Delegate ideas 💭

Continuing the discussion from Delegate - NOVAX, since this is off topic from the discussion of their delegate candidacy:

Regarding seeing delegate options in the Staking UI - in my Bitocracy Roadmap I did propose that we have a “Delegate Leaderboard” that would show a list of delegate addresses, the amount of voting power that has been delegated to them (by addresses other than their own), total voting power (delegated voting power + their own voting power), what % of the voting power the delegate has in total, and the number of votes the delegate has participated in. We could probably use a modified version of Sybil for this.

If you click on a delegate address in Sybil you can then zoom in on a particular delegate:

If they have verified their Twitter account then they also get a Twitter badge so you can click through to their Twitter account:

Screenshot_2021-05-17 Gauntlet on Twitter

Regarding delegate incentives, I think this is part of a larger conversation about voter incentives (plugging another thread on this topic here). I have mentioned an idea in a few conversations that delegates could by default inherit all of the staking rewards that would have gone to the original addresses staking to them, and then the delegate could have a modifiable parameter that sets what percentage of the staking rewards go to the delegate and what percent passes through to the original staker. So some delegates might keep some % of the staking rewards for themselves, others might passthrough all rewards to the original stakers.

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Cool ideas @light! Of course many in our altruistic community will choose to act as delegates for 0% and that’s fine and noble and good. But it would be nice to encourage lower net worth delegates to participate more actively by guaranteeing a reward for actively voting delegates who surpass a certain minimum threshold of delegated voting power. Or all delegates receive a fixed percentage of the standard staking reward, however, they can choose to auto-donate 100% of that reward to various initiatives instead of receiving the funds personally as a reward. I like that model better because it doesn’t shut out smaller net worth delegates from staying active in governance and their (our) voices are also important to the product development and governance.

I don’t love the idea of associating who we delegate our votes to with a cost impact. It’s better if the cost impact is equal across the board (I know many other projects handle delegation differently than I’m suggesting). So the delegator isn’t choosing a delegate based on cheapest perceived cost to delegate. IMO - If the choice is going to be made potentially more arbitrary, it should be made almost fully random to prevent unintentional “exploits”… like new stakers just throw down on the top delegate wallet with a 0% “fee”… leaving us with an unintentional imbalance of voting power that is based on arbitrary perception of value. Better to level the playing field here. We wouldn’t want to structure our real world governance this way would we? Like saying every county has a voting delegate and every citizen has $100 to vote. But if you delegate your vote to Jimbo, then you get to keep your $100. People who need $100 delegate to Jimbo and often may not know or care if he’s engaged in the community and aware of the important considerations to vote in the best interests of the project and community.

If Jimbo governs poorly then SOV loses value. This gives those delegating their voting power an incentive to ensure their delegates are governing well.

Could you unpack that a bit? What do you have in mind? The first thing that comes to mind for me is having the current stream of staking rewards (paid for via fees + early unstaking penalties) which go 100% to SOV stakers (and 0% to delegates). Then have a second stream of rewards from somewhere (maybe SOV inflation?) that is paid 100% to delegates (weighted by voting power to prevent Sybil attack).

The thing is that nothing can prevent delegates from offering a percentage of that delegate reward to the stakers who delegate to them. Even if the split isn’t automated at the smart contract level, delegates could offer to split the rewards “out-of-band” to attract voting power. This is why I think we should just lean into it and build this feature into the protocol and let the market sort out which delegates are best based on their reward split and governing abilities.

The method you propose is most likely to work with a community like ours presently is… small, engaged, informed, etc. Just like comparing small hippie communes (like the one my parents met on, hahah) to national elections… our community will face all of the same considerations here that the founding fathers faced and more. We don’t want to just build for what works with our present community, but we want to iterate in a success-proof direction. I use this conceptualization tool, to make long term decisions where I simply ask, “What happens if I achieve all of my goals? What happy accidents does it create?” You know? If my project grows from a few thousand users, to millions of users, how does the scale impact the culture, not just the server capacity and code security, but the community security. I know we’re already trying to think this way, but this is where we do need to do the deeper work of structuring the code to preemptively accommodate the answers to those questions.

So it’s important that we have the deep conversation about the optimal structure for representative democracy. In crypto, we don’t generally think of delegates as “politicians”, but I think that will evolve over time. Eventually all of the corruption and bullshit that applies to our regular parasitic politicians, can potentially apply to our delegates. I’m just inviting us to move slowly in this consideration and to develop some proposed solutions to bypass some of the structural problems which might accelerate the reduction in governance participation, the arbitrary delegation of votes for most staking profit, and even delegates massing big blocks of voting power to literally SELL to the highest bidder. We haven’t seen a ton of this sort of stuff transpire in crypto yet, but I’m certain that we will. I would like to hear a lot of input on this topic from everyone right now. It’s pretty important guys.

I actually stopped by here today because I was having some questions about voting power and stakin duration. I just increased my SOV stake period by a year for 112 SOV… from 1 year to 2. UI said it would increase voting power over 1,000, but I only went from like 6300 to 6700 (really rough approximation could be way off here). Perhaps the UI is still delayed in updating my new voting power.

I also noticed on the UI for adding a new stake, the voting power calculation takes a few seconds to update and populate after changing variables. It was long enough that I started drafting a bug report before it finally did update. So I’m wondering if I should just chill because there’s some work going on on the governance backend or something? I’m trying to get the specifics on it. I’m over in the Sovryn Discord asking about it a bit. It’s important to me since I’m a Sovryn delegate.

I want to optimize my voting power. But it really doesn’t seem like there’s that much of a voting power percentage gain when going from 1 year to 3 year stake period. Just increased my voting from like 6300 to 7000. Seems sort of negligible. Perhaps the time-weighted voting equation can be illustrated in a way that helps us refine it to optimize the behaviors we want to see on Sovryn?

So let’s create a rubric for what constitutes a high caliber delegate. Then we can find ways to incentivize those specific KPIs? So abstain votes could be detrimental to this score, longer stake duration would DRAMATICALLY increase this score or the voting power by x factors? Could be exploit potential with this as well, so of course there are thousands of considerations I’m unaware of, so just trying to help shape the code that defines the parliamentary governance in the most sovereign way possible.

I would particularly like to see @yago & @exiledsurfer spitball some ideas with us around this topic.

Can this be amended so that any delegate may have Twitter click-through? Even better, just a single link of the delegates choice? Could be to a website, blog, social media page. Anything the delegate wants. Check marks are a sort of surrender of power to an arbitrary big tech monstrosity (don’t get me wrong, I still love my crypto Twitter! :smiley: ) but I’m investing more than time into alt tech platforms as well. And I think we should adopt structures that diminish our dependence upon goolag etc al.

To be clear, “verified their Twitter account” in this context isn’t referring to official Twitter Verification (the accounts with the “blue checks”) but rather is referring to the fact that the account has posted a Tweet saying something like “Verifying myself as a @UniswapProtocol #UNIDelegate on Sybil!” with the signature and signing address attached, like so: https://twitter.com/gauntletnetwork/status/1338927812410007559

(In our case, of course, they would say “Sovryn delegate”.)

In theory, we could build integrations for verifications on other platforms as well, including personal websites (like how Keybase does website verification). Any site that allows users to publish public posts could have such an integration. The purpose of verification here is just so that stakers could follow the delegates on those other platforms and be reasonably sure those accounts are actually under the control of the delegates and not the imposters.

:sunglasses: Maybe every delegate should have to choose a delegate sub-pseudo which denotes their political idealogy boiled down to a simple pseudonym. I call dibs on the pseudo, Satoshi Jefferson. #Liberty my brooooos!