ReProposal: Spam Prevention - Convert from system-based rewards to voter based rewards

Following this topic can be pretty demoralising. While the tech behind the ic protocol is extremely important, it seems like that wouldn’t matter without a well working governance system. And apparently having a well working governance system is a tough nut to crack. I guess it’s hard to reconcile the fact that some hold a lot of voting power, while others don’t. Have there been any thoughts about having diminishing voting returns the more icp one holds?

The committee neuron idea seems favorable to me. Besides that, the comments here seem to be bogged down with a lot of understandable frustration. One would think creating something as important and as complicated as a healthy governance system warrants some specialist help. Do other blockchains struggle with this question as much as we do?

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I support this proposal; i think it strikes a good balance of incentives.

Regarding the distribution of treasury funds; I would support an effort to compensate a technical committee. Members of these committees should be qualified experts that can contribute to protocol development and review upgrade proposals.

However, I would not support the funding of political committees. This is only going to lead to more gatekeepers and will incentivize individuals to become political leaders for the sake of profit rather than because they actually care about the network.

That’s just my two cents on the matter.


I am sorry, I missed that. I do not believe named neurons should be incentivised through Treasury grants, but some in the community obviously do. I think it might set a bad precedent and lead to a lot of unnecessary fights. Named neurons are best incentivised through voluntary donations from followers; committee neurons can best be incentivised to Treasury grants.

Indeed. Dfinity did a huge number of great things, very original tokenomics, the reverse gas model, liquid democracy and so on. Brilliant stuff. But the community has by now absorbed those advances and takes them for granted. This is natural in any governance system.
Dfinity also did some badly thought-through things. They sold too much seed round ICP too cheap, and then tried to stop the flood of ICP at launch by making seed neurons difficult to access. Didn’t help the price movement at all, because the folks at Dfinity don’t appear to understand markets well. Second, they built a system geared towards a long-term perspective by incentivising 8 year neurons, but in doing so created a permanent oligarchy within the system. Whales in other blockchains are different from whales on the IC because other systems offer free selling of tokens, which means the whales keep changing. The top holders of BTC and ETH have changed radically in the past seven years, but seven years down the line, the biggest holders of ICP will be the same that are in place today. This is extremely unhealthy for the system.
Further, and this is something I have not seen discussed enough on the forums and might require a separate post, staking on the IC is completely different from staking of ETH and similar layer 2s. In other Layer 2s, staking is for validation and governance is handled independently of staking. On the IC, staking is for governance and validation is handled independently of staking. Despite staking being for governance, stakers outside Dfinity cannot actually govern because the protocol is entirely in the hands of Dfinity, which takes decisions according to its own roadmap, which in turn is usually determined by one man at its helm. This is the root cause of the community’s frustration.
It is too late to do anything about the distribution and lock-ins of neurons, but we should try our best to ensure the community’s voice gradually has real teeth, that we are not dependent on Dfinity being a kind and well-meaning dictator. Of course Dfinity is best qualified to work on the core code right now, but five years hence we should not still be dependent on Dfinity. To make sure we are ready, we need an independent source of funding. The Treasury idea is great. And we need independent experts who can very gradually take over some of what Dfinity is taking care of. That is what committee neurons will do. In the long run, Dfinity should not be an organisation with 300 staff but a skeleton grant-giving body run by independent committees governed by the NNS.


The fact there a lot of very smart people here does bring some solace. Thanks for your response. Would you be willing to create a seperate thread about the governance versus validating topic?

Like I wrote earlier, from my layman’s perspective the idea of committee neurons seems like a good step forward. I wonder though whether any of the problems being faced are unresolveble. Is this the case or are there enough possibilities to reach a desirable outcome in the nns?

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Here are some initial thoughts on this (which would need to be confirmed with the engineering team)

  • Currently, the function distribute_rewards records only the actually distributed rewards (in the variable actually_distributed_e8s_equivalent).
  • In order to allow the tracking of how much maturity was allocated we could in future calculate the ratio A defined by A = (actually distributed rewards / total available rewards) and also store A in the reward event populated by the function distribute_rewards.
  • In order to provide this information to the IC dashboard we would need to expose the ratio A also in the function encode_metrics in nns/governance/canister/ (In addition I would need to discuss & review with the dashboard team on how exactly to display this ratio).

To my understanding this seems to address the tracking requirement proposed in this motion proposal.


Btw, on the topic of 8 year neurons, are the plans of a neuron market still on? As in, being able to sell your neuron despite it being locked.

Good proposal, but devs already have access to funds in the way of grants, (soon) the community fund/sns, donations, ordinary voting rewards, venture capital, etc, why is another treasury needed?

Would it not be better to burn the excess icp? This would benefit everyone.

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This proposal may make a treasury possible but does not guarantee one will be created. A good bit of work and discussion needs to happen first.


They have delayed the rollout of some features in order to try preventing a neuron market from emerging. I had thought it was a foregone conclusion it would happen, but I guess not. Check out the last comment by Lara Schmid in this thread:

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A simple solution for treasury is to make mandatory do merge/spawn maturity at least once per 6 or 12 month, announcement will have to be on top of the forum or other platform like DSCVR, after that maturity over that period can go in a treasury. With this we will not have dormant neuron and we will know if a neuron is abandoned. Also treasury spending will have to be by a proposal on NNS,
I think is time to start a separate topic for Treasury and see how people think about that.

We should use Quadratic Voting mechanism described in the book “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society” to optimize voting power.

  1. One-person-one-vote gave majorities the power to tyrannize minorities. NNS should give the power who really care about their rights
  2. One-person-one-vote is not the TRUE democracy, it stops compromise among groups of people and leads to wild swings of power between ideological blocs.

So I think voting power based on Quadratic lock year should be a reasonable solution.

original posted on my twitter last year.

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Quadratic voting is great if you can solve the Sybil issue. That isn’t easy.


Hi all,
FYI, here is a short update on the implementation progress of this motion proposal:
We have now an implementation in the NNS - backend covering

  • The reward change itself (as per code snippet above) and additional/adjusted test cases
  • Setting governance reward weights from 1 to 20
  • Exposing total available rewards, actually distributed rewards and the ratio between the two as metric. (the idea is to show actually distributed maturity and the ratio on the IC dashboard).

This is now undergoing review and some further testing. I will keep you updated.


Very good days!
This proposal would have a :fire:better impact if the icp that is not distributed is burned. :fire:
It is not the same to say that it is not distributed, to say that more tokens are burned… it has a much greater impact when someone reads it or for a marketing issue… we need to be able to communicate that these ideas are not going to generate more inflation. This is achieved if tenths that are going to burn the tokens that are not distributed. Thank you!!


@bjoernek I’m not sure I understand your recent update. The proposal suggests that we could consider raising the governance proposal weighting back to 20, but your comment leads me to believe this is already being worked at DFINITY?

Is my interpretation of your update correct, or is this not set in stone yet?

The issue is that it doesn’t exist in the first place. We could mint it to burn it, but that just seems silly.

If you look at the motion text the increase to 20 was in it:

Vote Accept to:
Convert from system-based rewards to voter-based rewards
Change the weight of governance proposals back to 20.
Keep track of “abandoned” ICP as a governance-tracked variable.

So the motion text did not match the text provided in this forum? That really doesn’t help the case about this proposal being unclear.

Edit : I see now that an updated proposal text was provided in the comments.

I am going to adopt a policy of rejecting any proposal that includes multiple changes lumped together like this. I didn’t like it with the maturity proposal and this has cemented it for me.

I recommend we reconsider implementing the gov weighting.


I understand your point of view… But you have to think that currently it’s a plus if people see more tokens being burned… also, it’s not open to using those ICPs for other uses
(there were people who gave proposals to use those icp for other reasons). They burn and go. Thank you and sorry if I don’t add something positive to my comment…

Hi all,

given some discussions in this forum and also on Twitter, I thought it would be useful to add a few comments as per my understanding of this proposal on spam prevention

The proposal has three components

  1. Adjusting the reward allocation scheme: allocate voting rewards under the assumption that neurons vote on everything.
  2. Reward weights: Setting the reward weight for governance proposals back to 20
  3. Tracking: Track how many voting rewards are allocated on a given day vs the total available rewards.

For the last point on tracking, as mentioned above, this could be done by showing on the IC dashboard actually distributed voting rewards and the ratio of distributed vs total available voting rewards on a daily basis.

In particular, this does not mean that the unallocated voting rewards would go anywhere (e.g. in an account or a fund). It simply creates transparency of how much of the daily available rewards, as defined by the total reward function and the total supply, is allocated.

I hope this is helpful and please let me know in case you have any questions!