All power to the oracles!

Proposal for Governance Mechanism for Idena Community Wallet

Introduction

In february 2020 idena developers did share a few details on their governance vision for idena, proposing to decentralize power with oracles, see https://medium.com/idena/idena-community-report-current-state-and-next-steps-dce97a0e3034

This draft is meant to support those visions, let us experiment with them on the community wallet governance now. I suggest keeping everything liquid and flexible (51% majority decicions) to allow integration of technical progess and new ideas anytime.

Overview Proposal

  1. All power to the Oracles
  2. Supportive community delegates are selected by “lottocracy” every three epochs
  3. Community delegates control community multisig wallet according to Oracle decicions
  4. Community delegates collect proposals/ requests and set up oracles accordingly
  5. Oracle vote with 51% majority can delegitimize community governance anytime

I ask you to support that proposal, while many aspects of idena are technically not ready yet for a human DAO. Still it is exciting and helpful to start experimentation. That will also support research of future idena governance.

Proposal Details

1. All power to the Oracles

- all governance and funding decicions are to be made in 51% majority vote oracles

- to be legit a oracle requires 100 successful votes at least

- Quorum and comittee size have to be adjusted accordingly

- Oracle voters receive a small reward (Owner fee of those oracles is set to 98%)

- A voting desposit is mandatory, to minimize the risk of random votes without deliberation. (voting fee is set to (25000/networksize) idna )

- if possible predefined smart contracts are to be used to deliver funding, like for example https://docs.idena.io/docs/developer/node/refundable-oracle-lock

- they are to be funded manually by community wallet in advance

- all votings should start a week ahead of flipsession and end an hour into each new epoch, so that higher turnout in oracle governance is more likely

2. Supportive community delegates are selected by “lottocracy” every three epochs

“Lottocracy” is a term used for example by political scientist Hélène Landamore, see https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-future-of-democracy/politics-without-politician or https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/helene-landemore-open-democracy/ It refers to governance by more or less randomly selected decision makers.They are selected out of the pool of all supportive applicants of the (idena) population. People who do not decline to take responsiblity for a governance task. The idea is to have less elitist governance and to be less prone to corruption, demagogues, manipulation, lobbyism.

We might not be able to fully make such mechanism tangible at that early stage of idena community, but it is a valuable concept worth to be tested for the future. It prevents the growth of possible elitist structures at early stage, would be much harder to push through later with leaders allready in charge.

- community delegate status is for three epochs

- community delegates are a group of 5 people,

- they are chosen lottocratically out of a pool of applicants, who have to be in the top 500 active community members at discord or telegram or reddit or twitter (to avoid fake delegates),

-community delegates are rewarded with 100 idna each out of the community wallet as appreciation for their service

- application has to take place at idena discord in a dedicated channel restricted to human status (discord for now)

- to be eligable for lottocratic choice of community delegates , applicants need to be vouched for with at last three human thumbs ups in discord

3. Community delegates control community multisig wallet according to Oracle decicions

- those delegates create a multisig wallet, controlling the community funds

- 3 out of 5 keys enable transactions

- they can set up Oracles and fund them from community wallet

- all transactions should either be legitimized by oracles or meant to set up oracles themself or to transfer funds to next turns delegates

- no other transfers are legit

- each three epochs old delegates transfer all funds to new delegates

4. Community delegates collect proposals/ requests and set up oracles accordingly

- anyone should be able to make proposals
(lacking onchain publishing and communication plattforms i propose that we accept proposals via medium/twitter/telegram/discord/reddit for the timebeeing)

- every proposal must be vouched by supporters
(We use upvoting with ‘thumps up’ and downvoting with ‘thumps down’ in a discord channel like #communitywallet_proposals . Once a proposal has at last 8 more thumps up than thumps down, it is eligable to be posted as oracle vote) delegates are asked to collect requests and proposals

if there are more proposals than available funds in one epoch, an oracle with voting duration of three days decides which to process first

Community delegates are supposed to create transparency for all funding processes and decicions

Community delegates collect all funding proposals in all social channels and post them in a dedicated discord-Channel (as long as no better solution is available)

Community funds requesters need to submit a one-pager, to make their proposal eligable:

  • What is your proposal/request about?
  • why should the network care about that idea?
  • how much funding do you need?
  • how and where will you provide evidence / results of your project?
  • which address is to be funded?
  • What is the desired start and finish date?
  • additional info/ressources?
  • pseudonymous contact?

- ideally everything has to be solved with available oracles and predefined smart contracts

- where it doesnt work (yet) with smart contracts, „community delegates“ may ask an Oracle for one-time 51% majority legitimation to solve unexpected problems differently/manually

Oracles process all budgeting and governance requests. There could be a ‘direct funding’ oracle for example to reward allready finished work, or there could be a ‘funding in multiple steps’ for huge projects that have a certain roadmap and require performance control by oracles not to pay everything on empty promises. So if such a projects funding is approved by an oracle, it is payed only in steps.

5. Oracle vote with 51% majority can delegitimize community governance anytime

- this is an early governance experiment

- we should stay flexible, nothing should be be carved in stone

- 51% Oracle vote (with 200+ succesful votes) shall be enough to adjust/abolish that experiment anytime

Conclusion

I am pretty enthusiastic about experimenting with idena oracle governance, no matter that failure is to be expected and possible. In case this proposal is chosen but needs for some reason technical adjustments right away, i think it is legit to ask devs for intervention (one time only).

Not all decentralisation visions of idena developers are adoptable yet, we dont have onchain communication channels or publication channels beside oracles, multisig wallet was never tried out in practice to my knowledge, we dont have an option for quadaratic voting, also our active community is so far probably much weaker than the identity count: A lot of idena IDs are run by people who dont care at all about community governance, oracles and voting, but mainly about session profits and mining profits.

If you check out the few oracles we had so far, it turns out that most often only 3 to 5 % of eligable comittees did actually vote!

Such a low voters turnout could be problematic, because some bad actor controlling a few % of all idena identities could that way cast multiple times more influencial oracle votes even in randomly selected “lottocratic” mini publics. But i think that risk should be taken, because the influence of such shadow farms will shrink over time. There are — in opposite to running a mining pool in Proof of Work — no costly elitist preconditions for idena human mining farms and pools. Theoretically everyone can compete in that farmers coordination game, so i do expect it to become less problematic over time.

Let´s be courageous and try! All power to the oracles!

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