[DISCONTINUED PROPOSAL] Direct the founding orgs delegation policy via governance

Context to this is available here:


But most important, is this:

That is what the interchain foundation endorses in a validator. Totally silent, no known code contributions, no governance participation and most importantly-- compliant. And who wouldn’t comply? The rewards are incredible.

Ah I wouldn’t because I like cosmos.

the goal of this proposal is for Gaia (the cosmos hub) to direct the cosmos founding orgs— allinbits and the interchain foundation to have an effective and sensible policy on delegations to validators. I am seeking to work with the allinbits and the interchain foundarion to design this document in an effective manner so that the issue documented here:

can be addressed.

---- Proposal Text with options

Vote YES to request that Gaia, mother of chains and cosmos, politely request that the interchain foundation and ignite follow the delegation policy document found at [ipfs cid pending development of policy]

Vote NO to request that Gaia, mother of chains and cosmos, NOT request anything of the Interchain Foundation and Ignite.

Vote ABSTAIN to express that you’ve no opinion on the matter of ICF/Ignite delegation policy.

Vote NoWithVeto to cause Notional to lose the deposit on this proposal and contribute to a tally that cancels this proposal if the NoWithVeto is over 33% at the end of voting.

Jacob’s proposed delegation policy for the founding organizations of the cosmos hub

The evaluation period is quarterly, to ensure that founding organizations do not delegate to validators who have overstepped boundaries, for example firestake. Should any validator take actions that are actively harmful to users, like firestake, both founding orgs are not required to wait until the evaluation period has completed to remove delegations, but if this is done, they should communicate the reasons for that:

  • in this forum
  • in the cosmos discord server
  • on twitter, in a tweet tagging @cosmoshub and the other founding org

If an org doesn’t change delegations during an evaluation period, that is fine.

Both founding organizations loudly endorse all validators that they delegate to, and promise to never delegate to validators that they wouldn’t publicly endorse.

validator use of commissions from icf/ignite delegations
These commissions should be redelegated by the validators, to themselves. This is a filter for long-term orientation, and to ensure that validators do not harm the hub community by using a founding org delegation as their sole source of delegation. Enforcement of this is delegated by the hub, to the hub’s community. Founding orgs are expected to reply to community concerns on this. This is to reduce their compliance time burden. This also economically reinforces intent: these are endorsements, not grants of money. Should a validator stop validating the hub, they could use earnings from their founding org delegation, so economic benefit could exist, but is very meaningfully deferred.

I am very open to suggestions on how to deal with this, including a decision that relayers should not be eligible for a differential in delegation. If all of Gaia’s validators were relaying, that would cause harm to both gaia and her users by adding unnecessary transactions to blocks. (150 of them per ibc packet unless the filter code is working again). For reference, Notional recommends that IBC channels have 2-4 relayers. 1 is too few, the systems are too new and sometimes have issues. 5 is too many and gets spammy. This section should not be interpreted as a requirement that only validators may relay. Anyone can relay if they’d like to, but it might make sense to have a differential for validators that do relay.

Software development
Notional, and historically several other validators, used to do unpaid software development work at GitHub - cosmos/gaia: Cosmos Hub. It is Notional’s view, as a validator who contributes software development work, that there absolutely should be a differential for validators who contribute to Gaia’s codebase, but not for their economic benefit. It is instead a signaling mechanism, reinforcing the intent of endorsement by the founding orgs.

Validators who contribute code to the cosmos hub can do things for Gaia that non-contributors cannot:

  • participate directly in gaia’s design
  • identify and fix bugs
  • assist in emergencies

Therefore, the more VotePower that lies with them, the better. This can also create a better culture around software contributions generally-- whichever founding org happens to control GitHub - cosmos/gaia: Cosmos Hub recognizes that code contributions from validators are preferred.

Gaia decrees that there is presently a disincentive for validator’s to contribute code and demands that this be used as a key signaling mechanism in the determination of founding organization delegations.

Gaia strongly criticizes both founding orgs for having let her code come to this place.

Gaia envies osmosis. The founding individuals and orgs behind osmosis have created a friendly, fun environment for validators and Osmosis validators — any who attempt to, are actively and kindly assisted in learning even arcane aspects of osmosis code.

Gaia questions her purpose. She can never meaningfully decentralize in an environment where she does not attract teams and individuals who can help her be better, do better and serve her children, the chains of cosmos, more effectively. gaia does not need one Notional needs 1000 notionals and cryptocito’s and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. One of anything is useless to Gaia, because Gaia was born to serve.

Good documentation is code, and that documentation should live in the same repository: GitHub - cosmos/gaia: Cosmos Hub

Reporting could and should be easy. Both founding orgs are off doing all kinds of things. Either founding org could hire an individual to do validator relations given that cosmos is expanding. 1fte could speak with every Gaia validator once a month for 30 minutes… but it would be an awful job so let’s not create it.

Instead, reporting should be designed around reducing compliance burden for founding orgs. Reporting should be done using a spreadsheet that can only be edited by the founding org and should only be edited after a founding org has made adjustments to delegations. Founding orgs are proud of who they delegate to. Validators lose their delegation and endorsement from the founding org if they do not claim at least once a month and restake at minimum the portion of claimed commissions resulting from the founding org delegation.


I think that is a very good first draft. Now I need help from the validators, founding orgs and community members concerned with gaias long term viability and meaningful decentralization to help me finish up.

By the way I did not get into numbers for the like what should the differential be if you’re a code contributor I have no idea how to quantify that and I’m going to try to roll it around in my head a bit before having another stab at it. Better than nothing though I think

I largely agree with the intention behind this proposal.

  1. Interchain security is a huge driver of excitement for Cosmos, and yet the Nakamoto coefficient of Cosmos is low: nakaflow [dot] io (unfortunately I can’t link yet). Having a delegation program should consider this, and likely would aid in making it more reasonable. For reference - the larger the value, the better.

  2. Setting clear expectations for how validators can contribute, and therefore be “rewarded,” is a good thing. People want to contribute, but don’t know how - why not make it more clear?

  3. I believe IBC Relayers should absolutely be rewarded in some fashion.

My cardinal push back for the proposal as-is would be on the monthly iterations. That’s too often, I’d advocate for quarterly.

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Thank you so much for your thoughts.

I’m good to agree to quarterly, especially as this is the first interaction from a validator-- and because I genuinely want to keep the reporting burden as low as possible and quarterly will reduce it.

Regarding relaying, given the expense of the task, I agree. do you have any specific recommendations on what policy for a relaying differential might look like?

Pls keep in mind the reality that all validators shouldn’t relay unless we fix the bits that would reject duplicate transactions, in which case it won’t bloat the chain.

I’ve updated the document to reflect quarterly, and thank you so much for your contribution to the design.

Due to feedback from


I am no longer going to make a separate gov prop requesting payment.

This is now entirely about service to Gaia, the mother of chains.

I believe you absolutely should still pursue funding for work done, however I do agree with Kobos that it diluted the message of this proposal.

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I was worried about that and that is why I have now changed it. And thank you so much for your feedback, lavender five aka “the bee validator team” whom notional endorses strongly and Kobos the Twitter user (who… I mean he is complicated but nonetheless loved) are now literally the only ones. Honestly I wish that was surprising.


2/175 validators
1 community member
0 founding orgs

Yeah I’m aware they’re both powerful in cosmos, have lots of stake and lots of connections

But honestly the value of words matters to me

Sure I shouldn’t get hurt doing this

But I’m sure I already have been because I dare tell folks my opinion.

Otherwise how to explain Pull requests · cosmos/gaia · GitHub

Interesting thread and o so necessary.
Delegations from projects are very much required to be transparent and adding value to a project. They are not something to be given away for free.

I have been following BitCanna for a while and they have a clear distinction who is getting a delegation, the size and the why (docs.bitcanna [dot] io/token-chain-parameters/validator-incentive-program).

One thing to add in this draft is that adding value for a project does not only come from the technical perspective. Running relayers, adding code are needed, but so is participating in governance discussions, helping the community out and raising brand awareness. If something like that can be added in the proposal then it would become a lot stronger imo


Thanks so much Lenoor.

Do you think that you can suggest draft text?

I’ve … I strongly suspect I’ve been retaliated against already on this and am kinda tired out. BTW I should introduce you some as I hope that you end up as a cosmos hub validator soon.

Lenoor is one of the most participatory osmosis validator’s. She works on governance very consistently, and was behind the badly needed proposal 191 which of course would not solve the cosmos James problems, but if the cosmos hub had somebody working as tirelessly as Lenoor, I think things would go better.

She is also a nurse and powerful advocate for cannabis as medicine. As I understand it, she follows a common pattern in validator teams-- Lenoor is doing a great deal of gov and outreach work, and has a technical partner-- her “Cryptoman” – running the nodes directly.

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I’ll print your draft letter and read it carefully.

I’ll get back on it. I very much love the whole Cosmos-ecosystem, with the value adding projects as well as the necessary shitcoins for a healthy Cosmoverse. (and yes, we have been thinking on running a Cosmos validator as well, but I am a bit scared of the required investment to get into the active set. I don’t have 33k+ ATOM lying around lol)

Leonoor and myself are not the powerful coders as some other validators are, but we can contribute on other fields. Having a nice mix between (let’s put it bluntly) nerds and people who are able to glue communities together makes us stronger in the end.

Let’s see where we can take this.
I think team delegations are a nice way of rewarding validators who add value to a project, without having to spend funds destined for development of a project. But delegations have to be done properly in the end with a clear set of guidelines and they must abide to that. No politics involved, just pure business-view on how things work out.


totally agree with the standpoint that code isn’t everything.

Look at cryptocito.

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Just my opinion, I think there should be separated roles here: Network Validator, Developer, and Community Contributors. These roles might overlap on one entity, but benefits from the network to them should be separated.

A validator participates in running PoS consensus and validating blocks. He/she is rewarded by block rewards and transaction fees from the network. That’s it. Whether a validator is more favored than another is depending on delegators. Whatever you do for your delegator to make them like you and trust your service, you do that. It is marketing.

A developer contributes code. An open-source project welcomes contributions from developers. How they are rewarded is, unfortunately, not clear and people are free to do whatever they want. There are lead developers for a project to make sure things don’t turn into chaos. But whatever it is, there is no guarantee that the code contribution is rewarded by any mean. If you contribute code to Gaia, of course you will have edge in marketing for your validator. Interchain Foundation have their own rules and decision to encourage people through their grants. I don’t know if they have rules about delegating to validators, but I sure love to see their counter arguments to your post and be more transparent. The Builder program they just release is great, I am happy to apply. Maybe you should too and get the rewards from the builder program to stake on notional validator.

Community contributors, as your example, Cryptocito, brings tremendous value to the Cosmos community in general. However, I don’t watch Cryptocito because he runs validator but because of his content. He goes along very well with every body and his interview with people including ICF members are excellent. Stakecito validator gets a lot of attention because of this (I delegate because I’m his fan). So it doesn’t really matter if ICF delegates to him or not.

In the end, I think you are right in a part that the ICF should be more transparent. However, the general message in this proposal only tells me that you have problems with the ICF and it should not be mixed into a governing decision. Gonna go with No or even NoWithVeto if it stays like this.

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There are a number of problems with this proposal including lack of participation from either founding organization.

More worrying is what’s been discovered

I feel like stuff like this is so easily solved by setting policy.

I don’t have issues with icf writ large, please let’s be nuanced.

Seems to me that their delegation policies harm the value of the atom token. Harm to Value happens in a few ways, first of all there’s just direct sales that lower price.

Second, unique in cosmos, the hub doesn’t use its validators to any strategic end. I think that for now I’m going to take the original proposal and remove most of it. Please keep in mind that this is ultimately time-consuming and challenging work that faces a lot of resistance and causes personal attacks against me for disclosing it, they talk about the style but I don’t believe them. I believe they don’t want this heard and there are now various attempts at shooting the messenger like the frequent and loud claim that I’m doing this simply to enhance notionals level of delegation.

The reality is if the interchain foundation stopped there delegation program and sales of atom by their delegates were to cease, that would most like cause an increase in the price of atom.

Another claim that’s being made is that I am blaming validators. No. I am blaming the interchain foundation.

I am pretty confused. I am only discussing in the context of the proposal your wrote above that:

  1. Delegation is purely a decision of the delegator. Whether the delegator is a representative of a community of not, they have their rules.
  2. Code contribution doesn’t always mean you are rewarded. It is open-source world. Apply for grant or something. Contributing to a good project gives good reputation and that alone can be used in a lot of other places.

The current proposal has too many side information that is not really confirmed by any reputable third parties so it WILL create confusion / FUD for readers. If you only focus on writing the policy for the interchain foundation delegation policy as in the proposal title, it will be much better. But again, I am not sure whether the ICF “has to” follow ATOM holder governance or not. Do they ?


Clarity and process around delegation grants on cosmos hub is needed. I think projects like UMEE and Osmosis have done a great job standardizing strategic delegations. I don’t understand why validator use of commissions from icf/ignite delegations needs to be dictated by any proposal.

validator use of commissions from icf/ignite delegations
These commissions should be redelegated by the validators, to themselves. This is a filter for long-term orientation, and to ensure that validators do not harm the hub community by using a founding org delegation as their sole source of delegation. Enforcement of this is delegated by the hub, to the hub’s community. Founding orgs are expected to reply to community concerns on this. This is to reduce their compliance time burden. This also economically reinforces intent: these are endorsements, not grants of money. Should a validator stop validating the hub, they could use earnings from their founding org delegation, so economic benefit could exist, but is very meaningfully deferred.

It is really up to the validator and their company how those commissions should be used. If a validator has 1 million ATOM in delegations from other delegates, but gets 100,000 from ICF, do they now have to keep ALL of those commissions on the validator? You want them to re-delegate with the validator key? Our team, and many others, prefer delegations to be on an account other than the operator key. It’s really a preference of security and a choice up to the operators. Cosmos has a diverse group of operators. I don’t think dictating how commissions should be used fits here.
There is the need to cover costs. IMO, that is what the commission is for. Not everyone can just stack the commission endlessly. This is decentralization and everyone has different business models. Not sure why we’re judging or DOXing how other organizations try to manage their balance sheet. This is a filter for long-term orientation, and to ensure that validators do not harm the hub community by using a founding org delegation as their sole source of delegation. Having a diverse set of organizations as validators is good. Small teams can run excellent validators.

Otherwise, greatly appreciate the write up and support the initiative. Disappointed you did not get any feedback from ICF or Ignite. Thank you for taking the time to start the convo and dig into the issues.


Why would I want a grant of atoms when it’s value is being undercut by the foundation that is supposed to support its growth and value?

These are primary issues.

Thank you, so I just wanna make sure that you believe that the following information represents false hoods:

Just like the lead of the Gaia repository, you are saying that I am distributing fear uncertainty and doubt and inaccurate information.

what is inaccurate about the above document?

Please if you find any in accuracies whatsoever do not hesitate to let me know and I will check and wetogether will make it more accurate.

Hi I just want to let you know that I appreciate your participation in this conversation and that I fully agree with you that it is 100% up to the validator what they do with their commissions. This entire discussion is about problems with a delegator. It is also an invitation to ignite to be more transparent.

The reason that I took the approach of making a governance proposal, and I must say that I am in fact going to retire this governance proposal in favor of one that attempts to define what a validator should do, is that there have been six months of empty promises about allegations and I have been repeatedly told that these conversations are best had in private and I do not agree with that point of you. I believe that forcing these conversations into private spaces, when the information is publicly available to anybody willing to take the time and energy to put it together, increases the likelihood that the situation will continue, reduces transparency and causes difficulty holding the foundation accountable. Ignite was mentioned in this proposal as an invitation. I am actually not aware of any egregious issues there, the way that we can easily find if we do even a cursory examination of ICF delegations. Also, part of the reason that I made this governance proposal was to show that in just a few hours, it is possible to create a framework for a delegation policy.

Nothing has happened in six months.

The longer m the inaction, and the greater the pushback from individuals who are ultimately even if indirectly paid by the foundation, the more likely the horrific bear scenario.

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There is only one chain in Cosmos where people are arguing that these roles should be separated, and that is the Cosmos hub. Additionally, there is only one chain and Cosmos where there is no strategy around delegations. Additionally, there is only one chain in Cosmos where the foundation does not care about governance participation by validator‘s. That is the cosmos hub.

One thing that I do not understand is if I am wrong, or the ICF is highly content with their choices, Then why are they not here right now telling us how great their delegate choices truly are. Aren’t they proud of them?

Hi Jacob. My name is Maria Gomez. I work at the ICF.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to come up with this proposal. We are working on the ICF delegation policy. I know this has been said already and I understand your frustration. But, we hope to be able to share some information in this regard soon. We will take the opportunity to take into account your input. We may not be able to incorporate it all but we will explain/ground our position. Thank you again.

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Hi, what I was really looking for was your input and participation My input was just my spitballing my ideas resulting in contributing infinitely more to this than the interchain foundation has in the previous year because there’s been nothing literally zero

Initial input here from myself:

It seems to me that issues are arising throughout the Cosmos where transparency is lacking. Everyone looks to the Cosmos as leaders in the space and at this moment, a strong stance for clarity and transparent policy must be established.

As validators, it’s very confusing to see a delegation to a validator which has no security contact, website or discernible history in the space. It is equally frustrating to see jailed validators with significant network stake retaining their delegation.

I’m certain that the ICF is a large vessel which moves slowly and carefully (and perhaps that’s a feature and not a bug), however this is something which has been discussed for many many months now. If immediate action isn’t possible, we need to at least understand the ICF’s intention to solve, so we can discuss it.

Cosmos Hub should be a bastion of hope for decentralization and transparency, and that must be absolutely evident in the public eye if Cosmos is to succeed through Interchain Security.

We do agree that delegations for coders is an imperative initiative, as we must encourage a community of builders. Jacob is only one example - but a great one.

Per the ICF Website, “As stewards of the interchain, we fund and advance the creation of an interoperable, sustainable, and community-owned decentralized ecosystem.”

The current delegation policies of the ICF seem to be in some cases aligned with this mission, but there are simply too many evident examples where current delegation policies do not align with this mission.

We would like to know what the intended fix is from the ICF on this, as well as what future policies can be established to detect and prevent this from happening in the future, in the interest of the long-term survival and value of the network.

A great start would be an article in the coming couple weeks from the relevant folks at ICF which signals the intention to fix this problem and address the outpoints.

An incredible start would be immediately beginning to implement these delegation changes to handle the current situation, and beginning the work to establish firm policy to detect and prevent in the future.

We would be very supportive of both.