Using Dash Governance

Dash’s Decentralized Governance by Blockchain (DGBB) is a novel voting and funding platform. This documentation introduces and details the theory and practice to use the system.

Understanding the process

Introduction

  • DGBB consists of three components: Proposals, Votes, and Budgets

  • Anyone can submit a proposal for a small fee

  • Each valid masternode can vote for, against or abstain on proposals

  • Approved proposals become budgets

  • Budgets are paid directly from the blockchain to the proposal owner

Proposals

  • Proposals are a request to receive funds

  • Proposals can be submitted by anyone for a fee of 5 Dash. The proposal fee is irreversibly destroyed on submission.

  • Proposals cannot be altered once submitted

Votes

  • Votes are cast using the registered voting address

  • The voting address can be delegated to a third party

  • Votes can be changed at any time

  • Votes are counted every 16616 blocks (approx. 30.29 days)

Budgets

  • Budgets are proposals which receive a net total of yes votes equal to or greater than 10% of the total possible votes (for example over 448 out of 4480)

  • Budgets can be nullified at any time if vote totals (cast or re-cast) fall below the approval threshold

  • Budgets are processed (paid) in order of yes minus no votes. More popular budgets get payment priority.

  • Approximately 6176 dash (in 2018) are available for each budget cycle, decreasing by 7.14% every 210240 blocks (approx. 383.25 days).

Object structure

The following information is required to create a proposal:

  • proposal-name: a unique label, 20 characters or less

  • url: a proposer-created webpage or forum post containing detailed proposal information

  • payment-count: how many cycles the proposal is requesting payment

  • block-start: the requested start of proposal payments

  • dash-address: the address to receive proposal payments

  • monthly-payment-dash: the requested payment amount

Persistence

  • Proposals become active one day after submission

  • Proposals will remain visible on the network until they are either disapproved or the proposal’s last payment-cycle is reached

  • Approval occurs when yes votes minus no votes equals 10% or more of the total available votes.

  • Disapproval occurs when no votes minus yes votes equals 10% or more of the total available votes.

  • The total available votes is the count of online and responding masternodes and can be seen by running the command masternode count in the Dash Core wallet debug window. A graph of the total masternode count can be found here

Templates

The following two Microsoft Word templates are available from Dash Core Group to help facilitate standardized proposal submission and updates. Usage is recommended, but not required.

Budget cycles

When preparing a proposal, be aware of when the next cycle will occur and plan accordingly. It is recommended to choose your proposal payment start block at least one cycle in the future to allow time for discussion and gathering support and votes. Note that votes will no longer be tallied 1662 blocks (approximately 3 days) prior to the superblock.

Block height

Approximate date

1212968

Thu Jan 30 02:38:52 UTC 2020

1229584

Sat Feb 29 09:43:54 UTC 2020

1246200

Mon Mar 30 16:48:56 UTC 2020

1262816

Wed Apr 29 23:53:58 UTC 2020

1279432

Sat May 30 06:59:00 UTC 2020

1296048

Mon Jun 29 14:04:02 UTC 2020

1312664

Wed Jul 29 21:09:04 UTC 2020

1329280

Sat Aug 29 04:14:06 UTC 2020

1345896

Mon Sep 28 11:19:08 UTC 2020

1362512

Wed Oct 28 18:24:10 UTC 2020

1379128

Sat Nov 28 01:29:12 UTC 2020

1395744

Mon Dec 28 08:34:14 UTC 2020

You can view the source code for this calculation at this GitHub gist

Creating proposals

Once you have prepared the text of your proposal and set up a website or forum post, it is time to submit your proposal to the blockchain for voting. While all tasks involved with creating a budget proposal can be executed from the Dash Core wallet console, several tools providing a user interface have been developed to simplify this procedure.

Dash Budget Proposal Generator

The Dash Budget Proposal Generator supports creating budget proposals on both mainnet and testnet. In the first step, you must enter a short, clear and unique name for the proposal as it will appear on the blockchain. Proposal names are limited to 40 characters. You can then provide a link to the forum or DashCentral where your proposal is described in more detail (use a URL shortening service if necessary), as well as select the amount of payment you are requesting, how often the payment should occur, and the superblock date on which you are requesting payment. This allows you to control in which budget period your proposal will appear, and gives you enough time to build support for your proposal by familiarising voters with your project. Note that the payment amount is fixed and cannot be modified after it has been submitted to the blockchain.

../_images/proposal-create.png
../_images/proposal-burn-prepare.png

Steps 1 & 2: Creating your proposal and preparing the command

Next, the proposal generator will provide you with a command to run from the console of your Dash Core wallet to prepare your budget proposal governance object. Running this command will cost you 5 DASH, which will be “burnt” or permanently removed from circulation. This one-time fee protects the governance system from becoming overwhelmed by spam, poorly thought out proposals or users not acting in good faith. A small transaction fee is charged as well, so make sure slightly more than 5 DASH is available in your wallet. Many budget proposals request reimbursement of the 5 DASH fee.

First unlock your wallet by clicking Settings > Unlock wallet, then open the console by clicking Tools > Debug console and paste the generated command. The transaction ID will appear. Copy and paste this into the proposal generator response window. As soon as you do this, the system will show a progress bar as it waits for 6 confirmations as follows:

../_images/proposal-burn-console.png
../_images/proposal-burn-confirming.png

Step 3: Creating the proposal transaction and waiting for 6 confirmations of the transaction ID

Once 6 block confirmations exist, another command will appear to submit the prepared governance object to the network for voting. Copy and paste this command, and your governance object ID will appear as follows:

../_images/proposal-submit.png
../_images/proposal-submit-console.png

Step 4: Submitting the governance object to the network

You can use this ID to track voting on the proposal until the budget closes and you receive your payout. You can also submit the ID to DashCentral to claim your proposal and enable simplified voting for masternodes using DashCentral voting services.

DashCentral Proposal Generator

DashCentral also includes a tool to create budget proposals, or claim existing proposals so you can add a description on DashCentral and begin discussion with the community. The steps to be taken are almost identical to the procedure described above, and documentation is available here.

Dash Core Wallet Console

Creating a proposal using the wallet console follows the same process as using the Dash budget proposal generator, but it requires several additional steps to manually construct the proposal governance object.

Assemble the proposal data

To prepare a proposal, put the proposal details such as name and payout address into a JSON object similar to the example shown below.

{
  "name": "Test-proposal_1",
  "payment_address": "yd5KMREs3GLMe6mTJYr3YrH1juwNwrFCfB",
  "payment_amount": 10,
  "url": "https://www.mydashtestproposal.com",
  "start_epoch": 1635750000,
  "end_epoch": 1636750000,
  "type": 1
}

Set the type field to 1 for all proposals.

The start_epoch and end_epoch fields are Unix epoch timestamps indicating the time range in which the proposal can receive payments. Typically you will set the start_epoch to approximately halfway between the superblock where payment is first desired and the preceding one. Set end_epoch to approximately 2 weeks after the superblock where the final payment is desired. You can use a site like https://www.epochconverter.com/ to convert the start and end dates to the epoch values for these fields.

Serialize the proposal data

The proposal information must be serialized to hex before it can be submitted to the network. Remove all spaces from the JSON object:

{"name":"Test-proposal_1","payment_address":"yd5KMREs3GLMe6mTJYr3YrH1juwNwrFCfB","payment_amount":10,"type":1,"url":"http://test.com","start_epoch":1635750000,"end_epoch":1636750000}

Convert the resulting JSON to its hex equivalent. Sites like https://codebeautify.org/string-hex-converter provide an easy way to do this:

7b226e616d65223a22546573742d70726f706f73616c5f31222c227061796d656e745f61646472657373223a227964354b4d52457333474c4d65366d544a597233597248316a75774e777246436642222c227061796d656e745f616d6f756e74223a31302c2274797065223a312c2275726c223a22687474703a2f2f746573742e636f6d222c2273746172745f65706f6368223a313633353735303030302c22656e645f65706f6368223a313633363735303030307d

Prepare the collateral transaction

Finally, open your Dash Core wallet console and use the gobject prepare command to complete the proposal preparation and submit the collateral transaction. See the Core developer documentation for additional details.

Warning

Running this command will create a transaction spending 5 DASH from the wallet as collateral for the proposal being created. Only run this command once you have verified all the proposal information. The transaction is not reversible once sent.

gobject prepare <parent-hash> <revision> <time> <data-hex>
  • parent-hash - set to 0

  • revision - set to 1

  • time - set to the current Unix epoch time (does not have to be precise)

  • data-hex - set to the hex string from the previous step

Example command:

gobject prepare 0 1 1636000000 7b226e616d65223a22546573742d70726f706f73616c5f31222c227061796d656e745f61646472657373223a227964354b4d52457333474c4d65366d544a597233597248316a75774e777246436642222c227061796d656e745f616d6f756e74223a31302c2274797065223a312c2275726c223a22687474703a2f2f746573742e636f6d222c2273746172745f65706f6368223a313633353735303030302c22656e645f65706f6368223a313633363735303030307d

The command will execute and respond with a transaction ID for the collateral payment:

9192fb57953baba168f685e32378aa6471061301a097598c68ef1a4c136c9ea3

Submit the proposal

Once the transaction has six confirmations, use the gobject submit command to submit the prepared governance object to the network for voting. See the Core developer documentation for additional details.

gobject submit <parent-hash> <revision> <time> <data-hex> <fee-txid>
  • parent-hash - use the same value as in the gobject prepare command

  • revision - use the same value as in the gobject prepare command

  • time - use the same value as in the gobject prepare command

  • data-hex - use the same value as in the gobject prepare command

  • fee-txid - the transaction ID returned by the gobject prepare command in the previous step

Example command:

gobject submit 0 1 1636000000 7b226e616d65223a22546573742d70726f706f73616c5f31222c227061796d656e745f61646472657373223a227964354b4d52457333474c4d65366d544a597233597248316a75774e777246436642222c227061796d656e745f616d6f756e74223a31302c2274797065223a312c2275726c223a22687474703a2f2f746573742e636f6d222c2273746172745f65706f6368223a313633353735303030302c22656e645f65706f6368223a313633363735303030307d 9192fb57953baba168f685e32378aa6471061301a097598c68ef1a4c136c9ea3

The command will execute and respond with a transaction ID for the proposal which can be used to track voting on the proposal:

3108b76c8735132a0b6de856b434a40d75924ba0a535c4a61be4dba0bf83263f

Voting on proposals

You must vote at least three days before the superblock is created or your vote will not be counted. The exact deadline is 1662 blocks before the superblock.

Voting on DGBB proposals is an important part of operating a masternode. Since masternodes are heavily invested in Dash, they are expected to critically appraise proposals each month and vote in a manner they perceive to be consistent with the best interests of the network. Each masternode may vote once on each proposal, and the vote can be changed at any time before the voting deadline. The following sites and tools are available to view and manage proposals and voting:

For information on how to create a proposal, see here.

DashCentral

Many masternode operators store their password-protected masternode private key on DashCentral to enable simple voting with a user-friendly interface. The popularity of this site has made it a common place for discussion of the proposals after they are submitted to the governance system. To vote from the DashCentral web interface, first add your masternode private key to your account according to the instructions here. Note that the masternode private key is not the same as the private key controlling the 1000 DASH collateral, so there is no risk of losing your collateral. A separate password is required to unlock the masternode private key for voting, so the risk of the site operator voting in your name is minimal.

When you are ready to vote, go to the budget proposals page. Simply click to view the proposals, then click either Vote YES, Vote ABSTAIN or Vote NO.

../_images/vote-dashcentral.png

Voting interface on DashCentral

Dash Masternode Tool (DMT)

If you started your masternode from a hardware wallet using DMT, you can also use the tool to cast votes. Click Tools > Proposals and wait for the list of proposals to load. You can easily see the voting status of each proposal, and selecting a proposal shows details on the Details tab in the lower half of the window. Switch to the Vote tab to Vote Yes, Vote No or Vote Abstain directly from DMT.

../_images/vote-dmt.png

Voting interface in DMT

Dash Core wallet or masternode

If you started your masternode using the Dash Core Wallet (not recommended), you can vote manually from Tools > Debug console, or directly from your masternode via SSH using dash-cli. First click on the proposal you want to vote on at either DashCentral or Dash Ninja. You will see a command for manual voting below the proposal description. Copy and paste the command and modify it as necessary. As an example, take this proposal from Dash Ninja (or DashCentral). The voting code for Dash Core Wallet is as follows:

gobject vote-many 6ed7418455e07f4b30b99f0d4a24a2b83282e12b26fe3415673ecbea04ff6c9d funding yes
gobject vote-many 6ed7418455e07f4b30b99f0d4a24a2b83282e12b26fe3415673ecbea04ff6c9d funding no
gobject vote-many 6ed7418455e07f4b30b99f0d4a24a2b83282e12b26fe3415673ecbea04ff6c9d funding abstain

Note that to vote from your masternode directly, you need to prefix the command with dash-cli, which is usually found in the .dashcore folder. The command should be similar to the following:

~/.dashcore/dash-cli gobject vote-many 6ed7418455e07f4b30b99f0d4a24a2b83282e12b26fe3415673ecbea04ff6c9d funding yes
~/.dashcore/dash-cli gobject vote-many 6ed7418455e07f4b30b99f0d4a24a2b83282e12b26fe3415673ecbea04ff6c9d funding no
~/.dashcore/dash-cli gobject vote-many 6ed7418455e07f4b30b99f0d4a24a2b83282e12b26fe3415673ecbea04ff6c9d funding abstain

Note this command will trigger a vote from all masternodes configured in dash.conf. If you have multiple masternodes each with its own .conf file, or if you want to vote with only some of your masternodes, you must change the command from vote-many to vote. If your vote was successful, you should see a confirmation message reading Voted successfully.

../_images/vote-dashcore.png

Voting from the debug console in Dash Core Wallet

You can also view a list of proposals in JSON format from the console to copy and paste the proposal hash for voting as follows:

gobject list

Delegating votes

DIP003 masternodes feature a separate voting key, which makes it possible to delegate your vote to a representative. Simply enter a Dash address provided by the delegate when registering your masternode, or update your masternode registration to delegate the vote of a running masternode. The wallet controlling the private key to this address will then cast votes on behalf of this masternode owner simply by following the Dash Core voting procedure described above. No further configuration is required.