Secret Network Governance: Best Practices

Hi everyone! I’ve been collaborating with members of the community to figure out best practices for governance of the Secret Network. It’s definitely a complex system! There are many interwoven processes of governance. Ultimately, our common goal is to build, research, and scale the adoption of privacy-first technologies for the public good.

The main goal for this post is to clarify expectations regarding off-chain participation that should happen before proposals are submitted on-chain. Norms will emerge over time, and hopefully, we can work together to make our system as effective and efficient as possible.

The above blog post introduces how to participate in the on-chain governance of Secret Network using the Cosmos SDK gov module. Anyone who holds SCRT is allowed to submit proposals and vote. For a better understanding of the process, refer to the diagram below.

Stages of a Governance Proposal

1. Develop the Idea

Before making any kind of proposal, consider evaluating your idea in terms of viability, feasibility and overall desirability. It can be helpful to privately ask members of the community if they would support your proposal.

2. Gather Community Feedback

Next, you should write a simple overview of what you’re proposing and share with the community on RocketChat and/or Discord to get initial feedback. Please include:

  • Your name(s) / project(s)
  • Benefit(s) to the Secret Network
  • Estimated number(s)
    • Community spend: amount of SCRT requested
    • Parameter change: suggested values

3) Off-Chain Proposal on the Forum

Engage the Secret Network community by sharing a complete draft of the proposal in order to begin further discussion. This draft should resemble an on-chain proposal. You should create a new topic in the ‘governance’ category of the Secret Forum. You might also want to share details in our weekly governance meetings, join our governance channel on RocketChat, and of course, you are free to promote on social media platforms like Twitter, where you can tag @SecretNetwork, @SCRT_Foundation, @EnigmaMPC, and other ecosystem participants.

Keep in mind, you may utilize on-chain signaling proposals to gauge the level of interest and support from governance participants (SCRT holders: validators & delegators).

4) Submit On-Chain Proposal

After (at least) one week of discussion off-chain, follow these instructions to submit your proposal to the Secret Network using the governance module. Once you do that, the content is immutable, so be sure to integrate all feedback beforehand. The community should have an opportunity to consider any proposal before it goes live on-chain. Ideally, there would be reasonable confidence in the outcome before anyone deposits their SCRT on your proposal.

Deposit Period

The deposit period is currently 7 days. If you submitted your transaction with the minimum deposit— currently 1000 SCRT—your proposal will immediately enter the voting period. If you didn’t submit the minimum deposit, there is an opportunity for others to show support by contributing (and risking) their SCRT on your behalf. You may contact stakeholders directly and request contributions openly.

Claiming Deposits: Users that deposited on a proposal can recover deposits if the proposal was not vetoed. Also, deposits are recoverable if the proposal never entered a voting period.

Voting Period

Communicate with stakeholders, i.e. validators & delegators, by posting on the forum and in the governance channel on RocketChat to ensure that:

  • they are aware of your proposal;
  • they can ask you any questions about your proposal; and
  • they are prepared to vote.

Note: Delegators inherit their validator’s vote if they do not submit a vote themselves.

Any voter may change their vote at any time before the voting period ends. It is possible to convince voters to change their votes. Remember that validators and delegators are not required to vote, and their attention is limited.

For info about how to submit votes, deposits and queries, please visit our documentation :bookmark_tabs:

Good luck :slightly_smiling_face: If you have any feedback or questions, let us know!


I think this is great, but many people lose sight of the fact that governance is really a replacement function of the Foundation of the chain. You really should research what a token’s Foundation has usually spent token funds to improve the chain. This track record of public spending should help guide what type of governance proposals will receive their support. You will need the Foundation of the token to support your proposal. Align with them and you’ll find that your proposal might have a better chance of passing than without that key political support.

Also, look at rejected governance proposals. If your proposal looks like something that was rejected recently, then it may be rejected as well.


Thank you for this post. I think it is great that constructive, valuable proposals which seem to effectively be grant requests are encouraged. As far as I can tell the mechanisms seem sound and the off-chain proposal discussions valuable. The additional suggestions by “Promise” make sense.

As I understand it these proposals are purely governance related and not development related. Regardless of what aspect of the protocol is to be improved or developed it would be good to establish the roadmap. In other words the strategic direction so that any proposal can be judged against it.

Without such a roadmap the proposals submitted are likely to be diverse as distinct from focused. That is not to say that fresh initiatives are unwelcome, quite the opposite. The important thing is to establish both a framework and a direction.

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