Polkadot governance news #5: Governance v2 announced by Gavin Wood at Polkadot Decoded 2022

Polkadot started its on-chain governance from Day 1. But the evolution of the chain and the ecosystem leads Gavin and the other governance participants to the slow and steady change of the governance model to another version. The most significant updates of the Governance V2 are removing the council and the technical committee, on-chain voting delegation for different roles, and the origin of the Polkadot Fellowship 🤠.

Polkadot governance v2

Polkadot Decoded 2022 was this year’s largest Polkadot event, with more than 100 talks. One of the most expected speeches was by Dr. Gavin Wood and the first day of the conference, live from Buenos Aires, where he talked about the upcoming changes in the Polkadot governance mechanism. So what’s wrong with Polkadot governance now and what will be the subject of a change? Let’s summarize this in a quick and understandable way.

As we described in our article called On-chain governance: The greatest virtue of Polkadot, there are three main roles in today's governance. The Council, The Technical Committee, and DOT holders (community).

The first two, which are the Council and the Technical Committee, represent centralizing elements that are undesirable. Instead of having them, you will be able to easily delegate your governance votes to other accounts.

Each referendum will now have a mandatory area of concern (track). This can be staking, governance, or community, for example, and this will allow multiple referendums to run simultaneously and even with different priorities. This is an obvious upgrade because the current state is that there can only be one referendum at one time.

Generally speaking, Polkadot will move the whole decision-making process to the referendum level without the need for any special roles such as the council.

Everything has already been implemented and we expect to see the governance v2 in action in a few weeks in Kusama. At first governance v1 and v2 will run simultaneously, but at the end of the launch process the council will vote itself out of existence and only governance v2 will remain.

Summary of governance v1 — > v2 transition upgrades:

  • removing the Council and the Technical Committee (centralizing elements)
  • unlimited referenda for all at once (instead of having one referendum at a time)
  • setting up priorities for referenda

Things to be implemented later on:

  • passive delegation enables delegate voting responsibility to somebody else
  • multi-role delegation for having different voters for each track — staking, governance, treasury, community, etc.
  • free undelegation avoiding paying fees for undelegating voting responsibility
  • Polkadot fellowship evaluates one’s level of expertise and registers the sentiment

Let’s now focus on the present governance and let’s start with recently executed referenda.

  1. Polkadot Referendum #68: Statemint Upgrade to v9230 has been passed and executed. The v9230 runtime is based on the same release as the Polkadot/Kusama v9230 runtimes. This release updates the deposits required to create both fungible and non-fungible asset classes to 10 DOT.
  2. Polkadot Referenda #65 & #67 upgraded Polkadot Runtime to v9220 resp. v9230. Both referenda have been passed and already executed.
  3. Polkadot Referendum #66 Fix: Establish HRMP Channels for Statemint has been passed and executed. This referendum is a fix for referendum #62, which passed but failed to execute properly.
  4. Polkadot Referendum #64: Treasury proposal for Polkadot at Davos during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022 has been passed. The Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is one of the biggest macro events of 2022 and Polkadot representatives were presented in Davos at the moment of the conference with their speeches and presentations.
  5. Kusama Referendum #213 Runtime Upgrade to v9250 has been passed and executed.
  6. Kusama Referendum #212 Treasury proposal: KSM initial liquidity subsidy for KSM staking liquidity derivative — vKSM has been passed. Bifrost team was requesting a KSM initial liquidity subsidy and this referendum was quite controversial with a big account voting NAY and falling for some time.
  7. Kusama Referendum #210 Statemine: Runtime Upgrade on v9230+ has been passed and executed.
  8. Kusama Referendum #208 which made changes in nomination pools has been passed and executed. This referendum was requested by the staking team. The execution lowered the number of pools to 64, and 16 members per pool, which means a maximum of 1024 members that can participate in pools in Kusama for now.
  9. Kusama Referendum #207 Open HRMP Channel Between Robonomics and Statemine has been passed and executed.
  10. Kusama Referendum #206 Runtime Upgrade to v9230 has been passed. It's going to make changes in the runtime including an update on weights and some add-ons for nomination pools and bags to continue working as expected.
  11. Kusama Referendum #205 Pichiu-2102 genesis state&wasm reset on Kusama has been passed and executed. This referendum aims to reset the Pichiu (Kylin canary) genesis state and runtime, because of some unexpected issues. The same issue was the subject of referendum #209 and referendum #211, so due to the execution of referendum #205, both new referenda were disapproved.
  12. Moonriver: Referendum #97 Open/Accept HRMP channel to/from Integritee and Register TEER Asset has been passed and executed. This batched proposal allows Accept/Open an HRMP channel with Integritee and to register the TEER token.

Here are some ongoing referenda you can vote now for:

  1. Kusama Referendum #214 Runtime Upgrade for Quartz is currently passing, the referendum ends in 3 days. During the runtime upgrade the Quartz network got stuck and now needs a force-update of runtime to resume processing blocks.
  2. Kilt Referendum #15 Upgrade Spiritnet runtime to 1.7.0 is moving forward with the new runtime upgrade. This referendum is currently passing and ends in another 5 days.
  3. Moonriver Referendum #103 Orbiters Program is currently passing with 2 days to go. The Orbiters Program is a project from the Moonbeam Foundation as an option for collators to participate in supporting the network. It will set the default bond for the program to 400 MOVR, and increase the collator active set by 8, bringing the total to 72 to account for the new orbiter pool accounts.
  1. KILT: Proposal #93 KILT Protocol Swap Parachain Lease is about to be discussed. KILT would like to swap the lease period with ParaID 2108.
  2. Kusama: Proposal #92 Removal of eighteen (18) proposals on the public referenda queue is being proposed. Paradox submitted this proposal to attempt to cancel eighteen (18) other proposals numbered seventy-four (74) to ninety-one (91) inclusive submitted by Paco reasoning given here. Those proposals serve no purpose and occupy the public proposal queue with high conviction (0.5 KSM per). This leads to an increase in the barrier to entry for other referenda and puts existing technical proposals seventy-two (72) and seventy-three (73) at a lower priority.

If you want to dig deeper into Polkadot’s governance, definitely check out our descriptive article Governance: The greatest virtue of Polkadot.

We are active validators and collators in the Dotsama ecosystem. Consider supporting us by nominating your tokens to our Kusama and Polkadot validator going by the Polkadotters’ name! Rewards from validators are what keep us going, because this is our only stable income, so if you like what we do, please nominate us on one of the Dotsama networks! Thank you 😊



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