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On-Chain “Polkadot Alliance” Formed to Recognize Ecosystem Contributors and Establish Community Code of Ethics

Today seven teams from the Polkadot ecosystem announced the formation of the Polkadot Alliance, an on-chain collective that establishes and upholds a set of ethics for the community to follow. Founding Fellows Acala, Astar, Interlay, KILT Protocol, Moonbeam, Subscan and Phala have initiated the Alliance with a mission of ensuring standards of excellence across the rapidly growing ecosystem.

The Polkadot Alliance was first referenced in the August 2022 blog post “Proposal for Common Good Parachains” by Joe Petrowski of the Web3 Foundation:

The new proposal for Polkadot governance introduces a new collective, the Fellowship, which allows a ranked group of experts to express its opinion on sensitive or highly privileged proposals.

Another collective in development is the Polkadot Alliance. The Alliance is already deployed on the Westend test parachain and will likely be the first one on Polkadot. Several community teams banded together about two years ago and came up with the idea for the Alliance, primarily to fight misuse of the Polkadot brand and unattributed code…The Alliance would be an on-chain industry collective that sets a code of ethics regarding brand use, scam activities, and harmful behavior, but also provides recognition to teams who do make positive contributions to the growth and success of the Polkadot network.

A proposal for a Collective common good parachain followed in October 2022 and the parachain launched on 21 November 2022. A referendum is now needed to initialize the Founding Fellows; a motion will be made later this week.

The Alliance will exist on-chain and will publish its findings of unscrupulous websites and accounts on-chain. But it will not have any governance powers; its domain does not reach into other parts of the Polkadot protocol.

BACKGROUND

As the Polkadot ecosystem has expanded, some low-quality teams have started to pollute the Polkadot brand. These teams copy code without attribution, use “Polka” branding with no intention of building on Polkadot, conduct scammy token raises on Ethereum, launch rival relay chains, and are disrespectful in their interactions with other community members.

The Polkadot Alliance provides a framework to recognize the teams who empower others and contribute to the ecosystem in alignment with open source culture, and includes an on-chain mechanism that calls attention to those teams that do not.

MEMBERSHIP

Alliance members are expected to be companies, projects, other collectives, or even other networks in the Polkadot ecosystem (e.g. a company working on a parachain, or the Kusama network itself). Membership consists of two tiers: Fellow and Ally.

Fellows have voting rights on Alliance motions and carry out on-chain operations. Being a Fellow requires a strong commitment not only to abide by the standards, but also to enforce these standards in a consistent and timely manner. For instance, Fellows are responsible for membership management including promotion to Ally (or removal), and curation of an “Unscrupulous List” of problematic team URLs and accounts.

A subset of the Fellows is the seven Founding Fellows, which are the teams who built the Polkadot Alliance and started to contribute before it was live on-chain.

Allies are members of the Polkadot Alliance and do not have voting rights. There are two ways to join as an Ally:

  • By submitting a transaction to join and placing a deposit of 1,000 DOT, which is locked until retirement from the collective.
  • By nomination by a Fellow, which does not require a deposit.

Anyone can join as an Ally (with a deposit), but only Fellows can promote Allies to Fellow. Allies that wish to take a more active role in operating the Alliance, and who demonstrate active and sustained contributions to the ecosystem, can request promotion to Fellow. The motion to do so requires 60% approval from voting members to pass.

Read the Alliance Charter to learn more about how to become a member.

About the Polkadot Alliance

The Polkadot Alliance is an on-chain collective that establishes and upholds a community code of ethics. The Alliance provides an on-chain mechanism to recognize teams who align with open source culture, to ensure the continued success of the Polkadot ecosystem.

About Phala

Phala Network tackles the issue of trust in the computation cloud.

By organizing a decentralized network of computation nodes around the world, it offers high-performance services without relying on any cloud vendor. Phala workers run the programs in Secure Enclaves, a privacy technology already embedded into modern processors, enabling versatile and confidential execution. Together, this creates the infrastructure for a powerful, secure, and scalable trustless computing cloud.

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