Tue 30 Oct 2018

Web3 notes: The Why and How of Governance – Let’s Talk Risks and Rewards

Josh Fairhead Public Seen by 242

The Why and How of Governance – Let’s Talk Risks and Rewards
Vlad Zamfir, Gavin Wood, Arthur Breitman

The panel luckily started by defining governance - this was the one thing all three agreed on! The rough definition consented to was that governance is the processes around meta leadership and alignment. It always exists, even when not formalised. Vlad was more of the fuzzy logic off chain perspective, Gavin stayed neutral but believes in provability, Arthur is in the provable on chain camp.

Arthurs example of a forced long term view:
90% of participants wish to remove 10% of participants (“free riders”)
-> Lock funds of the 90%
-> Let the 10% sell their rights in the "new network"
-> Unlock funds of the 90%
—> Aligned interest of stake holders; the majority get their way and whatever happens happens, for better or worse. The minority who are subjectively opposing get to avoid a sunken cost fallacy - if they are in actuality not free riders they get to sell at a high before productivity goes down.

To me the idea of a forced long term outlook is an interesting thought experiment - where else can this idea be applied that’s not already in your face obvious? Sustainability seems like a minimum tick box.

Another possibility briefly discussed was on usage based voting, e.g. the more gas you use the higher your ‘reputation’ on say EIP proposals. Again an interesting proposition - we know reputation is very tricky, what are the problems with this such an approach in general? Can this be limited to just “provisioning” activities? What constitutes a "provisioning activity" in the software space and how can it be proven?

Perhaps the biggest open question was how to ensure voters are not biased parties and “they make consistent decisions”? For those interested, I’ve actually found a JSON of human biases here: https://github.com/busterbenson/public/blob/master/cognitive-bias-cheat-sheet.json