Aligning POKT's Governance Principles - CREDS 1.1


As outlined in the CREDS updates proposal, the additional time for discussion of the CREDS proposal presents an opportunity to not only ensure a maximally legitimate governance upgrade but to align on a shared understanding of our governance identity that can serve us well into the future.

To open the discussion, we (PNF) have outlined some simple principles that we think capture the spirit of POKT’s governance system and invite everyone to engage in an open discussion around the principles and whether these capture the essence of what POKT’s governance is, and what we want it to be. Seeking clarification, articulating support or dissent, and ultimately clarifying any red lines or objections - these are all valuable contributions you can make to help us align on a final set of principles we can ratify to set constraints on any governance upgrade.

If you need some further inspiration, this site does a great job of explaining the role of design principles with real examples:


Below are the principles we believe capture the essence of the POKT governance system.

Principle 1:

Governance power accrues to the most knowledgeable and engaged stakeholders, who vote directly

POKT has always had a reputational system which seeks to put power in the hands of the people best placed to use that power to make effective decisions. This type of meritocratic system has focused on reputation rather than identity, in acknowledgement of the fact that notable people will always wield some soft power, but not from a position of privilege over other members of the network. Voting directly, currently encapsulated in (but not limited to) 1-person-1-vote, sets a standard for engagement and ensures the system is true to our vision of having POKT owned and governed by its users.

Principle 2:

Voting power should be balanced to ensure the system is sustainable and capture resistant

POKT’s governance was designed with the foresight that governance capture is a major risk through the evolution of the project. The Trophy “personas” and paths were a first attempt at finding balance and providing a path for all stakeholders to gain governance power. As we scale there will always be a tension between who accrues power and what a balanced representation of our broad stakeholder set truly looks like, but we should make sense of and seek truth around how balance can be achieved across all phases of our future so that we do not fall victim to capture by a few who have control over the many.

Principle 3:

Modular governance is future proof governance

POKT’s governance was hacked together at a time when DAO technology could not meaningfully enable our type of organisation and governance. Even at this early stage modularity was expressed within the original governance thesis as providing a legitimate way for the system to adapt. However, because we did not define any components within the system itself, we have been slow to adapt as new and more trustless tech has become available and as the system has less effectively met the evolving needs of the DAO. Modularising governance can enable us to utilise more trustless technologies that make the system verifiable and resilient, without being locked to one particular vendor or provider that over time can become a liability or risk for the project. In this way POKT governance should, as close as possible, align with the ideals we seek in the network more broadly and within the POKT protocol itself.

Next Steps

We welcome everyone to share your thoughts directly here in the forum and to help us clarify, edit, adapt, improve and ultimately co-design a final set of principles and wordings that best reflect the amazing spirit we have within our governance system already.

We will also make space to discuss these on an upcoming ecosystem call and further workshop or engage with any of our community members as needed to ultimately align on a set of principles that we can put to a vote.

On that point, the intention should be to rapidly identify gaps or points of contention so we can move forward on the principles and after they are ratified, get into the meat of how we operationalise the principles within a governance update.

Please don’t feel any point is too small to raise and reach out to any of the PNF team directly on this to help us get to a set of principles we can all be proud of.