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Polkadot to Form ‘Fellowship’ of Tokenholders as Part of Major Upgrade

Wood Says Gov2 Code To Launch on Kusama ‘Imminently’

Polkadot to Form ‘Fellowship’ of Tokenholders as Part of Major Upgrade

Gavin Wood, the founder of Polkadot and former CTO of Ethereum, said major upgrades are coming to the governance underpinning Polkadot and its experimental, sister-chain Kusama.

Announced during the Polkadot Decoded conference, the Gov2 upgrade will replace the “first-class citizens” of Polkadot’s existing Council and Technical Committee with a “Polkadot Fellowship” to enable much broader participation in the governance process.

Becoming a Fellowship candidate member will be “as easy as placing a small deposit,” the Polkadot team said, adding that the new system could allow tens of thousands of tokenholders to participate in governance. 

Fellowship members can initiate and participate in as many referendums as desired under the new system. Members are assigned rankings representing their expertise and alignment with the interests of the Polkadot ecosystem.

Code Audit

Wood noted the Gov2 code is currently undergoing its final professional code audit, after which it will “imminently” launch on Kusama. 

Polkadot is a Layer 0 blockchain network providing shared security for Layer 1 blockchains launched on top of it called parachains. Polkadot’s native DOT token is the 11th-largest crypto assets with a market cap of $7.65B, according to CoinGecko.

Parachains are built using its native substrate framework and enjoy the security offered by Polkadot’s vast staking network, with Polkadot currently ranking as the fourth-largest Proof of Stake network with a $4.26B staked capitalization, according to Staking Rewards. 

Decision-Making Power

Wood criticized the centralized decision-making power of Polkadot’s current governance structures. Broadening the scope of governance participation will also protect against the small council and technical committee succumbing to the interests of authorities or other entities.

The team noted that its existing structures have resulted in a system where a small selection of proposals are considered in depth by the Council and Technical Committee instead of allowing the broad examination of many different ideas advanced by the wider Polkadot community.

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Mark Monfort of web3 venture studio NotCentralised told The Defiant that the dramatic upending of Polkadot’s governance processes may create new challenges for the project later down the track.

“Any moves towards empowering more voters are always welcome but it will be interesting to see how it is put into practice. Plugging one hole in a space that is as fast moving as web3 has shown that it can open up holes in other areas,” he said.

Shortcomings

In a recent appearance on The Defiant Podcast, Hasu, strategic advisor at Lido and strategy lead at Flashbots, warned of the shortcomings associated with relying on the broad and “populist” interests of tokenholders for governance.

“Many organizations in crypto are being micromanaged by their tokenholders,” Hasu said.“That’s completely non-viable. Could you build an iPhone by designing it by a committee of stockholders? I think the answer is most likely ‘no’.”