Increase Proposal Rejection Cost

What if rejection cost was in cycles or was pegged to a fixed value in XDR/USD? ICP price is volatile, if it increases or decreases too much in a short amount of time, we’d have to constantly keep changing the rejection cost, it would be better to design a proposal to fix the issue for once.


I support this proposal. There are many other ways to deal with spam proposals, which will all take a significant of time to realize. This is the only proposal that can take effect immediately.

@skilesare, I understand your concern that making it more expensive if your proposal is rejected might discourage people from submitting a proposal, but I still believe increasing the cost is the right way to go for two reasons:

  1. the cost can be decreased again if there is a better way to ensure proposals are of high quality, so this may just be temporary.
  2. Governance proposals typically get 40% or so participation rate, and other proposals even more. That means that at least 20% of the voting power = 80M VP is required for a proposal to pass. That’s at least 40 million ICP that needs to vote in favor of a proposal for it to pass. I find it hard to imagine that neuron holders collectively holding 40 million ICP that all support a proposal cannot risk a potential 10 ICP reject fee for the proposal itself.

I don’t disagree with this idea, but I do consider it to be out of scope for the purpose of this proposal. There is an existing mechanic designed into the code that enables a relatively simple change to proposal rejection cost and it is priced in ICP. This proposal is focused solely on whether that proposal rejection cost in ICP denomination should be changed.

I encourage someone to make a separate proposal to change the denomination of proposal rejection cost so it could be fixed to fiat price in some way, but at this time I don’t consider it to be my torch to carry. I’d like to see others step up as leaders to make such a proposal. I’d be happy to advise if needed.


Does this mean a lot? I don’t think so. Can you do something that more meaningful? or you can have a try, I would say no.

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Sorry I don’t understand. 10 ICP is nothing compared to the gains that a group of stakers would gain from spamming proposals. Even 100 ICP.

There is no amount that’s going to both stem the tide of crappy proposals and also have a low enough bar for anybody to participate.

I’d vote against this because it really doesn’t accomplish anything positive, it’s not even a band-aid on the problem. I think we need some sort of two step submission process with a spam report button.


I agree that other changes are necessary, but those are just in the brainstorming phase. So the community first has to agree on an approach, and then code has to be written and rolled out, which means it will take quite a while before we can have any advantage of those mechanisms. Increasing the reject fee can take effect right now, it does not require any code to be written.

While agree that this doesn’t fully remove the incentive to submit governance proposals, saying it doesn’t accomplish anything is in my view not a fair assessment either. Imagine that one individual submits bad proposals using ICP donations to pay for the reject cost. If the person gets 50 ICP donations, that would mean 50 bad proposals today and with this change it would only pay for 5 bad proposals. I think that’s an improvement.


I agree, and understand how complex rolling out new tested code for the governance canister is.

Probably worth a try increasing the fee, but definitely full steam ahead on brainstorming a longer-term solution.


I intend to write a longer post explaining my position on this. In short, I share many of the same views as @manu. This is something we can do today while a better long-term solution is developed.

@wpb if you are looking for someone to take the lead on this deliberation and submit the proposal I would be happy to do so.


This sounds perfect @LightningLad91. I will be happy to step aside and let you lead the effort on this proposal. I will edit the original post indicating your role. Do you want to start a new forum Governance topic or continue this forum Governance topic? Thank you for taking a leadership role in this proposal. My apologies for not recognizing that you intended to lead this proposal yourself.


On another thread, I proposed a participation threshold. Let say as an example, 5 millions votes. IF the participation does not reach the threshold, the proposal is abandonned and ignored.
Then, only need to ignore these proposals. Simple and keep proposals accessible for everyone. Propably 1 line of code to add.
We can higher the threshold if needed.

Why would there not be 5 million votes when we are incentivized to vote with voting rewards? Why would anyone choose not to vote if voting enables them to earn voting rewards? ICP tokenomics are incentives to participate in governance. The system is built on the principle that people will make decisions based on their individual self interest, which collectively results in the best interest of the IC. We can’t depend on people to “do the right thing” because that means something different to everyone. I think all ideas should be geared toward rewarding an increase in governance participation, not expecting people to abstain.

Abstain on spam proposal only. Not on everything else. I am quiet confident the vast majority of voters would abstain if they see a spam proposal, including Dfinity and ICPMN. That would leave the proposal with a very low participation, then being ignored by the system. I have not made the calculation needed for the minimum, can be 10 millions minimum… Just as an example.

There is currently about 60M votes being cast on governance proposals that are not cast when Dfinity and ICPMN casts their votes.

Dfinity owns their votes and have full control of them.

ICPMN owns 20 votes. All other votes come from followers who choose to follow ICPMN. That means they are also free to follow anyone else including a new group that pops up to vote on all proposals including spam.

People will always pursue the highest voting rewards. I still think we need the system to continue incentivizing participation.

Edit: others should check my math, but I think it’s finally correct.

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@wpb @Kyle_Langham I’d like to add one more idea - new Spam Filter proposal type for rejected Governance proposals, which would be automatically created by NNS for every rejected Governance proposal - and would decide, if those 1 (or 10, or 100) ICP will be burned or not.

  • anyone could create governance proposal same as now
  • could be with higher rejection cost, 10 or even 100 ICP
  • if proposal is Accepted, all is same as now, it was not a spam
  • if proposal is Rejected it would NOT automatically mean that the (1, 10, 100) ICP is burned, but NNS will generate a new Spam Filter proposal
    • if Spam Filter proposal is Accepted by community, the (1, 10, 100) ICP would NOT be burned
    • if Spam Filter proposal is Rejected by community, the (1, 10, 100) ICP would be burned

I believe that this would:

  1. discourage any spammer as per high rejection cost, this would be very effective
  2. minimise governance administration as the Spam Filter proposal would be created only for Rejected Governance proposals
  3. allow easy extension of the process also for other proposal types, in case that would start to be used for NNS spamming
  4. give more confidence to anyone who would like to propose something relevant (would discuss it on forum etc), even with higher rejection cost - as the Spam Filter proposal voting would NOT be about the proposed change, but only if it is a Spam or not - and if the proposal is relevant the funds would not be burned
  5. Rejection Cost could be renamed to Spam Rejection Cost

Or indeed every proposal could come with a check box Is Spam - if is rejected and is not a spam nothing is burned, if is spam (>50% votes) ICP (1, 10, 100…) is burned (I think I saw similar already suggested by @Kyle_Langham)

What do you think?

I totally agree with this. We have to rely on this irresistible truth :

Faking or believing it is not the case will make us less efficient and slower.

I think this idea has a lot of potential and should be further deliberated within the community, particularly in context with the increased proposal cost. If the proposal costs become prohibitive for NNS participants who fear they would lose the ICP on a good-faith proposal, then this would be a good remedy for that. There’s good arguments for us to consider this within the context of the anti-spam proposals, or to consider it on its own merit if the proposal cost increase is approved.

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Thanks @wpb. We can continue with this one. I think there has been a lot of good discussion and I would hate to lose that by starting another post. Rather than recreate the post I will just clarify my reasons for supporting this proposal.

  1. Do I see this as the final solution?
    No. I consider this to be a stop gap measure that will deter further exploitation by parties who simply want to increase their daily rewards, advertise products, and/or spread disinformation.

  2. Why not wait for a better solution to be implemented?
    Let’s consider the following steps that have to be completed in order for a better (complex) solution to be implemented:

  • Community Activities
    – Brainstorming (1 week)
    – Community deliberates on a proposal (1 week)
    – Vote on a proposal (1 week)
    – Appeal to Dfinity for support developing the solution (1 week)

  • Dfinity Activities
    – Dfinity drafts a design ( 4 weeks?)
    – Dfinity submits design for review (1 week)
    – Community votes on design (1 week)
    – Dfinity plans & schedules development/testing effort (1 week)
    – Indeterminate amount of lead time (months? - quite possible and understandable)
    – Dfinity develops the solution (2 weeks)
    – Dfinity tests the solution (2 weeks)
    – Dfinity submits code update to NNS (1 day)

    So based on that very rough estimate, we are looking at anywhere from 3-6 months (optimistically?). During this time the NNS will continue to be spammed and I believe this will cause stakeholders, and those looking to participate in governance, to lose respect for the NNS and become complacent in their voting habits. Basically, I think we will see less manual voting and more passive voting over time.

  1. Why does this proposal not suffer from the same delays?
    Because the proposal type for increasing the cost already exists. We wouldn’t need Dfinity’s assistance in developing anything. Although, I will likely need some minor support constructing the correct dfx command.

  2. Am I concerned that this will deter meaningful proposals from being submitted?
    I think the term “meaningful” can have different connotations depending on the individual. For me, a meaningful proposal is more than just a good idea. It’s a proposal that has already been deliberated amongst a community of stakeholders (not necessarily on this forum) and already has some backing. If those conditions are met then I do not see 10 ICP getting in the way of that community submitting the proposal.

  3. Would you support a proposal to reduce the cost when a better solution is implemented, or if the price of ICP increases substantially?
    Absolutely. I believe the proposal type exists exactly for that reason. To be adjusted as-needed.

Edit: I have zero insight into Dfinity’s planning & scheduling. These estimates are based purely on my own observations over the last year.


I think another idea, similar to @plsak is proposing, would be increasing the ICP cost per rejected proposal. For example, the first rejected proposal would cost 1 ICP, then the second would be 2 ICP – you could scale this in various ways (e.g., 1 ICP, 2 ICP, 4 ICP, 8 ICP, etc.). This would keep the barrier to submit proposals low for new individuals allowing for people to make mistakes (e.g., submitting a blank proposal) and submit new ideas.

This system could also reset if someone gets a proposal accepted, thus, promoting quality proposals (i.e., someone has two proposals rejected and their third accepted; following this, their fourth proposal is back to 1 ICP). This could also be time gated (six months?) where your proposal cost resets back to 1 ICP after a certain amount of time.

Also, it can be combined with the current flat increase proposal but allow for the increase to be smaller.

One potential down side that I can see is that you could somewhat evade this by creating new accounts (minimum account age to submit a proposal?). I think maybe a mix of this plus the flat increase could make sense.


Long term a more detailed layered approach is needed to address the spam and quality issue.

But for short term practicality this proposal can deliver. After this we will have time to discuss other long term structural solutions.

I agre with this proposal as it is!


Daniel, could you review this please ?