PIP-37: Credentializing Reputation within the Existing DAO System [CREDS]

TL-DR:

I lean toward YES:

  • The proposed system is the interpretation of various community requests.
  • The system is not complex, in the sense of it being obfuscated.
  • Its complexity is the consequence of the community requirements.

What I don’t like:

  • Not all paths to a vote seem obvious (@Jinx 's case) we need o iterate here
  • The approach to this bundle PIP is messy.

And I think that this holds some truth:

But at the same time I don’t want to waste the effort done to this point and enter into an eternal debate around the system itself.
There is no optimal solution to this problem, we must settle at some point.


On the community requests

Through my time in the Pocket ecosystem I heard many times that changes in the voting system were needed. A vast number of reasons were given and many topics were debated, from them I can recall:

  • Giving token holder weight in voting. If someone has a lot of money in Pocket then s/he should have a lot of decision power (plutocracy).
  • The builders should have more voting power because they actually build the protocol, they are the only ones that should decide (technocracy).
  • The voters cannot remain for ever, there are a lot people with voting power that is not invested anymore and do not participate in the community, yet their votes are still valuable (deprecation of voting power).
  • The original members and important community members should have a greater voting power (vesting? leader culture? not sure how to call this ).
  • I should not give up my privacy to earn a vote. Many are in crypto for its privacy premise yet our voting system requires one to be doxed (more privacy).

While I can recall these topics from informal chats, I do not remember a real discussion (in the forum) of any of those (maybe plutocracy), and I’m sure that none of these features ever went to vote.

The PNF took the burden (wrongly or not) of making triage and bundle the most relevant requested changes into a single voting system. This might be wrong, because they decided unilaterally which of them to include, but reallity is that the community never formally discussed and voted over any of them. The PNF is there to do the job that nobody wants to do, they are the stewards of the Pocket Network and its not illogical to think that they would want to create a better system that responds to the community sentiment, whether or not a formal request for any change was made.
I don’t blame them for doing this proposal, on the contrary I thank them for giving this subject a real entity and propose actual actionable changes.

On complexity

I don’t feel that the new voting method is complex or obfuscated, its a rather simple solution to a subset of the community requests.

Using a house based system with per-house weights is not a bad approach. I would inverse the burden of the proof here and ask for a simpler implementation of a system that is able to handle all (implicit) community requests described in the previous point.

On 1-Person-1-Vote

In my opinion there are two aspects around this:

  1. 1-person means that a single human cannot hold more than one voting entity, which is respected (as much as possible) in the current and proposed voting models
  2. 1 vote meaning that any two humans (without any other feature but that of being humans) will have the same vote weight, which is directly incompatible with the community requests.

This problem is the consequence of lack of clear discussion, the PNF concluded that the community wanted a weighted system. This is not a bad conclusion if you have followed the numerous chat conversations, yet many members are now against it.

This is solved with proper discussion. I said it before, community chats are not official sources and any discussion there should not be a valid source for the community sentiment. If you want to be taken seriously, come to the forum, take the time to write a full post and give proper shape to your ideas. Maybe there is some degree of blame in PNF for not ignoring chats, but I chat users are very noisy…

On constitutional change

I think that the changes are not that distruptive, at least in the diff provided by @JackALaing I see that they are only things that need to change for better working of the proposed system.

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Thanks for weighing in on this @RawthiL - I’ve always respected your balanced thinking and objectivity - we need that here for sure.

I agree with @zaatar’s comment that you pointed out in your response. I hope that the PNF team would prefer to see this kind of vote pass with more consensus. Given how much time has gone into this, giving it a little more time seems reasonable and rational.

I agree. I don’t want to enter into an eternal debate, either. But with so many people opposed and this being such an important issue, why not give it just a little more time? As @zaatar says, “There is no downside to a NO vote”—it gives us the time necessary to get everyone comfortable with the changes.

I asked for a timeline on when this would go to vote but never got an answer. Then, it went to vote five days ago without warning while I was on vacation. I don’t get paid to to focus on this like the PNF team does - I just wanted to understand it as a community member - I think the other community members who also aren’t able to focus as much time should at least be given the opportunity to understand what they are being asked to vote for.

What is the upside to rushing this vote?

To reverse @zaatar’s question - what is the upside to rushing this vote? We can vote NO now to buy some time and have the discussion that you’ve said was missing.

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Thanks @steve for your comments on the forum and on the call

Looking forward to zoning in on what people would like to change with the current proposal and/or to discuss any areas that are unclear or need more debate

But first (!), to correct the record:

@b3n did respond to your request about when the proposal would go to a vote as per

The vote went up on Snapshot about 3 weeks (20 days) after you asked that question after a week of very little activity on the forum

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My apologies to @b3n - I missed that. It would be nice to have a “going to vote date” when these proposals go up, just for time budgeting. But again, I did miss that, so it’s on me.

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Thanks everyone for your patience on this. Voting NO and taking the extra time to seek alignment on the best path forward was a responsible choice and hopefully we can use that opportunity to find clearer consensus and the legitimacy that comes along with it.

In that spirit, we want to outline the next steps that we would propose to move towards the changes to governance.

Step 1: Discuss representation and our governance identity.

The discussions revealed some concerns about a move away from a strictly 1 person 1 vote system, and having different types of representation such as noderunners (& gateways and liquidity providers) being represented in a staker house, or allowing anons to become DAO voters through the use of Passport.

We think that these legitimate concerns arise from perhaps some misunderstanding about the proposed system. We have no intention to move away from the values POKT’s governance has always had, like being a democratic rather than a plutocratic system, or having direct representation and participation by voters. These values would not be lost in what we were proposing, but taking time to discuss what we want governance at POKT to be, and the values and philosophies behind it, can create a shared understanding around how any system we implement together lives up to those values.

This step would conclude with a vote around a definition of what POKT’s governance identity is so that this change, and any subsequent changes, lives up to these ideals.

Step 2: Discuss weighting and parameters

We heard some concerns around different types of weighting and parameters. This included things such as vote expiry, the weight of a staker house, and intra-house weights such as how much weight supply (nodes, liquidity) might have compared to demand (gateways).

We think that these concerns are reasonable and that the logic of any starting weights or new parameters should be stress tested with full community engagement on them before entering a new system.

This step would conclude with a vote on the inclusion, and starting weight, of any new parameters.

Step 3. Enablement

We heard (mostly) strong support for the technical solution recommended within CREDS, notwithstanding the fact that the way we approached enabling it with the necessary changes to the constitution was clumsy.

Given the support already garnered for our technical solution, and with steps 1 and 2 completed, we think this step would allow us to finalise the outline of the system, the technical details, and provide ample justification for any necessary changes to the constitution.

This step would conclude with a vote on the constitutional changes and upon passing would activate the updated governance system.

We have chosen this path, rather than a rapid implementation of a slimmed down technical solution, so that the important reasons behind the upgrade are not lost.

Given the exciting phase we are in and the opportunity for Shannon to supercharge the ecosystem’s continued growth and participation, we think it would be a misstep to kick the can down the road and, potentially, be faced with making changes when they are forced on us, rather than in preparation for what’s ahead. And ultimately, if the community continues to be unable to find alignment on any changes to governance, we always have the ability to return to a purely technical upgrade.

Our ask now is for feedback and comment on the recommended path forward. It’s really important that you directly share if you disagree with this plan or think it can be improved. Governance is ultimately a consent process and it’s incredibly hard, when our direct participation system gives voters their power to help guide the project, to take silence as anything other than consent.

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Thanks for the update @b3n. I like the idea of breaking this into smaller parts with a vote for each part and I think the 3 steps you’ve outlined make sense.

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Tagging a few others who have had input to see if they want to add anything!

@RawthiL @Cryptocorn @Jinx @zaatar @RichCL

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