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How to Vote on a KILT Referendum

On November 10, 2021, KILT reached the final phase of decentralization. Until that day, any changes to the KILT blockchain could be made using the Sudo key which was under control of BOTLabs GmbH, the company that initially developed KILT Protocol. This Sudo module allowed KILT’s developers to initiate staking and introduce governance and a Treasury. Once these were tested, KILT functionalities such as Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and Verifiable Credentials were added and audited, and the Sudo key was removed.

Governance of KILT Protocol now belongs to the community of KILT Coin holders, which has the power to decide on the future of the network.

This decision-making power comes with responsibility. To encourage active participation in the democracy of the network, this step-by-step guide was created by BOTLabs GmbH to help the community fully understand the process and use their vote.

Before voting on any referendum, you can read more about it and join the discussion in Polkassembly (under “On-chain” → “Referenda”). Polkassembly is an open-source platform for providing information, context and a discussion forum for proposals and referenda in the Polkadot ecosystem. Of note, coins that are locked for staking may also be used to vote.

Casting a Vote on Polkadot.JS

  1. Go to KILT Spiritnet on Polkadot.JS
  2. Under the “Governance” → “Democracy” section you will see active referenda and proposals
  3. Scroll to the referendum you wish to vote on
  4. Click “Vote”

5. This opens a separate pop-up. Enter the amount of coins you want to lock (1 in the image above). The minimum required to vote is 1 KILT.

6. You can vote with multiplier 0.1 (up to 10% of your voting coins) and your coins are only locked for the duration of the referendum.

If you wish to increase your voting power by selecting a period of time to lock your coins, click the arrow next to conviction (2 in the image above). Choose your conviction in the drop-down menu.

Please note: if the referendum is successful, your coins will remain locked for this period; if unsuccessful, your coins will be unlocked when the referendum has finished. Also because voting happens transparently on-chain, it requires a small transaction fee (around 0.017 KILT). While locked coins or coins used for staking can be simultaneously used for voting, a usable, unlocked balance to cover this fee is required.

7. Vote “Aye” if you agree with the proposal and “Nay” if you disagree.

8. Click “Sign and Submit” in the pop-up.

9. Sign the transaction by entering your password (Sporran or Polkadot.JS, depending on where you are connected.)

10. That’s it!

Backgrounder: Conviction Voting

Like Polkadot and Kusama, KILT Protocol has conviction voting. This means if you feel very strongly about a proposal, you can lock up coins for longer periods to increase your voting power up to a maximum factor of 6. The longer you lock your coins, the stronger your vote will be weighted.

The times range from no lockup to a period of around 224 days, with the lockup time beginning after the voting period ends. Coins used for voting will always be locked until the end of the voting period, no matter what conviction you vote with.

Of note: the lock time is based on the standard block time of 12 seconds per block and hence may vary due to differences in the real block time.

If you choose not to lock any coins, your vote only counts as 10% of the coins that you commit to the voting (vote value), while the maximum lockup of around 224 days means you can make your vote count for 600% of the vote value. You can choose to lock all or some of your coins for any range between 0.1x and 6x, with a lockup time as outlined above.

For example: You have a wallet with 1,001 KILT Coins. This could include staked or vested coins.

Example 1 — minimum

  • You want to vote but don’t want to lock any coins.
  • You enter 1,000 into the “vote value”
  • You choose “0.1 x voting balance, no lockup period”
  • This gives you a voting power of 100 KILT Coins
  • Note that all your 1,000 coins are locked for the time of the voting period (7 days).

Example 2 — maximum

  • You strongly believe in the referendum and want to vote with your full balance and maximum conviction.
  • Choose “6 x voting balance, locked for 32x enactment (224 days)”
  • This will give you a voting power of 6,000 KILT Coins, if you use your full amount, or 6 times the voting power of the amount you chose. The chosen amount will be locked for a period of around 224 days after the voting period ends (7 days).

Of note: rounded numbers are used as an example only — make sure that you always leave enough free, usable balance to cover the transaction fees.

Conviction voting allows users with a small amount of coins to increase their voting power, and deters a KILT coin holder from creating and voting on a malicious proposal and then leaving the network.

If the referendum is successful, your voting coins will remain locked for the time specified (which means that you will be unable to transfer them, but they will still be usable for staking during that time); if unsuccessful, your coins will be unlocked after the referendum has finished.

KILT also uses an algorithm to adapt the amount of “aye” (yes/agree) votes needed to pass depending on voter turnout: the greater the number of voters, the lower the threshold required to pass. Therefore, when voter turnout is low a supermajority is generally required; with a high turnout a simple majority is sufficient.

How to Remove a Vote

If you change your mind and want to remove your vote from an open referendum, you will need to find the index of the referendum you voted on, remove your vote from that index, and unlock the coins locked for voting.

Find the referendum index

  1. Go to the democracy tab in the Polkadot Apps
  2. Note the number next to the referendum you voted for

Remove the vote

Go to the extrinsic tab in the Polkadot Apps

  1. Select the account you used for voting
  2. Select the “democracy” pallet
  3. Select the “removeVote” extrinsic
  4. Enter the index of the referendum
  5. Sign and send the extrinsic

6. Unlock the expired voting lock using the guide below.

Unlocking Coins After Lockup Expires

After the lockup time has been reached, a transaction is needed to clear the lock. Of note: this will also require a transaction fee.

  1. Go to KILT Spiritnet on Polkadot.JS
  2. Click the three dots on the right of your account. This opens up a pop-up.
  3. Click “Clear expired democracy locks”

Confirm the transaction. This will clear the lock.

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KILT Protocol

KILT is a blockchain identity protocol for issuing self-sovereign, verifiable credentials. KILT is part of the Polkadot ecosystem.