SanchoNet: The Gateway to Community Governance

7 min

Collaboration and consensus building are key themes leading Cardano forward. The road to Voltaire is an exciting one, with many processes and hurdles to overcome requiring community wide engagement. By empowering ada holders with the proper resources and opportunities to engage in the protocol’s development, Cardano continues to hit its milestones and is setting new industry standards for on-chain governance.

SanchoNet at a Glance

With the community at the center of Cardano’s progress, SanchoNet brings ada holders and community building together through an array of governance actions and new capabilities designed to optimize Cardano for community on-chain governance. Launched this summer, SanchoNet serves as a controlled testbed for ada holders to experience firsthand and provide feedback on the on-chain, technical specifications of Cardano Improvement Protocol (CIP) 1694. The community is encouraged to take on specific roles, such as test-ada holder, stake pool operator (SPO), and delegate representative (DRep), to test and improve on-chain governance mechanisms.

SanchoNet is being rolled out in phases to give the community enough time and freedom to experiment with and offer feedback on all of the CIP-1694 features and tools necessary to fostering Cardano’s future governance framework.

Consensus Building Through Phases

Good governance is complex. There is a lot of ideation, research, experimentation, and refinement that’s required in building an inclusive, secure, decentralized platform. Instrumental to Cardano’s growth is the careful consideration of all of Cardano’s developmental components. Here, each of SanchoNet’s six phases are deliberate and designed to give testers access and control over Cardano’s entry into the next era of governance.

Initially using a Command Line Interface (CLI) for actions, early engagement with SanchoNet requires a high level of technical competence. SanchoNet is currently in Phase 5. In later stages of the testnet program, the implementation of more user-friendly graphical user interfaces (GUI) will broaden out the participation opportunity to a wider, non-technical audience and ultimately, every ada holder:

  • Phase 1 of SanchoNet welcomes users to submit new constitutional governance actions and for SPOs to vote on said actions. This underscores crucial functions of participatory governance and the role that democratic decision making will play in enhancing Cardano’s foundational tenets moving forward. This level of decision-making and self-governance lays the building blocks for Voltaire and puts great power in the hands of the community, speaking truth to the notion of for the people, by the people – a cornerstone of Cardano’s purpose.
  • Phase 2 focuses on stimulating community participation by enabling ada holders to register themselves as DReps, delegate voting power to other DReps, and/or review and vote on governance actions as DReps. This degree of engagement aims to build the community’s trust and confidence in Cardano’s commitment to empowering ada holders with full representative and decision-making authority. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to represent the collective interests of the community as DReps, a feature of CIP-1694 that’s unique to Cardano.
  • Phase 3 centers around the submission and voting on info governance actions, These actions are considered the most straightforward, as they lack any on-chain implications. In essence, `info` actions function much like a polling feature.
  • Phase 4 introduces Update Committee, motion of no-confidence, and treasury withdrawal actions. With these updates, it is now possible to elect Constitutional Committee members, replace one or many committee members and express a no-confidence in the committee through a governance action.This phase showcases how users can actively participate in the community and the process for democratic decision making – key components that reinforce the values of participatory governance under CIP-1694. Once elected, CC members gain the ability to cast their votes on actions that require their approval. The process of submitting Treasury withdrawal actions materializes the protocol's capacity to fund its future development.
  • Phase 5 marks a significant milestone by integrating governance actions for protocol parameter updates. This development represents one of the most captivating aspects of governance actions thus far. It empowers the community to finely tune 45 protocol parameters, fulfilling the promise of enabling the community to take control of the protocol, shaping its behavior and future according to their vision.

Additionally, this update will introduce extended key support, which improves the user experience for those utilizing Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) key generation. It will also prioritize improving queries to ledger and governance states, empowering users to programmatically retrieve essential data from the blockchain.

  • Phase 6 sets the foundation for the future by introducing governance actions for hardfork initiation. This is a particularly exciting development, as it paves the way for the community to collectively agree on when the protocol is ready for a new era, enabling significant technical enhancements and updates to be seamlessly integrated and democratically decided by the community.

SanchoNet is the gateway to an efficient community governance framework. It’s a safe and secure testing environment that exemplifies the basis of CIP-1694 by championing community building and democratic consensus. The community is strongly encouraged to participate in SanchoNet and contribute to Cardano’s developmental trajectory. Only with community involvement can we identify and address any issues and learning gaps – crucial to ushering in the next era of governance on Cardano.

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