LayerTech Proposal to Improve Factom Governance

Unrestricted Public Thread

  • Viewed Bedrock Solutions Bedrock Solutions Blockchain Innovation Foundation Blockchain Innovation Foundation Blockrock Mining Blockrock Mining BuildingIM BuildingIM Canonical Ledgers Canonical Ledgers CryptoLogic CryptoLogic Cube3 Cube3 DBGrow DBGrow De Facto De Facto Factom Inc Factom Inc Factomatic Factomatic Factomize Factomize Factoshi Factoshi Federate This Federate This Go Immutable Guides HashnStore HashnStore LayerTech LayerTech Luciap Luciap Matters Matters Multicoin Capital Multicoin Capital PrestigeIT PrestigeIT RewardChain RewardChain Stamp-IT Stamp-IT The Factoid Authority The Factoid Authority VBIF VBIF Xavier Chen
  • Not Viewed Syncroblock Syncroblock

Xavier Chen

LayerTech would like to propose three improvements to Factom Governance to help streamline community operation and reduce future social frictions. I will post them separate so they can be linked individually when referenced at other appropriate threads.

Xavier Chen

Assign Guides to Lead Each Essential Committees


1. We don’t need all five Guides focusing solely on process management, logistics, and record management.

2. Our committee structure is only as effective as the chair of the committees. At the moment, most of the committees are led by a strong chair with clear vision. But that can change at any moment.

3. The chairs of the committees are not compensated beyond the subjective social brownie points. We do not have an effective incentive set up to get people to step up and fill important and time consuming leadership roles.

4. Because of #3, the Guides (compensated and incentivized) naturally took up the responsibility of chairing most of the committees. At the moment, we have Guides chairing 4 out of 5 committees listed here: We have @Niels Klomp as chair of the core committee, @Samuel Vanderwaal as chair of Exchange committee, @Julian Fletcher-Taylor as chair of legal/governance committee, and @Tor Paulsen as informal chair of the process and document management committee.

5. No matter how our community evolves we need standing committees to handle core functions for the protocol. We will always need marketing/community outreach, core code development, exchange, legal/governance/strategy, and process/logistics/document management. However, the Guides can step down from performing those core function at anytime, leaving a responsibility vacuum that no one in the ecosystem is incentivized to fill.

6. Therefore, I propose that we formalize the arrangement and require that at the next Guide election, each Guides run to fill in one of those responsibilities based on their respected skillset.

Impact on our community:

1. By default, the accountability of the committees falls on the guides. The guides can appoint someone else to the chair position if there are interests, but delegating that duty does not absolve guides of the responsibility. Ultimately the guides are accountable to the effectiveness of the committees. This prevents the lack of accountability that is typical of any committee system.

2. Guides performance becomes “measurable” when it comes time for election.

3. Guides role evolve into something more than document management and policy crafting.

4. Community is still free to create new committees and working groups. But sleep better knowing the essential committees are in good hands.

Giving credit where it is due, this idea came from discussion between @Jason Chen and @Niels Klomp at the ANO retreat. This disclosure does not indicate support of the idea by either parties. Just want to give credit to the right people.

Xavier Chen

Activate the Ability to Proxy Vote (Delegation) within Standing Parties


1. Active participation in the community governance takes up significant amount of resource (time, mental capacity, and manpower). It is essentially a full time job.

2. ANO principal(s) can participate directly or delegate the job to an employee.

3. ANO principal(s) active participation means the principal(s) cannot spend their time building their business efficiently.

4. Hiring an employee solely for governance management costs significant amount of capital (especially at current price). Even if cost is not a factor, it takes a long time to onboard someone to the intricacy of our community priorities. That employee’s position is not permanent and replacing with another individual means significant loss in knowledge and experience.

5. While some ANOs are good at business development, some good at technology implementation, others are good at tackling governance issues.

6. We already have delegation of vote in the community governance documentation. Why not activate that clause and proxy vote? This allows ANOs like LayerTech to delegate our voting weight to couple ANOs who are good at governance.

Impact on our community:

1. Effective proxy vote system allows more productive division of labor so ANOs can focus on what they are good at instead of having our attention divided in 10 different places.

2. Few ANOs who have the expertise and time commitment to lead the governance effort will be given the authority as representative of supporting ANOs. This mean less time spent asking the entire community participate in every decision large or small. With minor decisions, those representatives can run with what they think is best. With important decisions, the representatives will naturally check in with their support base before putting commit to any positions.

3. Each representative can decision how interactive they will be with their support base to retain support.

4. If ANOs disagree with any decision made by their representative, they can withdraw their voting weight at any time. They can vote individually, shift voting weight to another representative, or become their own representative and ask for other ANOs' support.

5. Therefore I propose activating this capability right now. @Tor Paulsen or another Guide can be tasks with keep track of the delegated votes and representatives on a spreadsheet that is public for all see. (until we have a more automated liquid democracy system in place)

6. I also propose we amend the governance document to eliminate delegation penalty and not allow the representative to delegate vote to a third party. Votes should only be delegated by the original ANO. This proposal is not necessary short term but it should be consider as part of larger governance documentation review.

7. I also propose adding in monetary incentive. The ANO delegating voting weight also voluntarily gives up x amount of FCT to their representative. (50 FCT? 100 FCT?) This gives monetary incentive to the representative. It also forces the ANOs to decide if the division of labor will yield higher return on investment than the monetary cost of delegating. This proposal is not necessary short term but it should be consider as part of larger governance documentation review.

8. Activating this capability will also significantly help our on-boarding effort of fct-holders as the new standing party. Not every fct holders will want or have time to participate in the governance. They can easily give vote to a community representative to streamline participation.
I understand the reasoning behind proxy voting but I am not 100% sure it should be implemented just yet. We are still very early in our ecosystem and the numbers of independent parties who can vote is still very low.

I think it is one of the growing pain that should remain as long as we don't have more standing parties. This might not be the best use of our time but it might be a necessary pain for now.

How would we feel in a situation where 22 ANOs are proxy voting through 4 ANOs ?.


Block Party
@Xavier Chen as always, a very thoughtful and comprehensive proposal! With regards to guides leading committees, I 100% agree with the intent, but think there might be a better way. I would propose the same structure as you describe, but with anyone but guides being the chair.

I think there are valid concerns within the community that the guides (while being awesome) have accumulated too much power, both with their current soft power and the impending hard power that will come with FCT staking & formalized standing. So maybe this is an opportunity to decentralize things a bit more and address the incentive/accountability issues you describe. By establishing a paid chair position staffed by non-guide community members, you can kill two birds with one stone.

So the next question is, how do you free up the budget to pay for this? This could be done in one of two ways. One, there could be a grant for it, or two (and maybe more controversially), guide pay could be adjusted with the difference being allocated to committee chairs. There has already been discussion about guides having too much on their plates among varying commitments, so this could align nicely with the realities of people's bandwidth.

To sum it up, I think paying non-guide community members to lead committees could accomplish the following:

1) Address all the accountability issues you describe
2) Further decentralize control of the protocol
3) Produce better results by empowering people with more bandwidth to lead different initiatives