Decentralized Voices: Cohort 2. SAXEMBERG

About Us:

We are Saxemberg. Operating validators and collators in the Polkadot ecosystem since 2020. We have been involved in on-chain governance outside of Polkadot since the early days of DAO designs on Ethereum as well as early voting on Cosmos chains. On Polkadot we have been involved in Gov1 governance, parachain governance and OpenGov both as regular voters and now recently as DV delegates. We’re also active curators of the Brazil Business Development initiative.

We are publicly making a declaration of joining W3F’s Decentralized Voices program as part of the second cohort.

Our main governance addresses on Polkadot and Kusama are the following:

Polkadot: 153YD8ZHD9dRh82U419bSCB5SzWhbdAFzjj4NtA5pMazR2yC

Kusama: J19LYGghRCe4Ct3VW4Vz1amMoUgogS1sh2FQvPWroKcDdb1

Operations

We spearheaded the explanations for each vote, something we consider crucial for all delegation addresses in order to show vote planning and research of each proposal. Ours are currently published on X: @saxemberg

We are also active participants in the OpenGov discussions on the governance forums like Polkassembly and Subsquare mostly for Polkadot, Kusama and Zeitgeist as well as on X (Twitter). Pushes for dialogue on Polkassembly/Subsquare, often respond to pressing issues or to highlight information that requires further explanation. Moreover, during our first DV tenure, we also published replies because proposers asked us to elaborate an extended rationale regarding our votes.

We are open to pre-publication feedback. So, if proposers get in touch with us before their referenda and ask us for feedback before a proposal becomes public, we usually accept it and we designate one person in our team to get in touch and interact with proposers directly whenever necessary. Importantly, we never become authors of referenda unless we form part of it either as proposer, curator or beneficiary of the proposal. Our participation in public proposals by other entities is limited to feedback alone. This service is completely free. We reserve the right to engage or deny engagement with proposers based on our own criteria and based on own previous experience, however.

We are also open to invitations to discussions within private channels that seek to develop proposals or explain proposals. The same logic applies as we can provide feedback but we won’t contribute as authors of the referenda unless we are an active part of them.

Our OpenGov watchdog project was discontinued shortly in favor of OpenGovWatch, a recipient of the Decentralized Futures program as well as the OG Tracker a treasury funded governance referenda tracker. This decision was reverted a few days ago because we would like to continue publishing our own opinions retrospectively about passed referenda. However, our datasets will include both, the OpenGov Watch mastersheet and we will wait for OG Tracker to release their API in order to also include their data. Currently, it only includes the mastersheet with merged information on our side.

As a rule of thumb, discussion is kept public for the vast majority of cases. Our experience has shown us that private information, pseudo-confidential or privileged information usually contain insignificant weight and it’s often misleading so public discourse is a must for our operations. In consequence, we have never signed NDAs or confidentiality agreements of any kind with any proposer despite certain proposers asking for it. So, our push will always favor open communication. We currently maintain a canary on our website concerning that.

We have never sought bribes or any proposer of referenda has offered a bribe. If that ever happened, we would denounce it publicly on all possible public channels.

Political Philosophy

Pragmatism. Unlike traditional politics where voting is not (as) liquid, delegation removal can take years and politicians make long careers out of decision-making, we believe that on-chain governance is an emerging field and radically different in the sense that on-chain representation allows for faster evolution and dynamism when compared to the regular world of politics. We consider on-chain governance an emergent field where there is still an ample field that has not been researched yet, therefore, a pragmatical and flexible approach to governance is our main philosophy. In the future, when ideas like Futarchy have been already tested out completely, we might change the political philosophy to something more delimited.

For that reason we have developed concrete guidelines that guide our voting as well as serving as a first line of explanation for our decision-making. The operations of Saxmeberg are now written succinctly as part of our operation directives. Both guidelines and directives are currently available at: Treasury Guidelines and Directives – Saxemberg

These guidelines and directives were created from lessons and past experience on on-chain governance on Polkadot and on-chain governance other blockchains and DAOs.

These guidelines and directives are not final and unmovable. The likeliest scenario is that more guidelines and directives will be added and the current ones will be kept more or less the same unless a significant event or lesson triggers a change.

For the time being, we will attempt to support missionaries over mercenaries. All native or heavily integrated efforts will take priority over other more general outside projects or teams.

As an important addition, we don’t plan to use the concept of social contract as a valid excuse for any referendum. If the token holders decide that a bounty should not be funded anymore or if a referendum doesn’t deserve a milestone follow-up we won’t push for the continuation based on the social contract concept. Each proposal has to be analyzed case by case and token holders have the right to defund such proposals.

Our plans for the 2nd cohort

Our voting distribution has become more positive and leaned towards funding as opposed as when Saxemberg wasn’t a DV delegate. This simply responds to the fact that price action has started to improve, volumes have begun to increase and the Bitcoin halving year and the one after, are of importance specially for growing blockchains such as ours. Therefore, our votes have become more positive and leaned toward more expenses than before. We will continue to have our positive bias in order to create an appropriate ground for new projects to flourish. This optimistic bias, we hope, will help all the promising early projects as well as established ones that have proven to be worth maintaining.

For the second cohort we would like to maintain this optimistic approach to funding but also to consider the fund distribution so far:

On both, OpenGov Watch

and our own data (our own data has different categories) in order to not overwhelm the treasury with repeated categories and try to maintain balanced expenditures across of all categories. This will be hard to guarantee as it heavily depends on proposed referenda.

  • Research

Proposals similar to referendum 102 will have a very positive bias. These are not numerous, so for the most part we will try to foster the use of the treasury for important research.

  • Development

Currently they are 50% of the current treasury spending and for a good reason. These projects are likely to become the heaviest users of Polkadot blockspace. Such development initiatives will often have a positive bias as long as they relate to Polkadot directly. The wallet environment on Polkadot is still under heavy development so these initiatives will also have our support in order to increase in maturity and reach.

  • Outreach

Events are a mixed bag as they might contain important expenditures that might or might not be necessary. For instance, a 400k USD prize pool + administrative fees for a hackathon event without much historical impact won’t be as justified as the same expenditure for other events with more impact or with longer durations such as the PBA which is one of our best outreach and education efforts.

  • Marketing

Native efforts or deeply integrated creators such as The Kusamarian, Alpha Airdrop, A Chain of Blocks, CultureDot etc. will take priority over other creators or marketing initiatives. So a reiteration of our missionary over mercenary approach on this side will be significant from now onward. The use of agencies has proven effective for some projects such as the Coingecko 10 year integration and those will be evaluated case-by-case. Large names entities like Real Vision, Unchained or Mario Nawfal will also be evaluated on case-by-case basis with more emphasis on professionalism over controversy and native reach over paid reach.

  • Business Development

In our view, one of the most lacking departments for Polkadot. We hope that new well prepared teams can be formed in different areas of the globe. We will have a careful approach regardless, as these teams should have a careful balance between expenses, technical support for potential clients, public announcements, private conversations with potential partners, competence and awareness of competing chains trying to poach potential partners. We hope to see more of this as long as the teams are aware of the goals and not just spending funds unnecessarily.

Why should the W3F delegate their voting power to us?

Saxemberg has been involved in Polkadot governance since the early days and for that reason we have shared our expertise and experience for our current delegators, proposers and other governance participants alike. Just like with our delegated DOT on our validators and collators, we always keep in mind our delegators concerns and questions and we try to answer as promptly as possible. Like it was previously mentioned, it is great to have a highly dynamic delegation system as it allows for quick replies and quick decision making.

With this in mind, we would like to have the decentralized voices’ delegation again so that our approach to decision making gets amplified as much as possible and we can make fast iterations and improvements upon this model for the greater good of the Polkadot ecosystem.

The future is decentralized.

Disclosures: We currently are curators of the Brazil Business Development team enacted before our 1st tenure as Decentralized Voice (ref. 250) and we are also arbiters of the Zeitgeist proposal: Futarchy, a New Signal Generating Tech for Polkadot Governance (ref. 502) enacted during our tenure for which we don’t receive any form of compensation. We are only multisig signers and only check the completion of the referendum’s milestones. These activities are currently public information.

Other involved projects are related to our technical expertise alone and they have nothing to do with OpenGov referenda directly.

27 Likes

Saxemburg was one of the earliest organized voters on Polkadot OpenGov who provided feedback on their vote,
they even have a twitter and well detailed website!

I believe all this effort was done even before DV program.

Their responses are detailed and I find them rational.

Yes to another round! Goodluck

3 Likes

Thanks for your support Kratist0s.

And yes, we began our governance research work way before our 1st tenure as DVs and we’ll continue it even without a DV delegation.

3 Likes

I fully support Saxemberg, he has shown that he is very capable of doing this.

2 Likes

I 100% support SAX as a DV. I have nominated Sax as a validator for a good amount of time now. Sax is always transparent, and I use the X OpenGov updates by Sax to find Referendums I might have missed.

I think SAX is one of the previous DVs That has been relatively consistent with Treasury funds. I hope as the treasury goes towards under 30 million Dot SAX will start being more selective in the referendums.

2 Likes

One of the best person in Polkadot
Saxemberg really knows how to build and grow the whole ecosystem.

Always active in governance with 10/10 voting history.

Total support!

3 Likes

Saxemberg has a systematic approach to spending and is extremely reliable and transparent. Saxem has been sharing feedback on proposals in X and in the governance forums for a long time now, something I’ve never seen anyone else do as much and before the DV program.

All of Saxem’s contributions are relevant responses and questions, making him one of the most active and influential voices in the Polkadot community and a major asset to the ecosystem.

He also contributes tremendously as a curator to the Polkadot Brazil BD Bounty and has been part of its success history. We are really glad to have him in the Polkadot community.

4 Likes

I both like and trust Saxemberg and I support them regarding this proposal.

all my interactions with them have been very positive.

Good luck to all.

2 Likes

Saxemberg is not only transparent & consistent, but is also engaging! I have had the pleasure of communicating directly with this validator, collator collective on many occasions. They’re articulate in conviction, but above all respectful! Their constant posts on X allow everyone to understand their reasoning behind their delegation of votes. Continued support of this delegation! .

2 Likes

I completely support saxemberg on this journey as DV and its continuation - he has been consistent and efficient in governance reports, generating value in the community discussion about referendums.

3 Likes

I support but please try to be more pragmatic and less formal. I am sure your intention is genuine

1 Like

Saxemberg is the gold standard for governance participation. I appreciate their level-headed analysis of issues and their transparent decision making process of posting summaries on X.

Please delegate to Saxemberg for a second term. AYE!

1 Like

I think a all of the comments above already sum it up pretty nicely on how important Saxemberg is for OpenGov. Always takes the time to go through each proposal and give valuable feedback on how teams can improve. Big Aye from our side.

1 Like

I truly believe that Saxemberg sets a high standard for governance. His exceptional communication skills, transparence, professional demeanor, punctuality, and sense of responsibility are commendableIn. Saxemberg encourages leadership from within for initiatives that move Polkadot forward. His insightful feedback and inquiries not only demonstrate his role as a guardian of governance but also as a valuable contributor all ecosystem.

1 Like

I hear all the right noises but surely having a commercial platform representing decentralised voices is an antithesis of the objective, not to mention unfair to the competition.

1 Like

Always thoughtful in analysis and feedback. It’s also clear that Saxemberg puts transparency first and has our support.

1 Like

All my support for Saxemberg. Good analyst and always transparent. Good luck

2 Likes

I endorse Saxemberg for a second round in the DV program. Saxemberg has consistently demonstrated a balanced and impartial approach, offering insightful feedback with each vote cast.

3 Likes

Saxemburg is one of the very few community members who actually provides public feedback on proposals, not only on the OpenGov platform but also on X. I appreciate the detailed feedback and analysis that Saxemburg provides for the benefit of the ecosystem and his willingness to invest time and effort in shaping proposals into win-win solutions.

4 Likes

I thought Saxemberg was a group.

1 Like