Fantom Governance Overview — Constitution and Decision Making Bodies
By Michael Kong, Alex Kampa, and George Samman
Fantom’s proposed Governance Framework aims to give token holders and validators the ultimate say in the network, and to balance the need for improvements and change to the network, while also ensuring that a sufficient number of participate of the network are in favor of such changes. More information can be found here: https://github.com/Fantom-foundation/FIPs/blob/master/FIPS/fip-3.pdf
The Fantom Constitution will describe, in a succinct way, the basic principles of the Fantom Network, such as:
- The decision power rests with token holders
- The power of token holders will be related to their activity
- There will be no censorship
- The ledger will be immutable, except in case of evident fraud
- Description of decision-making bodies
- Types of voting, with emphasis on discussion and consensus
- Transaction costs should decline over time
- The network processing capacity should increase with demand
- Rules under which the Constitution can be changed
- The Fantom Network software, as well as its governance rules, must comply with the Constitution.
- A small number of parameters, mainly the number of FTM tokens, are defined at the Constitution level.
Decision Making Bodies
The Fantom Foundation will initially have a key role to play, as it will nominate the first Technical Committee as well as the first team of Moderators.
It will retain an important role on an ongoing basis, as it will have a representative in the Technical Committee, nominate one of the Moderators, and have a 33% weight in the Review Board. However, after approximately one year, the foundation will no longer have this power.
The main role of the Technical Committee will be to provide advice on the technical feasibility and costs of change proposals.
The Technical Committee will also be in charge of urgent bug fixes and for responding to emergencies. It will initiate emergency change requests and coordinate the implementation of such changes with core developers.
The Technical Committee will be composed of 5 persons with a deep technical knowledge of the Fantom Network, some of whom are expected to be Fantom core developers. One will be named by Fantom Foundation, the 4 others will be elected by the Token Holders. They will have a one year renewable tenure.
Moderators will be in charge of introducing proposals for on-chain voting. Their role will be to observe and moderate off-chain discussions about system changes and improvements and gauge support for various proposals under discussion. For proposals that have sufficient traction, the Moderators will ask the Tech Committee’s feedback as to feasibility and, if necessary, cost of the proposed changes.
Depending on the feedback received, Moderators will decide whether to submit proposals to on-chain voting. Moderators will decide where off-chain discussions will take place. This could be for example a wiki, or some existing discussion platform. Moderators do not need to stake tokens for each proposal.
Any token holder can submit a proposal to be voted on. There will be a deposit per proposal to the network of 100,000 FTM funded by any number of accounts. If the proposal is accepted by the network, the deposit will be returned. If it’s denied, the deposit will be forfeited. This should prevent spam (or is spam continues, the proposer will simply be giving free money to the network).
If someone modifies an existing proposal, they need to stake the same amount as the original proposal, unless the original proposal is changed to the modified proposal. Note that proposals submitted directly by token holders should be the exception rather than the rule. We will assess the role of moderators and see if a better solution presents itself.
There will be 5 moderators: one designated by the Fantom Foundation, and four chosen via sortition (random choice). The sortition will occur on-chain.
In order to be considered, a token holder must identify himself or herself, receive the backing of two other human token holders as well as deposit 500,000 FTM, which will remain locked during his tenure. Moderators will have a one year tenure.
In order to ensure that the network runs smoothly in the early days after the mainnet becomes operational, the first team of Moderators will be designated by the Fantom Foundation for a period of 6 months, in consultation with token holders. Consultation with token holders will be done by moderators via communication channels they set up for proposals and voting
Assembly of Tokenholders
With the exception of emergency changes, decisions will always be taken by a vote of the entire Community, comprising all token holders. Voting procedures will depend on the type of decision being taken.
In order to vote, a tokenholder will either have to stake their tokens themselves, or delegate them to a validator node.
In the case of emergency changes, token holders will have the right to veto.
As its name implies, the role of the Review Board is to review decisions voted by the Assembly. The Review Board has a final veto power, should it find for example that a decision cannot realistically implemented, or conflicts with the Constitution.
The Review Board will be composed of 12 persons: 5 members of the Technical Committee, and 7 members chosen among token holders by sortition;
In the event of a tie on the review board, a majority (>50%) is always required, so an equally split vote will lead the proposal to fail.
A member of the review board must make a 100,000 FTM deposit. If a member is kicked off the board, another sortition will take place to replace that individual.