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GUIDE

How to Participate in Secret Network Governance

In this post you will discover how SCRT blockchain governance works, and how to contribute to the future of Secret Network by creating and voting on proposals.

What is Secret Network governance?

Secret Network features on chain governance. Community members can make changes according to rules encoded in the blockchain protocol and approved by the network’s validators and delegators.

Community members can influence protocol development and how we spend shared resources, like the funds in the Secret Community Pool.

For example, you can create proposals to:

  • Increase the block size
  • Change the number of validators included in the active set
  • Choose to fund a support team or a specific committee
  • Fund a team to develop a new Secret app

Secret Network is built with the Tendermint consensus protocol, which makes it a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) blockchain.

Benefits of blockchain governance

Because Secret Network governance is permissionless, anyone can get involved by holding and staking SCRT.

Permissionless governance is important because it:

  • Makes Secret Network governance democratic and censorship-resistant
  • Provides transparency into past decisions and their level of support
  • Gives all community members a voice and the chance to contribute with their ideas

But for SCRT governance to be genuinely democratic, there have to be enough participants. That’s why our community members are vital to the health of our blockchain. To view all current and past proposals and their results, visit Mintscan.

How Secret governance works

Secret Network is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain, so you need to hold AND stake Secret Network’s native coin (SCRT) to vote on proposals. The more SCRT you stake, the higher your voting power!

If you don’t vote, the validators you’re staking with will inherit your voting power. If these validators don’t vote either, your votes are not counted and are added to the “coins not participating in the vote” tally.

Current SCRT governance parameters

Every proposal must follow these rules to be considered by the community:

💰 Minimum deposit amount:

100 SCRT

🗓💰 Deposit period:

One week

🗓🗳 Voting period:

One week

🗳 Minimum # of coins that need to participate in a vote (quorum):

33.4%

✅ Minimum # of coins that need to vote “yes” for a proposal to pass:

50%

❌ Minimum # of coins that need to vote “no with veto” for a veto:

33.5%

Types of proposals

📄 Parameter Change proposals

Proposals to change the Secret Network blockchain rules, like increasing the number of validators on the network.

💸 Community Pool Spend proposals

Proposals that include a budget request to, for example, fund the building of a new app or onboarding of a new support service.

🚩 Signaling proposals

Proposals used to reach consensus on actions we should take as an ecosystem but can’t necessarily be changed right away, or need multiple parties to implement. Examples include deciding on minimum and maximum gas fees (set individually by validators) and changing the structure of a committee.

The voting process

STEP 1

Submit a proposal

Before a proposal is submitted on-chain, the proposer should post it on the forums for at least seven days. This period allows the community to review the proposal in multiple feedback rounds. If anyone introduces a new change, the proposal stays on the forums for at least another three days.

STEP 2

Gather deposit

After submitting the proposal on-chain, you must deposit a minimum of 100 SCRT within one week. The required deposit acts as spam protection, and the network will burn these tokens if the proposal is vetoed (more than 33.4% of the votes are “No With Veto”).

STEP 3

The proposal goes on-chain

Once a proposal reaches the required 100 SCRT deposit and passes through the Secret Forum, it transitions into the voting period for seven days, during which validators and delegators can vote. Results are transparent and can be tracked through the use of a block explorer or compatible wallet.

STEP 4

Vote closes

At the end of the voting period, the network automatically counts the votes. A proposal is accepted if all of these conditions are satisfied:

  • More than 33.4% of the staked SCRT coins participated in the vote
  • More than 50% of the coins participating voted “Yes”
  • Fewer than 33.4% of the coins participating voted “No With Veto”

Note: “Abstain” votes are excluded from the tally.

Before the vote closes, block explorers will tell you the status of the proposal if the vote was to end at that moment. If the vote has already closed, they provide final results.

STEP 5

Proposal implemented

Parameter Change proposals and Community Pool Spend proposals will immediately go into effect upon being passed.

Signaling proposal adoption depends on whether the proposal mentions a timeline. These proposals can also concern ongoing efforts that initiate one or more future actions.

How to vote using your Keplr wallet

The easiest way to get involved in blockchain governance is to start voting on proposals. If you are already staking SCRT, you can jump in now. If not, follow the first step to get and stake your SCRT:

STEP 1

Get some SCRT and start staking

Before you can vote on proposals, you need to delegate your SCRT to a validator. Here’s how:

🚨 If you don’t vote, your validator(s) vote on your behalf—so pick yours carefully!

STEP 2

View current proposals

  • Navigate to the Keplr Wallet web app
  • Click on “Secret Network” (on the left side) and select the “Governance” tab
  • Click on “Details” to view a full description of the proposal, a link to the discussion on the forums, and a breakdown of the casted votes

🔎 We encourage you to research a proposal before casting your vote. Read the relevant discussions on the Secret forums.

STEP 3

Cast your vote

Now comes the fun part! Voting is very easy: just click on the button next to the proposal that says “Vote”. When casting your vote, you have four options:

✅ YES

You vote to accept the proposal

❌ NO

You vote against the proposal

❌👎 NO WITH VETO

Counts as a No vote, but adds a Veto. You can use this option if you suspect malicious behavior (remember: if more than one-third of the votes are No With Veto, the proposal is automatically rejected and the deposit will be burned)

🤷‍♂️ ABSTAIN

Indicates you’re not in favor of or against the proposal, but accept the result of the vote (often used in case of conflicting interests or lack of information)

Note: You can change your vote as many times as you like—only the last vote you cast will count.

How to create a proposal

Do you have a great idea for Secret Network? You’re in luck! Anyone can create a proposal to make changes to the network—including chain parameter ones—using the community pool to fund new apps, support roles, and much more.

To create a proposal and get it on-chain, follow these easy steps:

STEP 1

Create a draft of your proposal

The first step is to create a draft of your proposal that includes:

  • An introduction: A description of the project as you want to implement it. Include all privacy-related aspects and why you chose Secret Network. Once you put it on-chain, you should add a link to the forum thread where you discussed your proposal
  • Your background: Your team’s background with sufficient detail, including past projects and overall experience
  • Timeline, milestones, and KPIs: A detailed timeline of the proposed project, including milestones and KPIs
  • The budget request: A breakdown of the requested budget following the latest guidelines

View this great example of a proposal by one of our community members that recently went on-chain and was approved!

💡 You can use this proposal template. Make sure to copy it to your own Drive before making any changes!

NOTE

Budget requests in proposals

Here are a few things to keep in mind when requesting a budget with a Community Pool Spend proposal:

  • State your budget in USD in your initial proposal
  • Convert your budget to SCRT once your proposal is ready to go on-chain
  • Add a 10% volatility buffer to offset potential downturns in the valuation of SCRT

If the value of your ask is more than 10% below the original ask (in USD, without volatility buffer) once your proposal passes, place another Spend Proposal on-chain immediately to make up for the difference.

When you request funding for a set period, like when running a committee, you can adjust the funding duration as well.

Example: let’s say the price at the end of the voting period is 20% below the original price at submission (without considering the 10% buffer). Then you can either make another proposal for the remaining 20% or reduce the funding period by 20%—in which case you won’t have to submit another proposal.

STEP 2

Post it on the forums for feedback

Before your proposal goes on-chain, put up your tentative proposal on the forums for seven days to gather community feedback.

Best practices for posting on the forums:

  • Include a descriptive title
  • Keep the forum thread updated with any relevant information related to the proposal
  • If you make significant changes to the proposal, communicate these clearly and leave your proposal up on the forums for at least three days before moving on-chain

Visit the Secret Network forums

If you want to gather live feedback, the weekly Governance call is your chance to do so! Here you can give a brief rundown of your proposal and field any questions that might pop up later on.

STEP 3

Submit your proposal on-chain

Once you’ve put your proposal on the forums for seven days, gathered community feedback, and implemented changes accordingly, it’s time to submit your proposal on-chain.

You’ll have to use the Secret Network Light Client (Secret CLI)—a command-line interface tool for interacting with nodes running on Secret Network.

  • Install Secret CLI. You can find the instructions here
  • Submit your proposal in text format. For Community Pool Spend and Parameter Change proposals, you’ll also have to provide a proposal file. View the full instructions on how to submit a proposal with Secret CLI here

Need help with SecretCLI and/or creating your proposal? You can ask us any burning questions in the #🏛governance channel on our Discord server.

STEP 4

Secure your deposit

For a proposal to be taken on-chain and considered, the proposer must deposit a minimum of 100 SCRT within one week. Proposals that don’t meet this requirement will be removed.

Any SCRT holder may contribute to this deposit to support proposals—no staking required. The party submitting the proposal doesn’t necessarily need to provide the deposit, so you can fund a proposal written and submitted by someone else.

Deposits will be returned automatically if:
  • The proposal does not reach the minimum deposit threshold
  • The proposal is approved or rejected (but not vetoed)
Deposits will be burned if:
  • 33.4% or more of the votes are “No With Veto”
  • Less than one-third of the staked coins vote

Proposal outcomes:

✅ If your proposal is approved:

If your proposal is approved, the changes will be implemented depending on the type of proposal you submitted and the timelines you outlined.

❌ If your proposal was rejected:

If your proposal is rejected, you can claim your deposits long as it wasn’t vetoed.

Before submitting a new proposal, gather feedback from the community to discover why your first proposal was rejected and find out how you can improve your next one. This gives you a chance to collect and implement these suggestions, giving you a better chances of success if you decide to submit a similar proposal.

Note: putting your original (rejected) proposal back on-chain again without any changes will likely result in a No With Veto and the burning of your deposit!

FAQ

Can I change my vote once I’ve cast it?

Yes, only your last vote will count.

Do I need to stake a minimum amount of SCRT to vote?

No, but remember that you’ll have to pay fees to vote, so you’ll have to weigh that against the impact you can make with your vote.

Where can I view all proposals that are currently on-chain and can be voted on?

In a block explorer like Mintscan and your Keplr wallet web app interface.

What happens when I veto a proposal?

If 33.4% of all voting power vetoes a proposal, it does not pass and the deposit is burned.

What happens when my proposal gets vetoed?

Your deposit will be burned, e.g. you’ll lose the SCRT you put in.

Can I put up another proposal if my first proposal doesn’t pass?

Yes, but we suggest you go back to the community first to discuss it and make changes accordingly. Otherwise, there’s a big chance voters will veto your proposal and your deposit will be burned.

How can I increase the chances of my proposal passing?

By following the latest version of the Secret Network Charter (currently proposal 81) and the best practices mentioned earlier in this nifty guide.

Where to join governance discussion

For general Secret Network governance discussions, you can go to:

For updates on proposals:

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