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Introduction to Decred Governance

Decred (/ˈdi:ˈkred/, /dɪˈkred/, dee-cred) is an open, progressive, and self-funding cryptocurrency with a system of community-based governance integrated into its blockchain. The project mission is to develop technology for the public benefit, with a primary focus on cryptocurrency technology.

Decred’s governance is based on the principle of ticket-holder voting. The ultimate decision-making force for the project is the voting of active tickets.

Holders of DCR can time-lock their funds in exchange for tickets. The ticket price (the amount that must be time-locked) is adjusted dynamically every 144 blocks (~12 hrs), in an attempt to keep PoS subsidy returns stable over time. Tickets allow one to participate in Decred’s governance in three ways, two on-chain and one off-chain.

In each block, five live tickets are selected pseudo-randomly and called to vote on-chain. Tickets are called to vote after an average of around 28 days, once a ticket has voted the DCR which was time-locked to buy it matures (un-locks) after 256 blocks, along with a portion of the block reward.

On-chain voting serves the following purposes:

  1. Consensus rule voting to approve or reject a proposed change to the consensus rules of the protocol. A proposed change must be approved by 75% of non-abstaining tickets to take effect.

  2. Voting to approve the work of PoW Miners. In order for a PoW Miner to receive their share of the block reward, at least three of the five tickets called in the subsequent block must approve their block. This gives ticket-holders power over PoW Miners in the case of undesirable behavior by miners (e.g. mining empty blocks), although this power is yet to be exercised on mainnet.

Decred’s on-chain governance is supplemented by Politeia proposal voting, which doesn’t happen directly on-chain but is woven into the Decred blockchain in some ways.

Politeia proposals concern the direction of the project, they may involve the spending of Decred Treasury funds (10% of the block reward goes into the Treasury to support development of the project) or amending the Decred Constitution or other policies.

Politeia is built around the concept of transparent censorship, using dcrtime. Users cannot be silently censored, they can prove that censorship has occurred.

The Politeia web platform is a reddit-style space to facilitate submitting, viewing and discussing proposals.

Politeia proposals are approved/rejected through “snap” voting. When proposals move to a vote, all live tickets at that moment are eligible to vote Yes/No on the proposal while voting remains open (one week period). Ticket-holders vote through their wallet.