Beyond the Governance: the Referendum Chamber

In this article series, we want to give insight on the possibilities the SwapDEX governance has to offer its users.

The public referenda chamber is one of the three bodies of on-chain governance as it’s instantiated in SwapDEX and Kusari. The other two bodies are the council and the technical committee.

Referenda allow for stake-based voting on the SwapDEX and Kusari blockchain through runtime calls, including the most powerful call “set_code” that can switch out the entire runtime code, which effectively enables upgrades that would otherwise result in a hard fork of the blockchain.

A Referendum is a discrete event with a fixed voting period with the function call being made if the vote is approved. Voting is always binary, meaning you can either vote “AYE” or “Naye ‘’ or abstain from voting entirely.

There are four ways a referendum can be initiated and each of those have an enactment delay associated with them:

1. Publicly submitted proposals:

The period between the referendum ending and (if approved) changes being enacted is eight days on the SwapDEX chain.

2. Proposals submitted by the council (voted by the majority or unanimous):

The period between ending and changes being enacted is eight days here as well.

3. Proposals submitted as part of the enactment of a prior referendum:

The time can be set as desired (via the first referendum)

4. Emergend proposals that are submitted by the technical council and are accepted by the Council

Since these proposals deal with significant issues that might need to be “fast-tracked”, the enactment time will be shorter

Proposing a Referendum

Every SDX Hodler is able to propose a referendum by depositing the minimum amount of coins for a certain amount of time (number of blocks). In order for someone to back the proposal and second it, they need to deposit the same amount of coins to support it. The proposal with the highest backing will be selected as a referendum for the next voting cycle.

Remember: there can be up to 100 proposals in the public queue

Council Referenda

The Council can move proposals to a referendum either by unanimous vote or through majority.

If the vote is unanimous, the referendum will have a negative turnout bias (meaning the lower the participation, the lower the amount of votes necessary for it to pass).

If the proposal was agreed upon by a simple majority of the council, the referendum can also be voted. This time without bias but with a majority carry (51% wins)

Remember there can always be only one active referendum with emergency referenda submitted by the Technical Committee being the only exception.

If you want to dive deeper into the adaptive quorum biassing, please refer to our official documentation

Unanimous Council — When all members of the council agree on a proposal, the council can move it to a referendum. This referendum will have a negative turnout bias (that is, the smaller the amount of stake voting, the smaller the amount necessary for it to pass — see “Adaptive Quorum Biasing”, below).

Majority Council — When agreement from only a simple majority of council members occurs, the referendum can also be voted upon, but it will be majority-carried (51% wins).

There can only be one active referendum at any given time, except when there is also an emergency referendum in progress.

If you want to dive deeper into the topic of on-chain governance, check out our official documentation and check out our other articles covering the Council and the Technical Committee.

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