Factom Governance Improvement Proposal

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Do you approve this proposal and support the formation of a Working Group for its implementation?


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I welcome anyone to toy with this voting model.

Removal of around 5-6 parties with lower standing (who cast abstain votes/miss votes) moves the needle in favor of ANOs.
As I pointed out, if the parties removed are the parties that are not part of the faction in control, the voting model demonstrates how this system is self re-enforcing, even if everyone is really really trying to do the right thing.

In the US, the branches of governance are independent. The Executive Branch can't cull congress, and neither congress nor the Executive branch can easily remove judges. But this model actually places the control of ANO representation and membership largely in the control of the EC over time.
 
That depends on how we score you. Again, this is the inevitable discussion if I were to exclusively introduced weighted votes and nothing else. You'd worry about how you get scored, because right now it's not fair.
Exactly. And some of us are so busy trying to get our work done that we are not very good at being part of the "we" that "score you".

I'm kinda old, and I have never seen a grading system that is truly fair unless the grader lacks bias or grades blind. A whole body of literature exists on the topic, and to summarize, this system can't be fair. Because it can't lack bias, and it can't be blind.
 
Exactly. And some of us are so busy trying to get our work done that we are not very good at being part of the "we" that "score you".

I'm kinda old, and I have never seen a grading system that is truly fair unless the grader lacks bias or grades blind. A whole body of literature exists on the topic, and to summarize, this system can't be fair. Because it can't lack bias, and it can't be blind.
Fair doesn't mean perfect. We can try for a fair system, not a perfect system.

It's choosing the lesser evil, as far as I'm concerned. We implement a fair scoring system and reduce the roadblock of absent ANOs through weighted ANO votes. Or we keep all ANO votes equal, but it's worth repeating that I do predict it ends up harder to overturn an EC decision as more parties grow absent.

There are always multiple options. We could try weighted voting on a graduated scale at a very conservative vote weight factor. Instead of a sudden drop based on category. The impact wouldn't be as noticeable until parties begin to reach the lower standing levels.

Or we only try weighted votes for those hovering around the removal threshold. They are typically absent. Basically what Anton said below:

TL;DR; We may consider the model where ANOs with 50%+ support have equal weights of votes and ANOs with <50% support have less powerful votes. Anyone sees any issues with this approach?
 
The fundamental assumption is that we need to purge ANOs. If ANO votes go with majority wins, abstaining and not voting boosts the influence of those that do vote (like happens in most but not all election systems anyway). How can an ANO that doesn't vote create a roadblock? Unless you require a % of all ANOs to pass something. We don't have to do that for most issues.

If ANOs can delegate, then all you really have a problem with is who they delegate to.

What you are not addressing @WB is my fundamental concern, that the EC can purge ANOs that are not part of their faction. That ANOs that are running the protocol but short on resources (right now because of token price) are punished.

Maybe we just want to purge ANOs to reallocate their tokens? Is that the roadblock?
 
What you are not addressing @WB is my fundamental concern, that the EC can purge ANOs that are not part of their faction. That ANOs that are running the protocol but short on resources (right now because of token price) are punished.
The EC can't purge based on factional preference. Committees, which ideally comprise most or all ANOs, do the scoring based on a fair system that will only grow more robust over time. The EC tallies and votes. Its opinion is largely irrelevant.

If this is regarding Factom Inc's recent standing hits, I sympathize, but these standing hits are under the current standing model. I imagine an elaborate committee-based scoring system to have elements in place that really do look at contributions, resources and has a kind of historical decay function.

Again, I'm open to considering more conservative weighted vote models that don't impact those going through a bit of a temporary rough patch. I just don't see how committee-based scoring is so very dystopian versus the complete randomness and blanket support voting that we see now.

In closing, I'll add that while we currently don't have many voting quotas defined (except 3/5th ANOs required for doc ratifications), this is definitely something that's on the agenda. Part of this is being proactive. If you take a look at some of the more recent resignations (Canonical Ledgers, Matters, Factable, Factomize), what do you think will happen if more engaged, responsible parties throw in the towel but the 'absent' ones remain?
 
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The EC can't purge based on factional preference. Committees, which ideally comprise most or all ANOs, do the scoring based on a fair system that will only grow more robust over time. The EC tallies and votes. Its opinion is largely irrelevant.
The EC is the chairs of the committees... How can you say that the EC has no influence? They represent their committees in the EC.

If this is regarding Factom Inc's recent standing hits, I sympathize, but these standing hits are under the current standing model. I imagine an elaborate committee-based scoring system to have elements in place that really do look at contributions, resources and has a kind of historical decay function.
And this is the point. You can imagine a fair system where scoring is done by people that have a stake in the outcome, and know who they are grading, but I can't. It might be fair enough, I'm not saying it would not be. But it is what we are voting on here, and it isn't something that will be modified easily if it isn't.

Again, I'm open to considering more conservative weighted vote models that don't impact those going through a bit of a temporary rough patch. I just don't see how committee-based scoring is so very dystopian versus the complete randomness and blanket support voting that we see now.
This gets back to why. What is the goal? Get rid of ANOs for their tokens?

I can say that I'd be way more comfortable if we went back to just removing ANOs for gross failure to perform. I would be comfortable with adding ANOs who don't even run servers, but stake tokens and participate in the protocol. I'd be comfortable with scoring ANOs where we remove them from the actual authority set, but don't take away their vote. I'm certainly comfortable with ANOs resigning and leaving if they so choose.

What I am not comfortable with is a system that will put people in charge of the resources of the protocol with the EC and committees who are also the people that choose who the ANOs are going to be, and how much influence ANOs get in votes. Because that does create incentives that you cannot tell me are beyond abuse.

Because even if people are really really really trying to do the right thing, they have a stake in the outcome. There are ANOs they don't like, make their job harder, bring up points at the very end of a discussion (looking in the mirror). And life would just be better without them.

In closing, I'll add that while we currently don't have many voting quotas defined (except 3/5th ANOs required for doc ratifications), this is definitely something that's on the agenda. Part of this is being proactive. If you take a look at some of the more recent resignations (Canonical Ledgers, Matters, Factable, Factomize), what do you think will happen if more engaged, responsible parties throw in the towel but the 'absent' ones remain?
Sounds like we really have to support each other and keep each other motivated. And nothing makes one feel motivated like a good and regular performance review? https://www.gallup.com/workplace/249332/harm-good-truth-performance-reviews.aspx

This is nothing new. The problems around performance reviews have been the subject of research for as long as I am aware. It just seems like such a good idea! Make everyone score everyone on a regular basis! Get peers to contribute. We do have to manage everyone, and grow people up to take on roles, and grow the community. We have to do something.

I wish we could think of some incentive was positive rather than a system to cull participation.
 
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@PaulSnow what influence allocation between EC/ANOs or EC/ANOs/Stakers would make you not feeling this risk?
I don't think our problem is that we have ANOs that are not particularly active at this time. I think our problem is resources, adoption, exchanges, token price.

ANOs that run their servers and maintain their deployments in the docker swarm, and show up when we have an issue really are not a problem. I entirely get why people don't participate in everything that goes on in the protocol. But we need the distribution of participating parties as it is what makes us a distributed and autonomous protocol.

So if this system can be put in place without a goal to punish and purge the protocol of ANOs, I would be more comfortable. Because we could figure that out later if it is really needed.
 
I don't think our problem is that we have ANOs that are not particularly active at this time. I think our problem is resources, adoption, exchanges, token price.

ANOs that run their servers and maintain their deployments in the docker swarm, and show up when we have an issue really are not a problem. I entirely get why people don't participate in everything that goes on in the protocol. But we need the distribution of participating parties as it is what makes us a distributed and autonomous protocol.

So if this system can be put in place without a goal to punish and purge the protocol of ANOs, I would be more comfortable. Because we could figure that out later if it is really needed.
Ok Paul - so if it’s not a problem, let’s go to 65 ANOs now?

The reason we stopped at $6 FCT was because we were resource constrained.

Now the reverse is true - at $1.50 we cannot afford ANOs that just turn up during a pause and nothing else.

Expand in the good times and contract in the bad times.
 
Ok Paul - so if it’s not a problem, let’s go to 65 ANOs now?

The reason we stopped at $6 FCT was because we were resource constrained.

Now the reverse is true - at $1.50 we cannot afford ANOs that just turn up during a pause and nothing else.

Expand in the good times and contract in the bad times.
And after you kick out 6 more ANOs, you'll extend your runaway 6 months until price plummet to 0.75 cents and now what ? Your proposal doesn't fix interest from speculators and/or usage.

If we haven't been able to bootstrap anything with the millions that were available last 2 years, how are you going to bootstrap anything with your extra 6000 FCT per month at 1$.

Soon enough, you'll be happy to have enough ANOs to call Factom "decentralized".
 
It fixes 6 ANOs worth of selling pressure.

We need to both increase buy pressure and usage on one side, and reduce sell pressure on the other.

We cannot just snap our fingers and get usage, and we arguably are struggling to find investors because of the poor use of funds. Me for example - I would never buy FCT when majority is wasted on pointless severs rather than progress.

You can forget about any sort of value proposition to attract that buy pressure. Those 6 ANOs certainly aren't going to solve the overarching problems.

What we can immediately do is to stop hamstringing ourselves. We shouldn’t have to overcome this ridiculous burden of paying $60k/m on servers including absent ANOs.

If the 10-15 active ANOs do pull off a turnaround - it will be despite of this anchor around our necks, not because of it.

I’m very open to hearing why we HAVE to keep paying afk ANOs all the way to the soup kitchen. Why does the protocol HAVE to keep 25 teams to call itself distributed? Is it not distributed at 15 teams?

With the lack of usage, does it really matter if we aren’t massively distributed just yet? Are there lots of customers waiting to use Factom if only we had 30 ANOs?
 
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And after you kick out 6 more ANOs, you'll extend your runaway 6 months until price plummet to 0.75 cents and now what ? Your proposal doesn't fix interest from speculators and/or usage.
Yet another perfect reminder why the GWG proposal is so large. One thing leads to another. We need to be lean and use our available resources more efficiently through a roadmap system with committee oversight.
 
It fixes 6 ANOs worth of selling pressure.
It doesn't. You are relocating FCT from "decentralization" to "grants". You'll keep the same selling pressure, just re-allocating fund. I'd bet that the % of FCT sold in grants is higher than from ANOs. I know that we barely sold any throughout the years.

I would never buy FCT when majority is wasted on pointless severs rather than progress.
I have personally refrained from buying more at this price point, not because of "wasted resources coming from greater decentralization" but because of how much bickering going on around governance. It's like the world is ending every single week.

It is funny how a lot of the ANO focusing on governance are close to 100% standing and those with real business relations are almost getting kicked out of the system.

But let's double down why not. More bureaucracy and power to the bureaucrats.

What we can immediately do is to stop hamstringing ourselves. We shouldn’t have to overcome this ridiculous burden of paying $60k/m on servers including absent ANOs.

If the 10-15 active ANOs do pull off a turnaround - it will be despite of this anchor around our necks, not because of it.
I feel like your next step is to remove all infrastructure and have every ANO you believe in be infrastructure less ANO and running 1 server for the whole protocol should be enough.
 
ugh... we need to cull ANOs for tokens to be distributed as deemed worthy by a more centralized decision making and oversight process?
I'm not talking about culling ANOs for tokens. My reason for wanted weighted voting is to not end up in situations that can cause deadlocks. The kind when we implement proper quotas and possibly have more active, engaged ANOs throwing in the towel, leaving us with the absent ones.

Miguel mentioned interest from speculators and/or usage. That's where the roadmap comes in. The lean part is about using grant pool funds efficiently.
 
It doesn't. You are relocating FCT from "decentralization" to "grants". You'll keep the same selling pressure, just re-allocating fund. I'd bet that the % of FCT sold in grants is higher than from ANOs. I know that we barely sold any throughout the years.

It is funny how a lot of the ANO focusing on governance are close to 100% standing and those with real business relations are almost getting kicked out of the system.

But let's double down why not. More bureaucracy and power to the bureaucrats.
Out of the seven ANOs at 100% standing, six are development-oriented. So I think that's a bit unfair. If I look at that list, many of them put in a tremendous amount of work, have on-going SBIR grants, serve actively in committees or do other important development work.

I'd like to see more of that from Stamp-IT. You're admittedly not using your FCT rewards for anything and to my knowledge you've never even served on a committee or working group. You're also very dismissive of any proposals in general, to the point where I wonder if you actually want change.

I also expect the GWG proposal's standing system to enable 'those with real business relations' to start reporting more easily and they'll quickly regain their status.
 
None of them attend the development standup, FYI. So it isn't always clear to me what they are doing.
Well, for one, some of those parties got a new, working explorer up.

There was some discontent with the standups a while back I recall. One reason I want a strong "Tech" committee is that we organize our developers better. Maybe the Community Secretary can also make sure that these standups become better known. :p

@WB Have we really had any deadlocks?
Not yet, but we don't have an awful lot of document ratifications anymore. We've lost a couple of good, active ANOs since the last one, though. Like I said before, it's partly a pro-active move so we don't run into issues later on. It would be hard to get out of that swamp once we get there.
 
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Well, for one, some of those parties got a new, working explorer up.
yes we had a bug come up that has really done a number on our explorer. @Anton Ilzheev is kind of an exception among the 7 as his contributions are pretty big and visible; I do feel I know what he is doing.

There was some discontent with the standups a while back I recall.
I have no idea what you are referring to. It is a standup where developers go over what they are doing and sometimes ask questions about issues with other developers. I can't imagine what discontent might arise from that.

One reason I want a strong "Tech" committee is that we organize our developers better. Maybe the Community Secretary can also make sure that these standups become better known. :p
The developer standup is at 3:30 pm UTC on every Thursday as it has been for over a year. I'm not sure a strong tech committee is needed for developers to attend an optional standup meeting. If you are referring to @Paul B. not liking a last minute announce after we decided to try and remind people, well, what's the problem? If someone doesn't want to attend a meeting we hold as a courtesy to developers, they certainly don't have to attend.

Not yet, but we don't have an awful lot of document ratifications anymore. We've lost a couple of good, active ANOs since the last one, though. Like I said before, it's partly a pro-active move so we don't run into issues later on. It would be hard to get out of that swamp once we get there.
So if we don't really have deadlocks, and we don't mind the tokens, then what are we solving by culling ANOs?
 
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I'd like to see more of that from Stamp-IT. You're admittedly not using your FCT rewards for anything and to my knowledge you've never even served on a committee or working group.
We invested 50k into our business to withstand this type of stuff. We bought our own hardware and built our infra from the ground up instead of spinning AWS.

Patrice spent a lot of hours building the brainswap script and if everybody used it when we made it available we might have had a few less stalls and saved money to the protocol. These efforts are now greatly discounted because it's not a shinny webpage with statistics that the protocol have no stake in and that is going to be sold for a premium to the protocol when it's time to bail out.

Jimmy has had multiple meetings with enterprises and government people but this things takes time and these people are usually not really risk takers.

Plenty of people with secret projects at 0% efficiency you can go bash on. We are definitively not getting rich with Factom, in fact much much poorer.

You're also very dismissive of any proposals in general, to the point where I wonder if you actually want change.
Sure, if we had let people like you have it your way, the protocol would be named Facility.

I have said many times, one of the only party to express it, before the standing system was adopted that it was a useless allocation of resources and would just increase the toxicity of the system. Guess who was right. It was so simple to just use our governance at the time and call for a vote and wouldn't have cost a ton of money to the protocol.

I'm all behind a committee who has higher vote % in technical stuff and what not, but it seems that one of the end goal for some is to cleanse the people they don't like and the work they don't appreciate. Having a committee who will decide who is worthy of them, what flavor of the moment it is and what not is a recipe for disaster. Even if you have the best intentions, the people taking over might not.
 
I'd echo @Miguel Proulx about the current standing's cost, conflicts, and lack of ROI for the effort it takes.

I'm also not really big on centralizing priorities about what is developed for the protocol. The brain swapping script has been very useful. And Miguel is generally active on votes, with good input.

I do like the marketing advantages to a roadmap as long as it goes somewhere interesting. I think it does help to put some suggestions out for the grants so people know what is being called for by the community. Do we have to change governance to do that?
 
Let's keep this discussion focused. Any standup discontent is odd as the only ones that have showed up regularly are Factom Inc and BIF (& Sphereon) ;).

I don't believe the EC should also be the one voting on the ANOs. This proposal moves some of the bureaucracy and politics to other areas. It also moves power into a certain area (EC), instead of keeping the power in very specific areas (committees/wgs) of which the members are professionals/subject experts (hopefully)
 
Let's keep this discussion focused. Any standup discontent is odd as the only ones that have showed up regularly are Factom Inc and BIF (& Sphereon) ;).
@AdamSLevy also attended pretty frequently. Others too perhaps, not to imply an insult to anyone I'm not remembering. @Matt York has been attending even as he has left for Kraken.

Just to acknowledge people for making the effort.
 
I have no idea what you are referring to. It is a standup where developers go over what they are doing and sometimes ask questions about issues with other developers. I can't imagine what discontent might arise from that.
You brought up how there's so little attendance from development ANOs in the "top 7". I recall Paul Bernier saying he didn't even know they were being held. Call it discontent, call it room for improvement. It's not on-topic anyway.

So if we don't really have deadlocks, and we don't mind the tokens, then what are we solving by culling ANOs?
I think we have a fundamental disagreement here. You think the weighted votes exist to cull ANOs. I have explained that they exist to make it easier for ANOs to overturn an EC vote under the assumption that those lower in standing have worse voting records. Abstaining/absent votes make it harder for ANOs to overturn the EC vote.

The second benefit is that it proactively guards against future situations after we start defining some vote quotas (currently it's a mess, look at all the multiple-choice polls we've had in the past). If we keep losing ANOs who are usually active & engaged through a worsening token price, and are left with those who are absent, it WILL impact governance.

So yes, we introduce weighted voting. And we introduce it through the existing Standing system. I can't think of anything better suited.

I suppose the real worry here is about how Standing ends up being determined. Committee-based scoring is designed to add a more objective component to standing reviews. An electoral component can also help influence standing, and what do you know, we currently have an on-going discussion about staking.

Standing derived from multiple facets like this (electoral, meritocratic) is much stronger than what we have now, which is explicitly peer evaluation.

Are peers involved in both of these proposed facets? Yes, your peers will serve in committees. And your peers will also be staking FCT. We're a small community, you counteract this where you can and try to incentivise voluntary, positive participation through a common direction. That's another reason we propose a robust roadmap system.

These efforts are now greatly discounted because it's not a shinny webpage with statistics that the protocol have no stake in and that is going to be sold for a premium to the protocol when it's time to bail out.
I'm not sure where this attack on Factoshi.io suddenly came from, but okay.

I'm all behind a committee who has higher vote % in technical stuff and what not
Great. That's what we're trying to build here. Expert committees with their votes united a single body. In fact, I highly recommend you serve on a committee so you can help develop it into a beacon of trust and expertise. Any system is only as good as its people and the effort they're willing to put in.

It also moves power into a certain area (EC), instead of keeping the power in very specific areas (committees/wgs) of which the members are professionals/subject experts (hopefully)
So one alternative is that you let committees have their own vote. Organize the forum in a way where the Tech committee vote has a bigger weight on votes with a tech label. I think that's doable?

I just foresee some more politics there. Could end up with committees competing against each other instead of uniting their votes under a single representative body.
 
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