[Temp Check] Require an Initial Deposit Upon Proposal Submission

Hi everyone, I’m Jessica aka web3_analyst and am a data engineer and IBC lead for Flipside Governance, an arm of Flipside. I am seeking feedback on the following proposal idea:


Over the past week, 115 proposals as of writing have been submitted on-chain.This is a marked change, as only 43 proposals were submitted on-chain in the entire 365 days leading up to last week.

Unfortunately, a majority of these proposals are malicious in nature and aim at either getting users to click on a link containing malware or mimic a legitimate proposal that has been previously submitted. It should be considered unsafe for users to interact with these proposals in any way, including interacting with links and submitting deposits. A worse scenario would be if any of these proposals made it to vote, where governance participants may be tricked into thinking one of these proposals is legitimate.

There are 39 unique addresses that have submitted a proposal in the last 7 days, however two addresses have submitted 106 proposals in the last week. It can be assumed that none of the proposals submitted by these two addresses are genuine. Another trend that can be seen is that the two addresses most responsible for submitting spam proposals on-chain do not submit a significant deposit to accompany their proposals.

Implementing a Minimum Initial Deposit (MID)

To reduce the number of potentially harmful proposals being submitted on-chain, we propose adding a minimum initial deposit that is required when submitting a proposal. Submitters of legitimate proposals have a good track record of also submitting a significant amount of the required deposit; before the minimum deposit was raised to 250 ATOM it was common to see submitters deposit the entire 64 ATOM necessary for the proposal to move to on-chain voting.

One caveat here is that 250 ATOM may be out of reach for many community members to provide up front as an initial deposit, and we do not wish to exclude them from participating in governance. Therefore, we wish to gather feedback on an appropriate minimum initial deposit amount.

For Discussion: Minimum Initial Deposit Amount

As a starting place for discussion, we propose 10 ATOM as a minimum required initial deposit. Over the past year, 2/3rds of the initial proposal submitters have deposited 10+ ATOM to accompany the submission of their proposal on-chain.

Over the past 8 months, the price of ATOM has remained somewhat consistent. An initial required deposit of 10 ATOM would typically be in the $100-$150 dollar price range in current market conditions. We believe that this amount would be significant enough to deter the submission of spam proposals, while still minimal enough to not prevent community involvement in the governance process.

Next Steps

Following a period of feedback, should the community be in favor of implementing a Minimum Initial Deposit, we can move forward with a governance vote.

About Us

Flipside Governance is the governance arm of Flipside Crypto, a community-enabled data analytics platform. Our governance team contributes to DAOs full-time, providing research, voting & proposal development, and data-driven decision-making. Flipside Governance is active in Cosmos, Osmosis, Evmos, Juno, and Axelar within IBCs and is also involved with AAVE, MakerDAO, Optimism, Safe, and Hop.


Hi good morning Jess,

I do have an opinion on this matter. I believe that we should act in the following order:

  1. ICS
  2. fix gov deposits

I thought about this a bunch and don’t want to take any risks before the launch of ICS. Once ICS is up and running, I think that it makes sense to fix the governance deposits as a top priority.

What do you think about this plan?


That is a totally fair point - ICS should take priority over other changes to the chain.

Maybe a good plan is as following:

  1. Wait for Prop #187 v9-Lambda to pass and to be merged
  2. Ensure success of the network for a while after merge
  3. Vote on this parameter change after

If people want to uses props as ads and the chain is against it, the only way to do it is to increase initial deposit, yes. However, we are fighting the free market imo. If someone wants to advertise there for 10 atoms, they will. More so, in some cases even 250 ATOM will be a great advertisement price. I think this is annoying (the spam props), but im unsure that this will stop them completely. I dont think anything will ever stop people using free market tools, if they see them as beneficial.

But yeah… Don’t see another solution here. What about something more elaborate and crazy? First of all, educating people on what are free market tools. And then something mental like auction bets, prior to props going up for deposit period. Dunno TBH

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Once bad actors are identified is there a way to block and ban that actor? I am seeing a lot of props asking for large amounts of Atom to be GIVEN to them. I find this to be 100% ridiculous that anyone would want to give away Atom tokens for anything that is not of benifit to stakers and holders. On top of that it becomes costly for us that are starting out on this journey to vote against this constant attack for free handouts.
Do each vote count as a single vote? Or are the votes weighed by the staked amount?

I don’t think it’s fair to characterize these as ‘free handouts’. Most of them are funding proposals from reputable teams where they are then expected to actually deliver on a product or feature.

Votes on the Hub are weighted by stake amount. You may find the On-Chain Proposal Process | Cosmos Hub docs useful! They’re a little out of date (deposit is 250 ATOM now, not 64 ATOM).

I think banning actors is contradictory to the ethos of a free and decentralized space. @serejandmyself is right - the min deposit becomes the cost of advertising on the Hub. Imo, the best way to reduce this is to make it very, very clear that advertising on the Hub will make people hate you and your product.

I think the UI teams at various wallets and block explorers are already tackling this issue. I usually check Mintscan, and didn’t even notice the spam proposals until I was checking to make sure v9-Lambda made it on chain safely.

Hi @lexa,

I need to let you know that you are not correct.

Since proposal 104, there have been 324 other proposals.

I do agree that a ban is not the correct way forward. Censorship on the hub is just not the way to go. However, I also would like for you to realize that of the 324 other proposals, the legitimate ones are as follows:

202 by @TendermintTimmy
187 by @jtremback
155 by @Bro_n_Bro

That is to say that fewer than 1% of the proposals submitted since proposal 104 have been legitimate. A number of them have been copies of 104 and 103, and likely contain spend proposals. I have not bothered to check all of them.

Now other than the ones that clone spend proposals and likely send Adams somewhere else, there are myriad scams coming after the users of the cosmos hub that are currently among the other 324 proposals that have been put on the hub since proposal 104.

So while I am an agreement with you that we should not begin to censor the ability to make governance proposals, in fact that’s insanely important that we do not censor the ability to make governance proposals, I am in disagreement with you that most of the proposals are legitimate. The reality is that the majority of them are fraud or scams.

I think that the correct path forward is to get ICS shipped, and then shortly thereafter deal with the many many many many many many many many many many fraudulent governance proposals problem. I think that most likely the best way to do that is well actually there are two ways:

  1. osmosis changed gov
  2. Juno used an antehandler

Do you have any thoughts on how best to proceed? Also did I misunderstand you? Because indeed there is most certainly a spam problem.

Maybe we are kind of conflating issues here? I just noticed that

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Is it possible that atomic James was referring to the many proposals that are almost certainly fraudulent?

Atomicjames, is that what you were describing, or were you saying that teams requesting funding from the hub using governance are somehow bad actors?

Probably a miscommunication!

I was excluding the spam for the moment and trying to point out that the non-spam community spend props aren’t “free handouts”. The spam ones are, well, spam. And I think spam is different from formally asking for a free handout.

For the record, the spam props are text proposals, not community spend. Even the ones that copy genuine spend proposals are actually text, when you click in to look at them. So I didn’t really consider them as ‘asking for money’ so much as trying to scam people by clicking links.

This is also why I think that the problem isn’t that they’ll go into voting period and be approved so much as them being on-chain at all, because people might click the link even if it never goes into voting period.

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Thanks Jess!

For those who have not yet seen the announcement from the Hub’s Twitter account, I would encourage you to give it a read.

TLDR: The ability to require an initial minimum deposit is coming soon.

Also for context, Osmosis requires that at least 25% of the total deposit to activate a prop comes from the OP. This is totally fair in my opinion.


Indeed. for easy reference: announcement Cosmos hub on twitter about this matter.

The timing of this is incredible. I did post this a few days before the announcement, so I’m glad to see others are thinking about this as well. Hopefully the 25 ATOM that is currently written the the github branch as a minimum deposit stops the spam. Excited to have this on the Hub and other IBC chains as well.


Sorry, I’d like to clarify my point a little more - I hope my point did not come across as accusing legitimate builders who have posted community spend proposals to fund their endeavors as seeking ‘free handouts’. I’m referring to only the spammers who are submitting these scam proposals over and over in my discussion.

I am personally not for banning bad actors outright, but for putting sufficient checks in place to stop the undesirable action. It is fairly easy for a banned user to simply bypass a ban by creating a new wallet, and then they can go right back to their harmful actions. A min deposit might not catch everything, but it at least puts a small barrier to entry up.


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