Increase Mirror Governance Quorum & MIR Deposit

Overview

Recently, more community members in Mirror Protocol have been engaging with Mirror governance to make suggestions and initiate changes for good causes. This is facilitated by the decentralized open source architecture of Mirror governance, allowing easy participation by the user community. However, this open access has also allowed malicious actors easy access and undue influence on the Mirror community reserve. An example of this was poll 177, as shown below:

https://twitter.com/zaazzz_/status/1470919457891659784?s=21

Although another user with an interest in good governance prevented poll 177 from passing, some governance rules should be modified to make it more difficult for bad actors to propose malicious polls and to discourage spamming.

To learn more about how governance polls work on the Mirror Protocol, please refer to this link: https://docs.mirror.finance/protocol/governance#polls

Suggestion #1: Increase Mirror Governance proposal deposit to 10,000 MIR

Currently, to submit a poll on the Mirror Protocol, the proposer of the poll must pay a 100 MIR ‘deposit’ until the end of the voting period (currently set to a week). The deposit is returned to the proposer when the voting period ends if the voting quorum has been met. If the voting quorum is not reached, the deposit is forfeit and distributed to the MIR token stakers.

Having the initial deposit set to 100 MIR was successful in increasing community participation (we’ve reached 180+ polls in about a year), but this low entry deposit also means that random or malicious polls are low-cost bets for malicious proposers.

This proposal suggests increasing the proposal deposit from 100 MIR to 10,000 MIR to create an economic disincentive for antagonistic or malicious polls.

Suggestion #2: Increase governance voting quorum to 30%

In Mirror V1, a lack of participation in the governance voting was an issue, and it was difficult for some polls to reach the current voting quorum of 10%. In Mirror V2, a voting reward mechanism was created and the 10% quorum became much easier to reach.

However, Mirror V2 lets any poll be deemed ‘valid’ with respect to the deposit return as long as it meets the 10% quorum requirement. This means that malicious poll proposers take only a small risk with their deposited MIR tokens, even when up to 90% of the total staked MIR is not participating in the decision making process. The low 10% quorum requirement makes it easier for malicious actors to retrieve their deposited tokens after a poll ends, regardless of the poll result.

This proposal therefore suggests increasing the voting quorum from 10% to 30% to increase the barrier for malicious or irrelevant polls to qualify for deposit return.

Conclusion and additional thoughts

The two suggestions will be submitted in two separate governance polls. It is possible that these changes might lead to less activity in Mirror governance, but at the same time, any proposal that could result in big changes to the Mirror Protocol should be considered carefully and the community should be more aware of the results and details.

Regardless of the outcome of the two suggestions above, it is still suggested that any proposal on the Mirror Protocol meet the following guidelines before uploading:

  • Use the Mirror Forum: Forum is the main place for Mirror community participants to share their thoughts and opinions, and it does not cost anything to engage in these conversations. Increasing awareness for your suggested issues and learning what the community thinks of your suggestions before uploading a poll will increase community involvement and make your proposal more likely to reach the voting quorum.
  • Clarity on proposal results: Some of the recent polls that were uploaded on Mirror Protocol did not clearly portray the changes expected after the passing of the poll. The description of any poll should be as transparent as possible for anyone participating in Mirror governance to allow them make the best voting decision possible.

Transfers of community funds should requiere a much higher quorum!

As an example, amount requested should be proportional to the quórum required:
0.1% of community MIR → 20% quorum
1% → 30% quórum
10% → 40% quórum
100% → 50% quórum

2 Likes

I don’t think increasing the deposit is such a good idea considering the fraudulent polls are coming from accounts worth millions and the polls issuing warnings are coming from small accounts.

All this would do in my opinion, is allow the large accounts to keep creating polls which would reach quorum and allow them to get their MIR back in any case, while preventing smaller accounts from being able to issue warnings on the governance page. In essence then, a large account holder would need to deposit 10,000 MIR to issue a warning against the fraud poll.

Even increasing quorum might still allow the fraudulent pollster to get their deposit back while harming those issuing warnings as we saw with polls 177, 178, and 179 where 177 received many more votes due to the warnings issued by 178 and 179 (who would not reach the 30% quorum in this case while 177 did). The 30% quorum would also make it very difficult to whitelist and register parameters.

It may be a good idea though to increase deposits to 1,000 or 10,000+ specifically for community spends since this is where we see the scams being deployed most to steal from the community pool, while leaving the remainder at 100 MIR so people can still issue warnings against scammers.

Ultimately just like mAssets need to get whitelisted before being registered, community spends should go through the same process. In addition, if they fail the initial effort to be whitelisted, the depositor should lose their MIR regardless of whether it meets quorum.

1 Like

Current Mirror governance contract doesn’t allow specifying deposits or any parameters by each poll type.
But by increasing deposit, we are putting bad actors in higher economical risk if the poll fails to reach the quorum (they would lose a lot more money than 100 MIR).

I think per poll type parameter could be something that should be included in the next versions in the future

This sounds like a pretty good idea.
Although the contract could get more complicated, this type of mechanism based on each poll’s funding size or the impact to the protocol makes sense.

I know that deposits cannot be specified by poll type, just an idea for V3. Considering these bad actors have millions at their disposal, I don’t think losing $200 or $2,000 will deter them if they can gain a a few million. If they were small bad actors, yes it would deter them.

Unfortunately, there are not many tools are our disposal to prevent the scams besides issuing warnings on the governance page. If increased to 1,000 MIR to warn of a bad actor, my concern is people may not be able to issue warnings and the bad actor gets their poll through since they generally have a head start before the warnings are issued.

2 Likes