The concept of decentralization has been explored by so many crypto projects. Algorand itself, the world’s first decentralized, scalable and secure blockchain protocol has harnessed the potentials that come with decentralization. However, it seeks to expand its decentralization protocols from being just the participants in the network to become active in the governance of the network. Algorand’s founder and professor at MIT, Silvio Micali proposed a game-changer in the Algorand’s network by expressing that the current decentralized system is only exclusive to participants in the consensus and not governance.
Consensus and Governance Demystified
Consensus, meaning a general agreement in a decision-making process while governance is the power of a group of people to make up an administrative body to make powerful decisions that affect or influence others in a group. Governance requires the approval of one or a few people for a decision to take place while consensus requires the general agreement of the whole participants in a group.
The reality is that every account can participate in the Algorand’s consensus but not in the governance. Governance is the power for making decisions for non-consensus tasks; an example is the funding of grants proposals. Algorand is thus, expanding its decentralized network by not only allowing its participants active in consensus but also in governance.
The aim of decentralizing governance on Algorand and rewarding participants involved in the network’s governance is the company’s new goal. It should be noted that participation in governance will be purely based on voluntary decisions. Accounts that choose to participate in the governance will be called “governors”. These governors shall lose their tokens for a proposed one year and shall be rewarded for it.
The Principles surrounding “Consensus and Governance” in Algorand Blockchain
Primarily in other Blockchains, a consensus is the process of choosing the next block on the blockchain and verifying that all its transactions are valid thus usually making the process an algorithmic process. However, in Algorand consensus possesses some unique characteristics which make participation easy in the sense that it doesn’t require any sophisticated computational resources and can be performed on any laptop and in the background of such laptop device.
Also account users can choose whether or not to participate in consensus as it doesn’t require any form of compensation to participate or to be compensated. Algorand’s consensus is further different from that of other blockchains as it doesn’t require any remuneration; it doesn’t need to be monitored.
Governance, however, requires a lot of attention, dedication and time, it was there highlighted that participating governance should be voluntary as account holders should decide whether or not to participate. There will also be compensation for users who choose to participate in governance.
Unlike in consensus, governors will be monitored as remunerations are involved, it will be important to verify the real-life participants. Since the governors have real power that can greatly influence the growth of the blockchain system, they need to have a share in the positive or negative outcome of their decisions. Due to this reason, their tokens will be locked for about a year, however, there will be provisions made for early withdrawals and their earnings will not be locked as they are deposited directly in an unlocked account.
THE GOVERNING MECHANICS AND THE PRINCIPLES OF THE VOTING PROCESS
This process can also be referred to as the voting process through which decisions are made. This process involves the foundation and the governors, each with its special functions and power. While the foundation facilitates, the governors decide. The foundation facilitates governance but cannot control it.
Regardless of the mechanics to be utilized, the principles that guide governance include;
• Voting Sessions: a voting session calls for the governors to vote on pressing matters (e.g. a set of proposals to be provided grants). Such matters need to highlight its name/title, a summary, a link containing the details, and a yes or no option.
• Voting deadlines: it is important to provide time for governors to decide on a certain matter thereby making a provision of 30 days to vote.
• Transparency: the voting process must be as transparent as possible and session items can be proposed by any member of the Algorand community.
• No censoring
• No spamming
• Voting options
• Vote validity vote weight and outcomes.
• Separate governing keys.
One of Algorand’s top goals is decentralization and it has always been faced right from the onset to the present. Decentralization has been achieved at the protocol level and Algorand has solved the trilemma by developing the first blockchain that is fully truly decentralized, scalable and secured. It now aims to have a fully decentralized governance as well.