Accelerating Blockchain Governance

To me, the crux of the blockchain governance problem isn’t the number or type of implementations, but rather the speed at which the implementations get done. Progress has been slow to date because results won’t be accurate unless they’re done at scale with millions of dollars and different stakeholders in each ecosystem. With impact that big, teams have rightfully become conservative and this trend is continuing to perpetuate.

What I propose is a new system to incentivize and accelerate the arrival of a few governance systems that are successful.

  1. Mirrored blockchains - think of these as sandboxed virtual blockchains that copy exactly what’s going on with current implementations without any of the risk. This is a similar concept as Blockstack’s Virtualchain. (

  2. Sandboxed governance - through a new system of incentives, developers can use Aragon to implement different variants of governance systems without the risk of crashing the real, live chain. Without those repercussions, teams will be free to experiment with different governance models in a safe environment.

If a team could design a system like this, a lot of experimentation would get done, most will fail, and a few would become governance winners over time. I hope some of these ideas can help make that reality.

Note - If I was a developer, I would provide more clarity on both one and two.

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I agree if we can accelerate the rate at which different approaches to governance are tried, many may fail, but some will prove to be useful. The infrastructure, and in particular our decision to refactor the code base to make it much more modular, will enable much more rapid experimentation.

In the short term building a modular infrastructure does take longer, but that should pay off as we start to re-use the same components and modules across multiple experiments and use cases. This will definitely accelerate the pace of governance for on-chain organizations, but it may be more difficult to apply this to base layer experimentation. There may also not be as much a need as its relatively trivial experiment with the base layer using off-chain governance.

With that said I think experimentation at the baselayer can definitely be accelerated by taking a similar modular approach. Two projects I’m aware of that focused on that are or