Chaos kills. Last week, Polkadot lost over 16,000 new users as one of its best projects, Subsquid, left for Arbitrum

Just to clarify, Polkadot only has about 6000 UAW daily (UAW numbers < users), and only approximately 1500 of them are new. This loss of 16,000 is a noticeable figure for Polkadot. You can see here: link

Numbers above from 30 sept.

Many of us have heard the beautiful theory, and Gavin’s words, that chaos is an element of development, etc. However, in simple terms, the “wild west” chaos is all about plunder, where the only strategy is to take, kill, and run. Participants from “third world countries” know this much more than Gavin, who lives in Western Europe ( not the Middle East or Africa, where there is chaos and lots of opportunity).

Polkadot has been in chaos for the last six months, unlike Kusama, which just quietly fades away post-chaos without a single coherent achievement. Last week, Subsquid, one of Polkadot’s best projects, legitimately began the final phase of departing from Dot, a move they’ve been planning since the beginning of the chaos.

Why? Walking around with an outstretched hand, while being actively shunned by night sysadmins, is very different from the concept of “supporting the builders.” A bid of 2 million dots was made to cut Subsquid from the ecosystem. Many well-known holders who don’t want Subsquid in Polkadot (but want Apillon or Polkaworld) are part of this bid.

Thus, Subsquid is doing what it’s been told to do: walk away. Especially when the value in an ecosystem consisting of nominators, YouTube bloggers, Apillon, or Polkaworld will not be achievable (surprised pikachu face meme).

Moreover, Subsquid finds itself alone in this war. Did Parity come to help break down the torrent of obstacles raining down on this top project? No, their support was nonexistent, neither in word nor deed. The main beneficiary of this whole ecosystem showed that they were not needed.

Then a good-natured whale came along and decided to help. In other cases, another whale torpedoed the proposals (that’s why I didn’t post this for a long time, so as not to get their attention).

Is Subsquid’s case unique? No, it’s the norm. Ecosystem products consistently face strong negativity and a lack of recognition from the ecosystem:

  1. Onfinality - rejected.
  2. Nova - strong protest, with $40 million wants their to leave.
  3. Brashfam - near to rejection. Despite their shady nature, there is almost no feedback. The community clearly spits on their long-time contributions.
  4. Subsocial - the guys got a massive spit in the face with one of the strongest product sets so far. The some whale saves, but community against.

But every one of them who has even been through this meat grinder has realized that tomorrow no one may stand up for them. Each of them knows that no one is waiting for them in this ecosystem, and their products are not really needed. They are ready to vote with millions of dollars against their support with full abstraction of the ecosystem.

And you have employees, agreements, contracts, and you can’t afford to spend 3-4 months (1-2 months of preparation, month+ of voting, designing payments, etc.). You can only scoop at the end of the period; there are no other ways to make money in the current market in the current ecosystem. The ecosystem is your enemy, not your friend.

Obviously, this causes you wild stress, and you’ll try to get around it. Yes, it DOT can be an additional source of money for you, but you’ll put your time and attention where you can really grow. Where you are expected, where thousands of people will pray for you and tweet their thanks.

Subsquid, doing everything right. Great product, great responsive team, not many people have anything bad to say about them. You can: “They’ve gotten a lot of support from the ecosystem!”. But you’re not going to marry someone who psycho kicked you out on the street or beat up a person in front of you the week before the wedding. You’d rather look for more, no matter how much he did - because it’s your life. It makes sense that Subsquid is on CoinList and its test-net is on Arbitrum.

At the end, Polkadot and community didn’t get the 2-week norm of new users. Proud holders will say: “that they are bots. That it’s an illusion, not worth paying attention to!”. This will be repeated by bloggers in their YouTube channels with 100 viewers. There will be another 15-person meetup where it will be condemned.

The community of nodes and validators, clinging to Parity, face the bleak future of being left alone with an illiquid coin and a few YouTube bloggers.

My feeling is that OpenGov is working as expected. If you download the data on all of the referendums, whales only step in to reject when the proposals lack commitment, or some other aspect is missing or not clear, or where it really appears that the vote is being gamed by other whales.

The fact is you can submit as many proposals as you like, funds permitting, but if it is rejected, then teams should re-evaluate what they are proposing, and resubmit. That’s actually how a proper democracy functions.

We are very early in this process and it needs to find a path to fund teams that is acceptable to the community - there will be one - but we all have to keep trying to be creative to find it.


Similarly to how Chris put it, OpenGov is working pretty much how I expected it to.

It’s ultimate stakeholder governance – where the stake is, unsurprisingly, the amount of tokens that you hold. You’re never gonna please everyone, and there’s always a chance some person/entity with a large amount of tokens disagrees with your referendum, holds a personal grudge against you, or simply just NAYs for the fun of it.

If your proposal is sound, I’m a strong believer that it will be approved :slight_smile: Don’t worry about the amount of NAYs. If your proposal gets rejected, learn from it, adapt it, and go again!


So many words with which you are trying to show loyalty to Parity guys.

  1. OpenGov has been operating in Kusama for a long time. What positive measurable changes have been there? How many new projects have received support? So far, I have only seen that the working teams were trying to run from there to Polkadot (there are in list above tho).

  2. Whales sometimes influence something - well this is generally funny looking at this (VOTE NAY!!) Polkadot Parachain Assets Onramp Bounty Program | Polkassembly

  3. “Teams can reapply”, etc. In 3-4 months without funding, IT business dies (if this not student run website). And any normal project with a product will not go where you are sent without money. No need to go far - Astar, Subsquid (Soon there will be a couple more)

Another stream of sweet words in support of Parity (Nice job!)
Meanwhile, teams are leaving or dying (you can scroll up). People prefer Arbitrum to your sweet talks (by the way, not the first team choose Arb already).
Even Rmrk skips the DOT eco to contibute EIP :sunglasses:

You seem to have an issue with that company friend :stuck_out_tongue: since I never mentioned them.

All I said was that this is pretty much exactly how I thought OpenGov would turn out ^^ I never said if it was positive or negative – just that in such a system you will never be able to please everyone :slight_smile:

It was fairly obvious that this would be the lay of the land from 1 year ago when at ChaosDAO we started trying to put systems in place to facilitate our OpenGov shenanigans. Even if we are a smol voter we could see that this was coming so tried to prepare for it.

I’ve been quite vocal in various places that the main issue (IMO) that we all have is lack of voter participation (really low turnout) which causes whales to have a massive slice of the voting pie which ends up annoying people – but if voter turnout was ~20% (~50% of staked tokens) then I believe that it would be much better – so people should put their efforts into increasing voter participation (or delegations) rather than complaining about OpenGov’s flaws due to 1% voter turnout ^^ (low voter participation is due to numerous factors which im sure we all know).

We (ChaosDAO) have an RFC which we plan to post in the coming weeks that hopes to improve some pain points that we’ve seen.

Some people always look for the boogeyman – but the boogeyman is not always someone who disagrees with you.

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Parity isn’t Polkadot and I’m not sucking up to anyone. I’m just pointing out that the reality is in the data.

Regarding Proposal #140 - you are correct. There is something distinctly odd about that result. However, there is a lesson to be learned : the community must read proposals carefully, and also take the appropriate action (killing / cancelling?) under these circumstances. See - that’s something positive that has come out of that.

In any case I think that the Interlay team will probably repay this, because it appears to have been an accidental occurrence. So nothing will be lost here.

This, by the way, is called victim blaming - the community is at fault for not watching what it votes for. Woman should not wear that dress. It’s even funny to discuss.

And what about Kusama? How are the indicators there?

Why did you decide that people who want good will come and delegate votes for free to some ChaosDao guys (that making decisions in a closed chat)? And there will be SO many of them that it will even make up 1 million DOTs? You need thousands of them.

Why not instead your activity attract a few more “dolphins” who will be coordinated to milk the treasury? It’s enough for them to have 10 people. Very close circle. With direct and short benefit.

Given that they have more commitment, it’s easier to coordinante them and considering it’s a direct economic benefit unlike you, it’s easier to organize.

I never said that they would delegate to ChaosDAO :smiley: :ghost:

I want them to delegate to individuals / groups that they resonate with – been prettttyyyy vocal about this, hence why the gov bot is also OSS :^)

I’ll let you vent in peace now :>

Still don’t understand how it will help to make better project selection and fight frauders.
Ok, bunch of them become more organized, so what?

You are making a very false equivalence here. You claim the community is a victim which is patently false, they lost nothing at all and even then Interlay have now stated that the funds will be returned as I said they would. So literally zero harm has been done and a valuable lesson has been learned. The Treasury is not the community.

If you are trying to point to Kusama as an example of what will happen to Polkadot, I prefer to wait and see, rather than assuming the communities and projects are equivalent.

It is impossible to stop fraud in any monetary system, it’s not specific to Polkadot. However there are checks and balances if the community is interested in using them. This is already better than anything we have in the real world.

Hi! Dima from Subsquid here. I would like to bring some certainty as to why we decided to launch our testnet on Arbitrum Goerli (tl;dr: it has nothing to do with OpenGov), at the same time highlight the issues we do see with OpenGov on a different note. The launch of the testnet does not in any way affect the existing projects using Subsquid for data indexing, and Substrate based chains will remain being first-class citizens of the Squid SDK (ArrowSquid release) and later Subsquid Network.

First of all, what is Subsquid Network? It is a decentralized data lake to store and query bulk data, and by design it is agnostic with regards to what on-chain data it serves. It will serve the data from 100+ networks, both Substrate and EVM-based. The data is ingested and split between workers participating in the network. The worker logic is fully off-chain, and the smart contracts are only used for settlement and registration of the workers.

Why have we chosen Arbitrum vs an app chain?

The reason is very simple. Most of liquidity is concentrated on EVM chains. Everything else – exchanges, custodians, investors, institutions, developers, auditors – all follow the money. Second, our on-chain logic is quite simple – it is only the settlement layer, and we don’t need all the complexity of an app chain when we can go with a bunch of smart contracts. At this point it’s very hard to justify building a chain, as bootstrapping the token would’ve been much harder, while we’d have 10+ more things to care about about (e.g. how do we custody a non-EVM asset? How do we do audits? How do we incentivise validators/collators? etc etc). I do believe however that as we add more features, past certain threshold of complexity it does make sense to move some logic to a dedicated app-chain, retaining the EVM interface. But we are far from being there now.

It is a hard truth, but in my opinion, the Polkadot community should accept that without an EVM-centric roadmap and seamless cross-chain bridging to Ethereum + major EVM chains it risks exacerbating the negative feedback loop: less liquidity → less interest → less developers → less investments → less liquidity. Polkadot may have another 10+ years of runaway, but very few projects have the luxury of waiting that long for adoption.

Did OpenGov affect our decision?

No, but it did change our perspective on how we offer our services. Up until now, our strategy was to invest heavily into the development of the open-source indexing SDK for substrate chains, and provide the data for indexers for free as a public service. The community has been definitely supportive so far, until the recent proposal (referendum 145). While it has eventually passed, it became clear to us from the conversation that big DOT holders want to see such infra services to be independent of the treasury funding. I am not saying it is for bad or for good (maybe indeed such “cleansing” is healthy and will do more good eventually), but it definitely has changed our strategic outlook. Clearly, right now the ecosystem market is not big enough to accommodate the required R&D resources we put into the development of the SDK and the Giant Squid API without the “buyer of last resort”. The support for Substrate networks will also eventually shrink only to those (para)chains who commit to a (small compared to a usual RPC infra bill) monthly subscription fee.

To sum up, the treasury funding is not something one can rely on long-term unfortunately. Every retroactive proposal funding is a big stress test and the outcome really depends on a whim of a few whales. It goes into a strong conflict with the mission of funding “public goods”, which assumes long-term support and sustainability. The chaos, in my opinion, comes from the lack of a clear understanding and a strong discontent within the community about what should and what should not be funded by the treasury.


Absolutely. Everything is as I expected and described (more polite tbh). Thanks for the clarification.

  • When the community asks you to leave → you leave.
  • Without room to grow and a supportive community → there’s no drive for innovation.
  • Every proposal is a source of stress, even for the best.
  • Chaos doesn’t help to innovate

P.S. Some cores are EVM, tbh, but that’s another risk for you.
P.P.S. I’ve been waiting almost a week for 145 to pass. You should have the funds to grow. Good luck!


Just out of curiosity we’ve gathered info on an active OpenGov whale account. Here are the stats: Out of 26 proposals he participated in, outcome of 12 (46%) was decided by him singlehandedly. I don’t want to discuss if its expected OpenGov behaviour or not. These are just facts, do what you please with the information provided.

Personally, I believe OpenGov doesn’t work simply because nobody cares what is going on in Polkadot. Voter apathy is high, turnover is very low, and new gov. mechanics didn’t stop treasury squandering. Obviously, voters don’t have enough expertise to understand what’s of benefit ot eco and what’s not, otherwise the eco would flourish with users and liquidity by now. It would be interesting to analize how a combined $50M of treasury spending helped to grow the ecosystem user-base and liquidity.

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Seeing that whales are still in control of Polkadots future is the main reason i still have long-term hopes, trust for it’s future and stay invested. Too much democracy finally kills any great project or society. The day Dotsama becomes fully democratic will be my sell signal (Hopefully never). Strategic decisions can never be left to the community. Leadership and management are skills most ppl don’t have, as such a voting all are equal democracy is just simply stupid. Our space is full with hightech quality projects destroyed by endless community debates into nothingness. Look for example how great tech projects like ATOM, IOTA continually manage to suicide themselves into a powerless frictioned ever splitting into impotent nothingness from being maximum open with their communities. THANKS FOR THE LEADERS AND WHALES :whale2:

Sounds nice, except that whales are shady now and can make one-player game (as Peter shows). Shadow = no commitment from them and 0 social capital on risk.
To address this, we need to know, who rules the party.

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Yes i also understand your feelings and position. Still i go with, for the whale-side.
Social capital means 0 as long as they’re financially invested, committed imo. Being stake/DOT-holders counts, social capital i don’t consider important.
Joining the whales might be more sensible and natural then fighting them?

Yes you also might be on the right side of interpretation, in the end I also don’t know for sure.