Reward ION DAO governance participants


Low engagement and participation in the ION governance

As our community members might have recognized in the past 10 months, ION governance has been struggling with its consistently low participation from ION stakers.

To provide a perspective, one of the first three proposals of ION DAO on our first product, IBCX, failed to reach the quorum of 50%. This result called for a lower quorum limit, and the passing of Proposal #4, proposed and written by Avi and Luke, successfully adjusted the limit to 30%.

Proposal #4 definitely helped us pass the three subsequent Proposals. However, the turnouts for all three Proposals barely exceeded the 30% limit by an extremely thin margin, while the YES/NO ratio consistently skewed to YES by a large difference. Most importantly, the fact that the turnouts were considerably lower than the original 50% (at which some Proposals were passed) is the most concerning factor that required our immediate attention and action.

To try to address this issue, we tried numerous endeavors as detailed below:

  • Publish the governance guide article
  • Community announcements: We have been making announcements whenever a new proposal draft is uploaded on CommonWealth, or a new on-chain governance started and ended (A huge shout-out to the few members who’ve been helping with spreading the news within the Osmosis/Cosmos communities)
    1. ION DAO Twitter / IBCX Twitter
      i. Detailed instruction on how to vote and why one needs to vote for himself because there is no delegation in ION DAO
      ii. Information on ION DAO, the ION token and IBCX
    2. ION DAO Discord
    3. ION DAO Telegram Group Chat (Another huge thanks to the CosmosRescue team for activating the governance alert bot)
  • Send OSMO to voters’ addresses with a memo to encourage voting
  • Improve accessibility and usability of the ION DAO DApp
    1. Add ION DAO to the Keplr mobile’s “Discover Apps” page for improved accessibility and voting UX
    2. Replace the 3D graphics on with 2D for increased usability
  • Utilize ICNS and Twitter to manually reach out and encourage participation

Ironically and unfortunately, the engagement rate did not improve but actually declined while we executed the efforts above. Here’s a table that shows the historical changes in the ION governance participation by Proposal:

Proposal #4 reduced the quorum from 50% to 30%

In addition, Proposals #8 and #9 on bringing new use cases for IBCX and stIBCX, uploaded by the Demex team, recently failed to reach the quorums. Staking ION and participating in the governance are totally up to each individual’s choice, and not participating instead of voting “NO” or “NWV” could also be interpreted as an opinion. However, the fact that 3 out of 10 Proposals failed to pass due to lack of participation and not because of NO votes is definitely an alarming sign that calls for an action that could hopefully imbue more liveliness into the ION DAO governance.

Our Suggestion

We propose to reward the stakers who participated in the first 9 Proposals (#1~9) with a total of 70 ION from the ION DAO Treasury. Some key points below:

  • This reward plan is not a participation-based airdrop plan. The purpose is to reward the governance participants who contributed to the developments we all have made together so far.
  • No disadvantages or punishment such as slashing of staked amount or voting power will EVER be imposed on the stakers who do not qualify for this reward plan.

And below is how we came up with the distribution of the 70 ION which can be accessed here: [ION DAO] Governance Reward - Google Sheets

  • First, we calculated how many IONs were recorded as votes for each of the 9 Proposals and the respective percentage from the total IONs recorded for votes: (T2:T3, V2:W12 in the “VotingHistory” tab)
    • v_i / Σ(v_i) (i: the Proposal number, v_i: the sum of voting power for Proposal i)
  • Then we distributed the 70 ION to each Proposal based on the percentages calculated above (Y2:Z13 in the “VotingHistory” tab)
  • Next, we set up six Ranges for each proposal
    • n >= 10, 10 > n > 2, 2 >= n > 1, 1 >= n > 0.1, 0.1 >= n > 0.01, 0.01 >= n
  • Lastly, we calculated the amount for each wallet based on the following three data sets (the “Summary” tab)
    • Total rewards per Proposal
    • Every wallet’s voting power in each Range
    • The number of wallets in each Range

Thank you very much for reading, and please make sure to read below!

  • If there are wallets that made more than or equal to two transactions in a single Proposal, only one of them with higher voting power was counted for the rewards
  • The rewards will be sent directly from the ION DAO governance contract to each eligible wallet
    • You can check your eligibility in the “Summary” tab of the Spreadsheet
  • The rewards will be sent on August 31st, 2023, which is the 1st anniversary of ION DAO!
  • Target on-chain date: August 16th

Join ION DAO communities or follow the Twitter account if you don’t want to miss upcoming proposals and want to stay updated!

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I agree with reduced ammount of 70 ION like proposed :+1:

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Just to be sure; you intend to reward people for the proposals which have been put into voting, right? It is now a plan for new proposals to reward voting on those.

The biggest question is whether people will actually notice. Governance participation is an issue on most chains, where you are “saved” by the fact that luckily a substantial portion of the validators steps up to do the job, but on ION that is more difficult. If you would be on an own chain with own validators the problem would be less I guess.

In general activating holders to actively participate in governance is a real struggle and seems to indicate that one of the highlights of web3 (the democracy part) is not cared for too much in the current market. I’m more wondering if you would not better put the 70 ION to use to form a small working group to see if you can overhaul the governance part of ION in general in some way, such that it becomes easier to do with better results.

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Thanks for your feedback! :slight_smile:

There are two purposes, actually.

  1. Encourage the ION stakers to participate in the governance
  2. Reward ex-voters who have been contributing to the developments that ION DAO has made so far

The turnout of the latest proposal dramatically increased at the last minute after this proposal had been uploaded here, even though Prop #11 voters will not be eligible to get the rewards.

The latest ION proposal was uploaded at 13:28 UTC on August 4th, and the turnout was 28.7% at 15:23 UTC on August 9th when there was only 1 day and 22 hours left until the voting ended.

After uploading this proposal, however, approximately an additional 9% of the voting power voted, and the turnout reached 37.50% at the end. This is the All-Time-High turnout since proposal #4, which reduced the governance quorum. (with 97.68% of YES votes)

Given the fact that we stated above, we do believe this reward plan will help us see better participation in several upcoming governance, and we are going to continue further improvements on the ION governance for sure.

FYI. Besides the reward plan, we’ve been striving to improve the accessibility and usability of the ION governance as elaborated in this proposal since we’re also aware there are no validators for the ION governance:

In addition, your further ideas to overhaul the ION governance in general in some way will be much appreciated! There are suitable data sets we have for this. (e.g., Stakers addresses, Staking amounts, Stakers’ ICNS addresses, etc.)

If you ever need a sparringspartner, let me know.

I can think of some interesting possible combinations to check (like for example of the ION address is linked to another address on another chain which belongs to a validator, since they might be more active in governance anyways)

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Updates on August 16th

The rewards can not be sent to each eligible wallet (Total of 1219 addresses) directly because the message payload is too huge.

Instead, in the on-chain voting, we are going to propose sending the rewards to the IBCindex.osmo (osmo14n3a65fnqz9jve85l23al6m3pjugf0atvrfqh5) wallet first and then send to each eligible wallet manually.

  • Test Proposal Payload
osmo-test tx wasm execute \
    osmo1f0pknxqs04r9dqrfrt7vy3hyvu55p6l07x0px39wf3gcsezpxllq23kg4e \
    $(cat ./ion-test-proposal.json | jq -c) \
    --amount 500uion \
    --from osmo1jjx3kvnf0jk3fu2twfgt8wld9qtzfw08nyvm65 \
    --gas auto --gas-adjustment 1.5 --gas-prices 0.025uosmo \
    -b block
  • Error
Error: rpc error: code 
	= InvalidArgument desc 
	= failed to execute message; 

message index: 0
	: Error calling the VM
	: Error executing Wasm
	: Wasmer runtime error
	: RuntimeError
	: Error in guest/host communication
	: Region length too big. Got 146890, limit 131072
	: execute wasm contract failed: invalid request

Maybe just split up in 2 - 3 parts to get it done?

Hi, @LeonoorsCryptoman! Thanks for your feedback again :slight_smile:

We first thought the way you said, but we decided to send the 70 ION to the IBCindex.osmo address instead.

Here are the reasons:

  • We want to avoid a case that one proposal may be rejected and one proposal may be passed because people possibly vote for just a single proposal that includes their addresses. In this case, some people get the rewards, and some people don’t.
  • Currently, two ION DAO on-chain proposals are live to vote. Having more than two proposals to vote on at the same time may distract user attention.

This is why we think sending the rewards to the IBCindex.osmo address first is a more fair way to do the reward distribution, even if the stated reasons are just an assumption.

We will surely consider another approach if the proposal gets rejected for on-chain voting.

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Sounds like a plan indeed. And I can understand that the dynamics for voting on ION works different than on for example Osmosis, where everyone is used to tons of proposals :sweat_smile:

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