Purpose

To provide the Internet Computer (IC) community a named Followee neuron in the Network Nervous System (NNS) dApp that is representative of the ICP Maximalist Network (ICPMN) community and can be trusted to always vote on all proposals. It will be configured to follow elected voting members from the ICPMN community on all Governance proposals and to follow Dfinity Foundation (DF) and/or Internet Computer Association (ICA) on non-Governance proposals. Ownership and configuration of this community neuron as well as voting member expectations are described in this policy document.

Background

Governance Participation

At the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) genesis, the NNS was configured to set ICA as the default Followee for the Governance topic for all neurons.  DF and ICA are currently the only named neurons in the list of available neurons in the NNS app and people configuring their neuron can easily select these neurons to follow for voting.  In an effort to accelerate decentralization of the internet computer, DF and ICA are going to be removed as default Followees for Governance topics and voting rewards will be weighted by proposal type. Hence, there will be a new need for people in the IC community to find other neurons to follow.  The selection of Followees needs to be diverse and reliable.  The ICP Maximalist Network includes participation from a wide variety of end users, investors, developers, and DF and ICA team members, so we are well positioned to offer a Followee neuron that reflects the values and interests of some of the most active members of our community.

The ICPMN neuron will be created using an internet identity and the NNS dApp for the sole purpose of NNS governance participation as a Followee option (this neuron will not hold any significant ICPMN treasury). We hope that this neuron will be accepted by the IC governing body as a named Followee in the NNS dApp. A guiding principle for this neuron is that it will be a highly reliable voting member of the IC governing body and that the IC community can trust it to vote on all proposals in a way that is representative of the ICP Maximalist Community.

Followee Voting

All neuron owners are able to add up to 10 Followees to their neuron using the NNS dApp. Each Followee counts as one vote no matter how much voting power the Followee holds individually. Once a majority of the Followees votes to Adopt or Reject a proposal, the neuron votes the same way. If it becomes impossible for a majority of the Followees to Adopt, then the neuron votes to Reject. In order for a neuron with Followees to Adopt a proposal, there must be a majority of Followees that cast their votes to Adopt the proposal. Any Followee that abstains from voting is counted equivalent to a Reject vote. Trust is required in this form of liquid democracy. In order to receive voting rewards, the neuron must vote. The neuron owner puts trust in the Followees that they will always vote and that they will cast their vote with the long-term best interest of the IC in mind.

Manual Voting

All neuron owners who use the ICPMN neuron as a Followee are still encouraged to vote manually on all governance proposals that you feel strongly about. This will ensure that your vote is cast exactly as desired no matter how your Followees cast votes.  We will be transparent about how the ICPMN neuron is voting on each Governance proposal and you can join our community discussions if you want to use it as a resource to inform your decisions.

ICPMN Neuron Configuration

Parameters

The ICPMN neuron shall be initially staked with 10 ICP. The neuron shall be configured with 8-year dissolve delay in the non-dissolving state and shall join the Community Fund. The Maturity shall be allowed to accumulate. Periodically the ICPMN ambassadors shall determine what to do with the accumulated Maturity. While it is ok for the neuron stake to increase, this neuron is not intended to be a treasury for the ICPMN.

Followees for Governance Proposal Topics

The ICPMN neuron shall be configured with Followees that are duly elected by the ICPMN community. These Followees shall be individuals that consistently vote with their own brains based on active engagement with the IC community and intellectually honest research of each Governance topic. Each voting member shall designate their preferred neuron that will be listed as the Followee. It must be a neuron they control, but there is no requirement for minimum voting power. Each voting member shall be asked to prove that they control the neuron that they select by performing specific actions that can be verified publicly such as topping up the neuron with a specific amount of ICP. Of course, voting members may designate a Followee for the Governance topic in their neuron, but it is preferred that voting members vote manually on Governance topics.

The ICPMN neuron shall be configured to follow ICA and/or DF for all topics other than Governance topics. It is assumed that DF and ICA will vote appropriately for all topics that are not Governance topics. It is also assumed that they will not be reliable neurons to follow for Governance topics due to their desire for decentralized governance and their tendency to abstain from voting on Governance proposals. Therefore, they will not be listed as Followees in the ICPMN neuron for Governance topics.

Voting Members

Quantity

The number of voting members listed as Followees for the ICPMN neuron shall be determined by the ICPMN ambassadors. It is critical that these individuals are committed to voting on all Governance proposal topics. There cannot be more than 10 Followees, but it is not critical to have 10 Followees. The number of Followees shall be determined based on expectation of how many participants are known to be active, knowledgeable, and reliable voting members. The number of Followees can change at any time at the recommendation of the ICPMN ambassadors and approval by the ICPMN community.

Expectations

Voting members are expected to engage in an intellectually honest way with the IC community on Governance topics at the http://forum.dfinity.org as well as in the ICPMN social media platforms. They will develop their own convictions on specific proposals and are expected to cast their votes in alignment with those convictions. There is no expectation that voting members cast their vote in alignment with a vocal majority or vocal minority of the ICPMN community. We will seek to have as many diverse Followees as practical for the ICPMN neuron in order to achieve representation of the ICPMN community. Voting members are expected to make it known how and why they vote on each proposal and the vote they cast will be transparent to the public. If the ICPMN community believes that an individual voting member is not representing their best interests, then they can be replaced during the re-election process.

Elections

There will be a nomination process where potential voting members are identified. There will also be an election process where the ICPMN community can elect each voting member. There will not be any term limits for voting members, but they must be re-elected at least yearly. The policy for these nominations and elections shall be defined by the ICPMN ambassadors and approved by the ICPMN community.

ICPMN Neuron Control

Trust

There will be a single Owner of the ICPMN neuron and the Internet Identity that controls that neuron. The Owner will be selected by agreement of ICPMN Ambassadors. The Owner is expected to follow policies outlined in this document. The Owner shall configure the neuron as described by this policy document. The ICPMN neuron is expected to follow the majority of voting member Followee neurons at all times. However, if something unexpected happens during the voting process, then the Owner shall vote manually based on ICPMN ambassador approval a Followee request to change the vote. There shall be clear justification and approval for executing this override authority by the neuron Owner and it shall be well documented.

Recovery

Recovery methods are to be executed in the event that the Owner is unable or unwilling to fulfill obligations in this policy. The internet identity recovery seed phrase will be split into two parts and shared with two senior ICPMN ambassadors. In the event that the ICPMN neuron Owner is unable to fulfill obligations outlined in this policy, then the ICPMN ambassadors shall elect a new Owner and the ambassadors with the recovery seed phrase fragments shall send it to the new Owner. The new Owner will then use the seed phrase to recover the internet identity and control of the neuron. The new Owner will then remove all previous devices and recoveries from the internet identity and create a new recovery to be shared with two ambassadors again. The neuron Owner is required to periodically request that the ambassadors with the seed phrase fragments prove that they still have access to the fragments.

In the event that an ICPMN neuron Owner acts with nefarious intent by not following the policies outlined for this neuron and/or by deleting the recovery seed phrase that has been shared with other ambassadors, then the ICPMN ambassadors shall create an NNS proposal to disable Followee status for all neurons that follow the ICMPN neuron and remove it as a named Followee in the NNS app. The ambassadors shall also advertise to the IC community that the ICMPN neuron has been compromised and should not be trusted.

Future Goals

At some point in the future when neuron multi signature features are implemented or it becomes possible to configure the neuron for the ControlByProposals attribute and to make ManageNeuron proposal topics (this is a private proposal that only Followees of the neuron can vote) with the NNS app, then the policies outlined in this document shall be revised to reflect these improvements. The ultimate goal is to ensure that no single person is trusted to execute policies defined for this ICPMN neuron, but in a way that is sustainable by normal end user participants. This will require working with Dfinity Foundation to develop NNS app tools that enable management of community neurons.

Transparency

A web page must be developed that will provide the transparency needed to build trust by the IC community in the value and performance of the ICPMN neuron. This webpage shall include the items listed below.

  1. Voting philosophy, governance participation policies, recognizable names (pseudonyms acceptable) of voting members from the IC community
  2. Dashboard of current and historical voting on proposals
  3. Overall results for each proposal
  4. Individual voting member voting records and explanations
  5. Indication if the ICPMN neuron vote that was cast on each proposal was based on Followee voting or Owner manual voting
  6. This provides both validation that voting policies were followed and explanation if manual voting was required and approved by ICPMN ambassadors
  7. List all proposal details and provide links to reference material
  8. Measure participation rates including quorum, Adopt, Reject, and Abstain statistics for each proposal and individual voting members
  9. Polling tools for community decision making on voting members, policy changes, etc.
  10. Send automatic reminders to voting members of the existence of Governance proposals and the timeline that is available for casting manual votes.

Wenzel Bartlett
Wenzel Bartlett

Husband, father, chemist, analyzer engineer, #8yeargang
Very interested in ICP tokenomics and governance and highly engaged in the ICP Maximalist Network.

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