New Social Governance Layer for Ethereum

@evabeylin I see that you have worked on a lot of governance related issues through reading through your posts on other Ethereum Magician forums.

Do you have any interest in joining this working group? Think you would be an excellent member :smiley:

@econoar just saw your frustration via Twitter regarding ProgPOW being put back in the agenda for the next ACD call.

One of the benefits of having this sort of layer I described above is that there can be more clarity regarding the community’s perspective on big decisions, such as ProgPOW, since community input will be better quantified.

We’ve been researching methods to do precisely this, and we’re very interested in helping. Sign me up!

@CanonizerJim awesome!

Feel free to join the discord working group by clicking here

Just realized the Discord join link was set to expire after 1 day

This one won’t expire:

What is consensus decision making?

Consensus decision making is a creative and dynamic way of reaching agreement between all members of a group. Instead of simply voting for an item and having the majority of the group getting their way, a group using consensus is committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports, or at least can live with. This ensures that all opinions, ideas and concerns are taken into account. Through listening closely to each other, the group aims to come up with proposals that work for everyone.

In this guide you’ll find lots of information to help you make decisions using consensus, including why you might use it, the basic principles and process, how to apply it to larger groups of people and ideas for dealing with common problems. We also have a short guide to consensus, and our guide Facilitating meetings contains lots of tips for making your consensus meetings run smoothly.


I know Tezos is different because they have on-chain governance, and their solutions is not what is envisioend for Ethereum, but check out thier newly updated Agora App

Very user friendly. While the “votes” that take place are more binding (and represent on-chain voting) than the debates that would happen on this prospective new app for the Ethereum community, I think the real takeaway is that they have built an attractive app where the Tezos community can congregate.

I’ve argued before that it is likely infeasible for legal reasons. Many developers are working independently or as contractors – even the Foundation teams. That means we are facing personal liability for our actions – even possible jail time. Unless an organization can and will shield me from that liability I will only take their opinions of what I should do as advice.

And beyond liability, I’m only likely to do as I’m told if you pay me.

And even then, I can hardly imagine an engineering team in industry making decisions about the security and reliability of their software based on opinions – even their management’s opinions. Only rational arguments matter.


@gcolvin One thing that would be interesting is to start a sort of PAC for Ethereum as a whole that would lobby legislators to ensure developers are not viewed as culpable under law.

CoinCenter sort of does this for cyrpto as a whole, but an Ethereum spacific one could be very interesting.

Could even be a branch of the Ethereum Foundation.

The Internet Society promotes and supports the Internet in many ways, and is a corporate-level organization with paid membership and formal voting. It takes on liability for the IETF engineers, who remain self-organized, acting by rough consensus.

It generally doesn’t pay the engineers. These are generally people who want to make a contribution to open work and are supported by their employers – whose industry relies on that open work.


What do you think are the barriers to create a similar entity for the Ethereum space? I see more of the apathy come from the fact that any mechanism that’s implemented or suggested above would have an accountability that extends beyond capital interests.

From my point of view, there is a huge conflation in this discussion (and the meta) about what is rational from a technical perspective and what is rational as defined by economic game theory. It is technically sound to implement ProgPow (no matter how many iterations it takes, what vulnerabilities are uncovered from the current implementation etc. to fulfill the original security guarantees in the yellow paper, the core devs seem to agree with me), but in this current impasse, economically infeasible to some of the largest shareholders in the space who fund client teams and operate Dapps.

The closer we get to 2.0 the less there is an incentive to actually resolve the issues that caused this contentious debate in the first place. And those that benefit the most from obfuscating how the process actually works will continue to force poor technical decisions onto smaller shareholders.

Ruling by committee by those who do not have enough context to actually make educated decisions is worrisome, but I argue that outcome would be less likely if it was clear who was speaking to what types of changes to the protocol as purely social reputation and technical credibility matters more than we’d like to admit, especially since this discussion has its roots in trying to engineer our way out of this political problem.

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@gh1dra I am in the process of building an app that will effectively track and gauge community sentiment on Ethereum’s biggest questions (such as ProgPOW, scaling solutions, etc.) as we speak!

Your input on this app will be invaluable, as you have clearly thought about these issues deeply.

I personally have no opinion on the ProgPOW debate, but think there needs to be a better way to deabte and gauge sentiment on the issue.

The app that I am building will give more context to the committee that is actually making decisions, which will lead to more informed decision making.

There will further be a reputational system tied closely with this application to ensure people know about the debaters social repuation and technical credibility

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I’m super aligned with your approach, and would like to contribute in any capacity that makes sense! I was responding more to the comment about creating an Internet Society-like organization and what role that would play contrasted with EF.

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Just as an update for everyone, I have assembled a team and we are in the process of building out this application :partying_face:

Can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Please reach out to me if you would like to be involved in anyway.

Right now, we are looking for ambassadors from the miner, defi, dapp, educator, wallet provider, researcher, and exchange communities.

If you think you would be a good fit (or know someone that would be a good fit), feel free to email me at


Enter The Ether, a new social governance experience for Ethereans

Sign up to get notified when it launches! :boom:

I read this interesting article by kvark / Dzmitry Malyshau from the Mozilla organization: Missing structure in technical discussions

In the article he explores the difficult issues in technical decision-making and the need for structure, naming several usual suspects for using software to guide the decision-making process.

The amazing gem he points to is Argdown, a Markdown-style syntax and display framework for complex argumentation. Of course this is only one piece in the puzzle, but as an artifact it can do wonders. A common format enables facilitators to maintain a mental map of the key arguments and findings in any discussion. This helps ensure that key information is not overlooked, that concerns from relevant stakeholders are more likely to be “on the table” as the decision is being made.

@masher, perhaps this can be used in The Ether. Perhaps we can try to use it in those community discussions which become epic, taking the big arguments and assembling an argument summary document in the same vein as @souptacular did for ProgPOW in the Arguments pros and cons section.

Lastly, there is already built-in visualization, check it out in the documentation.

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Agreed! We are using a similar argument structuring system

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Just published a new primer on social governance. Can also re-post the text here people are interested.


We are live :partying_face: