Governance is crucial for the growth and sustainability of thriving blockchain ecosystems. Active governance in which all stakeholders come together to decide how the blockchain should evolve leads to projects that are more robust and likely to stay the distance. Engaged communities with a vested interest in seeing a project succeed contribute to its ability to improve, adapt, and outpace iteration in the space.
Of course, as is the case in most evolved democratic societies today, blockchains often come up against a certain amount of apathy when it comes to governance. Individual delegators and even validators with a larger voting power believe that their contribution will not make a significant difference to the outcome. Yet, we have seen time and again that this is simply not the case.
Active Governance Makes a Difference
Active governance is a vital component of the success of a blockchain project. Governance contributions help serve the community from the suggestion of the smallest upgrades and improvements to products, tools, and interfaces, to larger actions like the migration of an application from one chain to another.
Because we see the benefits of active governance and its role in shaping blockchain communities, the Cosmos ecosystem is heavily focused on making sure that on-chain governance is used as much as possible. Governance is at the heart of every Cosmos chain, bringing community members and token holders together to communicate and coordinate, participate in discussions, and evolve.
Many of the initiatives on the Cosmos Hub have been made possible through the support of delegators and validators voting them through, from the enablement of IBC transfers to the funding of the incentivized Gravity DEX testnet. All across the Cosmos ecosystem, we can find key examples of successful governance participation, from the establishment of liquidity mining incentives on Osmosis to increasing the validator set on Akash.
We recently watched the outcome of Juno's prop 16 from March 10 to March 15 to correct its "gamed" stake drop. The controversial proposal to cut the balance of JUNO tokens held by a whale who appeared to have manipulated the airdrop narrowly passed, with 40.85% in favor, 33.76% against, 3.59% voting for no with veto (meaning that they were against the proposal in its entirely) and 21.79% abstaining. With almost 100% voting participation, this marked a new record in the Cosmos ecosystem in terms of governance participation. With every voice in the Juno community wanting to be heard, the chain can move forward according to the will of the majority.
Keeping Up with Governance Can Be a Challenge
Despite the importance of participating in blockchain governance, even the strongest advocates and most active validators among us can find keeping up with every single governance proposal a challenge. With 43 chains enabling IBC already and many more in the pipeline, the Cosmos ecosystem is growing exponentially. And when you stake tokens on multiple chains, ensuring that you vote on every proposal can quickly become overwhelming.
This is particularly the case with validators, whose active participation in governance is an essential reason many delegators choose to stake with them. As the #IBCGang is expected to reach 200 chains or more this year alone, manually going through all block explorer proposals for every chain, or checking the social channels of every project is simply not sustainable. Let's be honest. Who has the time for that?
As a validator on 17 Cosmos chains, keeping up with governance is even a challenge for our team here at KalpaTech. In the last week alone, 10 governance proposals were submitted on the chains we follow. And for many delegators, whose first point of entry into the Cosmos ecosystem is ATOM, they have gradually gained exposure to additional chains either through active investments or airdrops. Yet, they end up holding many tokens without putting their voice to use.
Compounding the problem further is that many blockchains have a very short lead time on their governance proposals, sometimes just three or five days. Unless you are keeping a constant eye on the socials of every project you follow, it can be easy to miss out on key proposals and lose your say over how the blockchain develops. So how do we ensure maximum governance participation to make everyone's voice count? By simplifying the process for all.
Regular Governance Proposal Notifications
KalpaTech has been a very active member of the Cosmos community since October 2018, being awarded one of the winners of the Game of Stakes incentivized testnet to become part of the trusted Cosmos Hub genesis validator set. We currently validate on 17 chains and are constantly looking for ways to help validators and the Cosmos token community at large. Through our own challenges keeping pace with governance, we identified a need for a simple tool that notifies users and makes them aware of what is happening on the chains they follow so that they can participate in the decisions being made.
Our governance notifications tool is super easy to use. In a three-step journey, you can be notified of all the governance proposals that matter to you on the medium of your choice:
Visit https://kalpatech.co/proposals/notification and create an account by registering with an email and a password of your choice.
After signing up, you should receive this notification:
And this confirmation email on your email account from [email protected]:
By clicking “verify email” on your email, you should end up in your account on https://kalpatech.co/proposals/notification and see the welcome message.
Select the chains you want to receive notifications from when the governance proposals are put on-chain and press “next”.
Your preferences will be saved and you will be notified of that.
Select the channel you want to be notified on by pressing on it.
- The V1 release of the tool only supports Telegram notification, but we are working now on adding Discord in the next releases.
The app will redirect you to the KalpaTech telegram bot and you will need to allow the page to open Telegram by pressing “allow”.
The page will open the KalpaTech Proposals Notifications Telegram bot and you will need to press “Start” to activate the bot.
That's it! You are now connected to the tool and you will receive notifications of all upcoming governance proposals for the chains that you have subscribed for. Here’s an example below:
On the occasion that you would like to change your preferences by removing or adding more chains to the ones initially selected, just log into your account on https://kalpatech.co/proposals/notification and manage your preferences.
What’s Coming Next to the Kalpatech Proposals Notifications Tool
The next releases of the tool will bring new exciting additions to the governance tool.
- New IBC chains will be added: Currently, we support 39 Cosmos IBC-enabled chains and will be adding all IBC-enabled chains in the future.
- Support for Discord: Notifications are currently sent through Telegram, but support for Discord is being added soon.
- Display of already ongoing proposals on chains: Currently, when a new user registers to the tool, they will receive notifications for all upcoming proposals, meaning the governance proposals that are put on-chain after the time the user registers. We at Kaplatech are currently working on a new feature that will allow users, once registered and connected to the bot, to also receive a list of ongoing proposals inside the bot notification that are currently active on the chains that they have registered to receive notifications for. This new feature will be coming in our next V2 release.
We believe that this notification tool greatly simplifies governance for all stakeholders of Cosmos blockchains, saving time, hassle, and increasing participation in governance proposals at the same time and are hoping that the community will use it to keep up to date with the voting process and become more active in governance.
Governance may not seem as exciting or immediately rewarding as other activities such as staking and liquidity providing. But what could be more important than being involved in the way your blockchain communities evolve? Staking your tokens shows your conviction in the project's growth. Voting on governance proposals to shape that growth should also be your right. Now you can keep up with what's going on in all the communities you support through one simple tool.
KalpaTech team has been a contributor to Cosmos since 2018. We have a long history as being one of the first teams involved in validation testing as early as Oct 2018, continued our journey with participating and being one of the winners of Cosmos Game of Stakes incentivized testnet and also becoming a genesis validator on Cosmos Hub in March 2019.
From that moment until now we have developed together with the Cosmos ecosystem, currently we validate over 19 mainnets including Cosmos Hub, Regen Network, Bitsong, Persistence One, Osmosis, Juno, Sentinel, Comdex, Umee, Omniflix, e-Money, Desmos, Agoric, Ki Foundation, Lum Network, Gravity Bridge, Evmos, AssetMantle and Tgrade.
The experience we gained led us to constantly improve our setup and achieve very good results. Security wise, KalpaTech takes pride in not registering any slashing or downtime events on any of the networks we operate on for almost 3 years, since we are present in this business.
If you like this tool and would like to support our contributions to Cosmos, please consider a delegation to our validator.
Note: The Cosmos governance notifications tool was built and self funded by KalpaTech team with no external funding or contribution.