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

On the subject of why some people think the idea of treasury is worth exploring:

Genuine question @paulyoung , (I know you really can’t answer it, so I’m gonna @diegop here);

These are fair concerns. I’d like to better understand how you have come to these conclusions though.

Why do you think the treasury would be controlled by 2 named neurons? The mechanisms of how it would be controlled have not been proposed by anyone as far as I know, It certainly would not be governance motion proposals because those proposal types are not capable of executing any type of code. At this time, I don’t know how it would be controlled. My hope previously was that we would be able to come up with some good ideas on how it would be controlled through a working group, which would include DFINITY since they would have to develop and implement code changes, as well as anyone in the community who wanted to contribute to the conversation. Hence, I don’t understand how it is assumed that 2 named neurons would even be capable of controlling a treasury. That’s just not how the NNS works.

When it comes to Governance Motion proposals, do you have any idea on how to rebalance liquid democracy such that 2 neurons don’t cast 66% of voting power?

I’d like to point out again that we don’t have staker rewards. We have governance rewards. Any staker who votes has always received their rewards and will always receive their rewards. I honestly wish it were possible to motivate all stakers to participate in governance (voting) so everyone receives their voting rewards AND we achieve decentralization. I would love for the difference between staking participation and a voter participation to be negligible so there is no debate on who is owed governance rewards.

A. Just because you don’t publicly acknowledge this scenario could happen, doesn’t mean it won’t. Look how centralized voting power is - and how DFINITY very clearly colluded with ICDevs to create the “spam proposal” (which has been confirmed both publicly & privately). We can act like it will never happen, and I truly hope it doesn’t, but this is crypto. I’m not supposed to have to trust you.

B. I agree on B. But this more so comes down to how engaged the NNS is. The only people who knew about this, were those who actively vote & scour the forums. That is not the typical staker - they tend to be inactive - as demonstrated by the followee metric. So while the proposers of this may have spoken about it on the forum for a week - the amount of people that view the forum is microscopic in comparison to the amount of neurons there are. So was this actually a valid temperature check of the community? Should DFINITY have voted on it, given how close the results were, and torn the active community is?

C. In regards to spam proposals, I follow the NNS extremely closely. I noticed a difference in spam proposals when the weighting was changed - long before this spam proposal was proposed. So it’s purpose was to stop something that already ceased to exist.

D. Referring you back to B. Did the community get to form an opinion on these biases, or was the forum discussion an echo chamber of the same members repeating things, until the opposition was drowned out (similar to what some have observed happening here).

E. Should there not be a moral compass involved in how people vote within the NNS? Doesn’t it seem shortsighted to vote on a proposal, without considering what could be built off of a proposal?


I wasn’t trying to imply anything about developer grants or VC funding.

I think exploring ideas that make the ecosystem less dependent on DFINITY or other centralized entities like VCs are worth having.


To be honest, I think “Colluded” has a negative and unfair connotation. Bjoern Assman from Dfinity openly gave feedback and commented on the proposal (as we do with many). Why is not “collaborated”? Why does it have some malicious connotation? Just because one does agree with the proposal, it does not mean it’s malicious.

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I think my intent did not come across based on your response.

My point is in that in any design system you have to be aware of what opportunities you are opening yourself upto and which you are closing.

We at Dfinity did not think the spam proposal would “paint us into a corner” where we would be forced to accept or vote in any one direction in some future proposal. That’s what I’m referring to.

My comment has nothing about the trust less ethos of crypto… and more with the design philosophy of computer science. If we thought the spam proposal would mean (for example), now all dapps would have to be written in Rust (closing door on Js, Motoko, Python, etc…) that would be an example of painting ourselves into a corner. We did not think it did. Does my comment about “highly unlikely” and “checkmating” into a corner make more sense? I don’t discount vague writing on my part.

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To be honest, one of the reasons we voted to continue the conversations is because we wanted MORE time and more people to take a look.

Is this not in spirit of your intent?


I have an educated and uneducated opinion on this:

  1. Educated opinion - I believe while spam has decreased, I also believed the incentive for spam remained… meaning we had solved nothing and it will come back again. Like an open window in a store after hours…. We still needed to close the window even if people stopped robbing it.

  2. Uneducated opinion - I suspect (based on anecdotal evidence) that spam proposal had decreased just as you write .

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Not the great example you think it is David: Zcash Undergoes First Halving as Major Upgrade Drops 'Founders Reward' - CoinDesk

I’m not sure what you are asking me? Are you suggesting that I have a stronger hand in the forums to balance opinions across people? Honest question… I try to keep a respectful tone, but there is precious little I can do to keep things from leaning too much towards one side and another. What do you think I could have done better?

If you are just asking if I agree that each chambers are bad, but have no concrete actions I could have done better. That’s also fair.

(Sidenote; clearly this issue is NOT an echo chamber as there are multiple camps. Is this thread not the Opposite of an echo chambe? Not sure why you think it this issue is one… or maybe I misunderstood).

Again, not sure what you are asking me by “moral compass.”

Dfinity voted for the spam proposal. You seem to think that it set up another proposal the community did not want. I can tell you that IS NOT the case. There is nothing about the spam proposal that would force community to do anything outside its scope. Why do you think there was?

Fwiw, I find this convo by @AndraGeorgescu and @dfisher to be a GOOD example of opposing viewpoints showing each other cases and logic. I like the respectful tone across folks who disagree.


This has to be the strangest “collusion” in history.

First of all…I’m the executive director of ICDevs, but on the forums here I’m just acting as me unless I specifically state otherwise. Secondly ICDev’s participation in governance is generally controlled by our Developer Advisory board and by committee, I generally make a recommendation, but there is regularly pushback from that board and ICDevs has voted against my recommendation both when I agreed with it and when they changed my mind.

Secondly, DFINITY said no to this proposal previously and then addressed me personally as the author as a courtesy to ask if I wanted to re-raise it. If I had said NO they would have just done it themselves.

Thirdly, in reference to there not being a need because the weights had fixed spam: 1. ysyms was threatening to start again if it wasn’t fixed and 2. The ending of exchange rate proposals was going to cause spam to become a problem again, especially on weekends when regular proposals were going to stop.

Fourthly, I posted the proposal in a public forum, waited a week for debate, crowdfunded the proposal fee and then asked the ICDevs dev board how they wanted to vote and executed the vote.

Absolutely nothing will get done in this space if we can’t work with each other without the personal attack of ‘collusion’ being thrown around every time someone tries to effect change.


I’m sorry that you took a negative perception to my use of the term, in hindsight, yes, I suppose collaborated is a better term. The point to be made was that there was clearly a coordinated effort by the two parties to work together on this (who also control an extremely large VP%).


Let me try again. I would like to shift the conversation so you can understand my point of view, even if you ultimately disagree with it. I think with understanding comes mutual respect. Talking about implementation details is missing the wood from the trees.

Where would the IC be today if Dfinity suddenly ceased to exist? I personally believe we would be in big trouble. No one would be able to upgrade the replica and make improvements to the protocol. Currently only Dfinity has the expertise and resources to hire world class cryptographers.

Now imagine that there were many organizations that existed like Dfinity. Organizations with resources that were devoted to hiring the best and brightest globally to build on the amazing foundations we have. They would do work equivalent to building roads and infrastructure. Today we need government to build those things since we have a tragedy of the commons problem. Private enterprise is not incentivized to build roads and traffic lights - we need government to build them. They are public goods.

Now how do we pay for it? Clearly, people are not being honest if they say they believe all inflation is stealing. That’s because we already have inflation to pay node providers. No one thinks node providers are stealing from IC token holders. We wouldn’t be here today if node providers weren’t allowing us to store our data on their servers. Ok, so we agree that some types of inflation are not stealing, they are necessary to provide a public good. So here the question is if we provide inflation to node providers, does it make sense to consider creating inflation to pay for multiple organizations like Dfinity to ensure our protocol keeps evolving?

Now, notice I’m not saying the answer is a hard yes. I’m merely asking the question and pointing out other projects like ZCash have gone down this path. I do think it’s in our best interest to open our minds and ask ourselves - how has the ZCash experiment with development funding from inflation gone? Is it going well or is it failing? Is it causing a devaluation in the ZCash token or is it ultimately to everyone’s benefit? I actually don’t know the answer and would love to find out.

These are the kinds of questions we would seek to answer in a working group. The Internet Computer is the most advanced and complicated blockchain in existence and I think we owe it to the future of its development to take these questions seriously.


Thanks for clarifying what you meant by that. From that POV, yes, I can see how DFINITY stands where they do on this one.

I’m sure you can tell by your second paragraph - that is mostly where my concern comes from. The trustless ethos that is known to crypto - and the scary potential of it being stripped from our ecosystem, one proposal at a time.

Not insinuating this is actively happening, but nonetheless, it is my concern.

That’s a fair reason to vote in agreeance with the proposal, however when that isn’t voiced - it seems as though that DFINITY simply agrees with the proposal.


Yes, there was collaboration on spam proposal (and many others proposals!) between multiple entities who represent large voting power. Most of that voting power comes from following. If people do not like how their following-based voting power is being used, folks can remove it.

Is this not the system working as it should?

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I Can speak on behalf of Dfinity that it was a mistake of us to NOT explain more clearly how we interpreted the proposal, and what vote meant and did not mean.

I know I said it at the top comment in the forum post, but it bears repeating: we intend to do better here. That was a mistake.