AGP Discussion: ANV Reward Policy

It’d definitely be cool to experiment with rewards + locking. Rewards without locking incentivize random voting, but rewards with locking incentivize long-term views + participation

People need to be incentivised to vote full stop. if a high quorum is a metric we want to optimise, then we need to change the incentive structure for this to happen. financial incentives as we know are powerful but blunt instruments, however, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use them.

To your point about good decision making, delegative voting should this a non-issue (with good UX). it should be easier to delegate than to random vote. furthermore staking further incentivises good decision making, be that delegating or thoroughly reviewing proposals.

just to throw another idea into the mix. if ANT does transition to an inflationary model, then the payout could come from the inflation, in which case you wouldn’t be paying voters you would be penalising non-voters which IMO is a superior solution as non-voters are free riding from the curation and security and security provided by the voters

I think it’s an oversimplification to suggest that providing an incentive to vote would result in poor decision making in aggregate. While some voters may respond to the incentive by voting casually without fully considering the options, or even go so far as automating their votes to ensure they are eligible to the reward without considering the options at all, its not clear that this would be the dominant strategy.

My expectation is that a portion of ANT holders would respond to an incentive to vote by actively engaging in the governance processes. With delegation on the horizon many may choose to simply engage enough to find someone who they feel aligned with and delegate their vote. In either case we would expect to see increased discussions on issues in the forum and other channels, and a much broader and diverse population of participants in the process. Individually they may not be as qualified to make “good decisions” as a small handful of highly engaged experts, but it doesn’t seem obvious to me that as whole decisions quality would be made worse as a result.

I’m not opposed to experimenting with this in another organization, but would like to clarify how you are quantifying the risk? Lock voting, which you presented as a potential change to the AGP process is also a significant change the incentive structure of voting, is it prudent to also experiment with that somewhere else first? If not, why not?

This seems like it adds a lot of complexity and at a surface level I’m not sure how it would impact the incentives of “complete mercenaries” as the expected value of a lottery should essentially equivalent the expected value of a straightforward reward.

The proposal isn’t to create an ongoing policy that would renew after a year, but specifically to allocate up to 1$ million in rewards over the next 12 months. The policy could and likely should be amended or changed in subsequent ANVs.

The reason I choose 1Million as a place to start the discussion (besides it being a nice round number) is because ANT’s market cap is currently 24M and so 1Million dollars in rewards over the course of a year would be approximately 4%. If we compare this reward mechanism to PoS or DPOS reward mechanism, which are probably the closest analogue, 4% doesn’t seem particularly high or super low.

I’m trying to avoid going into locking discussions in this thread, but I see how it makes sense to talk about both proposals together if locking is being proposed as a solution to minimize negligent/random voting.

My main concern with introducing a locking requirement for participation is that it would increase the cost to participate and exclude users from participating because of how their ANT is being stored–Specifically I’m trying to avoid locking because I think that with Aragon Fundraising, organizations will have ANT held in a bonding curve reserve pool and will not be able to move their ANT into a locking contract. If we implement locking (and locking requires moving ANT into a lock contract) it would be impossible for ANT that is in the bonding curve reserve contract to be used to vote. If Aragon Fundraising is successful, and the organizations that launch on the platform are successful, this could end up locking a significant amount of ANT in these bonding curve reserve contracts.

For a bit of background, right now the default template for org creation would have both a DAI and ANT bonding curve, and the reserve ratio (aka connector weight) for ANT would be 0.01 (some additional context on this would work is here). An organization using this configuration that has a market cap of 1Million, would be holding $10k worth of ANT in their bonding curve reserve. If our goal is for the AGP process to be representative of the community and users of Aragon, figuring out how to make the AGP process work without excluding these users should be a prominent design goal…

If we can figure out a way to do locking that doesn’t exclude organizations that have ANT locked in a bonding curve from participating I think that locking because a much more interesting avenue to explore. One possibility would be to implement the locking functionality in ANT token controller contract, though this might require a token migration.

I’m not sure how complex it would end up being but Instead of locking, we could consider a Vested Rewards structure. Where the rewards you receive for voting are not immediately accessible but instead vested over time (perhaps 4 years with a one year cliff), and revoked or reduced if your balance of ANT decreases during the vesting period. This would provide a similar long-term incentive to hold ANT and be subject to results of votes, but without a strict locking mechanism.


instead of giving the 4% to ANT holders to Aragon projcetcs which increase the demand for ANT token more then 4% a year (perhaps in the first and second year not but longer term (see also aragon manifesto)) then why giving it to ANT holders for voting?

Very good point

Loving this idea!

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It’s not clear that it wouldn’t be either. And if we can’t be sure that there will be better decision-making if we pay voters, then why do it? Where is the data to show that paying voters results in better decision-making?

Unlike paying voters to vote, locked voting doesn’t introduce an incentive for voters to vote randomly simply for the benefit of getting paid – in fact, quite the opposite, since there is actually an opportunity cost to locking their ANT to vote and they will be financially exposed to the outcome of the vote for at least as long as they are required to lock their ANT for.

When quantifying the risk I’m thinking “if implemented, how many voters will this attract who will just vote randomly or semi-randomly (reading the proposal but not really digging in to fully understand it) vs how much will this increase turnout and make the Bad Voter attack more expensive vs how much better will decision-making be overall”. I don’t have enough data to go on to fill in the blanks in that equation.

I can imagine scenarios where it goes well (higher turnout, happy and informed voters, little/no random voting) and I can also imagine a scenario where it goes wrong (higher turnout but only whales turn out in greater numbers, mercenaries vote randomly just to get the rewards and then dump their ANT back on the market, proposals that shouldn’t pass get approved and/or proposals that should pass get rejected due to random/ low-info voting). Simply due to the incentives I see the random voting outcome as being more likely than not.

Economically rational actors might approach a random reward system differently than they would approach a guaranteed reward system. It depends on the parameters of how each system is set up.

The reason I choose 1Million as a place to start the discussion (besides it being a nice round number) is because ANT’s market cap is currently 24M and so 1Million dollars in rewards over the course of a year would be approximately 4%.

I am comparing the size of the proposed reward relative to the AA treasury since that is where the ANT is coming from, and this would be about 15% of ANT currently held by the treasury. In addition to my general opposition to paying people to vote, I think this is too much ANT to spend in one year on something that doesn’t guarantee or show strong signs of improving the status quo.

In general the mechanism could also create a “rich get richer” effect if it ends up simply attracting more whales and does little to attract the smaller holders of, say, <10,000 ANT, who decide the rewards still don’t make it worth their time to vote, even if they don’t actually have to make an informed decision when they vote. I wouldn’t consider the rich get richer effect a problem if the rich were actually providing some value to the system in exchange for the reward but since they get paid whether they vote well or not I don’t think they are deserving of such a reward.

So in addition to the random voting problem, there’s this potential rich get richer problem, and we’re proposing spending a large chunk of the AA’s ANT reserve despite these problems. All of this adds up to a “no” from me. While I support the right to experiment, I don’t support using the AGP process as the lab for this experiment and I don’t support spending 15% of the AA’s ANT reserves on the experiment.

So the risks are not the same but both do have risk. Lock voting in the current proposal significantly disincentivises voting which its self has its risks associated. the ‘Bad Voter’ attack is a serious problem, but IMO low voter turnout is right up there and more urgent

4879.1452 ANT was used for voting in recent upgrade vote. granted it was not contentious (100% voted yes), but this is kind of the problem. Voting has a cost the time and attention it takes to review and participate is a cost to those who vote. so Why should those providing this valuable curation bare it when the network as a whole is the beneficiary? Why would I (non-active token holder) spend my own resources when someone else is going to do that on my behalf for free?. so maybe a better way of reframing this is

  1. How do we incentivise good decision making
  2. How do we disincentivise bad/non-decision making, I put these together because they are both have a negative effect

it is for this reason including point 2 above why I am more in favour of inflationary reward

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(Not to make this thread about locking but…) Locking supports both of these goals: good decision making is incentivized because if voters govern well then ANT will increase in value, and it disincentivizes bad decision making because if voters govern poorly then their locked ANT will go down in value.

Non-decision making to me is neutral, I’m not going to judge someone for choosing not to vote or delegate their vote. The quantity of voters is to me less important than the quality of the decisions made. Increasing turnout at the expense of decision-making quality is not a trade-off I think is worth making. There are reasons to believe paying people to vote will incentivize random voting, whereas I have not seen equally convincing reasons to believe that it won’t, or that there will be a net benefit in any case.

That said, I think locking will also increase turnout among eligible voters: if you have taken the time to lock your ANT specifically for the purposes of being eligible to vote, you will probably also take the time to vote. There is empirical data to support this claim when we look at systems like Decred or Tezos where not every coin holder is eligible to vote, only coin holders who stake or “activate” their tokens are eligible to vote, and their turnout rates are relatively high (33.5% and 87% in the most recent votes, respectively).

I would prefer to experiment with a pure lock mechanism in the AGP process first and measure its effects on turnout and decision-making quality before adding rewards.

While an inflationary reward would resolve my concerns about spending down the AA treasury, it opens up new questions about the value of increasing turnout (if it even has that effect) vs the cost of diluting non-voters and the market effects caused by such inflation. Along these lines, I should point out that an inflationary reward doesn’t solve the rich get richer problem, and it could actually make it worse by further diluting small holders who choose to not vote for whatever reason.

I agree with you that the potential result for voting rewards could either be positive or negative. I’d lean toward the positive outcome being much more likely, but I also agree that there is insufficient data that is directly relevant to our situation to draw a conclusion from. That’s why I would support an experiment like this, precisely because I don’t think it’s reasonable to make conclusions otherwise.

If there is a safer, less risky way to validate the hypothesis let’s do that! Unfortunately I think that it may be challenging to scale this down much without making it difficult to draw conclusion about how the process would impact future AGPs.

The AGP process is itself an experiment. And all changes are going to carry some risks, even choosing to maintain the status quo is risky.

Some of experiments may be more risky than others, and some may be viable to try at smaller scales while others would be more difficult to draw useful conclusions from without implementing at scale.

As an ANT holder and constituent of the community a bounded (by time and expense) experiment feels less risky to me than permanently altering participation/eligibility requirements.

In order to minimize risks of experimentation with important but potentially risky process changes like Locked Voting or Voting Rewards we could consider adopting a bicameral approval process–Where a proposal must pass a vote in which all ANT holders can participate in, and a vote that only ANT holders which opt to lock their ANT can participate in. This would also allow us to implement ANV rewards (for non locked voting) to encourage greater participation and community legitimacy, while minimizing the risk that random or negligent voting could result in bad proposals being passed.

It doesn’t make sense to me that we would compare this to the current holdings of ANT in the Associations treasury. If you want to compare it to the Associations treasury you should use the total value of treasury because if the Association wants acquire more ANT to maintain a specific allocation of ANT they are able to do so. Currently this is is ~45M so 1M over the course of a year would be ~2%.

I think the basis for this argument comes from the same amount of “work” being required regardless of stake, but the reward scaling with stake. Which I think is a valid point, but I would counter that there is value being created here.

Even if all they are doing is delegating, increasing the participation rate increases the security and legitimacy of the voting process by making more difficult for people to swing votes with low amounts of stake.

It also seems reasonable to assume that a whale attracted to vote for the sake of earning rewards is much less likely to vote negligently, precisely because their position will have a greater impact on the result.

It’s interesting that you use these as examples, as in both cases voters are being rewarded. It doesn’t really seem reasonable to claim that it is the locking (alone) that is encouraging them to vote, but rather that they are being rewarded for doing so that results in high participation rates.

Do you expect that introducing locking to the voting process without also introducing rewards would result in greater participation?

Another example of participation in a network is Livepeer, which has a minimal lock period (7 day unbonding) and large inflationary reward. At the moment there are also no slashing conditions for delegators (though this may have changed recently or will change soon), and yet they don’t seem to have had an issue with random voting so far.

I don’t any of these can be directly compared to the AGP process, but I think the livepeer example (due to not having direct slashing conditions for delegators and relatively small lock period) is probably the closest parallel to what the AGP process would look like with ANV rewards + delegation.

I think if we are able to show the value of voting rewards without inflation, it makes the argument for implementing them with inflation much more sound. I see using treasury funds for ANT rewards as a reasonably safe way for us to emulate what inflationary rewards would look like, but without needing to adjust how the token currently works directly.

As far as the value of increasing participation rate through ANT voting rewards (inflationary or treasury-funded) at the expense of diluting value for passive holders… it seems that this could be beneficial for a number of reasons… makes the voting process more secure (particularly as ANT liquidity increases), makes a stronger case for ANT being used as a utility token because it is more valuable when it is actively used, it gradually shifts the distribution of ANT to users who are actively engaged in the community which can increase social cohesion.


I hold a small amount of ANT since 2017. I voted for the first time last week for the upgrade of the governance dApp. And I can tell you, voting has a material cost. You have to pay attention to the relevant dates, make sure your ANT is in an account that will be able to vote, you have to take the time to go to the voting app, cast multiple votes (in this trivial vote I had to vote four times), pay as many tx fees, and repeat the whole process if your ANT is stored in more than one account.

And I’m not even talking about the research you have to do to be able to vote, especially if you’re not very familiar with the recent innovations of this very changing ecosystem. You would need to start by understanding the difference between the Aragon Association, Aragon One and the Aragon Network, for instance. Stuff that you guys take for granted, but that are very confusing for outsiders.

So I think a reward for that effort makes a lot of sense. Even if small ANT holders like me would receive an almost negligible amount, symbolically it would still count as a “thank you” for taking the time and effort to do it.

Also, from a more conceptual perspective, I believe that democracy should be everybody’s part-time job. Instead of having a few individuals with very high salaries who manage the system while the rest of the population sporadically vote without receiving anything in exchange (as in our current nation states), participating in democratic processes should be regarded as the job it is.


I’m imagining something like allocating 10,000 ANT to reward voters that vote on CFDAO proposals for the next year.

A bicameral process is interesting. If we can reduce the number of transactions voters need to sign to participate, so that we can reduce the friction involved in having to vote in two systems, then something like this could be worth trying.

I chose to compare it that way because the AA treats its ANT differently than it treats its other crypto/fiat reserves, specifically in how they distribute it. And if the AA wanted to replace ANT spent on this proposal then that would require spending from their crypto/fiat reserves to do so, which means taking funds that they would normally have spent on grants etc and allocating it to buy ANT instead. But ok fair enough. This proposal costs ~2% of the current treasury value. However you slice it, $1 million is a lot to spend on this.

In Decred and Tezos stakers are rewarded but not for voting on governance proposals, only for making/ signing blocks accepted by the network. These are two different things that stakers in these networks do. They would get paid whether they voted on governance proposals or not, and yet they still have these high turnout rates for voting on governance proposals.

What is the participation rate in Livepeer? (I guess the more accurate question would be “what percent of tokens is bonded or staked?”)

Superficially Livepeer looks similar, but functionally they are quite different. The things that LPT holders “vote” on (I guess just who to bond to?) are quite different than the things that ANT holders vote on. As such the consequences of random voting are different as well. So although they do look the same on the surface I’m not sure we could use Livepeer as an informative case regarding whether or not we should implement rewards in Aragon.

I agree that if we do decide to try this experiment that using treasury ANT to fund it rather than inflation is the better approach.

I’m going to keep getting hung up on the fact that it shifts the distribution of ANT to those who vote, not necessarily those who vote well. And I don’t think that’s what we want to optimize for.

Shareholders in a company don’t get paid to vote either. Their incentive to vote comes from the fact that if they govern poorly then the company could fail and their shares will be worthless. I can think of many similar examples where voters don’t get paid and there are still good outcomes. I cannot think of a single example where voters get paid and it has led to long-term good results.

Given the limited budget of the CFDAO, proposals are unlikely to have any meaningful impact on the price of ANT. In contrast when applied at scale, the proposals can have a meaningful impact on the price of ANT, which changes the payoff matrix of making an educated vote versus a negligent vote significantly.

When there is very little material difference between proposals which should or should not pass (eg CFDAO proposals which are unlikely to impact ANT because they represent such a small budget). The educated voter spends time considering a proposal which is a cost to themselves, and of course the rewards are equivalent whether the voter chooses to spend time considering a proposal or not. The negligent voting will have a higher payoff every time, if we assume that there is no significant cost to passing bad proposals or not passing good proposals.

But if we implement rewards when the outcome of votes actually matters, negligent voting doesn’t makes sense, especially for large holders. The more stake you have, the more likely you are to be decisive if you participate, and if you participate negligently you increase the risk of incurring costs that actually outweigh the reward. The reward encourages people who may have been satisfied to “delegate their vote” through abstinence to actively participate, but it doesn’t change the fact that people are exposed to cost of bad proposals passing.

Implementing this at scale versus in a sandbox like the CFDAO is like the difference between saying pick “option A or option B and I will give you a dollar”, versus “pick option A or B and I’ll give you a dollar, but if your pick incorrectly you lose 10 dollars and if you pick correctly you get an additional 10 dollars”. In the first scenario you would pick randomly, in the second scenario you would pick carefully.

Ideally we would have a reward amount which is significant enough that it encourages lots of people to participate, but not so large that it dwarfs the payoffs of the actual proposal outcomes.

The point I’m making is not that they are being paid to vote, but that they are being paid to be active participants in their respective networks, and so a large amount of token holders have become active participants.

It doesn’t seem too surprising to me that you would have a higher voter participation rate, if you have a higher overall ratio of active to inactive participants in the community/network.

In the case of Lock Voting though, it doesn’t seem like there is any reason to suspect that a locking requirement would increase the ratio of active to inactive ANT holders, or the participation rate in votes. Do you disagree?

You may find the scout dashboard for Livepeer interesting. It looks like they are currently at ~46% participation rate, and are targeting 50%. (they use a dynamic inflation mechanism to target a specific bonded percentage).

Agreed that it’s different. Although with delegation coming to the Voting app soon™, I’m not sure how much different delegating to a transcoder is versus delegating to a community member is if an ANT holder wanted to be minimally involved.

Having a diverse and actively engaged community of voters is something that I think we should be optimizing for–we should be striving for participatory governance to set our values and create alignment and cohesion around our mission, culture, and goals. If we are interested in ensuring that decisions are optimized around some objective metric like the price of ANT or some other measurable goal I would focus on augmenting the voting process with mechanisms that involving betting/predicting on outcomes of proposals (like futarchy), rather than try to restrict voting to only “experts” who will vote “well”.

+1000 to this. Also, congrats on your fisrt time participating in an Aragon community vote!

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“Although active participation was encouraged, attendance in the assembly was paid for in certain periods, which was a measure to encourage citizens who lived far away and could not afford the time off to attend. This money was only to cover expenses though, as any attempt to profit from public positions was severely punished.”

I have an idea to discourage random voting:

Next to the vote, there’s a text field where people have to write an explanation. The reward is delayed one year, during which time voters can flag accounts that didn’t give a good explanation. Before distributing the rewards, a special unrewarded voting session is held, in which ANT holders decide if the flagged votes are truly bad or not. If they are, the reward goes to the flagger instead of the voter. If they’re not, the flagger loses their reward.

A weak point of this idea is that there could be low turnout for the special voting session, as it is not rewarded. Another weak point is that if there are 100 flagged votes, people would have to vote 100 times and pay 100 tx fees.

But the mere fact of having to give a public explanation of your vote, I believe can make a huge difference.

Edit: in order to prevent bad flagger incentives, the extra reward for the flagger can’t be larger than their own reward.

Edit 2: in order to solve weak point #1, voters only get rewarded if they participate in the special voting session.

It’s not the large holders I’m most concerned about random voting, for reasons you explain well here. It’s the long tail, the “silent majority” of smaller holders who, individually, probably think “I’m a small holder, my vote won’t swing this either way” and would be more willing to vote randomly simply to collect the reward, despite the fact that in aggregate having too many small holders thinking this could be detrimental.

But sure, I will buy the argument that implementing this in a situation where the outcomes have a larger impact will tell us more than implementing it in a situation where outcomes matter less.

I still think it would be interesting to set up a smaller scale experiment in an org like the CFDAO first, if only to see if voters will make themselves aware of and play the meta-game which is: if they get rewards and random vote on a small scale, then it may lead some to the conclusion that they will also random vote if receiving rewards on a large scale, which could prevent rewards from being implemented in the main AGP process. Voters who want this outcome, or don’t care, will random vote, and voters who want to prove that rewards don’t lead to significant levels of random voting will take the reward and vote with integrity.

This meta-game would raise the stakes of voting in the CFDAO beyond simply whether the CFDAO proposals are approved or not, without costing as much or exposing the main AGP process to as much risk as implementing this proposal as-is.

It doesn’t surprise me either! Unfortunately the Aragon Network doesn’t currently have a similar “activating” mechanism like PoS networks do (namely tying up stake to make blocks and earn block rewards). In the future, maybe organizations that use ANT for collateral in their proposal agreements could be thought of as “active” and they will be more likely to vote and steer the direction of Network governance. Maybe regardless of whether we agree or not on the specific implementation, this proposal is pre-mature because there is not even yet a network of “active” participants besides a handful of enthusiasts and full-time contractors, and these rewards are kind of forcing an outcome (higher turnout) that we may see in the future when we actually have something more worth governing and a network of active ANT holders more willing to participate anyways.

I think if we measure “participation rate” as “the percentage of eligible voters participating in a vote” then I predict that the percentage of eligible voters participating in a vote would increase if we impose a locking requirement. If the whole point of taking the extra step and incurring the cost of locking ANT is to be eligible to vote, then it follows that a relatively high percentage of those who lock their tokens will make that cost worth it and will actually vote.

I agree, but I don’t think paying people to vote is the way to get there. I don’t think the incentives are aligned to produce good outcomes. While it wouldn’t be a surprise to me that paying voters would initially be a popular proposal among ANT holders I would urge them to consider the potential corrupting effects of these payments and, if they do decide to implement them, to agree ahead of time what “failure” looks like so later on if failure happens it is easier to agree on discontinuing such payments without it devolving into a big fight between the rational long-term voters and the irrational, greedy short-term voters.

I think futarchy is interesting but limited in its decision-making potential, for example if there are several proposals being considered in parallel the challenge is it is hard to know which proposal is actually impacting the metric being measured. So even though a bettor might bet correctly, there’s not a good way to determine that it was the proposal they were betting on that led to the outcome and not some other proposal (or some factor entirely outside of the governance process). And so for the purpose of _generally _ trying to steer voters to vote well I prefer a more generalize-able tool and have thus put forth Locked Voting for consideration.

(That’s not to say that futarchy couldn’t be useful in some scenarios, just that it is not imo as general a tool as Locked Voting for aligning long-term interests. I am interested in Locked Voting for this purpose for similar reasons that we use vesting rather than giving someone a bunch of shares or tokens up front: we want them incentivized to contribute and contribute well over a long period of time. But we can continue the Locked Voting discussion on the other thread.)

While I don’t think there is a huge risk to doing this at the AGP level for various reasons, I understand your concern. I still don’t think that doing this at a scaled down version with the CFDAO is a particularly useful experiment, but I think that one way to test this hypothesis without adopting it directly for ANT is to simply start a new project with a new token and new business model and apply the model there.

Aragon would support the experiment by making it possible to allocate an inflationary vested reward based on voting participation and ship voting delegation, but otherwise ANT holders would not directly participate or benefit from the experiment itself. Instead ANT holders could buy into the experiment using Aragon Fundraising when it launches. The goal of the project would be to maximize the value of this new token (not ANT), ensuring that the potential rewards and risks are realistically comparable to that of ANT.

I think something like that could work, but is much more of a wait and see what works approach rather than a pro-active approach to improve Aragon’s governance directly.

Delegation could be the minimum “activation” bar. It indicates a user has taken the time to pick a delegate who will consistently vote on their behalf.

This is exactly why I think such a proposal would be beneficial, because right now the process is largely driven by a small subset of ANT holders, most of which are on payroll participating in the process. These rewards would force inactive ANT holders off the bench.

I disagree strongly with the sentiment that we “dont [yet] have something worth governing”, I think the issue is that right now is that it is both difficult (expertise) and costly (attention/transaction fees). If we introduce delegation and rewards, we are addressing both of those issues. It becomes easy to participate by delegation, and the transaction costs and attention required to participate can be offset by rewards.

If we change how we measure participation rate, then I agree that it would likely increase. However, if the goal is to ensure that it is difficult for people who don’t have vested long-term interests in ANT from being able influence proposal outcomes, then we need to care about the absolute participation rate. Because this is what determines how much ANT must be acquired (and potentially written-off) in order to have a decisive vote.

I agree that it would be both useful and interesting to try and come up with pre-determined “failure” criteria… However, I think framing this as a tension between “rational long-term voters” and “irrational, greedy short-term voters” is a bit disingenuous.

I’m not sure what makes you think that this proposal would be primarily supported by “irrational, greedy short-term voters” especially if the rewards (as brought up previously in this thread) are subject to a vesting period?

I agree in general that this is an issue with Futarchy and its applicability to making decisions, but if it is used to augment a separate decision process then I don’t think this is nearly as significant a concern. Going back to the idea earlier in the thread about a bicameral approval process, you could have something like a futarchy decision market coupled with delegated + reward voting. The result is that only proposals that are predicted to have a positive outcome and have broad community support can pass. The two processes together can cover the weaknesses of the either mechanism individually.

I also tend to agree with you that in some ways the locked voting proposals is closer in spirit to that of Futarchy, though I would point out that it has similar flaws. Locking tokens is effectively a bet on the future value of ANT, in order to influence the decision making process. But a user must lock their tokens not just to influence a specific decision which they have a lot of information about, but across all decisions during the lock period. This is risky, and they may not have enough information, so it may be rational not to participate. Much like with futarchy, in situations where you don’t have enough participation/liquidity in the decision market, it becomes easier (and less costly) to manipulate the outcomes of specific decisions.

If the rewards that were given for voter participation where vested over time, wouldn’t this provide similar benefits as well?

That’s not how I would characterize supporters in general, I said if the experiment fails according to some pre-defined criteria then there could be a fight between these factions. If the experiment proves to be a failure, I would be comfortable calling those who push to continue it anyways “irrational, greedy short-term voters” because they show they only care about the rewards and not the actual quality of governance and long-term ANT value. And pushing a failed policy even when it doesn’t benefit one in the short term and could actually hurt them long-term due to rewards vesting would make them simply irrational, not even greedy.

I do believe it would be similar yes. I think vesting improves the proposal by at least incentivizing rewards recipients to stay engaged for a longer period of time.

A few more thoughts that come to mind about voting rewards:

  • Continuing the voting rewards thought experiment: what if rewards are only given to people who vote on the “winning” side? This could make it less profitable to random vote, and still raise the cost of Bad Voting attacks since voters who only want the rewards would wait until late in the vote for cast their votes for the side most likely to win.

  • Continuing my hesitation to implement this sooner rather than later: why not wait until after we have a few votes with delegation to see if delegation alone can help increase participation? If vote delegation gets us up to, say, 20% turnout I think that would be a significant enough increase in the cost of an attack to consider rewards unnecessary.

  • And on that last point, now that voting rewards are being discussed I worry that voters might begin playing another meta-game, which is, they hold out from participating until rewards are implemented. That is, they see we are discussing rewards, they know participation is low, they know that we are trying a few different things to try and increase participation, and they will decide “I won’t start participating until I get my rewards” and once rewards are implemented they will do everything they can to maximize rewards right up to the point that it threatens to actually harm the project. Whereas if rewards were not on the table at all they might at least delegate to someone else once we implement delegation, which would help increase participation and the cost of attack and hopefully the value of ANT in the long run.

This dose have some Futarchic flavour to but it but the incentives are not the same. with Futarchy, rewards are being tied to the metric being optimised, simply rewarding the “winning” side only optimises for less contentious votes.

Voters would be incentivised to vote as late as possible jumping on the winning side, regardless of the quality of the vote. If we take the ‘Bad Voter’ scenario again, this could make it worse. If this behaviour dose appear, the bad voter may end up paying less because other voters simply pile onto his side assuming he will “win”

This seems a little far fetched. This would imply non-active are engaged but actively not participating (in any forum, not just the ballots) thus far which makes very little sense to me. This would mean they have already paid most of the costs (attention) but haven’t already tried to maximise rewards?