Decentralized Voices - The Story So Far

Decentralized Voices’ first round of delegations is well underway and a new round of delegations is coming soon. Since we now have a handy dashboard to examine some of the early outcomes., it’s worth taking a look at how the program is going so far.

So far on the Polkadot side, ChaosDAO (103), Saxemberg (102), and Kukabi (81) are leading in vote activity, voting on nearly every referendum put forth. William (17) and Polkaworld (17), on the other hand, seem to have lost their zeal for governance and are mostly inactive, casting votes on fewer than 1/6 of the referenda available.

Has DV had a big impact on referenda outcomes?
only 14.3% of outcomes would have been different without DV involvement.

On the Kusama side, where there are far fewer referenda, Adam Clay Steeber (6) and IVY (5) lead the pack, AlexPromoTeam, Georgii / Space Invader, and Alzymologist have voted on 4 refs, and Staker Space has yet to cast a vote (0).

As for Kusama impact, well DV hasn’t changed any outcomes yet:


Hello Mr. Cole,

Let’s not forget the oft-quoted Goodhart’s Law, especially in blockchain: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

So I would question the framing you are using, which seems to be that more votes is better. Personally I don’t agree, but I think there can be many diverse opinions around this. There are many different kinds of referenda, and we shouldn’t treat them all equally.

My recommendation to you is to try to open up your analysis to many different potential explanations of the data you see on-chain, rather than to move too quickly to one conclusion.

There are many reasons why someone might not vote on a referenda:

  • There isn’t a need to vote, because one side is winning/losing by too much
  • The topic may be outside the voter’s comfort zone or expertise
  • There may be a conflict of interest, and as DV, that is a specific provision that doesn’t apply to normal OpenGov voters
  • There is some unclarity in the proposal which leads to not being able to judge the benefit.
  • There are some votes where a DV voter may feel that they would not want to weigh in on with a delegated vote from the W3F, and instead let the community decide
  • A voter may prefer to engage deeply on fewer proposals rather than shallowly on many
  • A voter may simply choose not to vote

I can tell you it takes a lot of time to really hear and understand the voices in the ecosystem. Especially the people who are not well known or have a public presence or are in the “in group.” The more votes you make, the less time you have to hear from the ecosystem and delve into each proposal below the surface.

I personally believe that our job as DV is not about amplifying our own voice, or our own group’s voice, but about seeking out the voices that are not heard today and making sure they have representation, avoiding groupthink, and thinking long term for the Polkadot treasury, so that the Polkadot community can be at its strongest in decision-making.

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First, this is a mischaracterization: I didn’t say anything is better than anything else.

But I do think that people should vote (and of course be informed enough to do so responsibly) and that those who don’t have time or inclination to do so should delegate their voting power to those who do, and, well, DV is a delegation program. Starting from that premise (a premise others might not share, of course, but it’s one I hold firmly), then it behooves DV recipients to be highly active in governance on behalf of their delegators (including the Web 3 Foundation, but presumably others, since another rationale of the DV program is to highlight people to whom others might consider delegating their voting power).

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I believe that the active governance participation analysis here includes the period before becoming a DV. I think it’s unreasonable to use this data to define the enthusiasm and responsibility of the DVs. PolkaWorld rarely voiced its opinions before becoming a DV, but this does not mean that it has not actively participated in governance and helped with the long-term development of the Polkadot community after becoming a DV.

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Ah, this might be true–maybe @sourabhniyogi can confirm? Colorful Notion is the team behind the (super useful!) Dune integration. (Sorry for the ping!)


Voting is the final result of a process, where the act of voting in itself is merly a technical task. Rather than looking at the end results, it can be a good idea to explore what is happening before and understand the underlying dynamics.

Statistics and metrics come very handy if the processes’s flow are considered as well. Many actions are taken by people who do not have voting power, but work on helping those who have. Some cases are more complicated and some are straighforward. There are big differences. Have you considered that?

I think the DV program does well in activating the community and giving chance to non-whales to actually excercise power like never before. I believe it is not about the number of votes, but about the quality and impact.

I am Stanley from the Colorful Notion team, responsible for the Decentralized Voice Dashboard. Currently, the dashboard for Polkadot and Kusama Decentralized Voices only includes votes that have been effective after becoming a DV, meaning only the votes with DV’s 6M voting power are counted.

I will add analysis from before becoming a DV in a short period of time. If there are any other effective indicators or information, please let me know, if possible I will try to incorporate them into the dashboard, enable people to analyze DV from different perspectives.


I don’t know how the dashboard gets its data, but if I had to guess it just runs a convictionVoting.votingFor query and then does some sloppy filtering. These findings are totally inaccurate.

When I received my delegations on Kusama, referenda 346, 347, 348, 349, and 350 were ongoing, all of which I voted on.

In fact, I have voted on all referenda on Kusama since 346, except referendum 356 (couldn’t make a decision in time). That’s 22 voted on out of 23. Not 6 like this post claims. And if you’re only counting the DV tracks, there have been 10 referenda (346, 352, 353, 356, 358, 360, 363, 365, 366, 367), 9 of which I’ve voted on. Out of these 10, 6 are currently ongoing - I’m guessing that’s where the dashboard gets its 6.

I suggest everyone take this analysis with a grain of salt until the dashboard corrects their data analytics. To see the history of all my votes on Kusama, please refer to my voting history spreadsheet which I update regularly.



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Hello Adam Steeber, I regret that our data has caused you confusion. In our dashboard, the data for voting relies primarily on actual statistics on the blockchain, and there are some aspects that might be confusing.Let me explain here.

Firstly, in terms of the entire OpenGov voting process, we can divide voting into direct voting and delegated voting. For general delegates, there’s no issue. That is, as long as the delegate is in line with the track’s proposals before undelegating, the voting power will be added to the delegate. However, the method for calculating delegation voting power on-chain is quite peculiar. This is because the voting power of a delegate actually traces back to the direct votes before the delegation. In other words, as long as the proposal’s end date is after the date of delegation, the delegate’s voting power will be added to that direct vote.

Let’s consider a normal scenario. Suppose John delegated 10k of his voting rights on the track “BigSpender” to Ada on February 26, 2024. If Ada votes on Proposal A (categorized as “BigSpender”) on March 2, 2024, then the 10k voting rights granted by John will be added to Proposal A.

On the other hand, consider a less intuitive example. Suppose John delegated 10k of his voting rights on the track “SmallSpender” to Ada on February 26, 2024, but Ada had voted on Proposal B (categorized as “SmallSpender”) on February 22, 2024. Initially, I would think that the delegate would not be added to Proposal A. However, if the closing date of Proposal A is February 27, 2024, then the 10k voting rights granted by John will be added to Proposal B.

In the Decentralized Voice project, only SmallSpender, BigSpender, MediumSpender, BigTipper, SmallTipper—these five different tracks—are delegated to the representatives. Hence, it is why all other tracks are to be excluded.

The discrepancy you previously observed between the records you saw and your actual records is due to the query not being refreshed, meaning you were looking at records from approximately 6 days ago. Therefore, the entire voting record would be 10-4=6 (since the records from 6 days ago do not include 363, 365, 366, 367). If you wish to see the latest situation (which may have up to an hour’s delay), please click the refresh icon at the bottom right corner of the table or chart to refresh the data.

Looking at the actual data, we have organized your and polkaworld’s voting records and performed a statistical analysis, and our records match the actual voting records exactly.

Furthermore, regarding the analysis of whether participation in Decentralized Voice will affect the outcome of proposals, I have also compared our data with the actual data previously, and our data highly matches the actual on-chain statistical data (with only a very few minor discrepancies), you can see the result right here.

We have included explanations in the dashboard, including the meaning of our statistical values. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.