Collective-Based, Multi-Asset Treasuries

Yes but that is completely a different topic than this post. I do think that a “system” collective should have to go through a “cumbersome” process like on-chain governance, otherwise how could it say it represents the “system”. But I do agree with you that collective formation should be easier and allow for more experimentation as a stepping stone for collectives to build strength and reputation.

The nice thing is, it doesn’t really complicate the Treasury idea in this post. A collective can define its own origins and spend from them, and as long as other chains recognize those origins over XCM, a single collective can hold many assets on many chains.

From the point of view of the main Treasury, it can of course award large tranches to the “system collectives”, but also to any other collective that makes a proposal with its origin-controlled accounts as beneficiary.

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in terms of the stablecoins required for these treasury deals/tranches, how do you imagine that happens? is this contingent on stateswap and DOT being an LP etc?

Side note - was Tether’s asset ID 1984 by happy accident or intentional?

Funding sub-treasuries with yearly (or just “big” budgets may lead to undesired side effects, as the influx to the main Treasury happens continuously.

What about deprecating the main treasury entirely and replacing it with a weighted set of treasuries. The influx (fees, inflation) would then just be split among treasuries on the fly. The relay chain governance could then simply adjust the weights and add/remove treasuries. This would also be easier to handle and understand. voters can just say “I want 10% of treasury funds to go to infrastructure projects, 20% to media, 20% to Events, 30% to tech innovations…aso.”

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I think funding something by default is a big precedent and should take a long track record of stakeholder approval of that group. And there should always be a “public” (main) Treasury that people can go to to get a proposal approved (basically an appeal if their proposal with the smaller collective gets rejected).

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at some point, performance of spend by collectives will become a requirement to ensure sustainability of funding for the main treasury and indeed for their own initiatives.

pushing spend into separate and arbitrary domains (infrastructure / media / events) muddies the waters (where do you draw the line). a different approach is to vertically integrate collectives and their initatives, allowing them to split their received funding to areas they believe will have the most long term impact - across R&D, infrastructure (parachain dev), application development, media, events etc.

the simplest way to assess relative performance is then through collectives returning fees to the treaasury.

if spend is in stablecoins, then impact can be clearly assessed via fiat fees returning to the treasury - creating a positive feedback loop and allowing more experimentation.

not everything needs to return fees wtihin a collective - but the whole should have a path there - or they are not sustainable businesses, and neither is the main treasury.

Ok @joe, given that decentralized futures is the future =) I think its time to put the Collectives chain to work in the way you outlined, in the hopes that we can plan out 2024 and organize work differently. Can we have a short “here’s what you need to do if you want to set up your { Polkadot Media, Core Data/Analytics Infra, RPC Infra, Anti-Scam … } Collective” from you?

I think those of us who have been around a while are quite capable of being members of a collective and using the Collectives Chain, we don’t want to turn “Therefore, we would actually have multiple instances of the Treasury pallet on the Collectives chain” into engineering work adding those instances. I suspect you and the substrate engs could do it in your collective sleep, but the rest of us just want to be users of those pallet instances.

As far as I can tell, the Polkadot Alliance was setup but are not actively doing motions and may as well be repurposed for the PTF to save a step? Just an idea.

If there are 5-10 Collectives that we should slot out for the end of Winter, can this be done in 1 or 2 shots in eg Dec and Feb or something like that?

Indeed you can: RFC-12.


I agree with one side of this and not the other.

The idea of sub-treasuries is great. It cuts noise - as a voter can filter by what they care about. It also allows us to set separate parameters for each subtreasury. For instance, different burn rates depending on how hot we want to run each treasury, one burning at 3%, another at 20%.

I also agree with @brenzi that the funds allocated to each subtreasury should be consistent and percentage based. It’s simple, and leans into the continuity that only a system as expressive as blockchain can provide. I understand your worries about setting too big a precedence but we could always just set the rate to 0%. In addition we could always send funds in discrete amounts if we collectively choose. It’s all around flexible and simple (less upkeep from voters on fund dispersal)

If a proposal is put up to the __ collective, are they the only ones who can vote on it or can everyone?

If the answer to the question above is yes, and we can’t vote alongside the collection. I stand firmly against creating collectives. It unnecessarily cuts the granularity with which the voting system can approximate the will of it’s people and it would lead to strong avenues of corruption (kick backs and the like). Not to mention is falls prey to the classic dictatorial assumption that one person (or a few) can better decide than the statistics of large numbers can.

Overall I ask… why not just subtreasuries? In isolation, it appears to solve all the issues diagnosed and falls prey to none of the pitfalls.

Yeah, I’ve come around to this idea of just allocating some percentage of inflation at mint time.

Yes, only members of a collective can vote on referenda that are put to that collective. It does not cut into the granularity of the voting system, it only provides a first-tier filter. The existence of collective-based treasuries doesn’t exclude or remove the existence of the main treasury. If the collective denies your funding request, and you think they are wrong, then you can still go to the main treasury and ask for a vote from all DOT holders.

Not sure how multi-asset support creates these “pitfalls” (that I disagree with). It just provides more flexibility. Multi-asset proposals (particularly stablecoins) is one of the most requested features. Different collectives have different objectives/mandates and will have different treasury allocation strategies. Forcing them to only hold DOT is the pitfall, not allowing multiple assets.

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My thought here is based off the idea that a voting system is an attempt to approximate it’s constituents aggregate will (let me know if that’s not agreeable). A republic is a crude, dull knifed, attempt at this, albeit I’ll concede that that’s the best tool humanity had for a while. The issue is that due to the small size of the council relative to it’s represented population, the council has to over generalize, and niche thoughts and ideas lose their representation. And this has very detrimental affects on the psyche of the governed people.

For me this is the beauty of a delegated democracy, it allows voting blocks with very specific ideas. And anyone can find one and feel good about the one they select.

I hear what you’re saying, and I agree we should kickstart the growth of what will be naturally occurring powerful voting entities, but fully taking away people’s right to vote isn’t the answer here.

The way I see it, we create collectives, they provide technical reports, signal their intention to vote, then vote. If people think they’re doing a good job, they’ll delegate. If not, a more naturally arising entity will appear. But yes those natural entities take time and we should definitely kickstart.

Yes, my apologies. I fully support multi asset treasuries. I was referring to the pitfalls of ‘only the collective can vote’ collectives. In my mind multi-asset subtreasuries and collectives are two separate ideas and I opt for just the first.

A sufficiently big population is, yes. But that being said, I think we align, but are just coming at this from different angles. I fully suspect that, given time, delegated democracy will position certain groups in power that vote on, and have expertise in, certain areas. It’s a much lower energy state.

If we kickstart the process by creating tech fellowship-like collectives, where they’re seen as a lighthouse but not the only possible one, I’ll stand behind it.

I’m just asking for a bit of faith in the powerful delegated democracy we’ve created. And a more focused direction on helping it evolve rather than turning to republics.

Brilliant – I started drafting a Decentralized Marketing Collective:

Is this what you had in mind?

At a very high level, yes. I did a quick skim and there some some places that Alliance and Ranked Collective functionality gets mixed up. Generally, we should be looking at Ranked Collective (e.g. Ranks 1-9 (configurable!) and not “Ally, Fellow, Founder”). I disagree with a few points/decisions in it but that’s beside the point for now :slight_smile: => Yes, it’s a start.

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Ok, thank you – here are some more questions I think you’re the best to answer:

  1. I’m stuck on how to use rank to BOTH
    (a) indicate knowledge/experience in “builders helping builders”
    (b) decide a reasonable/fair payment for monthly IMPACT
    Generally any kind of demotion is humiliatingly unhuman on dimension (a), but people should be able to take a summer vacation and get their rank back to modulate (b). What are your thoughts on this?

  2. For everyone studying the collectives code on Westend like me and want to get down into the code level understanding of Salaries for (1)(b), where should we look? How should someone who wants to prototype their collective play?

  3. Competition is good, but should there be competing collectives with similarish charters competing for OpenGov spend, e.g. 5 guild-like Collectives of Content Creators (competing for OpenGov spend analogous to Direct Spending Proposals with different quality/seeding), 5+ Polkadot Builder Collectives on different Polkadot technologies (ink! vs parachain vs dapps vs 2.0 CoreXYZ/DA vs … , competing for OpenGov spend)?

  4. Is there some technical limit on the number of Collectives guiding (3)? Any reason why we can’t have 50 collectives by the end of 2024 along “decentralized futures” lines?

  5. On the Ally/Level 1 Fellow distinction, assuming a collective has a large number of people (like hundreds to thousands), what your recommended exact mechanism for someone to enter a collective permissionlessly and for someone in the ranked collective to promote them?

I think most people thinking about collectives will want to know the same kinds of things, so you can speak generally – perhaps a AMA video call in December would be appropriate. Thank you in advance for your help!

  1. I would just use the existing tools in the Fellowship. Rank can be based on prior contributions and knowledge/experience, but to take a salary, one needs to defend their rank periodically. The default is demotion. If you know your impact will be low, then you can go off salary for your break to maintain your rank.

  2. The Salary and Core Fellowship pallets. To prototype, probably fork the Collectives chain and launch a local network and tinker until you’ve set everything up.

  3. Ideally, Collectives serve as a means for people with differing viewpoints to collaborate, even if they don’t agree all the time. I do see what you mean, but the system collectives chain is probably not the place for that (due to (4)). Perhaps something on a smart contract chain can facilitate these experimental groups and the Treasury should be lenient in funding them (e.g. just like accelerators have a “fixed deal” like X% equity for Y dollar investment that they offer uniformly). The Treasury could have a standard “Collective Experiment Funding Application” to help people get started.

  4. Yes, there is. A runtime can only have 256 pallets (this is due to them being represented in an enum data type, which indexes its variants with a u8). The first 50 are more-or-less reserved for system things (Session, Collators, Balances, XCM, etc). Also each collective is about 5 pallets (collective, referenda, treasury, origins, …). I think that for the collectives that make it there, there should be strong consensus about the mandate and that the membership criteria will find the best people/groups to fulfill it. That is not to say that experimentation/competition/tinkering is not valuable, it should just probably happen on something faster moving and more flexible.

  5. Ultimately Collectives need to manage their membership, that’s one of their features. I could imagine a change to the Ranked Collective pallet that allows people to place a deposit to become rank 0, but would need an existing member (or group of members) to admit them as rank 1.

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To kick things off, I want to echo @joepetrowski’s insights shared in this discussion. It’s exciting to see the integration of Polkadot SDK #1333 in the Polkadot v1.3.0 update, expanding treasury allocations beyond just native assets. By the way, this is already live on Rococo and Westend.

The Multi-Asset Sub-Treasury initiative isn’t about diminishing voting rights or influence. As @joepetrowski pointed out, it’s primarily a first-level filter to cut down on irrelevant chatter. The concept is to have specialized groups manage specific, smaller proposals. This way, they can sift through the minor stuff and bring only substantial, combined proposals to the main Treasury for consideration. Since OpenGov came into play, we’ve seen a surge in Treasury proposals. With market trends suggesting an uptick in the bull market, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for the community to thoroughly review and vote on every single proposal, in my opinion.

Furthermore, it will still be possible for proposals to be brought directly to the wider community’s attention, allowing every user a chance to have their say on spending through the main treasury.

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I don’t really see it that way, collectives should be able to approve proposals from their own treasuries. And if they are operating well, only good ones. Ideally the main Treasury is acting as the “Supreme Court”, the final appeal after proposals have been rejected by a collective.

I feel that the dynamic that’s likely to come out of this is - proposal to a collective → yes? good : no? immediately to main treasury with proposal. It won’t end up cleaning up the noise as much as just duplicating work.

And proponents may say ‘no because the collective will step in and say they rejected it already, saving mindshare’. The issue with is then we’re in a roundabout way back to the original idea where collectives essentially just act as technical committees who are paid to do their due diligence, create proposal templates, signal their intention to vote, etc. This is all solved more easily and naturally if we just nix the first class voters and go with the lighthouse model the fellowship is pursuing.

If we continue down the blocking-collectives path and stand staunchly behind it as our solve for the filtering issue we’re going to end up creating a court of appeals. And that’s just all unnecessary.

Also - somewhere along the way I messed up comms and now people think I’m against multi-asset subtreasuries. I’m for this. Everyone is for this. It’s an amazing idea. I’m speaking to blocking-collectives specifically.

What are blocking collectives?

Its shorthand for the model where only the collective can vote on a given subtreasury proposal.