The First Livepeer Governance Poll Is Now Open For Voting

Doug Petkanics
May 11, 2020 · 5 min read

Today is a big milestone in the continued decentralization of the Livepeer protocol. The first governance poll is open for voting, and all tokenholders have the ability to participate. This post will give you the high level details you need to know in order to understand what‘s being voted on and how to participate in this poll and in the ongoing governance process.

Quickstart Summary

  • The first poll opens today and voting will be open for a 10 day period.
  • You can vote at https://explorer.livepeer.org/voting or using the updated command line interface.
  • In this first poll, tokenholders are deciding whether to ratify the process and tools that will be used to conduct Livepeer decentralized governance going forward. This sets a clear social understanding of how protocol changes get proposed, discussed, voted on, and executed.
Image for post
Sample polling screenshot from the test network

Background

Over the two years that Livepeer has been a live protocol on Ethereum’s mainnet, there is quite a bit of historical context to digest in order to fully understand the protocol’s governance roadmap and evolution. In short, since day one there has been a path to decentralization which mapped out phases that the network would go through in order to remove any reliance on centralized technology, stakeholders, maintainers, or operators. As the core technology is working well on the public network and is reliable for scaled usage, much of the focus in the past few months has shifted to decentralizing the governance over protocol and parameter updates themselves.

Just like technology iteration, governance iteration is also phased, and this poll marks the completion of phase 1, focused on the decentralization of knowledge, the Livepeer Improvement Process, and a polling application. Here are some materials to review to understand the governance roadmap, this milestone, and how the processes and tools work.

Details of The First Poll

The easiest way to summarize the first poll, being conducted beginning today, is to say that tokenholders are voting to ratify the process used to conduct future protocol, parameter, and governance updates.

As it exists today, there is certainly a loose informal process for participating in the development, testing, and upgrading of Livepeer — community calls, Github, forum, and chat discussion, and of course writing and testing code. But there is no formal, clearly defined process and rules, by which community members know that they can suggest a change, have it discussed, build consensus, and have it taken all the way to deployment and execution. Now there is such a process that is proposed, and this vote is an attempt at forming social consensus amongst the Livepeer community, in order to accept this process. If accepted, it gives the building blocks and tools to the community that they can use to form consensus around any future changes to the protocol, including even further decentralization.

Using this process a community member could, for example, suggest that the participation rate target be changed to 75%, or that a 50% quorum be required to pass a poll, or that the network should expand to 200 orchestrators, or that there be an elected set of keyholders with the ability to fix protocol bugs, and they would have a clear path to having that change debated and voted upon.

The mechanics of how this process worked are laid out in the above links in the Background section, but the actual details that are being voted on are defined in the Livepeer Improvement Proposal (or LIP) process. This poll is very simply asking users to vote Yes or No on LIP-19.

What is LIP-19? The LIP process is well defined in the LIP repo itself, but it can be a bit complex, and the details are a bit tedious. Still I believe it’s important to try to clearly lay out what is being voted on so people can follow the thread and be informed.

  • LIP-19 is a “meta LIP” in that it doesn’t actually suggest any concrete changes to the Livepeer protocol or parameters itself. It just references changes to the LIP process and governance process.
  • LIP-19 is also a bundle LIP, in that it references two additional LIPs: 15 and 16. Passing LIP-19 means accepting both LIP-15, and LIP-16.
  • LIP-15 covers updates to the LIP process. The LIP process has existed for two years, and worked a certain way, and now LIP-15 proposes updates to incorporate additional statuses and information that stakeholders need to use when they make proposals, have discussions, and vote.
  • LIP-16 covers how voting on proposals work, and the socially acceptable parameters that will be used to determine how votes are counted and whether polls pass or don’t pass.
  • In summary, LIP-16 says that anyone can create a poll, and the community will consider it valid as long as it is a vote on an LIP which has moved through the LIP process to the “Proposed” status. Polls cost 100 LPT to create. Polls run for 10 days. All tokeholders can vote in proportion to their staked LPT. Orchestrators vote on behalf of their delegators, but delegators can come in and override their Orchestrator’s vote with their own stake. Polls pass if 33% of all staked LPT shows up to vote, and a majority of the voting stake votes yes.

While there have been months of discussion as to whether these are the right voting rules and parameters, it was clear that these rules themselves will need to evolve over time along with the protocol, but that these rules would serve as a simple starting point. If passed, the community will know the rules of the governance, and the process itself can be modified through these existing tools and processes. In fact, this proposal is being discussed and voted upon using the proposed tools themselves.

How to Vote

  • Head on over to https://explorer.livepeer.org/voting to cast your vote on the first proposal.
  • Have questions? Pop into the #community-governance channel on Discord chat and check the forum for discussion and how-to’s around voting details.
  • There is a governance focused community call taking place on Thursday, May 14 at 12:00pm eastern time. If you’d like to participate request an invite in the Discord chat, or tune into the livestream at https://livepeer.com/tv.

Livepeer Blog

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Thanks to Yondon Fu

Doug Petkanics

Written by

Building live streaming on the blockchain at Livepeer. Previously Founder, VP Eng at Wildcard and Hyperpublic (acquired by Groupon).

Livepeer Blog

Decentralized live video streaming platform built on Ethereum - Livepeer.org

Doug Petkanics

Written by

Building live streaming on the blockchain at Livepeer. Previously Founder, VP Eng at Wildcard and Hyperpublic (acquired by Groupon).

Livepeer Blog

Decentralized live video streaming platform built on Ethereum - Livepeer.org

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