Introducing Governance

Even before our very beginning, it was clear for us at ethbox that the community had a very special place in our hearts and in the way we engineer our project. From the community, for the community.

Keeping an attitude that’s generally open for suggestions and discussion is one thing, but there is nothing more directly democratic than getting our community involved through open, public voting on certain matters that set the course and direction of our project’s development.

Once more, ethbox wouldn’t be ethbox if we weren’t bringing a certain unique twist to the whole thing: We elaborated a way that strives to balance each user’s individual power behind a vote, and the actual amount of tokens that users have when voting.

As with our staking program, users don’t have to lock tokens anywhere in order to participate in governance voting.

How Does It Work?

Governance votings are held on ethbox.org, with anyone holding 1 EBOX or above at a certain point in time being eligible to vote. This certain point in time is arbitrarily chosen by the ethbox team for each voting, meaning that a snapshot of the blockchain from one to few days before the voting will be used to determine the list of eligible voters.

Subjects for voting and options to be chosen from are either proposed solely by the ethbox team, or as a joint effort between ethbox and the community.

Community members are always invited to reflect on what’s going on with our project and bring up new ideas and directions, which will then be discussed and can eventually lead to a governance voting being held.

Votings go on for a limited time (usually a few days), after which the results are evaluated and presented transparently. Each user gets a single vote that cannot be changed or withdrawn once cast.

Ethereum Signatures

Best of all: Governance is absolutely free to use and guarantees manipulation-free voting by using Ethereum signatures.

When casting a vote, each voter is required to sign a specific message. This is absolutely free of cost, yet utilizes the Ethereum blockchain’s impenetrable security just as much as a regular transaction.

MetaMask asking for signature when casting a vote

The Ethereum-signed message ensures that each individual voter can only cast one single valid vote. In the event that someone were to trespass our systems with the intention of manipulating the voting outcome by changing users’ votes or injecting fraudulent votes, this will be instantly detected. If an Ethereum-signed message is tampered with in any way, this becomes immediately apparent, and the vote will not be counted.

Weighted Voting

Aiming to provide a fair and democratic approach to the way the ethbox community is involved in project-related decisions, the initial idea was to weight user’s votes 1:1 by tokens held, linearly. This would mean that the vote of someone holding 10,000 EBOX would count like the votes of two people each holding 5,000 EBOX.

This seems reasonable at first, but when you realize that it would take 20 (!) individuals holding 5,000 EBOX each to realize a 50–50 voting result versus one single person holding 100,000 EBOX, it quickly becomes clear that a linear model would not honor the value of the individual, the human being that consciously decided to go with ethbox and believe in what we’re doing.

In order to get as close as possible to that actual “power to each individual” fairness that our project stands for in everything we do, we came up with a different model. Instead of weighting votes linearly (x EBOX = x votes, 1:1), we find this formula to be the solution that best balances individual power and the significance of tokens held:

It might not be clear where we’re going with this yet, so let’s have a look at this graph that portrays the votes / voting weight a user gets in relation to how many tokens that user holds:

Graph for ethbox vote weighting function f(x)

As we see, from 0 EBOX to 5,000 EBOX, each token counts as a single vote (1:1). Above 5,000 EBOX, the linear function transitions to a logarithmic one, meaning that it continuously grows without a top limit, but also flattens gradually.

We defined the curve in such a way that a voter holding 50,000 EBOX tokens at the specific snapshot moment gets the voting power of 25,000 votes. A voter holding 100,000 EBOX tokens is attributed 33,490.6 votes. This means that it takes roughly 6.7 voters with 5,000 EBOX vs 1 voter with 100,000 EBOX to attain a 50–50 voting tie.

The mathematic formula used here is openly subject to discussion, and we at ethbox are willing to adapt and improve in the way that feels the most balanced and fair to our community members.

Transparency

Before each voting, the list of eligible voters including their exact token balances in a specific snapshot moment is published on ethbox.org. Users can see beforehand whether they can participate in a voting.

After each voting, users are able to see who voted for what, with how many tokens, and how their vote was weighted, therefore enabling anyone to double-check that their vote went through correctly and as intended.

Internal ethbox wallets containing supplies of EBOX token (for paying staking rewards, liquidity providing bonus etc) are not eligible for governance votings.

The integrity and validity of data used for generating the eligible voters list can be verified at any time using blockchain explorers such as Etherscan, and each voter’s actual / weighted voting power can be calculated using the formula above.

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