The Web4 Initiative: Decentralizing user powers and controls

Hey everyone!

We’re starting a new initiative which we term as “Web4”. Web4 is Web3 evolved. In Web3, we build decentralized blockchains. We further decentralize user powers and controls (i.e. the governance system) in Web4. Currently, Web4 is a discussion platform:

  • We want to make sure there’s a place if people want to discuss valid criticisms. This is important to make sure we don’t become an echo chamber community.
  • We keep an open mind to discuss issues surrounding on-chain governance, and won’t shy away studying anything that may work better.
  • We don’t consider plutocracy to be optimal. We would consider systems that will actually encourage holders, developers and builders alike to participate, develop and build. We don’t consider things to be “working as expected” if it clearly has impact problems, if it clearly discourages participation or brings hostility into the ecosystem.

Our current focus is on studying the various aspects related to the fundamental issues of on-chain governance – game theoritic attacks, participation and the vote-by-feet problem, non-representativeness, etc.

If you are interested, you are welcome to join our initiative community:


@sorpaas Thank you for your positivity and taking the initiative!

Can you highlight what excites you about the { segwit2x, Cardano CIP-1964, Decred, L2 or off-chain } mechanisms you point to, and how they solve some of the fundamental issues in Polkadot governance you allude to?

We’ll publish a report shortly on this. But note that the list you give is only used as examples. It does not mean the initiative will actually study them in details. We also don’t know exact solutions yet.

In brief, we believe that there are at least two fundamental assumptions that Polkadot has got wrong regarding on-chain governance:

  1. That coin voters automatically have the best interest of Polkadot as a whole.
  2. That it’s in coin voters best interest to participate in on-chain governance, if they hold coins.

The first assumption breaks because of game theory, of coin voters’ two conflicting incentives and their obvious priorities. The second assumption breaks because of the vote-by-feet possibility.

Our initial analysis shows that we have some methods, via off-chain signals, to partially counteract 1). We also have something in draft that will make it easier for voters to decide on things (we’re essentially always asking two things at once in most referendums right now, and it’s possible to design the governance system so that we ask the first thing in advance, and only then the second thing), which also counteracts 1). We don’t have any concrete solutions for 2), or perhaps it’s impossible to fix. We don’t know yet.

There are also issues with bribery, which I’ll show you the game theory analysis as well – in short, it’s in every whale’s interest to engage in bribery or self voting, as long as the public cannot easily find out (not finding out by the public is actually extremely easy, if you know how). They also don’t have strong incentives to call out other whales doing bribery, as long as everyone “stays in line”. For this part, we also don’t have any concrete proposals yet.

Anyway, we’ll publish some reports later on this, so long as I have time to write them, so that you can examine the game theory analysis yourself.

I still believe they do.

It’s just that what each individual or collective thinks is best for Polkadot differs.
And, that’s natural. Humans have difference of opinions and different perspectives of looking at things.

That’s what allows us to constructively work together and come to solutions.

I choose to believe that a majority of token holders do have the best interests of the network at heart.

Now, how aligned those interests are with the rest of the community is a different conversation altogether.

@sorpaas Here is a Web4 Relay Chain road map, which advocates an Optimistic Ethereum Rollup FORK of the Kusama Relay Chain. It became clear that there is no route to do this in Kusama itself. I think given the 2.0 roadmap becoming clear, Parity decentralization, now is a good time

Since its hyper EVM-centric I think you will be able to turn it into a more realistic engineering plan and combine it with your on-chain governance ideas.

Anyone who wants to develop this idea can join the above Matrix discussion room. Thank you in advance for your positivity! We love you!

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