[PROPOSAL #29][ACCEPTED] Updated genesis atoms recovery request proposal

Hi Gavin,

many thanks for addressing my question. Very good points. So the main question is whether stakeholders view arbitrary access to wallet as a feature that is useful or as a limitation of the network. Probably community will be split towards it. Validators likely to act based on their personal interests to avoid risks as there is likely little to gain from this vote personally.

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Hi @btcgene . Thank you for your response .
I would redirect you to my response to Gavin’s concerns.

To put it as succinctly as possible .
This proposal does not set a precedent for recovering lost/stolen atoms of addresses activated past genesis

"w.r.t to your opinion that Validators have little to gain" , I would like to say that I do not believe that Validators are in the ecosystem only for the gains . They are in this because they believe in the governance structure and know that they can shape the direction of this ecosystem. This opinion may be perceived as having no interest in allowing early contributors to participate in the ecosystem but rather interested in keeping circulating atoms low. Which is counter intuitive given that the atoms by design are meant to inflate (minimally) at 7% every year.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I understand your points. I did not see validators in that perspective. I think in theory you are right, but in real world people are driven by incentives. And I have a worry that validators and large part of community might see this recovery in very different light than you expect. So the issue might be not what happens and for what reason, but lack of communication what problem is being solved and what perspectives people have. Since many people do not devote much time to get into details, they will just generalize with a view that is more beneficial to them, which is likely not in favor for early ICO investors who lost atoms.

I think its pretty clear what problem is being solved if people bother to read the proposal, and I don’t see this as a reason not to go forward with it. I am an ico investor and support this proposal 100%. I don’t see it as breaking the scarcity of the immutable ledger either. We have governance for a reason. Also I don’t think stopping this proposal based on claims that someone’s private key can be stolen is much of a point. That is a risk for everything, and technically if were getting into immutability whoever owns the private key does own the funds, so don’t lose your keys.

This is a great initiative.

I feel this should be a one time effort, rather than keeping a window open for future proposals of the same kind. In that case, for the sake of fairness to all ICO participants, this proposal should be well advertised before it is submitted for voting to ensure anybody who might have missed this is not left out of this one time opportunity.

This could have the adverse effect of allowing people who have illegitimately gotten their hands on ICO participating BTC and ETH accounts to get their hands on some free ATOM, but this risk is very small. It can also be partly mitigated through a check that Sunny has discussed above, i.e. have any transactions been effected from the original genesis account related to the ICO participation.

Thank you for supporting our cause! I helped @vee_em set up and maintain this proposal since March 2019.

One of the efforts I made early on was trying to find other people who might have lost their genesis Atoms. I searched this forum, the Cosmos Discord, Telegram, Reddit and Twitter and DM’d people who asked others for help concerning lost genesis Atoms. I also tweeted about the recovery effort.

Several of the contacts that I established in this way fizzled out, e.g. because people had donated from an exchange address and were unable to get their exchange to sign a message. Or because they no longer had access to their donation address.

Still, some of the people who are now “in” are there thanks to this outreach. Most notably Iconomi, where I originally established a link concerning this cause via contacts I already had at the company.

All in all, between my outreach effort, and the fact that our proposal was documented here on the forum for over a year, we can say that anybody interested in recovering their genesis Atoms had a fair chance to notice this opportunity.

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Hi Sunny :slight_smile: . Thanks for your support.
You were the one who helped me start working on the proposal when I did not know exactly where to start . Thank you for that initial push in the right direction ! .

To answer your questions.

  1. The thought process behind increasing the donation amount for every window was to ensure that people who do want to request their atoms through this proposal will understand that it is in their best interest to get in the first window as opposed to the future ones.

  2. As @cryptic_monk mentioned we made extensive efforts on all possible forums to reach out to people who may have been affected by this. Apart from the 7 transactions with signed messages above there were 2 others who reached out to us . However two of them have not followed up with us for about a month . I have tried to send multiple reminders , unfortunately received no response from them. We believe given that this forum has had the proposal since April of last year , the ones who would have wanted to reach out to us already have.

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I think sufficient efforts have been made to reach people.

@vee_em thanks for pushing this forward. Can you please clarify this statement -

I’m not understanding the concept of subsequent proposals. Isn’t this a one-time thing?

The way I read it is that about 1318592.76 ATOMS will be recovered through this proposal, which is about 0.5% of the total supply.

Is the idea that this might be the first of multiple recovery proposals?

Hi @chris-chainflow ,
Thank you for taking the time to assess the proposal .

To answer your question .

We extensively over the last year reached out as many people as possible through reddit and twitter and also had a precursor to this proposal on the forum . We believe that all those who needed to reach out already did. The reason why we wrote the proposal this way is to ensure that the genesis atom holders realize the urgency and will not be dependent on future proposals on account of the increase in donation.The other reason is that even if we do have a window for genesis atom recovery as a one time thing there is still a miniscule chance of someone missing that window and they will be shut out forever . So increasing the donation amount by an additve factor of 10% would be a happy medium in such a situation.

Please feel free to reach out to me if there are additional questions and thank you again for considering this proposal.

I also generally agree on this proposal but I have one suggestion.

How about we have a long(maybe 2 years or longer) continuous vesting period for 90% of recovered atoms ? To have minimal effect on short term atom market price, and makes the holders stay longer around our ecosystem than sell and say goodbye?

Of course vested atoms can be staked to participate on governance.

I think this condition will bring more yes vote because the immediate selling after receiving recovered atom will be one of the biggest risk exposed to this proposal.

Note) continuous vesting is not implemented on standard sdk i remember, but it is implemented by terra or kava and it is very easy to integrate. If we dont do this, the vesting can be spread to multiple monthly vesting.

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So I’m not in a position to make a unilateral decision here but I’ll make a few points.

1.3 million ATOMs are tiny compared to the daily volume of ATOMs. These funds are also going to be unlocked at moment that IBC is launched. It seems unlikely to have a material impact on the price even if all the unlocked ATOMs immediately hit the market. We’ve seen larger unstaking events be absorbed by the market without large price effects.

Several of these holders have been actively involved in the community even without access to their ATOMs. It seems unlikely that they would fully liquidate their position.

Finally, psychologically I’d like to just close this issue instead of having it hanging around for years.

I would consider reaching for liquidity constraints as a tool here if the amount was 10x larger.

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First of all, I want to say that it’s great to see Cosmos Hub’s ability to get together and help out investors that helped us get where we are.

Considering all the cryptographic evidence, I think the social engineering risks are negligible. Nevertheless, we should be very uneasy and careful when editing state.

I have some issues with the proposal:

  1. Why should future proposals which are in the exact same position as these investors need to pay more into the community pool? I don’t think that’s fair at all. If we’re going to agree that 10% is a fair tax for getting their funds recovered, and that they deserve their ATOMs back, then all future investors that come forward with the same evidence should be given the same privilege.

  2. ATOM ICO investors are at 400-500% ROI compared to holding ETH and BTC at this point. Taking this into account, I think more than 10% of the ATOM should be deposited into the community pool.
    It seems reasonable to me to have an amount equivalent to the original ETH and BTC investment be put into the community pool, which is around 20% of the ATOMs at their current market value.

  3. I agree with @bharvest in that these tokens should be vested, so that they are staked and not dumped, ensuring they are used within the best interest of the network and stakeholders that helped them out.

Those are my 2 cents.

I wanted to share my perspective as a relative newcomer to Cosmos. This seems like an important opportunity rather than a bad precedent.

Agoric is building a public chain on Tendermint and IBC that will start life as a new zone. One of the questions we asked early is “how is the Hub different from our zone?”; a key answer was “governance”. The Cosmos community that deployed and governs the Hub has built world-leading expertise in launching, validating, and upgrading PoS systems with a deep asset pool. Soon, this team will grow expertise with how, whether, and when to connect with other chains (via IBC). When someone rolls out a new zone, their governance will be different, hopefully well-suited to their role in the interchain ecosystem. The consideration and ability to judiciously make changes is one of the key elements of governance, and this kind of proposal is a crucial early example of a governance challenge that shows how Cosmos differs from other systems. It is not a precedent that “governance will fix your mistakes”. It’s a precedent that governance can make a positive difference.

From outside, this looks to me like a good thing to do for the chain and community. But more importantly, we should learn from it anything we can about where and how to improve governance for the Hub, because it is one of your competitive advantages, both in its power and in the scarcity of its use.

On that note, a characteristic of this proposal that should be required or explicitly considered in any monetary proposal: it preserves conservation of ATOMs, which seems be a critical invariant, even when there are manual transactions injected into the system.


above is a link to my story…

First off, I’d like to say thank you all for considering this proposal and I appreciate the time you have taken out of your day.

As you can read from the link above, my story is a bit different than Vee’s. Vee has been very helpful to myself and many others the last couple years working on this proposal. He has a lot of heart, and seems to be a genuine guy. I have a few different/additional points I’d also like to bring up.

  1. The majority of funds being recovered (around 90%) are to people who didn’t do anything “wrong”. They sent their money and got nothing for it back, due to some type of systematic malfunction. My personal experience of investing in the fundraiser was I woke up 2 hours early and had the page ready to send my money, once a btc address was available I sent and waited for some type of confirmation, probably 1 hour and nothing came up so I assumed that the phrase was my back up recovery seed to my btc/ trezor. Ed thought this was the case as well, as he stated in his post. I was up 2 hours early and waited 1 hour after because I missed out on fundraisers like this before. Once the Cosmos atom came out about 1.5 years ago I used my btc recovery seed to attempt to recover the atoms. I tried a minimum of 500 times to recover it with a useless phrase and also was in talks with programmers that could scramble letter and words to try and make more guesses. I honestly felt like a disappointment as if I did something wrong, I couldn’t sleep and I felt like I let Ed down and felt he thought I was stealing from him but as you can see, the atoms are still unclaimed. At this point we started to reach out to people.

  2. Around 10% of people did lose their seed but do have their private keys so can provably show ownership. Crypto is a terrifying experience to most people and Cosmos is attempting to make this easier. One could argue that what’s lost, is lost, but this is a big reason why people are hesitant to enter crypto to begin with. Like dtribble said above, I also consider this to be an opportunity to express the power of voting and governance to make things right when obstacles like this arise. If this proposal passes, I believe Cosmos will be seen in a positive light. This voting process further expresses the power of decentralized governance.

  3. 10% compensation fee - I actually believe this should be a polar decision. Give all the money back or 0. I obviously am on the side of giving the money back, so this fee is for the time and energy everyone has put into this proposal.

I’m sure you know this is where the 10% donation will go - https://www.mintscan.io/account/cosmos1jv65s3grqf6v6jl3dp4t6c9t9rk99cd88lyufl
At the current price of 5.35, 131K donated atoms is about 700K usd, a 4.5% increase to the 15.5 mil usd fund. One could argue that that amount of lost atoms will not affect the price at all (or very little), especially when you compare it to the positive impact 700K could do to the network.

Iconimi is giving their money to 1500 investors who will likely hold because it’s not a ton of money when diluted across so many people. Plus, early investors knew Cosmos was ahead of its time when they invested but that time is now. With defi really taking off, and companies wanting their own chain but still having the ability to intertwine between chains, Cosmos seems to be the only answer. In my opinion this space is shaping where everyone is a competitor with one another and Cosmos’ technology will be used to intertwine them. Cosmos is more than just a governance token, it’s a service that provides interoperability among all potential chains. The fees for this service paid back to atom holders will be much more valuable than yield farming opportunities. What I’m basically saying, is that even if people did sell their tokens, someone smarter will buy and hold so it shouldn’t make a difference long term.

I can’t speak for everyone but I am selling a portion of my share of atoms to Ed and we are both holding the full positions. I intend on voting and participating in future proposals and giving input based on my opinion because I want to see Cosmos succeed. I’m not just saying this, I am an early investor in btc, eth and have been involved in the dash community, blockfolio and am invested in other projects that align with my principles. Cosmos was an early investment that I made and truly believe in, and nothing has changed. Honestly, even if this proposal doesn’t pass, I am going to continue to hold the atoms I already have but there will obviously be bitterness and a lack of involvement, but that same understanding of positive sentiment and incentives is exactly what makes Ed and I positive community members.

I am open to taking question or discussing anything, thank you all for your time and voting. Even if your opinion is a no to this proposal, I respect your decision because decentralized governance is a principle I stand by.


I like this proposal a lot in theory, though I haven’t verified the signatures myself, and I see a problem with it.

A big issue with this proposal is that it assumes that the address that sent the fundraiser tokens are the intended owners of these atoms. This is not always the case, and because of this, this proposal can be the source of theft of ATOMs.

For example, for any user who sent Bitcoins from an exchange (custodian of donation source Bitcoins or Ether) would be vulnerable to getting their ATOMs stolen by the exchange operators. Nothing in the terms of the fundraiser prevents this scenario from happening, so we should assume that for some portion of account holders, those who can sign from donation Bitcoin/Ethereum addresses are NOT the rightful owners of the ATOMs.

Given this, you can’t determine the rightful owner just by looking at the Bitcoin/Ethereum/CosmosHub chains. The Cosmos Hub wants (and is designed to accommodate) a significant portion of atoms (around 1/3) to be unbonded, and so they are. They pay the inflation tax, but the whitepaper defined the bounds on inflation (to be 20% a year). And, many ATOM holders don’t want to participate in delegation, and some perhaps just don’t want to delegate yet. Once staked, the expectation is for the ATOM stakers to participate actively, and to accommodate community-scale timelines balanced with responsiveness, we set the voting period to be short, just a couple of weeks. But we haven’t defined the expectations for non-staked ATOM holders. So I would bet that many genesis accounts haven’t moved their ATOMs yet.

The combination of the above two points is dangerous, as there are probably many ATOM holders who have chosen to stay passive, aren’t aware of this proposal and the claims made in them, and have contributed from Bitcoin or Ethereum addresses that were operated by someone else.

In the blockchain space, if there is opportunity to steal, people will take advantage of it. There probably exists a pool of genesis fundraisers who haven’t moved their ATOMs yet, willingly. With the passage of this proposal, this creates the opportunity for anyone who operated the source Bitcoin/Ethereum addresses to steal ATOMs from their rightful owners. Ergo, it will probably happen.

On the other hand, I like the idea of the Cosmos Hub being able to make amends in this kind of way. For the cases that this proposal is trying to target, we need to do the following:

  • Give more time for rightful ATOM holders to disprove the claim (e.g. prove that someone is trying to take their ATOMs).
  • Define this duration of time to be the “passive ATOM participation period”, the period of time under which even passive ATOM holders are expected to participate. This should be long, it could even be a year long. The longer it is, the more convenient it is for passive ATOM holders, which is overall better for ATOM holders. As a passive ATOM holder, you are liable to lose your ATOMs if you don’t keep up with assignments made to passive ATOM holders as agreed on by governance. This might sound extreme to some, but my point is that this is what we are agreeing to if we pass any proposal that recovers ATOMs from fundraiser contribution BTC/ETH addresses.
  • I don’t think it’s a good idea to set precedent that you need to participate within the year, that otherwise your ATOMs may be gone. What if you get disabled or incarcerated? The period for requiring participation of passive ATOM holders with threat of ATOM tokens being stolen, should be exceptionally long, like a year or longer. For this case of fundraiser participants, because the number of participants is small, I think a year would be fine, esp considering that passive ATOM holders weren’t notified beforehand about the unexpected proof-of-ownership requirement.
  • The period could be shorter for other types of proposals… for example, any one-off proposals that inflate the total ATOM supply (e.g. in connection with say a merger process) under some threshold like 15% above and beyond the baseline inflation schedule, might only require 3 months to be deliberated by the non-staked ATOM holders. I would propose that this period be 1 quarter (3 months) for such proposals that make exceptional modifications to the distribution of ATOMs. This is similar to how board meetings take place quarterly to approve of adjustments to share allotments.

Unfortunately there are now 5 days left to vote. Even if this proposal passes, we can still pass a proposal that addresses the points mentioned here, but it’s better to not pass faulty proposals in the first place. AIB could vote no and it would, but we are unbonding our atoms ATM. The next logical step is to propose an amendment to this proposal as mentioned here or similar to prevent theft.

I’m interested to see if we can change the vote within the next 5 days, but either way, AIB will very likely submit an amendment to #29 soon. If you read this and agree, and you have already voted, please vote no, and stay tuned for more discussions for the amended proposal. If you haven’t voted yet, it’s probably best not to vote, because it doesn’t have quorum to pass yet.

from https://www.reddit.com/r/cosmosnetwork/comments/iq0lsn/12_days_left_to_cast_your_vote_on_the_genesis/g4rlzxa/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

p.s. The forum.cosmos.network is “official”, but there had so far been no requirement that proposals be submitted there for discussion. I haven’t been checking all of the posts there, and I imagine most people don’t. Maybe we ought to pass a proposal to designate a forum where discussion is expected to happen after a deposit minimum is reached, but before voting starts. NOTE: The deposit requirement for proposals was implemented as a spam prevention mechanism, so it makes sense to require general discussion after the deposit threshold has been reached, not before.

p.p.s. I’m in favor of well crafted non-immutability of the Cosmos Hub, but only if we adopt strict measures to prevent theft and undesirable inflation. Along with the amendment to #29, or in parallel in a separate proposal, we should formalize the procedure for governance. For example, whenever the ownership of tokens or the restriction of access to them or the inflation of new tokens is considered, we could require additional steps before such a proposal is passed. The period for voting could be lengthened for such proposals to match the passive ATOM participation period as mentioned above, and there could be a designated set of reviewers that are required to submit an analysis of the proposal for correctness and security such that more information can be made available to voters before the vote happens.

p.p.p.s. Cosmos governance is currently a bit flawed in that sometimes it’s better to NOT vote for a proposal than to vote NO, if the proposal is under the quorum (as it is in this case, currently at 17%, under the necessary 40% quorum). One way to solve this issue is to require the 2 week voting period to start after the quorum has been reached.

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Thank you for finally acknowledging this even though the precursor for this proposal on the forum for more than a year. And thank you for finally responding only because this is now an official Proposal that is on Chain .
Untill now we were pretty much ignored.

Before Answering your questions I want to assert three very important points.

  1. The fundraiser software w.r.t to browser clients was released into the wild without adequate QA as acknowledged by @zaki who was instrumental in helping us put it on chain and and fronted the entire deposit.
  2. This caused at least two participants to not even receive their seed phrase .
  3. The other point is that this would have never been an issue if the participants were immediately given ownership through some proxy on a another chain like an erc_20 … (even if it were locked) . Unfortunately this was not done and paved the way for cases like people losing seeds even before the Genesis Block was created. Even something as simple as a KYC would have made life easier.

In the case of point (2) , People did not get what they paid for ,plain and simple.
In the case of point(3) , People lost a key to home that was not even built yet , but will be locked out for ever . I am certain all the laws around the world would insist on returning the rightful ownership of property in either of these cases.

But the hope is that at least there is governance on Chain that will manifest into doing the right thing and make us Genesis Fundraiser contributors whole.

Coming back to your thread .

  1. 95% of the funds being requested in this case are in cases who never saw their seed during the fundraiser …aka point(2). They also happen to be public facing personnel’s in the block-chain space and in no way will want to put their credibility at risk .
  2. We atom holders have already lost 13% value owing to average inflation.Add that to the 10% donation to the governance pool. How is that not a fair punishment for us? … and you seem to be completely happy with another year of pain and loss by the “inflation tax” as you term it ?
    To any neutral observer it will look like you are more interested in decimating our stake in the ecosystem by keeping us away from our assets.
  3. We’ve worked on this proposal for 2 years with the help of many community members no thanks to you and Ethan who from the beginning had zero intention of helping us. I am very offended by you calling this proposal “poorly crafted” .

To all the Validators and individuals reading this .
I have personally reached out to most you the validators and I think you can all attest that I am coming from the place of truth. We are still continuing to reach out to validators to request your support. We are all indebted to everyone who have voted yes so far and will continue to be so. We will be stakeholders who will be invested in the community and want to be part of the HUB above and beyond.

We continue to humbly implore the Validators to please vote yes for the proposal and help us be whole.

Addendum : I now understand that Ethans hands were tied last year based on this message on the telegram channel. I am posting his quote with his permission. I also want to thank Ethan for assessing the proposal and voting yes through Cephalopod .

“For what it’s worth, I did discuss this matter with V over a year ago from ICF email and tried sincerely to help, but was limited by ICF regulatory environment in what could be done. Not sure if I had any contact with others”


Forbole has voted yes to this proposal. I have explained briefly why.


Certus One is voting YES, here’s our reasoning: https://medium.com/certus-one/yes-for-cosmos-hub-proposal-29-4c4de6d71407


While Figment has voted yes, we should have independently verified the transactions and signatures of the claimants first. Thanks to Ethan Buckman for raising the issue. Here is a guide to independently verify the claims: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z63eSODNvpUw22L2oOPCirFCUhlh1VKyatTVBqmpfPc/edit?usp=sharing

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