Takeaways form Cosmo’s blockchain governance

Cosmos: individual governance for each blockchain in cross-chain projects

Cosmos is a blockchain network in which multiple independent blockchains can be connected to each other. Those blockchains connected to the Cosmos network are called zones. Each such zone has its own governance and within these zones validators and delegators (see below) vote on proposals. These proposals can be blockchain parameters (e.g. block size) and adaptions to Cosmos’ constitution, among other things. Similar to DFINITY (see below), Cosmos supports roll-backs.

  • Validators: Validators are nodes with positive voting power that can vote for agreement on the next block.
  • Delegators: Delegators are indirect validators. Analogous to a liquid democracy (or delegative democracy) delegators transfer their tokens and thus voting power to validators. Those validators then vote with their own tokens and the tokens lent to them. Delegators can withdraw their tokens from validators at any time. This is similar to DFINITY’s automatic voting (see below).

Takeaway: In cross-chain projects, multiple governance models can be used.

Open questions

  • Cross-chain governance: How will cross-chain governance be regulated?
  • Coordination costs of multiple governance models in cross-chain settings: Will one governance model across multiple blockchains in a cross-chain setting make the whole system more or less efficient and would rather a unified governance model suffice?
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