Accumulate Governance

Written by TJ

On July 1, 2022

Accumulate developers are announcing the release of the Accumulate official Governance docs, which include the network’s constitution, its list of stakeholders, and the various rules and policies that govern both the protocol and the community. 

We’ve summarized some of these key policies below as well as Accumulate’s unique value proposition as it relates to blockchain governance. 

Accumulate’s Governance Process

At a high level, Accumulate combines traditional and novel approaches to blockchain governance in order to achieve optimal decentralized decision-making while maintaining a solid vision and clear direction for the community and ecosystem. 

Constitution

Accumulate’s Governance docs begin with its constitution, which is constructed on the belief that a space must be created where hundreds and even thousands of participants can participate in the validation of the protocol and where large groups of decentralized participants can coordinate and interface with a world of many decentralized and centralized entities.

The core components of the constitution include the ACME token, workflows & committees, and stakeholders. 

ACME Token

ACME is the Accumulate network’s native token. Here are some basic facts about ACME: 

  • ACME has a hard limit of 500 million tokens.
  • Roughly 200 million ACME will exist at the activation of Accumulate’s Mainnet in Q3 2022.
  • The unissued token pool will hold roughly 300 million ACME at activation.
  • The protocol follows a Burn-and-Mint Equilibrium (BME) model, where any ACME that is burned to perform work on Accumulate are returned to the unissued token pool.
  • A token budget is computed roughly once a month using an annual minting rate of 16% of the tokens in the unissued pool.
  • The inflation rate halves roughly every 4 years (greater utility as measured by the burn rate of ACME stretches out the halving rate).
  • Newly minted tokens from the unissued pool are primarily distributed to protocol validators and stakers.

Workflows & Committees 

At the core of the Accumulate governance process are committees. Committees are selected by stakers and validators to manage workflows that are critical to the functioning of a blockchain ecosystem, including:

  • Protocol Oversight and Operations — Management of the protocol, operation of the protocol, facilitation of efforts between workflows, and vetting of stakeholders.
  • Operations, Staking, and Operations — Manage operations of the staking service and other services that support the protocol.
  • Core and Core Service Development — Code development for the protocol core, code implementing protocol services, and management of Accumulate Improvement Proposals (AIPs).
  • Ecosystem Development — Grants, Community building, outreach, coordination of integrations with devices, companies, protocols, other communities, etc.
  • Exchanges and Liquidity — Negotiate with exchanges, provide liquidity in decentralized markets, etc.
  • Marketing — recruitment of users, publicity, organizing hackathons, conventions and conferences, and one annual Accumulate conference.

Each workflow is assigned its own budget in ACME tokens to carry out operations. 

Stakeholders

Accumulates community consist of the following core stakeholders: 

  • Token/ACME holders: those who hold an arbitrary amount of ACMEs or other Accumulate tokens.
  • Users: those who interact with applications on Accumulate.
  • Integrators: those who write applications that run on (e.g. DeFi, Identity, anchoring, etc) or create tooling that interacts (wallets, SDKs, applications) with Accumulate.
  • Node Operators: those who run nodes that propagate and validate blocks and transactions.
  • AIP Authors: those who propose changes to the Accumulate protocol in the form of Accumulate Improvement Proposals (AIPs).
  • Core Developers: those who maintain the core network, node software as well as various language implementations.

Different Classes of validators 

As a multipurpose and multi-faceted blockchain protocol, the Accumulate network caters to different types of users, developers, and even validators. The following validator groups are currently known and part of the Accumulate protocol (all participants must stake ACME to participate) :

  • Node Validators for the Directory Validator Network, and the Block Validator Networks (protocol)
  • Data Server Validators (core service)
  • Staking Validators (core service)
  • NFT Validators (core service)
  • ACME stakers (community)

Domains of Governance

Domains refer to key areas of focus that the Accumulate network allocates resources towards in order to build and maintain the ecosystem. Governance is split between domains, with each domain benign assigned a separate budget.

The domains are:

  • Core Development: This includes all layer 1 development in the protocol, the Accumulate Improvement Proposals (AIP), as well as any SDKs/Clients exposing direct functionality of the Accumulate Protocol. Main stakeholders: Core Developers, AIP Authors.
  • Application / Solution Development: This includes any software solution or open-source product not directly or minimally impacting the core layer of the protocol. Main stakeholders: Integrators, Users.
  • Outreach, Community, and Marketing: Main stakeholders: Token holders, Node operators, Core Developers.
  • Exchange: Main stakeholders: Token holders.
  • Overall Governance, Tokenomics, and Strategy: Main stakeholders: Node operators, Token holders, Integrators, Core Developers.

Consensus 

While Accumulate is a proof of stake blockchain, the consensus mechanism that the network has elected to run at the onset is Proof of Authority. This is done in order to fast-track the launch of the network with the goal of transitioning to full proof of stake with voting and slashing capabilities within a few months.  

The main difference between PoS and PoA is that PoA relies on a group of trusted persons or entities who do not stake tokens but instead stake their reputation in order to validate transactions on the chain. Validator nodes are tied to the identity of the validator, meaning they can experience direct and permanent harm to their reputation if they confirm a fraudulent transaction or fail to keep their nodes online. 

PoA is normally seen as a more centralized alternative to PoS because it relies on the assumption of trust. However, Accumulate plans to complete the development requirements needed to transaction PoS within 3-6 months of launching its mainnet, which would allow individual token holders to validate transactions and participate in governance.  

Those who hold the Accumulate networks native token ACME during the 3-6 month transition period from PoA to PoS will receive yields of up to 24% APR as long as they bond with a validator. 

Grant Pools & Governance

The goal of the accumulate grant system is to support projects that wish to build on top of Accumulate and help expand the ecosystem. 

The vision for the grant system includes one that is:

Structured and flexible at the same time: Provides some form of oversight to best benefit the Accumulate Network, but is still open for all parties to participate.

Efficient: Establishes committees or specific domains with knowledgeable committee members to guide and decide on grant proposals.

Transparent: Providing transparency on the committee member election process, the grant proposal decision process, the grant proposal voting process, and the grant execution and payment process.

The grant pool will initially be allocated 60 million ACME tokens. It will then be funded annually by a certain amount of ACME tokens as determined by a Governance committee. Around 20% of unissued tokens will be dedicated to the grant pool once Accumulate migrates to proof of stake. 

There are 3 types of grant programs on Accumulate: 

  1. Accumulate Open Calls
    1. For funding core development initiatives such as AIP’s as well as ecosystem initiatives such as building  Applications, Tools, Integrations, Solutions, Products, etc., on top of Accumulate.
  2. Grant Requests from the community
    1. Can be submitted by anyone and can be about anything that benefits Accumulate.
    2. Is evaluated by the Ecosystem or Business committee which decides if it should be put up for voting by network stakeholders. 
  3. Fast-track Grant Requests
    1. These are typically meant for smaller and more time-sensitive grant requests, such as speaking opportunities, hackathons, subscriptions, etc.
    2. The business committee evaluates these proposals.

Grants are managed by the following committees, each of which shares a portion of the grant pools budget: 

  • Governance committee 25%
  • Core Development committee 35%
  • Ecosystem committee 15%
  • Business committee 25%

Overall, Accumulates governance process aims to combine the best processes observed in DAOs for coordinating community members while scaling decision-making by empowering stakeholders through committees and workflows to drive initiatives within their area of expertise. 


To learn more about our Governance framework for Accumulate, visit https://gitlab.com/accumulatenetwork/governance.

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