New Social Governance Layer for Ethereum

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:


Congratulations on The Ether. That is truly a huge step forward in the advancement of governance tools.


Thank you very much :smiley:

When implementing on-chain decentralized governance I suggest using EIP-2535 Diamond Standard as is being done by DerivaDEX and planned by BarnBridge:

Totally agree with many things people said here.

Ethereum governance is NOEXISTENT and totally centralized.


Ir is the fucking opposite of Linux or other sane opensource projects!


@kladkogex You should really consider joining The Ether!

Our goal is to increase community agency in the governance process and also give Core Devs an easy way to gauge community sentiment :smiley:

Would love to talk to you about it if you are interested in learning more

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I find this whole notion of Social Governance problematic.

If anyone who doesn’t indemnify me can to tell me what to do as a Core Developer I will have to quit that role. If I wind up in a courtroom I’m willing to argue that I acted on my best technical judgement to support the health of the network. I’m not willing to argue that I followed the sentiments – feelings – of an ill-defined community.

That doesn’t mean I don’t care about the community. Just that in the end the core developers alone are responsible for their decisions and their consequences. If the community wants to get organized enough to collectively make decisions about the protocol they will have to get organized to enough to take responsibility for those decisions and protect the core devs from their consequence.

Better, I think, that the community get organized enough to provide useful guidance to the core devs, and mature enough to respect our decisions.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

We at The Ether are not at all advocating for anyone telling you what to do.

Social Governance in our view is more about gauging what the community thinks about various topics so you as a Core Developer have that data set at hand about why the community thinks a certain way when making your independent decisions.

That data set is just one piece of a larger framework Core Devs use to make a decision.

The process already exists right now, it is just inefficient because it stems from eyeballing Twitter conversations, which isn’t effective.

Furthermore, the way we envision social governance is exactly what you have outlined.

We are trying to better organize the community so they can provide useful guidance to the Core Devs, but also always understand that it is the Core Devs’ decision.

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Hey Masher,

I joined thanks!

By the way the github signup seems to have a bug - it does not work at least on Chrome/Ubuntu 18.

I tried to sign up with github first and then moved to twitter sign-up which was successful

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Thanks for letting me know :smiley:

Thanks. Note that “what the community thinks” means much less to me than “why they think it.” A million bad arguments don’t add up to a good one. For EIPs we have this forum already where people can engage with the substance of proposals.