Please consider adding contextual information about what this referendum is about so that the community is aware and can vote accordingly. - Anaelle - Parity, Polkassembly
One of the aims of Referendum #234 is to raise awareness about the off-chain nature of proposal data and the downstream dependencies and centralisation created when apps such as Nova and Subsquare read title and description from Polkassembly, rather than directly from the chain state.
In this regard it has been successful, as Polkassembly will soon read system remarks and add this info to proposal descriptions - a first step that can be expanded further as detailed later in the post.
It was also a chance to test out a simple version of a fully on-chain invoice that can help provide longer term assurances for contributing teams in terms of data availability.
The associated invoice relates to retroactive payment of 12 months common good research and development in the ecosystem, of which this post constitutes an ongoing part.
Currently individuals and teams submit proposals to the common good treasuries beginning with a discussion post that is hosted in a governance UI (a publishing platform) such as Polkassembly or Subsquare.
The post serves as a marketing document for an idea, concept or early stage project.
Those logged in via email or Web3 address can share their opinions on the proposal and this feedback, alongside other comments received on shows such as Attempts At Governance constitutes an off-chain discussion phase since data is stored in Polkassembly’s databases, where it is then read by other ecosystem apps.
Once a team has taken on board feedback and feels confident in their proposal, they move to the on-chain phase constructing extrinsics using the following process in OpenGov and requesting funds for work yet to be done.
Since 2020, the Kusama and Polkadot treasuries have spent c. $50m on ecosystem development.
Due to concerns around spending the culture in Kusama has shifted through both off-chain social convention and on-chain voting towards teams submitting requests for retroactive payments.
Unlike funding for work yet to exist, retroactive payments relate to work already completed or nearing completion.
As a result, retroactive payments don’t rely on a convincing pitch, nor on discussion, since the value delivered can be objectively assessed on its own merits.
People either appreciate the work, or they don’t, a distinction that aligns with the binary outcomes of referendums which require a simple majority to pass.
A further benefit of retroactive payments is they can be more easily standardised into fully on-chain forms.
Perhaps the primary value proposition of a blockchain is to offer long term assurances as to the availability, consistency and provenance of data.
In the case of individuals and organisations requesting payments from a treasury, there is huge value in knowing that payments and also the associated context is preserved for the forseeable future for legal and accounting reasons.
Although it is possible to pin data to IPFS, it is preferable to contain relevant data within the confines of the sovereign state to which the payment relates, rather than creating a secondary dependency.
The vast majority of Substrate’s basic super-powers remain underused and unexplored.
One such super-power are system remarks - a tool better known in the ecosystem as the hack that launched RMRK .
Remarks are like notes, like graffiti on the blocks. The information is not stored in the chain’s trie, but along blocks as input. Remarks are no-effect extrinsics (external inputs), which means they do not alter the chain’s storage, but are stored on the hard drive of the nodes alongside block records.
Two days ago I submitted a preimage via a single system remark function using the following calls:
I included the following text which was uploaded as .txt and then encoded into hex before being grafittied onto the chain state where it will exist as a permanent record.
Date: 12 July 2023 Proposal to: Kusama common good fund Summary: 12 months independent research and analysis Term: 1st August 2022 → 31st July 2023 Type: Applied Structure: Retroactive Approval: Simple Majority Detail: https://forum.polkadot.network/u/rich/activity KPIs: https://forum.polkadot.network/u?order=likes_received&period=all Comparable: Web3 foundation researcher salary Cost: £100k VAT: £20k Total: £120k Total USD: £130k Price: $23.89 (2023-07-12 16:01:06 (+UTC), Block #18758035) Total KSM: 5,441.461 Organisation: Decent Partners Structure: Hybrid UK LTD company #10153409 VAT number: 931912824 Project Partner(s) - Richard Welsh Onchain: jXC7ghviUzVcVySg3eD8prB7C9m6VzK6cw2MTyMTDTUye5q Offchain: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rfwelsh/ Conflicts of interest: none Governance: 1p1v Use of funds: - Working capital - Recoupable loans - Decision deposits - Voting Voting policy: Aye - directions Nay - domains Abstain - real or perceived conflict of interest Donations: FvrbaMus8iASyrQYkajQWDxsYvG5gb72PFPuvy8TvkFFVGn Patronage: patronage.shokunin.network/creators/FvrbaMus8iASyrQYkajQWDxsYvG5gb72PFPuvy8TvkFFVGn/?network=KUSAMA Contact: @lightbulbwelsh:decent.modular.im Website: https://decent.partners
Since it was asked elsewhere, KPIs links to an aggregate overview of the work to date, rather than a single defining metric. On their own, each of these metrics can gamed, but they do at least constitute concrete and targeted outcomes since a key objective of independent research is to challenge orthodoxy.
Since it is impossible (afaik) to preserve text formatting when encoding/decoding to/from hex, we can allow off-chain UIs to intepret a batch of system remarks to populate a standardised invoicing table and framework that exists entirely on-chain.
To look further ahead, should we begin to identify theses for what might constitute useful on-chain metrics, or batches of on-chain metrics, we can move towards funding requests that offer performance related bonuses and fees to effective ecosystem contributors.