Governance is the process through which members of the XPLA Chain community can effect change on the protocol by submitting petitions known as “proposals” and arriving at a popular consensus when a threshold amount of support has been reached. The proposal structure is versatile and allows for holders of staked XPLA (those who have an interest in the long-term viability of the network) to voice their opinion on both blockchain parameter updates and the future development of the XPLA Chain.

Check the Governance section of the xplad reference to see examples of how to participate in the Governance process.

To learn how to vote with your staked XPLA or submit proposals, visit the XPLA Vault governance guide.


Disclaimer: This is work in progress. Mechanisms are susceptible to change.

The governance process is divided in a few steps that are outlined below:

  • Proposal submission: Proposal is submitted to the blockchain with a deposit.
  • Vote: Once deposit reaches a certain value (MinDeposit), proposal is confirmed and vote opens. Bonded Xpla holders can then send TxGovVote transactions to vote on the proposal.
  • If the proposal involves a software upgrade:
    • Signal: Validators start signaling that they are ready to switch to the new version.
    • Switch: Once more than 75% of validators have signaled that they are ready to switch, their software automatically flips to the new version.

Proposal submission

Right to submit a proposal

Any Xpla holder, whether bonded or unbonded, can submit proposals by sending a TxGovProposal transaction. Once a proposal is submitted, it is identified by its unique proposalID.

Proposal types

In the initial version of the governance module, there are five types of proposals:

  • TextProposal All the proposals that do not involve a modification of the source code go under this type. For example, an opinion poll would use a proposal of type TextProposal.
  • SoftwareUpgradeProposal. If accepted, validators are expected to update their software in accordance with the proposal. They must do so by following a 2-steps process described in the Software Upgrade section below. Software upgrade roadmap may be discussed and agreed on via TextProposals, but actual software upgrades must be performed via SoftwareUpgradeProposals.
  • CommunityPoolSpendProposal details a proposal for use of community funds, together with how many coins are proposed to be spent, and to which recipient account.
  • ParameterChangeProposal defines a proposal to change one or more parameters. If accepted, the requested parameter change is updated automatically by the proposal handler upon conclusion of the voting period.
  • CancelSoftwareUpgradeProposal is a gov Content type for cancelling a software upgrade.

Other modules may expand upon the governance module by implementing their own proposal types and handlers. These types are registered and processed through the governance module (eg. ParamChangeProposal), which then execute the respective module’s proposal handler when a proposal passes. This custom handler may perform arbitrary state changes.


To prevent spam, proposals must be submitted with a deposit in the coins defined in the MinDeposit param. The voting period will not start until the proposal’s deposit equals MinDeposit.

When a proposal is submitted, it has to be accompanied by a deposit that must be strictly positive, but can be inferior to MinDeposit. The submitter doesn’t need to pay for the entire deposit on their own. If a proposal’s deposit is inferior to MinDeposit, other token holders can increase the proposal’s deposit by sending a Deposit transaction. The deposit is kept in an escrow in the governance ModuleAccount until the proposal is finalized (passed or rejected).

Once the proposal’s deposit reaches MinDeposit, it enters voting period. If proposal’s deposit does not reach MinDeposit before MaxDepositPeriod, proposal closes and nobody can deposit on it anymore.

Deposit refund and burn

When a the a proposal finalized, the coins from the deposit are either refunded or burned, according to the final tally of the proposal:

  • If the proposal is approved or if it’s rejected but not vetoed, deposits will automatically be refunded to their respective depositor (transferred from the governance ModuleAccount).
  • When the proposal is vetoed with a supermajority, deposits be burned from the governance ModuleAccount.



Participants are users that have the right to vote on proposals. On the XPLA Chain, participants are bonded Xpla holders. Unbonded Xpla holders and other users do not get the right to participate in governance. However, they can submit and deposit on proposals.

Note that some participants can be forbidden to vote on a proposal under a certain validator if:

  • participant bonded or unbonded Xplas to said validator after proposal entered voting period.
  • participant became validator after proposal entered voting period.

This does not prevent participant to vote with Xplas bonded to other validators. For example, if a participant bonded some Xplas to validator A before a proposal entered voting period and other Xplas to validator B after proposal entered voting period, only the vote under validator B will be forbidden.

Voting period

Once a proposal reaches MinDeposit, it immediately enters Voting period. We define Voting period as the interval between the moment the vote opens and the moment the vote closes. Voting period should always be shorter than Unbonding period to prevent double voting. The initial value of Voting period is 2 weeks.

Option set

The option set of a proposal refers to the set of choices a participant can choose from when casting its vote.

The initial option set includes the following options:

  • Yes
  • No
  • NoWithVeto
  • Abstain

NoWithVeto counts as No but also adds a Veto vote. Abstain option allows voters to signal that they do not intend to vote in favor or against the proposal but accept the result of the vote.

Note: from the UI, for urgent proposals we should maybe add a ‘Not Urgent’ option that casts a NoWithVeto vote.

Weighted Votes

ADR-037 introduces the weighted vote feature which allows a staker to split their votes into several voting options. For example, it could use 70% of its voting power to vote Yes and 30% of its voting power to vote No.

Often times the entity owning that address might not be a single individual. For example, a company might have different stakeholders who want to vote differently, and so it makes sense to allow them to split their voting power. Currently, it is not possible for them to do “passthrough voting” and giving their users voting rights over their tokens. However, with this system, exchanges can poll their users for voting preferences, and then vote on-chain proportionally to the results of the poll.

To represent weighted vote on chain, we use the following Protobuf message.

// Vote defines a vote on a governance proposal.
// A Vote consists of a proposal ID, the voter, and the vote option.
type Vote struct {
	ProposalId uint64 `protobuf:"varint,1,opt,name=proposal_id,json=proposalId,proto3" json:"proposal_id,omitempty" yaml:"proposal_id"`
	Voter      string `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=voter,proto3" json:"voter,omitempty"`
	// Deprecated: Prefer to use `options` instead. This field is set in queries
	// if and only if `len(options) == 1` and that option has weight 1. In all
	// other cases, this field will default to VOTE_OPTION_UNSPECIFIED.
	Option VoteOption `protobuf:"varint,3,opt,name=option,proto3," json:"option,omitempty"` // Deprecated: Do not use.
	// Since: cosmos-sdk 0.43
	Options []WeightedVoteOption `protobuf:"bytes,4,rep,name=options,proto3" json:"options"`

// WeightedVoteOption defines a unit of vote for vote split.
// Since: cosmos-sdk 0.43
type WeightedVoteOption struct {
	Option VoteOption                             `protobuf:"varint,1,opt,name=option,proto3," json:"option,omitempty"`
	Weight github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Dec `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=weight,proto3," json:"weight" yaml:"weight"`

For a weighted vote to be valid, the options field must not contain duplicate vote options, and the sum of weights of all options must be equal to 1.


Quorum is defined as the minimum percentage of voting power that needs to be casted on a proposal for the result to be valid.


Threshold is defined as the minimum proportion of Yes votes (excluding Abstain votes) for the proposal to be accepted.

Initially, the threshold is set at 50% with a possibility to veto if more than 1/3rd of votes (excluding Abstain votes) are NoWithVeto votes. This means that proposals are accepted if the proportion of Yes votes (excluding Abstain votes) at the end of the voting period is superior to 50% and if the proportion of NoWithVeto votes is inferior to 1/3 (excluding Abstain votes).


If a delegator does not vote, it will inherit its validator vote.

  • If the delegator votes before its validator, it will not inherit from the validator’s vote.
  • If the delegator votes after its validator, it will override its validator vote with its own. If the proposal is urgent, it is possible that the vote will close before delegators have a chance to react and override their validator’s vote. This is not a problem, as proposals require more than 2/3rd of the total voting power to pass before the end of the voting period. If more than 2/3rd of validators collude, they can censor the votes of delegators anyway.

Validator’s punishment for non-voting

At present, validators are not punished for failing to vote.

Governance address

Later, we may add permissioned keys that could only sign txs from certain modules. For the MVP, the Governance address will be the main validator address generated at account creation. This address corresponds to a different PrivKey than the Tendermint PrivKey which is responsible for signing consensus messages. Validators thus do not have to sign governance transactions with the sensitive Tendermint PrivKey.

Software Upgrade

If proposals are of type SoftwareUpgradeProposal, then nodes need to upgrade their software to the new version that was voted. This process is divided in two steps.


After a SoftwareUpgradeProposal is accepted, validators are expected to download and install the new version of the software while continuing to run the previous version. Once a validator has downloaded and installed the upgrade, it will start signaling to the network that it is ready to switch by including the proposal’s proposalID in its precommits.(Note: Confirmation that we want it in the precommit?)

Note: There is only one signal slot per precommit. If several SoftwareUpgradeProposals are accepted in a short timeframe, a pipeline will form and they will be implemented one after the other in the order that they were accepted.


Once a block contains more than 2/3rd precommits where a common SoftwareUpgradeProposal is signaled, all the nodes (including validator nodes, non-validating full nodes and light-nodes) are expected to switch to the new version of the software.

Note: Not clear how the flip is handled programmatically



Proposal objects are used to account votes and generally track the proposal’s state. They contain Content which denotes what this proposal is about, and other fields, which are the mutable state of the governance process.

// Proposal defines the core field members of a governance proposal.
type Proposal struct {
	ProposalId       uint64                                   `protobuf:"varint,1,opt,name=proposal_id,json=proposalId,proto3" json:"id" yaml:"id"`
	Content          *types1.Any                              `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=content,proto3" json:"content,omitempty"`
	Status           ProposalStatus                           `protobuf:"varint,3,opt,name=status,proto3," json:"status,omitempty" yaml:"proposal_status"`
	FinalTallyResult TallyResult                              `protobuf:"bytes,4,opt,name=final_tally_result,json=finalTallyResult,proto3" json:"final_tally_result" yaml:"final_tally_result"`
	SubmitTime       time.Time                                `protobuf:"bytes,5,opt,name=submit_time,json=submitTime,proto3,stdtime" json:"submit_time" yaml:"submit_time"`
	DepositEndTime   time.Time                                `protobuf:"bytes,6,opt,name=deposit_end_time,json=depositEndTime,proto3,stdtime" json:"deposit_end_time" yaml:"deposit_end_time"`
	TotalDeposit     github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Coins `protobuf:"bytes,7,rep,name=total_deposit,json=totalDeposit,proto3," json:"total_deposit" yaml:"total_deposit"`
	VotingStartTime  time.Time                                `protobuf:"bytes,8,opt,name=voting_start_time,json=votingStartTime,proto3,stdtime" json:"voting_start_time" yaml:"voting_start_time"`
	VotingEndTime    time.Time                                `protobuf:"bytes,9,opt,name=voting_end_time,json=votingEndTime,proto3,stdtime" json:"voting_end_time" yaml:"voting_end_time"`

type Content interface {
	GetTitle() string
	GetDescription() string
	ProposalRoute() string
	ProposalType() string
	ValidateBasic() sdk.Error
	String() string

The Content on a proposal is an interface which contains the information about the Proposal such as the tile, description, and any notable changes. Also, this Content type can by implemented by any module. The Content’s ProposalRoute returns a string which must be used to route the Content’s Handler in the governance keeper. This allows the governance keeper to execute proposal logic implemented by any module. If a proposal passes, the handler is executed. Only if the handler is successful does the state get persisted and the proposal finally passes. Otherwise, the proposal is rejected.

Message Types


// MsgSubmitProposal defines an sdk.Msg type that supports submitting arbitrary
// proposal Content.
type MsgSubmitProposal struct {
	Content        *types.Any                               `protobuf:"bytes,1,opt,name=content,proto3" json:"content,omitempty"`
	InitialDeposit github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Coins `protobuf:"bytes,2,rep,name=initial_deposit,json=initialDeposit,proto3," json:"initial_deposit" yaml:"initial_deposit"`
	Proposer       string                                   `protobuf:"bytes,3,opt,name=proposer,proto3" json:"proposer,omitempty"`


// MsgDeposit defines a message to submit a deposit to an existing proposal.
type MsgDeposit struct {
	ProposalId uint64                                   `protobuf:"varint,1,opt,name=proposal_id,json=proposalId,proto3" json:"proposal_id" yaml:"proposal_id"`
	Depositor  string                                   `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=depositor,proto3" json:"depositor,omitempty"`
	Amount     github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Coins `protobuf:"bytes,3,rep,name=amount,proto3," json:"amount"`


// MsgVote defines a message to cast a vote.
type MsgVote struct {
	ProposalId uint64     `protobuf:"varint,1,opt,name=proposal_id,json=proposalId,proto3" json:"proposal_id" yaml:"proposal_id"`
	Voter      string     `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=voter,proto3" json:"voter,omitempty"`
	Option     VoteOption `protobuf:"varint,3,opt,name=option,proto3," json:"option,omitempty"`


Text Proposal

type TextProposal struct {
	Title       string `json:"title" yaml:"title"`
	Description string `json:"description" yaml:"description"`

Text Proposals are used to create general-purpose petitions, such as asking core developers or community members to implement a specific feature. The community can reference a passed Text Proposal to the core developers or community members to indicate that a feature that potentially requires a soft or hard fork is in significant demand.

Parameter Change Proposals

// ParameterChangeProposal defines a proposal to change one or more parameters.
type ParameterChangeProposal struct {
	Title       string        `protobuf:"bytes,1,opt,name=title,proto3" json:"title,omitempty"`
	Description string        `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=description,proto3" json:"description,omitempty"`
	Changes     []ParamChange `protobuf:"bytes,3,rep,name=changes,proto3" json:"changes"`

// ParamChange defines an individual parameter change, for use in
// ParameterChangeProposal.
type ParamChange struct {
	Subspace string `protobuf:"bytes,1,opt,name=subspace,proto3" json:"subspace,omitempty"`
	Key      string `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=key,proto3" json:"key,omitempty"`
	Value    string `protobuf:"bytes,3,opt,name=value,proto3" json:"value,omitempty"`

Parameter Change Proposals are a special type of proposal which, once passed, will automatically go into effect by directly altering the network’s specified parameter.

Software Upgrade Proposals

This type of proposal requires validators to update their node software to a new version at a specified block height.

Proposal Processing Queue


This section was taken from the official Cosmos SDK docs and placed here for your convenience to understand the Governance process.

ProposalProcessingQueue: A queue queue[proposalID] containing all the ProposalIDs of proposals that reached MinDeposit. During each EndBlock, all the proposals that have reached the end of their voting period are processed. To process a finished proposal, the application tallies the votes, computes the votes of each validator and checks if every validator in the validator set has voted. If the proposal is accepted, deposits are refunded. Finally, the proposal content Handler is executed.

And the pseudocode for the ProposalProcessingQueue:

for finishedProposalID in GetAllFinishedProposalIDs(block.Time)
	proposal = load(Governance, <proposalID|'proposal'>) // proposal is a const key

	validators = Keeper.getAllValidators()
	tmpValMap := map(sdk.AccAddress)ValidatorGovInfo

	// Initiate mapping at 0. This is the amount of shares of the validator's vote that will be overridden by their delegator's votes
	for each validator in validators
	tmpValMap(validator.OperatorAddr).Minus = 0

	// Tally
	voterIterator = rangeQuery(Governance, <proposalID|'addresses'>) //return all the addresses that voted on the proposal
	for each (voterAddress, vote) in voterIterator
	delegations = stakingKeeper.getDelegations(voterAddress) // get all delegations for current voter

	for each delegation in delegations
		// make sure delegation. Shares does NOT include shares being unbonded
		tmpValMap(delegation.ValidatorAddr).Minus += delegation.Shares
		proposal.updateTally(vote, delegation.Shares)

	_, isVal = stakingKeeper.getValidator(voterAddress)
	if (isVal)
		tmpValMap(voterAddress).Vote = vote

	tallyingParam = load(GlobalParams, 'TallyingParam')

	// Update tally if validator voted they voted
	for each validator in validators
	if tmpValMap(validator).HasVoted
		proposal.updateTally(tmpValMap(validator).Vote, (validator.TotalShares - tmpValMap(validator).Minus))

	// Check if proposal is accepted or rejected
	totalNonAbstain := proposal.YesVotes + proposal.NoVotes + proposal.NoWithVetoVotes
	if (proposal.Votes.YesVotes/totalNonAbstain > tallyingParam.Threshold AND proposal.Votes.NoWithVetoVotes/totalNonAbstain  < tallyingParam.Veto)
	//  proposal was accepted at the end of the voting period
	//  refund deposits (non-voters already punished)
	for each (amount, depositor) in proposal.Deposits
		depositor.XplaBalance += amount

	stateWriter, err := proposal.Handler()
	if err != nil
		// proposal passed but failed during state execution
		proposal.CurrentStatus = ProposalStatusFailed
		// proposal pass and state is persisted
		proposal.CurrentStatus = ProposalStatusAccepted
	// proposal was rejected
	proposal.CurrentStatus = ProposalStatusRejected

	store(Governance, <proposalID|'proposal'>, proposal)


The subspace for the Governance module is gov.

// DepositParams defines the params for deposits on governance proposals.
type DepositParams struct {
	//  Minimum deposit for a proposal to enter voting period.
	MinDeposit github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Coins `protobuf:"bytes,1,rep,name=min_deposit,json=minDeposit,proto3," json:"min_deposit,omitempty" yaml:"min_deposit"`
	//  Maximum period for Xpla holders to deposit on a proposal. Initial value: 2
	//  months.
	MaxDepositPeriod time.Duration `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=max_deposit_period,json=maxDepositPeriod,proto3,stdduration" json:"max_deposit_period,omitempty" yaml:"max_deposit_period"`

// TallyParams defines the params for tallying votes on governance proposals.
type TallyParams struct {
	//  Minimum percentage of total stake needed to vote for a result to be
	//  considered valid.
	Quorum github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Dec `protobuf:"bytes,1,opt,name=quorum,proto3," json:"quorum,omitempty"`
	//  Minimum proportion of Yes votes for proposal to pass. Default value: 0.5.
	Threshold github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Dec `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=threshold,proto3," json:"threshold,omitempty"`
	//  Minimum value of Veto votes to Total votes ratio for proposal to be
	//  vetoed. Default value: 1/3.
	VetoThreshold github_com_cosmos_cosmos_sdk_types.Dec `protobuf:"bytes,3,opt,name=veto_threshold,json=vetoThreshold,proto3," json:"veto_threshold,omitempty" yaml:"veto_threshold"`

// VotingParams defines the params for voting on governance proposals.
type VotingParams struct {
	//  Length of the voting period.
	VotingPeriod time.Duration `protobuf:"bytes,1,opt,name=voting_period,json=votingPeriod,proto3,stdduration" json:"voting_period,omitempty" yaml:"voting_period"`


  • type: Coins
  • denom: axpla
  • amount: 300000000000000000000

The minimum deposit amount for a proposal to enter a voting period. Currently 300 XPLA.


  • type: time.Duration (seconds)
  • "max_deposit_period": "172800s"

Maximum period for XPLA holders to deposit on a proposal. Currently 2 days.


  • type: Dec
  • "quorum": "0.334000000000000000",

Minimum percentage of total stake needed to vote for a result to be considered valid.


  • type: Dec
  • "threshold": "0.500000000000000000"

Minimum proportion of Yes votes for a proposal to pass.


  • type: Dec
  • "veto_threshold": "0.334000000000000000"

Minimum value of Veto votes to Total votes ratio for proposal to be vetoed.


  • type: time.Duration (seconds)
  • "voting_period": "604800s"

Length of the voting period. Currently 1 week.