The last year has seen an explosion in the number of blockchains and protocols being built by talented teams. Many of these projects have announced intentions to decentralize their governance and move it on-chain. In practice, however, only a few projects have true on-chain governance systems, instead opting for coin-voting and relatively plutocratic DPoS systems. Overall, a full set of standards around active governance has yet to emerge.
Moreover, more ink has been spilled on the topic of governance, than code written. Protocols are naturally reluctant to move to on-chain governance without a working example. Edgeware is purpose-built for experimentation with formal governance. By launching with a novel token distribution mechanism, we’re able to bootstrap “a test-net with incentives.” Network participants are able to vote, delegate, and fund each other to improve the network in a number of areas — scalability, governance, developer experience, and more. Other projects can learn and borrow from Edgeware’s functional governance processes.
The Next Steps for Edgeware
Edgeware is being launched with a minimal governance system. The goals are twofold: to get a working system in the hands of stakeholders, and so further work done benefits from direct, on-chain feedback. The first governance system will include identity, proposals, and a treasury:
- The identity system will allow users to mirror their Github handles to Edgeware. Everyone will have a persistent identity.
- The proposal system will support discussing and voting on several types of resolutions, including signaling proposals (resolutions with no binding effect), funding proposals, and network upgrades.
- The treasury system will accumulate tokens every time a new block is minted.
Supporting Governance Evolution
Over the long term, the evolution of the network will depend on the community members and stakeholders. To make that easier, future improvements to Edgeware will ensure that creating DAOs on the Edgeware network will be easy and practically free. It will be possible for DAOs to use a variety of decision-making processes: 1-person-1-vote, quadratic voting, futarchy, and so on.
The goal is for Edgeware to be the foundation for experiments with many different governance systems in parallel. If a new voting scheme or participation model develops a successful track record, other DAOs can choose to adopt it.
Built on Substrate
The foundation for Edgeware is Parity Substrate, a framework for creating new blockchains derived from the Polkadot project. Substrate implements nearly all the code necessary to launch a working blockchain, including libp2p networking, a WebAssembly runtime, PBFT consensus, and clients for running nodes and proof-of-stake validators. The engineering effort for creating Edgeware is thus limited to building the governance systems, creating well-tested compile toolchains for writing C/C++/Rust smart contracts that can be compiled to Ethereum WebAssembly (Ewasm), and porting over a pipeline for existing Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) smart contracts to be run on Ewasm.
Edgware is most plainly an actively-governed smart contract blockchain. Emphasis on active. Anyone can actively…
… participate in the lock drop. By locking ETH, you get EDG tokens which give you staking and voting rights on the new chain.
… participate in council and governance decisions. With stakeholders like core devs, dapp devs, end users, chain governance, and broader community stakeholders being represented by separate councils.
… develop the protocol using skills or interest that you may have. And for those efforts, be compensated with additional EDG token — representing future staking and voting rights.