Proposal to include cycle_dao & ICDevs as default follow-target neurons to the NNS

Not correct, that would be true for copyleft licenses like GPL, the MIT license allows the use in closed proprietary software.


I think this whole saga demonstrates that a few whales unfortunately have too much power on the IC today.

Without having a strong opinion on the matter at hand, it does appear that a minority of folks have squashed the will of the majority. Oligarchy at play.

Let’s see if people parties help to fix. I do find it ironic indeed that the whales behind the no vote were worried that IC_Devs would have too much power haha.


Disclaimer: Personal Opinion

ICDevs requested the “reject” voters come forward and voice their opinion. They came forward and let their concerns known.

If they own the governance tokens (ICP) and they decided to vote to “reject”, that’s their right. If ICDevs goes on to contribute further and the token owners change their mind, they’ll vote “accept” if ICDevs puts up a proposal again

But attacking the token owners for their reasons will just DISCOURAGE future “reject” voters to come forward and participate in discourse.

They own the governance tokens to decide and they have the most at stake if “not enough decentralization” leads to a failure of the network.

My 2 cents


This is probably* true, but isn’t that how the NNS was designed to work? The NNS provides greater voting power to individuals and groups that make larger commitments to the network. At the same time, it allows anyone (even those with small amounts of money) to acquire voting power through liquid democracy. So it’s not intended to be a 1 neuron = 1 vote system.

It seems to me like we’re only upset with these whales because they voted against the “majority” opinion. Would we still be upset if these same whales voted in favor of the proposal? Would we be able to get any votes passed without the participation of seed investors?

I agree with @saikatdas0790. Instead of focusing on the voting power held by these stakeholders we should be focused on finding common ground. But we can’t do that if we discourage “reject” voters from coming forward.

‘*’ - I only say “probably” because we really don’t know how many individuals are represented by a single neuron.


This is exactly how it is supposed to work. Some people will have more voting powers than others. They will have differing opinions. It is important to know the real reason (which was elucidated after more discussion) so that either we agree or agree to disagree or somewhere in between. We can also have different philosophical mindsets (i.e. GPL vs MIT licenses vs not respecting licenses at all).

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Personally, I’m upset about the centralized distribution of voting power not because of this particular vote, but be because it undermines the entire project. Take censorship. A core selling point put forward by Dom and Dfinity to developers, users and investors is censorship resistance.

Speaking strictly about resistance in relation to AWS (think Parler) , banks (OnlyFans) etc the IC is censorship resistant, sure. But a handful of whales could censor from within. It would arguably be bad business for them, but the point is trust in a few hundred individuals is required.

I write “a few hundred” because I don’t know the smallest number of individuals that together reach majority voting power. Which I see as a problem in and of itself. Let me know if that number or an estimate is available. I know indexing of neurons according to type (seed, etc) has been suggested elsewhere.

Hopefully People’s parties will be used to balance out voting power. In my view it’s in the whales interests as well.

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DFINITY and the Internet Computer Community are not acknowledging the gravity of voting power centralization.

You can find information about voting power at: Internet Computer Network Status

At the time of this post, there is ~404M voting power across the NNS stakeholders. When you talk about “majority voting power” it’s important to note that there is both an absolute majority and a simple majority rule.

Achieving an absolute majority (>202M VP) would means the outcome is set in stone.
Achieving a simple majority means you’ve received at least 3% of the total voting power (~12M VP) and the voting period has ended.

As demonstrated with this proposal, achieving 3% does not necessarily mean you will win. A controversial proposal will likely see the voting period extended by the wait-for-quiet algorithm until the maximum voting period is reached. This would give plenty of time for additional votes to come in.

For a very serious topic (like censorship) I highly doubt a simple 3% majority would be all it takes.


Thanks for the reply, but I don’t see how one could use the dashboard to answer the question. The smallest number of individuals that together have 50% voting power. Am I missing something?

We also need to keep in mind that only 13.5% of total voting power actually cast their votes on the ICDevs proposal. At most, Dfinity Foundation holds 24% of all ICP tokens and Internet Computer Association holds 4% of all ICP tokens based on the Messari report at genesis. I don’t currently know how much voting power these two organization hold, but they intentionally abstained from voting (rightly so IMHO) and there was a significant amount of voting power that were following them that did not vote. Today this is not painful for those neuron holders because missing one vote is negligible, but the push toward decentralization must also include incentives for as many neurons to vote as possible even if DF and ICA feel they need to abstain. If these incentives are significant, then I think people will follow other neurons and the voting power distribution would change accordingly. I think this is an evolution and we need to give it time. We need to keep pushing toward policies that we can agree will move us in the direction of decentralization and high voter participation.


No, you’re right. This won’t tell you the number of individuals (referring to humans). You can do some digging to figure out the minimum number of neurons required to achieve a majority.

But like I said in my other post; we have no way of knowing if 1 neuron represents the interests of 1 human, or 10 humans. Just like we don’t know if 10 neurons are controlled by 10 humans or just 1.

We know that seed investors have one of the largest allocations so its fair to assume that the VP is not as decentralized as we like. But I don’t see how we change that in the short term. People parties will likely help but I don’t think it will be the great equalizer everyone is expecting it to be. Personally, I expect the voting power to further decentralize with time and inflation.

How grave do you think it is relative to other networks?

@Comfortable_Reply_56 seems to imply that “a few hundred” is insufficient. I wonder how many independent node operators would have to collude to censor BTC or ETH. Just doing a quick Google I found this tweet by Vitalik from 2020 that stated ETH had a nakamoto coefficient of 34. That’s a lot less than a few hundred.

Fwiw I agree that we should strive for greater decentralization but I’m having a hard time believing that the NNS is that much worse than the majority of other networks.

From what I can tell I’d need to manually click expand on 70 000 neurons, note the voting power in a spreadsheet, and then I’d have the answer in terms of neurons - a useful proxy.

I realize this forum is filled with people who would know how to program this procedure, probably quite easily, but I can’t.

Ic.Rocks allows you to sort the neurons by ICP amount but that list is incomplete as far as I know.

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Sorry about that. Maybe @Kyle_Langham could shed some light on this if he has the time.

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The US-based thing has come up a good bit so I thought I’d formally comment on it. The 501c3 status is a hack that voters have put into the United States tax code that lets private citizens divert some of their tax obligations to non-profits that focus on initiatives that are personal to them or where they think the private sector can do a better job than the government. It is, in effect, an anti-government law. It helps some with tax collection as one is encouraged to report their donations for a deduction, but the spirit is to let the people have some of the value back for their own means.

ICDevs choose a 501c3 structure for the acceleration that can occur for this. If you are a US based whale organization that has made $10,000,000 in maturity in a year you can donate up to $3,000,000 to ICDevs and reduce your tax burden. We get to use that to accelerate the IC through education and scientific discovery without being taxed, hopefully in the process, improving the value of the ICP that you still have tucked away in dissolving neurons. This was the idea and one that we had validated via a number of tax experts. In reality, probably due to the bear market in ICP that started about the time we launched, this didn’t resonate with many people. The lack of clarity on what you actually owe taxes on is an issue as well.

We’re basically trying to hack the tax code to the advantage of the IC. This puts some restrictions on us like our board needs to be US citizens and we have to follow our non-profit charter, but we have broad agency beyond that. I think our developer advisory board is majority non-US citizens…and that group will be directing most of the decisions.

As far as asking for donations, we’ve been pretty clear how the organization operates and the details of how we roll out funds is transparent. We’re hoping to build a long-term endowment for funding education and scientific discovery on the IC, so 2/3 of our donations that come in go into that 8-year neuron. The remaining 1/3 is split into 2/3 to the community fund that funds bounties and 1/3 administration fund that, at this point, just pays for lawyers and accountants but will hopefully pay for some full-time community-building staff down the road. The maturity that comes off our neuron is fed back into that same formula.

It is just a sausage machine that needs the crank turned. If you want to see more bounties, donate more money to turn the crank. We’ve been trying to put out at least one a week with some slow down for the holidays. Four of the bounties are closed or about to be closed and have produced two motoko libraries for creating unique IDs, a community integration project(DAB + stoic), and an essential dev plugin that decodes CBOR values. We’re a completely part-time volunteer org at this point and will be until the budget allows for it. I think the output stands up to pretty much any other organization in the community that has been funded with less than $30k so far.

  • Disclosure I am on the developer board for ICDevs

I’ve been deeply pondering what has gone on here, and I believe this situation highlights a concern for all IC participants who seek the success of the IC (and thus possibly the value of their ICP).

I’m not that concerned with this specific proposal that hasn’t passed. But I am concerned that a few whales are able to sway the vote away from the will of many other participants with less voting power. This is an assumption of course, I do not know the actual numbers of humans involved in the votes.

Let me try to lay out some fundamental reasoning for why we do not want the amount of ICP staked to be the only determinant of voting power:

We’re trying to create a system of government that leads to true or correct outcomes. We all seem to agree that very centralized decision making will not always lead to the best outcomes, and thus we’re against that form of government.

We also all seem to agree that a decentralized form of government in the form of a democracy will lead to better outcomes than a centralized form of government. But our democracy is far different than the traditional/modern democracies implemented by nations around the world. Our democracy only cares about how much ICP is owned by a voting agent.

Why is that? The fundamental reasoning seems to be that because the value/price of ICP is inextricably linked to the success of the system that is being governed (the Internet Computer), then the more ICP that a voting agent owns, the more motivation they will have to make true or correct votes.

Democracy is a decentralized truth-seeking process, and we’ve quantified each agent’s truth-seeking capabilities into one metric: ICP staked.

I think this is fundamentally flawed. I do believe that each person who owns and stakes ICP is generally motivated to make correct decisions regarding the IC so as to maximize the future value of their ICP. But I also believe there is a limit to the effect that a person’s ICP balance has on their ability to benefit the network through correct decision-making.

What is the difference in decision-making motivation between someone who owns 100 ICP vs 1000 ICP? 1000 ICP vs 10,000 ICP? 10,000 ICP vs 100,000 ICP?

I don’t know the answers, but I think we can agree that at some point there is a diminishing return on decision-making motivation/capability and ICP owned.

I think we should attempt to approximate this extra decision-making capability based on ICP owned. Here’s my suggestion: let’s explore some combination of 1-person-1-vote (because each human being inherently has some ability to make correct decisions, and the combination of many varied opinions is very valuable) and a voting power cap, possibly logarithmic (similar to quadratic voting).

1-person-1-vote with some form of voting power cap may maximize the correct decision-making power of the entire network. And that’s really what all rational ICP holders should want, a network that is maximized for making correct decisions regarding the Internet Computer and its native asset ICP.


There is nothing wrong with Voting how they like, but since they have such huge stake - they should also be held responsible for these anti-trust-like practices. What they did was also delay the ecosystem’s growth in the crossfire.

Seedbros it is your neuron and your money, but the voting power on the network governance must not solely depend on the number of tokens one owns.

Does not seem so decentralized. Few people discussing the future of the project sitting inside a room…(you know like board meetings of Web2 companies…) This is a snowball and will continue growing until it crashes into something. I just hope the collateral damage isn’t too much.

Also, @villa-straylight 's words sound like “they” have an agenda against IC Devs.

imo NNS and Liquid Democracy failed this proposal

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This sounds like an ideal situation. I agree there are diminishing returns and would love to see quadratic voting implemented.


I definitely agree, please see my previous post which tries to lay out some fundamental reasoning for this.

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This ^ @lastmjs summarized it well. We should explore additional layers of voting for the governance proposals.

Blending both ICP Staked and Proof of Human

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