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Introduction to Decred Governance

Decred’s governance is based on the principle of ticket-holder voting. To participate in governance, users must time-lock DCR to purchase tickets. Tickets can then be used to vote on validating blocks, consensus rule changes, or proposals in Decred’s web-based proposal system, Politeia.

Validation of blocks and voting on consensus rule changes occurs on-chain. Voting on higher-level issues, such as how to spend Treasury funds, or significant policy decisions (e.g. amend the Decred constitution) occurs off-chain in Politeia, a web platform where the community at large can submit, discuss and vote on proposals.

To compensate ticket holders for validating blocks and securing the network, 30% of the block reward (PoS reward) is sent to ticket holders for voting on blocks; the remaining block reward is split between PoW miners (60%) and the Treasury (10%) to fund ongoing development. The ticket price (the amount of DCR that must be time-locked) is adjusted dynamically every 144 blocks (~12 hrs), in an attempt to keep PoS returns stable over time.

On-chain voting

On-chain voting serves two main purposes: validating blocks created by Proof-of-Work (PoW) miners and voting on proposed consensus rule changes.

Block voting

In each block, five tickets are selected pseudo-randomly and called to vote on-chain. It takes an average of 28 days for a ticket to be called to vote, though a ticket can be called anytime between 256 blocks after purchase (~20 hrs) to up to 40,960 blocks after purchase (~4 months). Tickets then vote to approve or reject the previous block of transactions created by a PoW miner. At least three out of five tickets called to vote must respond for the block to be considered valid. If a majority of voting tickets vote to approve the block, the block is accepted. If less than 50% of voting tickets approve the block (or there is a tie), all transactions from the previous block are removed and returned to the mempool; the PoW miner’s reward is revoked. This power provides a check against malicious PoW miner behavior (e.g. mining empty blocks), as well as forming the basis of Decred’s fork resistance. After a ticket is called to vote, the DCR locked in that ticket is unlocked and returned to the purchaser’s wallet, along with the PoS reward if the ticket successfully voted.

If a vote to change the consensus rules is occurring, tickets can also vote to approve or reject the proposed change. A proposed change must be approved by 75% of non-abstaining tickets to take effect.

Off-chain voting

Decisions concerning the direction of the project, such as how to spend Treasury funds, or amending the Decred Constitution or other policies, are made via proposals on Politeia.

Anyone may submit a proposal, and all data on Politeia (proposals, comments, upvotes/downvotes) is periodically anchored into the Decred blockchain, using dcrtime. This enables users to cryptographically prove if censorship has occurred. In this way, Politeia is built around the idea of transparent censorship. Users cannot be silently censored.