Voting Power Tied to Taxation

Hey all!

So in the US citizens are taxed non uniformly, but given uniform voting power. On Polkadot people are taxed uniformly (transaction fees) but given non uniform voting power. Both of these feel a bit off to me, as they’re each essentially non representative of the amount people contribute to a system.

Would it be possible to make voting power on Polkadot commensurate with the amount payed in transaction fees (over some interval I suppose)? Then possibly in addition increase transaction fees for accounts with higher DOT holdings?

I feel this could be a solution worth thinking about while we’re still waiting on a robust proof of personhood solution. As higher holders could in theory make transactions from a low holding account, however they’d be giving up their voting rights to do so. Which maybe is fair anyway. Kind of like an opt-in representation.

Would love to get some thoughts on this/have people poke some holes in the idea. Or just hear what people have to say in general.

Fees are not taxes, they are payment for service.
On the blockchain, individuals do not exist, only tokens. Voting power is uniform among each token times its conviction.

Does no amount of the fees go to the treasury? And if not then a bit of an amendment to the idea - the excess fees charged commensurate to dot holding go to the treasury.

I agree with you that currently only tokens exist, but eventually we’ll move towards an identity system surely. The ‘only tokens’ approach seems to be more of a ‘it’s what we can do now’ and less of a foundational philosophy for governance.

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We measure the amount people have contributed to the system by the number of DOT tokens they hold.
Find a way to get paid in dot, or buy some dot, and then (this is the key bit) hold it. Proof of personhood changes nothing. This isn’t a high time preference, one-person one-vote democracy. This is a low time preference plutarchy.

Problem is everybody figures their contribution is worth more than the other guys. The guy that hacks together buggy code on Github thinks he is worth more than the guy that makes trendy promotional videos, and vice-versa. Neither of them makes very many any on-chain transactions either way compared to the yolo defi guy who makes hundreds of transactions a day. But he is here today, gone tomorrow.

You think so? I have to imagine the psychological friction produced by a plutocracy amongst it’s citizens is far to high to be sustainable. If Polkadot succeeds in becoming a global governing body, and a large population is using it, it’s hard to imagine this mode of governance flying for long.

I do agree that currently Polkadot isn’t used regularly enough for this proposed strategy, and that it would muddy the waters of ‘who has contributed most’ but I think this issue diminishes in the long run as adoption and use increases.

Polkadot is not a people democracy and Polkadot will not become a global governing body. It’s just a really cool computer on the internet.

If the Treasury holds 1T USD in value with one stakeholder owning 99% of all tokens and a million degens holding 1% of the tokens, those million degens don’t have a right to decide over the fate of the trillion. They don’t have enough skin in the game.

Blockchains are self-sovereign entities and should not be prone to the corruption of 10_000 off-chain bureaucrats delivering proof-of-personhoods for a nice bribe.

There are blockchains that are experimenting with proof-of-personhood as governance mechanism though.


Another thought: I suppose there may be issues with the proposed method in that it incentivizes transactions. Open to other avenues of taxation collection, more just like the idea of contribution and voting power being proportional.

Though I suppose that could be a knob to turn on how ‘hot’ you want the economy to run.

Agreed that the solution for proof of personhood shouldn’t be centralized. Hoping for something more mathematical and decentralized to be discovered. Though not my field.

Under the proposed solution the degens still wouldn’t have more voting power than the 99% holder. I believe you’re referencing a 1 person 1 vote voting system, but I’m against this as well so we align here.

Whether everything will go decentralized is a matter of philosophy, but we do know that decentralized systems make good infrastructure for common good systems (identity, finance, policy, policing). All of which are provided by the government.

Traditional governments are starting to show their age and the infrastructure they utilize is bogging them down. Simultaneously a new tool for decentralized systems (blockchain) is arising and it’s faster, more efficient, and more expressive. Also blockchains are global first, with everyone from all nations seemingly happily working hand in hand towards it’s progress, whereas traditional state actors are struggling to unify under differing geopolitical concerns and ideologies. Take all that forward and I’d say there’s a good chance a blockchain forms a global governing body.

Not to mention the digital world is slowly eating the physical, which will only give a digital nation more and more control over time.

There have been a number of discussions about reining in the influence of whales in the ecosystem. Setting aside the desirability of doing so, any change that attenuates whales’ power would have to be passed in governance, which means whales would have to support it, so I suspect it’s vanishingly unlikely that any proposal that intends to suppress whales’ power will be enacted.

Again, this isn’t a judgment call and I’m expressing no preference, just thinking pragmatically here.


Polkadot doesn’t have citizens. Polkadot has owners, builders, maintainers and users who are free to participate or leave to as they choose. It’s all voluntary.

Governments have citizens. Governments leverage their monopoly on the use of force to control their citizens and force them to participate. It’s all coercion.

Polkadot respects the property rights of its owners. The biggest owners get the biggest say. If the owners ignore the desires of the users, builders and maintainers, those people will all leave and the owners will go broke.

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