Increase Proposal Rejection Cost

I think 10 ICP might be too little. We are proposing protocol level changes it shouldn’t be easy. I say 50ICP.


It’s not easy at all, there is no guarantee the proposal will pass, the difficulty should be achieving majority not getting the funds to do a proposal.

I agree with the spirit of the proposal but I would price it in cycles to make is stable

Is it possible to add a third option, to signal a spam or meaningless proposal where if majority people vote for it as opposed to “yes” or “no” the penalty is higher than just rejection?

This would take the penalty off of mere rejection as well, I assume it was initially there to prevent spam

Thank you @Kyle_Langham and @LightningLad91 !

I was just going to start a new topic with this update (change Rejection Cost to Spam Rejection Cost) but see that the proposal to increase rejection cost is already out, so let’s wait for the result first:

  • Note, that my personal (strong) preference will be then the check box Is Spam in every proposal, due to increase in administration with new Spam Filter proposals.
    • To have new Spam Filter proposals might seem manageable now, but when SNS is released the governance work will multiply, so simplicity will be very important here.

Also note that if current proposal is accepted, the 10 ICP Rejection Cost will be a blocking factor for me so I won’t be able to propose this (or other) change (until Rejection Cost will be changed to Spam Rejection Cost) and will rely on better ICP situated community members with that.


I thought we were waiting until the 18th?!


Agree with this short-term. Maybe a good long-term idea is to have rejection cost adjust to ensure a target percentage of failed proposals? If a large proportion of proposals are rejected increase rejection cost, and vice versa.

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The original proposal included the following language before I took it over:

@wpb and I had observed a slowdown in discussion (before today) so I decided to take it to the NNS.

Personally, I think this proposal should be considered separately from the group of proposals being submitted on the 18th. My reason being that this is a temporary measure meant to reduce the amount of spam we’re experiencing while more long term solutions are developed.


@namyIC recently suggested a similar fix on Twitter. I would consider reaching out to each other to create a forum topic where we can discuss this proposal.

I want to suggest a unifying reward formula for proposal adoption/rejection:
Proposal Reward = (Adopt% - Reject%) * 10 ICP.
That is, if Adopt gets x% of the total voting power and Reject gets y% of the total voting power, then the proposer should receive (x% - y%) * 10 ICP as rewards, which may be either positive or negative.

  1. The simple majority rule should be applied here. Requirement of at least 3% of the total voting power is unnecessary (To see this point, you should deeply understand the principle of neutrality). The absolute majority rule is also unnecessary (It ignores the significance of abstention). Someone would say that x% - y% = 0.001% means nothing, but I totally disagree: Every vote counts. In reality, we may need a minimum requirement, but that is only because counting errors may exist. Obviously, in NNS, no counting errors can exist.
    (According to modern social choice theory, there are no best voting rules because of Arrow’s impossibility theorem. But in NNS, the simple majority rule is indeed perfect: it satisfies anonymity, neutrality, Pareto principle, and positive responsiveness, and there are only two alternatives (adoption and rejection), implying that Arrow’s impossibility theorem does not apply anymore.)

  2. If x% - y% > 0, then your proposal is good and should be rewarded with (x% - y%)* 10 ICP; if x% - y% < 0, then your proposal is bad and should be punished with (x% - y%)* 10 ICP. I feel very strange that the adopted proposals are not rewarded. This seems very unfair to those people who submitted so many good proposals. I think it is obviously a good way of incentivizing people to submit good proposals to improve ICP’s governance. (See my another thread: The Declaration of an ICP Hodler)

I’m pretty firmly against any proposals that will erect barriers for newcomers to the IC ecosystem. In this case, we’re talking about a financial barrier that will result in a diluted form of censorship.

While this proposal may fix the issue in the short term, who’s to say that NNS voters would vote to revert the proposal cost back to 1 ICP, and why would they - voters would rather just sit tight and have less proposals to vote on and worry about.

If this proposal passes, like hell am I going to spend ~$200 USD on submitting a proposal. I’d probably try to go crowdfund through a DAO or prominent IC organization like IC Maxis, but then we’re introducing centralization into the NNS proposal submission process.

Also, if the price of ICP goes up over time, this will mean early investors will be able to submit more proposals than newcomers.


I agree, I’m not going to spend 10 ICP to make a proposal either

I really like the way you think here, especially since you are considering how to incentivize good proposals while at the same time suggesting significant penalties for poor proposals.

I suspect @LightningLad91 will say that this idea is not in scope for this proposal topic, but I think it is worth shaping further as another proposal topic. It doesn’t have to be presented as a proposal to mitigate spam either, so you could develop it any time.

The last non-spam proposal to pass was the ICDevs RegisterKnownNeuron proposal, which would have awarded the proposer 352 ICP. The last non-spam proposal to fail was the Temp Check to Rename the Internet Computer, which would have cost the proposer 182 ICP (Dfinity didn’t vote). Those are some really strong incentives to only make proposals that you are confident will pass. At this time, we have up to 46% of total voting power that is voting on governance proposals, which could be a reject cost as high as 460 ICP. That’s a lot of ICP that a proposer would need to have in their proposals neuron.

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This could produce a different kind of spam where people generally propose things that everyone agrees with but that does not actually do anything.

The NNS where every day is declared “Wenzel Bartlett Day” because who can vote against that? :joy:

…a jest, but where is the line between spam and ineffective.

I think we hold Tokens and the effectiveness of great proposals that increase token price should be enough to incentivize their creation.

On the negative side, it is a hell of a club to bash people with. Maybe it should be on an exponetial scale so only significant losses end with that kind of penalty. We do want good debate and a 40% to 60% vote could still be really valuable to the community(think Temp checks).


I agree, it’s definitely a club. It’s not the perfect solution and I’d like to see other solutions implemented. That being said, this is the only change (that I’m aware of) that we can push without depending on Dfinity for development. The rejection cost has always been described as a spam deterrent. It seems logical to use the tools we have available while trying to build new ones.


Hasn’t there always been a financial barrier in place? The 1 ICP rejection cost has always been described as a spam deterrent. With the lower market price of ICP this deterrent is no longer effective.

I disagree. My experience has shown that the most active community members want to promote active governance participation and would probably be the first people to recommend lowering the cost when the time is right.

Personally, I have stated in several places that I support this as a temporary measure only. If/when better solutions are put in place for spam prevention, or if the ICP market takes off, I will happily submit a proposal to reduce the cost.

I think that would be a good path to take. If you can raise the 10 ICP then you’d probably have solid support to kickoff your proposal.

I don’t see how crowdfunding can be considered centralization. To me, centralization implies a lack of any other option; being forced to go down one path. Nothing in this proposal is mandating that the funds come from any specific organization.

That’s true; but, how is that any less true if we keep the cost at 1 ICP. If the cost of 1 ICP skyrockets it would still be the early participants that can submit more.


Well said @LightningLad91. I agree with every point you made here. Thanks for offering this clarification.

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I have a very simple idea: Change the current Adopt/Reject voting system into the following:
(1) Adopt with 10 ICP; (2) Adopt; (3) Abstain; (4) Reject; (5) Reject with -10 ICP.
It is still a simple majority rule: the option with the most voting power is the voting result. (If there is a tie, then the option with the largest index among those with the most voting power is the voting result.)
It can be easily changed into systems with more options such as:
(1) Adopt with 20 ICP; (2) Adopt with 10 ICP; (3) Adopt with 1 ICP; (4) Adopt; (5) Abstain; (6) Reject; (7) Reject with -1 ICP; (8) Reject with -10 ICP; (9) Reject with -20 ICP.
It also solves the spam/ineffective issue proposed by @skilesare since a “Wenzel Bartlett Day” proposal may be adopted with 0 ICP.

These are both great points that I 100% agree with. It’s why I would actually prefer if we pegged the cost of creating an NNS proposal to XDR like we do with the cycle exchange rate.

Zooming out, it feels like regardless of how expensive the proposal cost ends up being that we’re setting an arbitrary price on the cost of creating a proposal in order to stop proposals from coming in. This is by definition a barrier/disincentive. We could to raise the cost to 100 ICP, or we could choose to lower it the cost to 0.1 ICP - both would have very different intended and unintended side effects.

However, what is the true cost of each proposal to the NNS? - probably less than or close to 1 ICP after all the votes are tallied and rewards disbursed. So raising the proposal creation cost past what is strictly necessary to run it on the NNS results in an unnecessary burn of ICP. It is an artificial financial barrier the community can choose to (or not to) play with for whatever agenda they wish to accomplish.

If independent creators are forced to go through DAOs or other IC orgs to just to get their proposals funded and onto the IC, this means creators have to get support from those who already have money or influence, and opens up the door for big money to earmark proposals in return for funding.

It’s a similar model to getting a business off the ground and needing to request VC funding in return for X equity/board seat/add in this ad revenue feature to your app, or proposing a bill as a congressman/woman and having each politician say they’ll vote for it if you include the X thing I want.

Here’s my dream proposal:

  • Makes creating proposals as cheap as possible (to incentivize independent fresh ideas and discussion),
  • Puts sustainable mechanisms and filters in place that tackle proposal spam
  • Does not introduce a mechanism or feature that censors or prohibits creators from submitting NNS proposals
  • Protects NNS voters from proposal overload, capping the amount of time and engagement required ( I don’t want to spend more than 30min-1hr a week thinking about the NNS, and I don’t want NNS spam proposal jury duty)

Some of the other proposals introducing thresholds are able to achieve these goals without increasing the NNS proposal creation cost. I’m not saying this current proposal wouldn’t work to reduce spam proposals, I’m just not in favor of the other side effects it would have on NNS proposal creation. I’d equate it to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.