits, marketing efforts, etc.

I’m not being dismissive of your opinions, I’m trying to relate to them and see things from your side. The information asymmetry bleeds into the Named Neuron system as you mention and it is a problem to solve as well. You have a good point.

The people that do have skin in the game have selected those neurons. With a small 4-day voting period and the ease with which one can decide to stop paying attention, it is a risk that those with skin in the game could be creating an asymmetry for themselves. The skin is in the game, but perhaps the head isn’t. I don’t have a great immediate solution for this other than to say that by properly diversifying one’s following they can protect themselves somewhat. Synapse is actually 11 people voting. ICDevs is 6. By following those two you’d be following 17 community leaders and that would certainly provide you with reduced risk than just following just two. 170 would be even better! 1700 is likely overkill but certainly difficult to bamboozle. How we get from here to there is important. In the meantime DFINITY has a good bit of pull to overwhelm almost any proposal that gets too far out of line. It is a lot of trust in DFINITY, but that is implicit already to what we are doing for the time being. We have to make sure we get to proper diversification by the time DFINITY loses that position.

1 Like

Is your accusation that the ICPMaximalist neuron PURPOSELY created the spam problem?

These leads me into a question regarding DFINITYs grant system, as it’s being portrayed asthough there’s a lack of funding.

If everyone is so confident the projects in question should be funded , as they benefit the ecosystem, why hasn’t DFINITY allocated more grant funding to opensource libraries, bug bounties, etc? They claim to have 200m$ reserved for funding grants. Surely it’s a good idea to use that fund, to incentivize community growth, through the funding of non-profits, rather than for-profits?

The question really is, how much of that 200m$ is left? Grants are paid in the form of ICP - is that 200m$ ICP at Genesis, or 200m$ in fiat?


How is a treasury not premature, if we don’t even have a reasonable means to manage it, the people in charge of it, ensure transparency, responsibility & accountability?

Additionally, 60%+ of active voting power is controlled by two Named Neurons. This is nowhere near decentralized enough to put named neurons in control of a treasury, or to use the NNS to elect treasurers.

1 Like

The point I was trying to make is that if we don’t even have conversations about ideas like these and how to address the challenges they bring then there won’t be anything to motivate change.


The point is “who’s skin is in the game”. Because it certainly isn’t the NN that’s in control of the VP% it represents.

And the quantity of named neurons you follow doesn’t do anything, as the NNS doesn’t create a poll of followed NN votes, to vote in accordance to. The first NN to vote, casts the votes. First come first serve. What really needs to happen is the decentralization of voting power, rather than centralizing all voting power across all named neurons.

1 Like

This is an interesting point. I don’t disagree with you but it does make me wonder if we haven’t lost (or at least significantly deviated from) the original vision statement for the SNS. I thought the SNS was going to be the key to Open Internet Services. Finding way to democratize the development of open source protocols. I don’t see how we do that if these OIS are expected to return some value to the stakeholders.


A proposal has already passed…and we are awaiting implementation…that allows you to change your vote if you disagree with your named neurons…of course, this doesn’t help if you don’t know the vote is happening. I think NN is a great way(maybe the only way) to have ongoing liquid democracy because no one has enough time to track all that will be going on if this thing takes off, but it is very very important that people maintain a veto over their NN. The NN can be powerful in forcing action, but a veto in the back pocket protects the whole network. We need a good information system that raises an ‘alarm’ when the need arises for people to review their named neuron’s decisions.

The alternative here is to force nodes to put up stake and slash them if they don’t follow the rules ETH2 style. Then the governance mechanism becomes rough consensus and running code. No NNS is necessary. I’m starting to think it may be the way to go, but then voting rewards go away too. After the last week, maybe that is best. :man_shrugging:


English is not my first language so I’ll try this again.

Did we have a “spam for rewards” problem at genesis? If no, then what I’m saying is that ICP Maximalist created the proposal(s) that started the “spam for rewards” problem.

In case I am not being clear, here’s another shot: There was a proposal(s) made by ICP Maximalist. After that proposal(s) passed it created the “spam for rewards” problem.

Last try: ICP Maximalist made a series of proposals on the NNS in order to promote governance participation. We started having a “spam for rewards” problem after those series of proposals were made by ICP Maximalist.

I am speaking from memory so I could be slightly off.


Fun fact…that proposal 38985 passed over 9 months ago and AFAIK it’s on no roadmap. It sure would be nice to be able to incentivize someone to apply their brain cells to get it implemented. I still think it’s one of the most important proposals we could adopt for decentralization for all the reasons you cite.


I don’t have that superpower, just merely pointing out what I think is a fact.

If your accusation is that the proposal did in fact create a spam problem, then yes, you are correct.

If you are implying that they created a spam problem on purpose then I think you are incorrect. One can see clearly behind them, but it would be genuinely unfair and probably giving them too much credit to think that they could cause that problem on purpose.

1 Like

I don’t know what their intentions were, however it’s absolutely possible that this was all by design.

Good question. The problems did not start at Genesis but very soon after. ICP maximalist had nothing to do with that. In fact, some users actively created proposals just for rewards and wrote their intent in the forum and proposals.

Here is an example post from May 2022 (6 months ago before the proposals in question):

I don’t see how ICP maximalist could have created the spam problem so I’m very certain they did not. I’m not even certain they existed when spam started (could be wrong about this).

Tbh, I’m a bit concerned (not your fault or responsibility so not blaming you) about the ICPM scapegoating for spam when many other entities have submitted spam proposals, but in reality the true problem is that the Tokenomics incentivized it.

1 Like

Fair point. We will certainly make sure we do better job following community’s guidance on these things. That’s a fair criticsm.

1 Like

Okay, I honestly think you’re mistaken. I’ve been following the NNS, and ICP Maximalist on telegram for close to a year now. I know that ICPMaximalist neuron now Synapse.vote made a series of proposals in an effort to incentivize voting on on the NNS. The spam proposal problem started after these proposals. The only thing I’m not certain about is whether the ICPMaximalist neuron created the proposal that changed tokenomics such that it incentivized spamming. I really hope you understand me now. Sorry for being really slow.

1 Like

That’s the message that @Ciaran has been preaching. I’m starting to think he is right. Indeed, these same governance conversations will occur over and over and over again…especially since volunteer participation is unsustainable, which means that we will see never ending turnover in people who have an opinion to express. That said I still think there would need to be a way for the people who are receiving voting rewards to earn those voting rewards by some mechanism of performing work. Otherwise it seems ICP would turn into a security since consensus for ICP is achieved in other ways.

NNS Ethos

Super Mario Takedown