[DISCUSSION] Working draft of Cosmos Hub Charter

this charter currently lives on GitHub: PR’s welcome

The Charter is a document which should be collectively defined by the citizens of the Hub. It is voted on and enforced by all of us. One of its core functions is to ensure that core teams are kept accountable to the wider citizenry. As such, it is not for us, the authors of the paper, to determine what should or shouldn’t go into it. The best we can do is to humbly offer suggestions and recommendations, and in doing so help frame the space of possibilities.

In light of this, none of what is written below should be considered final. This is a rough and incomplete draft that aims to clear up some of the confusion we’ve seen since the paper was announced. One that we hope may serve as a continuation point for further debate and synthesis.

We have deliberately left in-line commentary (in quote blocks like this) to provide further context or to highlight certain areas that require further debate.

Since this Charter is contingent on approval of the whitepaper, the Charter can only be voted on after the whitepaper has been ratified by ATOM stakers. We expect to see many iterations of this Charter between now and then.

Process on the forum:

  • We (Sacha, Udit, and Youssef) will be iteratively merging suggestions and comments from the forum discussion. We will keep a change log to track any substantive changes.
  • We will be using polls and asking questions to solicit directed feedback.
  • All the sections, chapters, and articles in this Charter are currently numbered. Please reference these when making suggestions and providing feedback.
  • We request forum participants to please use the “like” button on answers they agree with. This gives us a social signal for points that we should incorporate.
  • Individuals should feel comfortable forking this document, but we would strongly recommend first engaging in the discussion here so we can try to find consensus on ideas together.

Change log:

  • 2022-10-21 Articles in Sections III and IV have been renumbered. Articles have been made linkable.
  • 2022-10-18 Rough draft posted for discussion

Cosmos Hub Charter

Preamble

This Working Charter of the Cosmos Hub is a transitory document. It is jointly established by members of the Cosmos Hub community, and adopted by us on DD-MM-YYYY through an on-chain vote. The Working Charter will remain in effect no more than four years from the date of its adoption. After that, authority over governance will be ceded to a future Constitution (that incorporates the lessons of the Hub’s prior governance experiments).

The Cosmos Network is an association of economically connected sovereign communities. It is a voluntary association of blockchains that subscribe to a philosophy of sovereign interoperability, localism, and pluralism – a network of networks that uphold the right for communities to maintain technological sovereignty and interoperability.

The Charter enables the philosophy of sovereign interoperability by upholding three freedoms: the freedom to disobey, the freedom to move, and the freedom to create and transform social relationships.

Section I. Freedoms

Chapter 1. Freedom to Disobey (to Resist Censorship)

Article 1

It is our collective duty to co-create and reinforce a culture of censorship-resistance. Censorship resistance is far more a property of the community than it is of the protocol. As such, it starts and ends with every one of us. Sovereignty requires freedom to publish freely.

Article 2

Individual ATOM stakers should have a strong expectation of property rights on the fork that is canonical to them: apart from the ethical implications of trying to impose future values on past actions, ATOM cannot realize its potential as a credibly neutral reserve currency for the wider interchain if there is a perception that it can be arbitrarily confiscated by the whims of the majority.

Article 3

Slashing should be reserved exclusively for in-protocol, deterministic removal of token holdings for actions that are provable in a deterministic way (for example double signing, undue downtime, or malicious governance proposals determined as such with NoWithVeto vote).

Article 4

Slashing should not be used to confiscate funds retroactively from “malicious actors”.

Article 5

Removing “malicious actors” from the token distribution should, barring an existential threat to the protocol, always take the form of a fork: in which a new genesis file is created for a distinct chain which rearranges the token distribution on that fork.

Chapter 2. Freedom to Move (to Fork)

Article 6

A strength of open source is that you can show, through positive action, what a more beautiful world looks like without the use of force or coercion. The right to fork is key to protecting this fundamental ethos, and should be upheld at all costs.

Article 7

It’s expected and encouraged that if the governance of the Assembly is captured by malicious actors, ATOM Validators and Delegators will vote to remove the Councils making up the Assembly and reinstate new Councils which better serve the community. In the case where tokenholder governance is also captured, the community is expected to coordinate to fork the system and institute a new Assembly.

Article 8

All of the core software and tooling required to run the Hub should be made open source, freely available, and easy to use such that a fork is always a viable alternative.

Article 9

The percentage of centrally controlled assets (including fiat-backed stablecoins) held in the Treasury or Community Pool should be bounded so as to reduce outside influence on fork choice or the sovereign affairs of the Cosmos Hub.

We should think through how a user-activated fork might look like, as well as the implications for IS consumer chains, IBC channels, etc. There is a lot of nuance here.

Chapter 3. Freedom to Create and Transform Social Relationships (to be a citizen of the Hub)

Article 10

Every citizen of the Cosmos Hub has the right to participate, to form relations on the Cosmos Hub, and to experiment and propose changes to the mechanisms and processes that make up the Cosmos Hub.

Article 11

Every citizen has the right to a clear charter that outlines rules and expectations of governance, providing clear and accessible means to create and transform social relationships. These rules and expectations are described in the rest of this document, the Charter.

Article 12

Citizens should seek to clarify their intentions by using constructive and collaborative results-oriented language for describing their commitments to each other. This includes dynamic cycles of listening, negotiating, executing and assessing.

We might also want to have something like the followings sections or chapters

  • Values: what values do we expect to be respected in governance (beyond the basic freedoms)
  • Approach and Operating Goals: what are the goals and how do we go about them?
  • Responsibilities: what are the responsibilities of governance participants, councils, etc.

Section II. The Cosmos Hub

Chapter 1. The Hub

The Cosmos Hub’s inaugural role has been to originate the Cosmos Network (aka the internet of blockchains or the interchain). It has achieved this by resourcing the development of the Cosmos SDK, IBC, and Tendermint, the core open-source primitives for the blockchain applications that now populate the interchain.

The Cosmos Hub’s primary role has now transitioned from conceiving the Cosmos Network to growing a resilient interchain economy: a secure platform for others to build the next generation of interchain-native infrastructure and applications.

Article 13

Cosmos Hub’s mission is to autonomously secure and capitalize ecosystem-critical applications, while serving as the port of entry for new Cosmos participants, and a coordinating center for the infrastructure and administrative concerns of the Interchain. Accomplishing this aim will require the Cosmos Hub to become self-governing and self-funding.

Article 14

Cosmos Hub governance consists of two governing bodies (1) ATOM stakers comprising delegators and validators and (2) the Assembly which is in turn composed of Councils. Importantly, ATOM stakers have the power to remove individual Councils from the Assembly, as well as veto power (ref: Art 27) over any proposal made to the Treasury.

Article 15

The Cosmos Hub will strive to be a minimal hub that other zones will want to use. All features – including the Allocator and the Scheduler – be implemented as consumer chains wherever possible. In a minimal system, zones should be allowed to choose their own set of regulatory policies, and the Cosmos Hub can help enforce these policies when it comes to IBC transfers across zones, or from hub to zone. From the perspective of the Cosmos Hub, this is still a permissionless, voluntary system. The Cosmos Hub endeavors to engage in peaceful, non-coercive relations with other sovereign parties.

Chapter 2. The Community Pool

Article 16

The purpose of the Community Pool is to ensure each community member has the ability to request funds for any initiative that ATOM stakers deem worthy of support.

Article 17

Formal requests for funds from the Community Pool are made through a Community Spend Proposal.

Article 18

ATOM stakers determine the outcome of Community Spend Proposals through a token holder vote.

Article 19

A fraction of revenues from the distribution module are diverted to the Community Pool via the community tax parameter. ATOM stakers have the power to directly change this parameter through an on-chain param-change proposal.

Chapter 3. The Treasury

The Assembly and Council structure that manages the Treasury is outlined below in Chapter 4

Article 20

The purpose of the Treasury is to support the maintenance of R&D excellence in the Cosmos Hub and its related technologies, and to support special initiatives that increase adoption, growth, and capitalization of the ATOM economic zone, including public works and opportunities for expansion, turning ATOM into the preferred interchain reserve asset.

Article 21

The Treasury is initially capitalized through issuance in twelve tranches of 4M ATOM each.

Article 22

ATOM stakers must approve each tranche (where the issuance of the tranche is implemented as a governance approved software upgrade or through an in-protocol mechanism which requires governance approval).

Article 23

An Assembly proposal can request that a portion of the Treasury flow back to the Distribution module. The proposal may not ask for more than 10% of the value of the Treasury, and there must be a minimum interval of 1 year between such successful proposals.

Article 24

Treasury spending will be restricted to pilots and setup costs until the Assembly’s initial budget is approved. The Assembly budget consists of a roll-up of the individual Council budgets; the Assembly is a voting body & nothing more. Pilots and setup costs include expenses for building components described in the Cosmos Hub paper, including the Allocation module and onboarding Allocation DAO members. Before any funds are released for this tranche, a product specification and funding roadmap will be provided for public review. Additional funds can be released if the initial tranche is not sufficient, but the release of these funds is contingent upon the accounting of previously deployed funds and key milestones being met.

Article 25

The budget for Treasury fund allocation is to be made through a yearly budgeting process conducted by the Cosmos Assembly. The resulting budget is deemed to be approved when a majority of the Cosmos Assembly votes in favor. ATOM stakers may veto the yearly budget while the Assembly proposal is in voting period.

Currently many teams that work on the Hub follow a yearly budgeting process. It is the goal of the Hub to become a self funded network. The yearly budgeting proposed for the Treasury may help teams transition to become Hub funded.

Article 26

Budget should leave room for potential formation of new councils during the year that haven’t been planned at the outset. This amount should be specified in the Assembly’s budget.

This can also happen in a bottom up way, where newly proposed councils can request new funding from the Treasury. Something to discuss.

Article 27

ATOM stakers have veto power on all proposals put forward by the Cosmos Assembly. Quorum will remain 40% and a simple majority is required to veto proposals.

Article 28

The portfolio of Treasury assets must be managed responsibly including minimizing risks in the event of a prolonged market downturn.

ATOM holder veto power can be accomplished by adding Veto functionality to the Gov module. From a technical perspective the assembly could be a group created with the groups module. The members of that group could be other groups (or explicitly designated reps from other groups). The Assembly will need a special “group policy” that allows ATOM stakers to veto their proposals.

Chapter 4. Assembly and Councils

Article 29

The Assembly is an on-chain organizational body that consists of councils. Councils may elect to choose a representative to act in the Assembly on the councils’ behalf.

Article 30

​​The Assembly has to live on the Cosmos Hub in order to properly interact with ATOM governance. Individual Councils however are free to use the governance stack of their choice – whether it be the SDK group module, DAO DAO, or an IBC-connected chain – subject to its ability to interface with the Assembly.

Article 31

The initial Assembly will be constituted by only two councils: Community Council and the Bootstrap Council. While the Assembly may have more councils in the future, the first two are meant to prove the viability of the changes proposed in the new vision and evolve the on-chain governance process to meet the needs of the Cosmos Hub and its community.

Article 32

A majority of Assembly members (i.e., councils within the Assembly) are required to pass an Assembly proposal.

Article 33

For a council to be eligible to receive funding from the Treasury, it has to be added to the Assembly by ATOM stakers (via a standard on-chain tokenholder vote).

Article 34

Any group of individuals can submit a proposal to ATOM stakers in order to be added to the Assembly as a council. That proposal must include the voting weight that the council will have in the Assembly.

Article 35

No individual may be in more than one council.

Article 36

Councils optimistically propose their yearly roadmaps to the Assembly. A majority vote by the Assembly can veto the roadmap of any individual council.

Article 37

ATOM stakers may remove individual councils from the Assembly (via a standard on-chain tokenholder vote), thereby restricting their ability to access the Treasury and revoking any on-chain authorizations.

Article 38

If a council is off-boarded:

  • Personnel budget for the council for the following two months remains with the council to ensure a graceful transition period for the individuals
  • Funds earmarked as working capital and for the completion incentive are returned to the Treasury

Article 39

A council can vote to remove any of its council members with a two-thirds majority vote. The Assembly and ATOM stakers cannot remove a council member directly.

Article 40

A council’s budget will be streamed wherever possible, meaning that the funds are released continuously over a predetermined period of time.

Article 41

Each council is responsible for coming up with their own disclosure process prior to being ratified by ATOM stakers.

We will need to think hard about how we can add assurances around one person one council, while remaining as anon friendly as possible. What level of identification is acceptable?

Chapter 5. Allocator DAOs

Article 42

Allocator DAOs that manage Treasury funds must be approved by ATOM stakers.

Article 43

ATOM stakers may remove individual Allocator DAOs and restrict their ability to access the Treasury.

Article 44

No more than X% of voting power in the Assembly should be taken up by Allocator DAOs (either via individual councils, or a council of representatives)

Article 45

Although not every Allocator DAO needs to be a council, there should be a similar degree of accountability (via reporting requirements) between councils and Allocator DAOs.

Section III. Councils

This section contains chapters for specific councils that exist. Whenever a new council is added, the charter should be amended to add a Chapter for the new council in this Section.

Chapter 1. Community Council

Article 46

The Community Council is the primary representative of ATOM stakers (Hub citizens) within the Assembly.

Article 47

The Community Council’s role includes holding other councils to account, elaborating on the Charter, providing feedback on decisions from the community’s perspective, and providing a bridge to the wider community by communicating important facets of ongoing workstreams.

Article 48

The Community Council is expected to act as a balance of power to the Bootstrap Council.

Article 49

The Community Council is responsible for recommending a veto on Assembly proposals. In case of a veto, it is the responsibility of the Community Council to make recommendations to the Assembly for proposal revisions.

Article 50

ATOM stakers cannot make proposals to the Assembly directly. The Community Council must do this on their behalf.

Article 51

The long term vision is for the Community Council to become a fully-fledged Citizens Assembly, which will act as a balance of power between Cosmos citizens and the Assembly of councils. Part of the Community Council’s mandate is to flesh out this longer term vision.

Article 52

The Community Council should be independently funded from the other Councils, for example, from the Community Pool, to ensure that the Community Council’s funding can not be revoked by the Assembly

Article 53

The Community Council will initially be composed of…

The number of members, how they are chosen, and whether or not they should be compensated is something the community needs to decide on.

Ideas for how Community Council membership is maintained

  • Sortition - random selection from a list of Citizens who have stepped forward
  • ATOM holders vote for each Council member
  • Referral from existing community council members

There should be term limits for Community Council members and a reflective process to ensure the Community Council is being representative of ATOM holders.

Chapter 2. The Bootstrap Council

Article 54

The Bootstrap Council is a temporary Council that will exist until the Assembly’s initial budget proposal.

Article 55

The Bootstrap Council’s mandate consists of implementing the initial pilots and components described in the Cosmos Hub paper: issuance, governance, Allocator, Scheduler, until a fully-fledged Assembly has been formed.

Article 56

The Bootstrap Council is expected to act as a balance of power to the Community Council (you can think of the initial Assembly as a 2-of-2 multisig).

The Bootstrap Council would be made up of core developers and contributors implementing the initial pilots and components described in the paper.

Section IV. Metagovernance

Article 57

Once approved, this document will continue to reside within the Cosmos Hub git repository. Amendments and annulments to the Charter are merged in the repository after an on-chain vote.

Article 58

ATOM stakers have the responsibility of defining and updating this Charter, which includes directives at the highest level (as well as specific details where they are deemed important e.g. reporting requirements for councils and/or Allocator DAOs).

Article 59

The process of changing Sections I, II, III, and IV of the Charter should require extensive discussion, a quorum of ATOM stakers, and a supermajority in a given vote.

This will not be explicitly represented in the on-chain quorum until modifications are made to the gov module.

Article 60

The process of changing a specific param or reporting requirement in the Charter should require extensive discussion, a quorum of ATOM stakers, and a majority in a given vote.

We will need to decide what the quorum requirement for metagovernance proposals should be (too high and this preliminary Charter will be set in stone until it expires, too low and it loses its meaning/importance). We may need to implement safeguards – e.g vote extensions – to handle the possibility of last-minute vote swings (especially important in a liquid staking world).

Params and Reporting requirements

As outlined in Section IV Metagovernance, the following parameters and specific requirements can be changed by a lower threshold of voters, while Sections I, II, III, and IV require a supermajority.

Params

ATOM stakers can vote to change these params through an on-chain parameter change proposal

  • Type of Assets held in the Treasury (e.g what is the maximum percentage of real-world assets, stablecoins, etc)
  • The fraction of revenues from the distribution module that is diverted to the Community Pool.

Suggestions for restrictions requested

Reporting requirements

For Councils and Allocator DAOs need to be discussed. Since the first two proposed Councils in the Charter are the Community Council and the Bootstrap Council, their reporting requirements should be finalized first.

12 Likes

So far, this is one of the main points of contention I have noticed in Telegram.

In an ideal world, councils will police themselves and the community won’t need to get involved as far as individual members go. I also realize we can remove entire councils.

This doesn’t seem consistent to me, though. If we can vote in individual members, why can’t we (the community) vote them out? It would have to be a big issue to even get to this point, but I don’t know if I like totally ruling out the ability, if needed.

I personally would not advocate for creating that type of governance culture, as it is especially prone to witch-hunts. Here’s a list of reasons why I don’t see the purpose of individual removal proposals:

  • Councils are incentivized to remove council members rather than having all of their powers revoked. If they fail to remove bad actors, that should be indicative of their inability to perform their duties effectively. Thus, removing individuals is redundant if the removal of bad actors is part of the councils’ governance mandate (and it should be).
  • The wider community lacks the same context that other council members within that environment would have to assess if the removal is just.
  • Raising a public signaling proposal to remove a single individual within an organization is presuming guilt before a trial, and it will be permanently damaging to that individual’s reputation (regardless of whether they’ve committed a wrong-doing).

A counter-question: what is the primary purpose for expending the entire voting power of the hub (the attention capacity of which can be thought of as an expendable resource) on the removal of an individual from a council?

In a world with tens or hundreds of councils, individual council member removal proposals don’t seem sustainable or worthwhile, although it may be useful in a bootstrap period, but I would need to see strong responses to the points above before changing my own opinion.

That said, we should probably have a conversation about the election process. We don’t yet have sufficient tooling for something like that. We could do something similar to Osmosis canonical bridge run-off, but it’s not particularly elegant (though it works with our current tooling).

6 Likes

Hello there,
IMO, if we believe in the council principle I think it is better to let the council vote for removing members or not. (2/3 is a good majority btw)

if community can vote to exclude one or more members it could become matter of individuals while council is a tool for collective intelligence and consensus decision making.
I would like to see a council with various background and more importantly different visions working together here.

Bearing in mind that council can be removed and will then be if some members are unbearable for the community and are not voted out by the council itself.

3 Likes

Sacha, Udit, and Youssef

I appreciate the work you’ve put into creating this document and admire your desire to create a charter that sets rules of engagement for Cosmos and Atom holders.

There’s a lot I like about this Charter:

  • It aims to set high-level values for the Hub and its stakeholders
  • It describes the different components of the Hub
  • It objectively describes the Hub’s governance mechanics

Anyone new to Cosmos who reads this walks away with a super clear understanding of how things work and what is expected from them as citizens.

Values > Freedoms

Section I comes off as somewhat rebellious or defiant and could be framed in a more positive and forward-looking tone.

With this in mind, it should be renamed to Values or Guiding Principles of the Hub, instead of defining Freedoms afforded to stakeholders.

Chapter 1

Freedom to Disobey (to Resist Censorship) stems from abiding by the principles of Credible Neutrality as described by Vitalik. By being credibly neutral, one can expect the Hub to reject censorship, respect property rights and follow on-chain protocol rules like slashing. It’s a far more powerful and assertive principle that encourages participants to act in a certain way rather than proscribe specific behavior.

Credible Neutrality is far more likely to gather alignment as we onboard more traditional companies and possibly institutions.

Also, the optics of the current “defiant” wording aren’t great. Credible Neutrality is far easier to defend in an adversarial setting.

:angry: Accusor: “You are against the censorship of illicit transactions!”

:relieved: Cosmosor: “That’s not true. We believe protocols should be credibly neutral, just like TCP/IP.”

Chapter 2

Freedom to Move stems from the principles of Free & Open Markets. Under these guiding principles, participants are allowed to fork, move, and freely engage with any economic network they wish.

Chapter 3

Freedom to Create and Transform Social Relationships stems from the principle of Freedom of Association whereby any stakeholder is free to collaborate, work with, or partner with other parties within the constraints imposed by governance.

In summary, I propose these values or guiding principles for the Hub:

  1. Credible Neutrality
  2. Free & Open Markets
  3. Freedom of Association
  4. Open Source

I think #4 should be explicitly added and perhaps even outline the software licenses projects are expected to use (although I’m not knowledgeable enough here to suggest what those should be).

Values & Objective Rules

As a rule, I think the Charter should be limited to the following:

  • Values: establish common guiding principles on which the community may rest upon when making individual and collective decisions
  • Rules: describe objective processes and procedures enforced by the protocol.

Several articles appear unenforceable by the protocol and thus should be reworded and moved into the Values Section or removed entirely as they bring nothing of value to the document.

Some of the articles which are problematic:

  • Article 25: Though a good idea, it is unenforcible by the protocol as far as I can tell.
  • Article 26: Anything that “should” happen must be on-chain or expected as unenforcible.
  • Article 28: There is no objective measure of responsible- and risk-minimized fund management or what constitutes a prolonged market downturn.
  • Article 35: As discussed in a recent episode of The Interop, councils are vulnerable to Sybil attacks as an inherent property of decentralized blockchains with no centralized identity verification mechanisms. As it is written, this rule implies a process by which the identity of Council members can be verified. It also poses serious questions about anonymous and legal persons’ ability to participate.
  • Article 56: See remarks on Article 26

Thanks again for your contribution and happy to continue providing feedback on the Charter.

7 Likes

Should we include a basic set of VALUES for the Hub, which the Cosmos citizens can agree to strive towards as higher ideals?

Agreeing upon VALUES can have utility for a few reasons:

  • to inspire & hold each other in-check as we collaborate within the community
  • to prepare the community to make hard choices that involve VALUE tradeoffs; including to guide the investment decisions of subDAOs
  • to highlight our VALUES to prospective citizens & builders who might consider joining the Cosmos federation

Two values that I’ve observed as universal for citizens of the Cosmos Hub: SAFETY & SUSTAINABILITY.

Why? All communities who plug-in at the Hub will need SAFETY & SUSTAINABILITY, as the duality of becoming specialized as a chain and also relying on services provided by other chains within the meta-economy requires necessarily having access to trade and security arrangements across the Hub, so that trust and flow can flourish.

If the Hub breaks down, trust, flow, and access to services in the meta-economy break down, and we all get poor. If the hub breaks down, the great promise 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + … + 1 = infinity, ie. the true abundant state of trust & flow within our federation, will be ruined.

With this thinking, SAFETY & SUSTAINABILITY become pinnacle values for our Hub community.

Would love to hear what other people perceive to be universal VALUES for all citizens of the Cosmos that may be worth highlighting if / as we decide to include a basic set of values in our Constitution?

Cosmos Hub Values

· Safety
· Sustainability
· Value 3 - ?
· Value 4 - ?
· Value 5 - ?
· Value 6 - ?

Ah, so nice to see this perspective :grinning: it seems we are vibing on the same wavelength. I like how you’ve distilled the underpinning values out of the document (credible neutrality, free & open markets, freedom of association, and open source). Could we distill 2 and 3 on your list to just “Liberty & freedom” - i.e. even higher level abstraction? Or is the added specificity of two bullet points useful or even somehow essential in your mind?

Lets get these values figured out, sir! :handshake:

1 Like

Really great discussion so far. I’ll just mention a few items I think may be useful (and potentially controversial) to incorporate.

  1. White label disclosure - Any validator using the infrastructure or business entity of another validator on the Cosmos Hub should make this disclosure via on-chain transaction.
  2. Liquid stake governance attacks - The Hub should take steps to mitigate malicious scenarios including loans to instantaneously acquire and exploit voting power via liquid staked assets.
  3. Centralized exchange opt-out - Centralized exchanges choosing not to participate consistently in on-chain governance should signal long-term opt-out via on-chain transaction. [elective removal from quorum could be considered at a later date]
8 Likes

Can we add an article requiring the councils to post invoices on chain for all budget expenses.

I think it makes sense to have gross budgets for sure, but you don’t want things like individual salaries or individual vendor expenses on-chain because that hurts organizational competitiveness and trusted relationships that require discretion. So total headcount expenditure and totals for specific functions is a good compromise. Also easier for external parties to digest.

7 Likes

Hello! here are a few of my questions

Article 20 – could you elaborate on examples of the special initiatives? Will this be events similar to cosmoverse? Tbh I wasn’t impressed with the last cosmoverse. Good alpha, but not enough professionalism, too much unnecessary goofing off, and it was expensive. I just don’t want to end up eventually paying for a council(members) Fiji vacation. I hope this doesn’t sound salty, I’m not, I’m just curious and want to lay my cards on the table as well

Article 23 – why can a proposal ask for up to 10% of the entire treasury? Why not 3% or 5%? How did we land on 10%? I know it makes divisibility easier, but that seems to me to be an extraordinary amount of money for any given project to develop. Maybe a 3% with the option to increase to 7% with a stakeholder, community council, and bootstrap council general vote?

Article 31 – I would be more inclined toward this with a 3rd initial committee for decentralization/checks and balances OR if there were term limits to all council positions. Elaborating on that; considering that we delegators will be voting the original council members in, why not just make a council election every 2-3 years? I am worried about lobbying here as well.

Article 34 – Can someone elaborate on the last sentence in this article? “The proposal must include the voting weight that the council will have in the Assembly”

Article 41 – Oof! At a loss for ideas here. Everyone deserves privacy, but I feel that if you want to be a part of a council you will have to give up some of your privacy. Cant have your cake and eat it too.

Article 50 – I am in favor of the community council being paid. If they aren’t funded/compensated for their role it will eventually degrade the council members morale which will in turn degrade the morale of the entire community. Another reason to fund the community council is to keep voting power from skewing to one side or the other until more councils are created.

Article 52 – What does a fully fledged council look like? Can someone paint me a picture?

2 Likes

I think it would be wise to cap the max percent of the treasury’s budget that can go to one specific protocol. (Ex. If 6 million atoms are set aside for liquid staking atom, only 5% (300k) can go to any liquid staking provider i.e QuickSilver, Lido, etc.) this would help prevent the hub from choosing winners in our ecosystem and allow for free markets to continue.

a % tax to the community pool inherently reflects the performance of the council and its subsidization policy which should increase proportionally to its successfully increasing growth of the hub. It also makes it so delegators continue to be rewarded with ownership of the chain for securing the network if acquiring atom is not gate kept by the treasury.

Ruging delegator rewards, by changing rewards from ownership of the chain to IBC fiat, privatizes the chain. It funnels governance of the chain away from the community as a whole and centralizes the chain under the council’s arbitrarily subsidized entities of similar ideology with a greater proportion of chain ownership at the same time reducing the say and ownership of the community as a whole &
resulting in the reduced ability for delegators to vote contrary to the council.

Atom 2.0 structure also lacks any coherent argument refuting its being a security.

Introduction

Hello everyone, I am ala.tusz.am, although some of you may know me as abra tusz. I make this post as a representative of a group of friends and community members that have been seeking grassroots changes within the ecosystem for the past couple of years. We (@ticojohnny, @RobbStack , @JD-Lorax , @CosmonautPorge, @valeh_cosmos) are composed of passionate Cosmonauts working both independently and with different Cosmos based organizations. Our members hail from around the world. We represent diverse views but are held together by a binding interest in the vision of Cosmos.

We have organized calls to review the Charter article by article, and deliberate on the significance, implications, and open questions within each written line. The appended document is the outcome of our first two calls toward this effort, and spans the preamble to Article 28. These revisions only represent our own, individually held viewpoints, and are not representative of the stance of any organization.

We hope the following will be helpful for all governance participants, both in order to clarify any questions that the community holds and to create a stronger, more capture-resistant set of governing principles for the Cosmos Hub community. Additionally, we hope that this method of community synthesis via break-out groups, and the template for giving feedback will serve as a model for other individuals and groups within the Cosmos community. We applaud the original authors of the Charter for their thoughtful work, and acknowledge that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Full Document

The document that contains our suggestions can be found here.

Conclusion

This effort is only one-part of an iterative and inclusive process. All proposed changes are only representative of our individual opinions and our attempts to reconcile them as a group of community members. We highly encourage other cosmonauts to perform the same level of due diligence and provide additional feedback, such that the community charter is a strong synthesis of the community’s value system. We look forward to continuing the conversation.

Toward a better collective future for the Cosmos,

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Great Draft. Lov e how detailed it is

Hi Seb. Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I’ll address some of your points here (the ones I feel most strongly about) and leave the minor squabbles for a subsequent post.

Section I comes off as somewhat rebellious or defiant and could be framed in a more positive and forward-looking tone.

With this in mind, it should be renamed to Values or Guiding Principles of the Hub, instead of defining Freedoms afforded to stakeholders.

So defiance here is a feature, not a bug.

If you look at constitutions that were forged during a period of great social upheaval (which I would argue we in today), they tend to be defiant in nature.

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

The Bill of Rights is the emblematic example of this

The reason for this is that you need your values to be expressed strongly and clearly enough in order for them to act as an effective social schelling point in the darkest of times.

Freedom to Disobey (to Resist Censorship) stems from abiding by the principles of Credible Neutrality as described by Vitalik. By being credibly neutral, one can expect the Hub to reject censorship, respect property rights and follow on-chain protocol rules like slashing. It’s a far more powerful and assertive principle that encourages participants to act in a certain way rather than proscribe specific behavior.

I’ve written about this before, but the credible neutrality story is rooted in the belief that the technical and political can be separated (which imo is greatly overrated). To quote Michael Zargham:

Neutrality doesn’t exist, it’s a story people tell themselves to feel better about (and/or clear their conscious of) the consequences of their decisions on others. Often those tauting neutrality don’t even admit this to themselves.

:100:values alignments over so called neutrality.

Going further, I believe that if Ethereum has taught us anything it’s that over a long enough time horizon the pursuit of credible neutrality leads to a culture which mimics the outside world.

Why? There’s a sense in which neutrality is biased towards the path of least resistance. This applies as much to culture as it does to centralisation.

What we’ve seen from Ethereum is that a group which wishes to make its internal mechanisms credibly-neutral to the world must adhere to outside-world notions of credible neutrality.

This eventually leads to cultural assimilation. Which in our world means things like USD hegemony and valuing money more than freedom.

Put another way, this is what credible neutrality looks like today:

I believe that the only way we can avoid a similar outcome is by strongly articulating and defending crypto ethos (rooted in cypherpunk values). Crypto ethos needs to be encoded into our cultural dna. And this requires a form of defiance.

Several articles appear unenforceable by the protocol and thus should be reworded and moved into the Values Section or removed entirely as they bring nothing of value to the document

In my mind, one of the main purposes of charters / constitutions is to create cultural schelling points.

If the social expectations, that cannot be enforced in protocol, are violated, there is value in having articles we can rally around to co-ordinate a fork.

Going even further, I believe that the distinction many make between the social layer and the protocol layer is overrated.

Protocol layer rules are, at the end of the day, still social in nature.

To make this more concrete, there’s really nothing technical stopping you from making a PR to change Bitcoin’s 21M hardcap. What’s really defending this number is the culture (or meme) that has formed around it, not the code itself. The meme is so ingrained in the culture that Bitcoin would not be Bitcoin without it. We need to do the same thing for censorship-resistance.

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Thank you for this! Some questions:

Article 23: what is the motivation for this? why not more often than once a year? why max 10%?

Article 25: How does the yearly budget relate to the treasury funding? If a yearly budget is passed, is the release of funds throughout the year still subject to governance approval? If so, how? Can ATOM stakers veto specific items in a budget?

Article 27: What are assembly proposals? Does releasing funds from treasury require an assembly proposal, similar to a community spend proposal? If so, how would Article 28 (treasury asset management) be implemented? How would Article 40 (streaming funds) be implemented?

Article 34: Small matter, just a suggestion to improve illustration: the “voting weight” as described by “seats” in the whitepaper has a very low cardinality (say, 5 seats) - is this intentional? How many councils do the authors envision being in the assembly? Say there is a small council for dev tooling or similar; what should its voting weight be as compared to, say, an allocator council?

Article 38: Shouldn’t the personnel budget be released on a monthly basis (not "remains with the council?) How are funds earmarked as and released for “working capital”?

In general, I love the initiave with Atom 2.0, but I’m having trouble grasping what we’re actually talking about here. The way I read this is that the only thing that is clear and concrete is the treasury funding amount, which is completely divorced from budgets or spending processes. This is a recipe for eventual mismanagement of funds IMHO.

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If we are on the topic of promoting multisig councils, can we at least have them get money ONLY via an on chain governance vote. I.e. instead of the council having free funds, they should present each case for on chain governance to get funding. I,E.

MINIMIZE THE POWER of the council to mere investigation, research and preparation.

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PR’s welcome

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You’re welcome :wink:

Thanks for your response. Though I’m not fully on board with the posture of the charter, I understand your position and arguments for being explicitly defiant.

I think Chapters 1, 2, and 3 titles need work. Beyond the aesthetics of having the most important chapters of the charter have parenthesis, I feel they need to be clear and bold.

For example, Freedom to Disobey and Resist Censorship are two different concepts – the title lacks clarity. Articles 1 through 5 mostly argue for the right to censorship resistance rather than disobedience so maybe that should be kept.

Similar remarks for Chapter 2 – it isn’t clear what Move means and it isn’t a concept used in crypto to describe forking. I favor Freedom to Fork.

Chapter 3 is the most confusing. Maybe it should be something like Freedom to Participate, which hints at the open, permissionless nature of the Hub.

So I suggest:

  1. Freedom from Censorship - arguing for freedom of speech
  2. Freedom to Fork - arguing for free and open markets
  3. Freedom to Participate - arguing for permissionless access
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