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Litmus Governance: Make Decisions over the Litmus Network

“We are governed by information and our belief in and acceptance of that information. Transparent, verified information and knowledge bridges are the most important tools available to us today.” — Heather Marsh, The Creation of Me, Them and Us

The long-anticipated Governance Platform 1.0 is now launched on the Litmus Network. The platform serves as a portal for our community to discuss issues, ideas, and proposals that they care about publicly and transparently. We here celebrate our starting point for the LIT community to administrate and make important decisions over the development of Litmus Network using on-chain and off-chain governance.

This article will briefly explain how governance works on Litmus and our considerations of some upcoming improvements to Litmus governance.

🔖 Table of Contents:
1. Mechanism
2. Governance Working Groups
3. On-Chain and Off-Chain Governance
4. LIT Token

1. Mechanism

We adopt the standard Polkadot Governance Procedure as the main mechanism of Litmus Governance v1.0, while we have configured parts that are associated with Council, Technical Committee, and operation rules to better cater needs that arise from the project.

In short, a LIT token holder or the Council can propose ideas in a referendum. The referendum will be subsequently voted, weighted by stake, by all LIT token holders.

As the Polkadot Official described, “To make any changes to the network, the idea is to compose active token holders and the council together to administrate a network upgrade decision. No matter whether the proposal is proposed by the public (token holders) or the council, it finally will have to go through a referendum to let all holders, weighted by stake, make the decision.”

The Litmus Governance mechanism consists of (but is not limited to) three parts:


Anyone can propose a referendum by depositing a minimum of 100 LIT until the proposal passes into a referendum. For this proposal to become a referendum and enter into a voting cycle, it will need to gain the highest amount of bonded support from people who agree with the proposal and deposit the same amount of LIT to support it. Besides, Council can raise an External Proposal. If ⅔ of the council agrees on this external proposal, it can move to a referendum.

  • Referendum: each governance proposal is associated with a referendum, which is a stake-based voting scheme. The referendum has a 5-day period where voting happens, and a function call will be made if the vote is approved. The function call can switch out the entire code of the runtime, automatically fulfilling the proposal, achieving what otherwise would require a hard fork.


Your voting power will depend on the number of tokens you lock up as well as your locking period.
Conviction Voting allows token holders to increase their voting power by declaring how long they are willing to lock up their tokens. The number of votes for each token holder will be calculated as:

Votes = tokens * conviction_multiplier

p.s. A conviction_multiplier is calculated based on how long you’re willing to lock your tokens. See the below table for conviction_multiplier:

You can still use locked tokens for voting; you are only prohibited from transferring these tokens to another account.

We’d like to introduce mechanisms that calculate voting power using identity data-based matrix in the upcoming governance version to enhance trust, equality, and incentive in our democratic process. Please comment on this post if you want to contribute to our effort.


There are three different scenarios depending on where the proposal comes from Positive Turnout Bias, Negative Turnout Bias, and Simple Majority.

2. Governance Working Groups

2.1 Council

There are currently 5 members in the Litmus Council. The Council act as an on-chain entity to represent passive stakeholders, which is called upon primarily for:

  1. Controlling the treasury
  2. Proposing sensible motion
  3. Canceling uncontroversially dangerous or malicious referenda
  4. Electing the technical committee
  5. Electing new Council members

Council Election
New council member candidates can be nominated and elected by the existing council members with a super majority approve. In general, existing council members can nominate anyone to become a council member candidate; such candidate must acquire the majority approval to win the election and serve in the Litmus Council. Although the process of Council Election is centralized at its initial stage, we anticipate gradually onboarding more and more active community members to the Council and even accepting applications from the broader, general LIT community. Being said, the Litmus Council mechanism is still in discussion and a work in progress, we welcome new ideas and proposals to help us refine the scheme.

2.2 Technical Committee (TC)

There are currently 3 members in the TC on Litmus. TC is able to fast-track existing proposals, but cannot generate new proposals. The purpose of TC is to safeguard against malicious referenda, implement bug fixes, reverse faulty runtime updates, or add new but battle-tested features.

2.3 LIT Token Holders (Public)

LIT token holders are the main actors in the Litmus governance mechanism. By proposing new referenda, voting, and participating in discussions, the LIT community gets to make decisions on issues mentioned in the “Governance Issues” section.

3. On-Chain and Off-chain Governance

Litmus has both On-Chain Governance and Off-chain Governance.

On-Chain Governance is powerful because it can directly change the code of the Litmus Runtime and other storage. To ensure the quality of the governance proposal, proposers are required to deposit tokens to propose a referendum. Thus, It requires proposers to have a thorough understanding of their proposal, as well as to gain relatively broad support from other community members.

Off-Chain Governance has a low threshold so that it is more accessible and encompassing. Off-chain decision-making can not only help a proposal gain support before going on-chain, it can also cover issues that shall be executed in a social level.

3.1 On-Chain Governance


With on-chain governance, you can propose making an Extrinsic Call that changes a specific part of the code of the Litmus Runtime. There are different sections of extrinsic on Litmus:

On-Chain Governance Process

Phase 1: Idea
Anyone is welcome to propose an initial idea and create a poll using the Discussion feature or off-chain Governance. If an idea receives support from other people, it can be proposed in a Referendum.

Phase 2: Propose

  • What you’ll need? 1) a Litmus Wallet and 2) some LIT. Jump to Section 4 for guidance if you’re unsure.
  • Once you’re ready, submit a proposal at Democracy on Polkadot.js.
  • Find the preimage hash that corresponds to the extrinsic call that you wish to make, depending on which section of code you are proposing changes to. You can find a preimage hash for a specific Extrinsic Call at Extrinsic.
  • Insert the Preimage Hash to your proposal.
  • Deposit 100 LIT tokens to submit your proposal. Also, check if you have sufficient balance to pay the gas fee (around 1 LIT per tx).
  • Once your proposal is submitted, head onto the Litmus Governance v1 and change the text description of your proposal. It’s important to write a strong rationale for others to endorse and support your proposal. If your proposal gets highly bonded support, it moves into a referendum.

Phase 3: Vote
Once a proposal runs into a referendum, it will start an on-chain voting process where all LIT holders can stake to vote during a 5-day period. If your referendum passed, it will automatically fulfill and change the code in the Litmus Runtime.

3.2 Off-chain Governance

At the social level, the LIT community can govern over issues in the following aspects:

  • Tokenomics and slot auction campaigns
  • Project partnerships with Litentry products
  • External project incubation and onboarding to the Litmus parachain
  • Community growth strategies, events organization and technology avocation

Off-Chain Governance Process
Litentry is partnering with OpenSqaure, which provides us with a useful tool to raise off-chain governance proposals and start a voting process.
Users can go to Litentry Voting on OpenSquare and create a new proposal. You can use an ETH wallet instead of a Litmus wallet to participate. Creating proposals require you to have at least 1 LIT token in your wallet, but you don’t need to deposit or stake any token to submit a proposal.

4. LIT Token

Obtaining LIT tokens is the first step to getting involved in on-chain governance.

Here’s how to add LIT to your wallet on Litmus.

Step 1: Get some LIT tokens

You can purchase LIT on the following platforms (skip this if you already have LIT):

Step 2: Transfer LIT to Litmus

Transfer LIT from an ETH wallet to a Litmus Wallet. Go to this tutorial to see how.

Step 3

Done — Now check your wallet!

If you do not have any LIT, you can still participate in soft governance using the Discussion and Comment feature on Litmus Governance Platform.

👋 Thank you for reading!

About Litentry

Litentry is a Decentralized Identity Aggregator that enables linking user identities across multiple networks. Featuring a DID indexing protocol and a Substrate-built distributed DID validation blockchain, Litentry provides a decentralized, interoperable identity aggregation service that mitigates the difficulty of resolving agnostic DID mechanisms. Litentry provides a secure vehicle through which users manage their identities and dApps obtain real-time DID data of an identity owner across different blockchains.

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