[IDEATION] Stride "Governors" : An Interesting Governance Model

Hello Cosmos Community !

In this new post, our aim is to spark contemplation on a subject that we believe will wield a substantial influence over the future public governance of the cosmos. We’re referring to STRIDE and its integration into the ICS. You may already be aware that STRD tokens staked to validators on the stride chain are now safeguarded against the slashing module. These validators have transitioned into the capacity of effectively executing a political framework, reminiscent of what we previously outlined in our earlier post found here: IDEATION : Governance Councils & Treasury Modules - #49.

The reason behind our emphasis is rooted in our prior document where we discussed the probable emergence of councils within the broader governance process. Our thesis also underscored the necessity of distinguishing security collateral from the governance authority that these tokens concurrently represent. Now, this concept has materialized through the Stride implementation. Validators within the stride network can garner delegate votes based purely on political motivations. Naturally, we’re still some distance away from witnessing a genuine political discourse among them, as these validators have persisted from the pre-ICS consensus era. Nevertheless, we believe it’s time to contemplate the potential application of this political delegation system. It holds distinct advantages over contemporary DAOs, primarily due to its inherent on-chain fee collection mechanism for political services.

In our perspective, this has the potential to facilitate the establishment of “governors,” a term coined by the Stride team themselves, distinct from mere validators. These “governors” could wield the voting power of their delegates. An intriguing possibility emerges: the prospect that these governors could eventually carry the voting rights of stTokens back to their native chains, supplanting the validators to whom they are presently delegated.

This scenario would relegate validators on the chain to a security-centric role, while the stride governors would be responsible for casting votes on behalf of the stTokens. Imagine a scenario where the majority of chains operate with 15-30% of liquid staked tokens, potentially laying the groundwork for a decentralized governance framework. In this envisioned system, “governors” would hold the votes, dissociated from the security function, solely proportional to the STRD token delegation they possess on the stride chain.

It’s intriguing to ponder what this configuration will resemble a year from now! The concept of having an exclusively dedicated political class capable of receiving fees (akin to regular validators) based on the tokens they’ve been delegated is compelling. The parallel to the ancient Greek public agora is striking – a space where significant governance determinations are deliberated by political figures representing the populace.

We’re also curious to hear the thoughts of the cosmos community on this notion!


This discussion raises interesting questions about the evolution of governance structures in blockchain ecosystems, the separation of roles within these structures, and the potential for on-chain political frameworks. The idea of a dedicated political class with the ability to receive fees based on delegated tokens adds an intriguing layer to the discussion on decentralized governance.

Early next year we will try to initiate a joint effort with key members of this forum and stride to foster the creation of the first set of governors. The hub needs to define an economic framework with incentives to bring the best thinkers into this forum.