My Take on Hive Proposal System – Analysis of Current Situation, Brainstorm and Questions (and as It Turned Out a Bit of History and a Marketing Announcement)

in OCD4 years ago (edited)

I haven’t posted for 3 weeks now since I have been extra busy trading my assets due to the latest Hive pump and Hardfork that empowered me after full long year of a downtime. I will probably write a separate article about my thoughts related to trading in general…but not yet. There is so much happening in our lovely ecosystem, therefore I feel like I should throw my 2 cents out there too. So here we go!


Hive Proposal System

I cannot sufficiently stress how happy I am that @neoxian has immediately started discussion about the importance of conscious proposal voting and how we could learn from other decentralized projects that already have similar systems in place for quite a while. I strongly encourage you to read the original article AND the discussion below here.

Current proposals

I will be more specific in an effort to push the discussion a bit forward and hopefully enable community members (me included) to learn more about decision making processes (of whoever will choose to respond to this article) regarding proposal voting and proposal creation. Please keep in mind that I’m not trying to blame anyone, target hate on anyone and that my perspective can be wrong. Feel free to educate me below if you feel like it is the case!

Small proposals

Currently only few proposals are being funded. Some of them at negligible cost (@themarkymark’s Blacklist and @anyx’s API). From my perspective both those tools are super handy to have and very cheap at the same time. There also seems to be no real movement against those proposal - thus, from my perspective, there isn’t much to talk about. Does anyone here have something to say and would beg to differ with me?

Key managers

I personally perceive the current proposal battle between “key managers” as one of the most controversial at the moment. @yabapmatt, @aggroed, @nateaguila and @stoodkev have been working on Keychain since the Steem days. Keychain proposal has lasted for about 170 days (meaning it has went through the fork…therefore some of that money could have easily been multiplied) and the team has asked for 18 200 SBD/HBD in total. I do not know how long the downtime was, thus said I don’t know how much they truly received. But we as a community have paid for a product and that product is currently functioning and I bet that many of us are frequently using it. It seems like the proposal has been voted off of the funding ones for the last 10 days (which makes the total payment worth 17 200 SBD/HBD at best). I am no expert but according to my calculations and feelings the payment for such a needed product seems reasonable to me.

What I don’t like though is that there is another proposal from them asking for DOUBLE THE MONEY (37 000 HBD) vowing mobile version and improvements. This to me feels like the DLC and micro transaction system in games that I’m not really fond of. I was voting for the original proposal and expected a good product (that has been produced). I will never vote for DLC proposal vowing improvements and mobile versions (that’s what I kinda expect from the original product). I understand that there has to be continuous development, but i would expect much lesser ask for that. Any thoughts about that?

22 days ago @good-karma has proposed his solution. Key manager called Hivesigner, asking for about 50 000 HBD. I personally don’t know @good-karma and I didn’t manage to have a talk with him during Steemfest 2, I only know that he has been around early Steem days, have been witness for quite some time and produced Esteem mobile app. I am only judging this proposal and I think that it is a total rip off and that it’s providing very little information as to how exactly is the money going to be spent (the info that i would expect is stated below where i tackle @blocktrades proposal). Our DHF currently has 487,332 HBD. Easy math inclines that we would be paying 10% of our current DHF HBD holdings for a product that we already have in place in form of Keychain. I am all in for competition, but that doesn’t mean that we should support it with 10% of current DHF’s HBD. That’s just feels so ridiculous sorry for saying that. What exactly does Hivesigner bring onto the table compared to Keychain? Can anyone explain? There has been a battle between the Return Proposal and Hivesigner – during the time of writing it has managed to get approved and disapproved several times already. At the moment (of writing this very sentence) the community has decided to fund this proposal.

But I would like to know what those of you that DO vote for Hivesigner and DO NOT vote for Return proposal think. Why do you choose to support that proposal in its current state? What am I missing in my thought process? I tag only those that I either spoke with face to face, or those that have previously interacted with me on the Blockchain and that have enough power to influence the battle. @theycallmedan, @smooth, @pharesim, @roelandp, @therealwolf?

Blockchain core developer proposals

Another Proposal type is “Blockchain core developer funding”. As Blockchain development has previously been mainly done via back in the days, it seems only natural that @hive.dao is taking over the funding responsibilities. As of now, we are funding 2 core developers, namely @howo and @netuoso.

I have met @howo at Steemfest 2. To those who don’t know him personally he is super sympathetic and most importantly trustworthy guy. On top of that, since the Steempress times until now, he has proved time and time again that he listens to feedback from both small fishes and big whales. Lately he adhered to @neoxian’s call and decided to post weekly recaps of his contributions on Hive which is huge step in the right direction. Massive thanks for that!

@netuoso is the second developer that is being funded. I don’t know him personally. I recall him from ancient Steem days as a sort of controversial user (no negative connotation intended). Lately I had to acknowledge his huge contribution regarding the Hive Hardfork which hasn’t fallen off even after the fork itself. On top of that he too is posting monthly recaps about his contribution. He has also decided to continue where @jesta has started. @netuoso is porting Vessel to the Hive Blockchain (which is another proposal that didn’t really fit any of my categories :D).

What do both those guys have in common? @howo is asking around 100k HBD yearly and @netuoso around 70k HBD yearly. Is it too much? I frankly do not know. According to my math and knowledge they both ask for a payment that matches 2-6 developers’ monthly payments in Czech Republic (which generally has lower wages than the rest of the western world). Blockchain core development is essential. On top of that the Hive’s market cap (currently at 116 mil. USD) is no joke. If there are no equally good developers that would be willing to underbid then we truly have no decision to make here. Also we have to keep in mind that there are other developers (such as for example @blocktrades) that as of yet do not ask for any direct payment for their services and are only receiving witness rewards which have been greatly reduced in the past.

As it seems one can’t just take two days to finish an article because everything will change during that time. @blocktrades have also asked for payment through a proposal. I have read through the disapproving arguments (mostly circling around the premise that “You’re wealthy why the fuck would you ask for more”). You have been around since the early Bitshares days and have a team of “Graphene Blockchain hardened developers” which is valuable on its own. Labour has to be paid… there is no problem with that in my book.
BUT I think that in your position you should be the one setting a good example for the rest of the proposals. I think that your approach “the labour is approximately worth 50k HBD according to my calculations” (pretty much @good-karma style) is objectively wrong way to do it. How can any sensible investor (that would want to judge this proposal without knowing who you are and what you have done for most of the DPOS communities in the past) make an educated decision that would lead into an approval of such a proposal? Each investor should be interested AT LEAST in questions such as:

  • “How many people are we paying?”
  • “How many man-days/man-hours did it take”
  • “Therefore how much do you charge for a man-day?”
  • “Have we studied other options and is this one truly the best? Which options have been declined and why?”
  • And so on.

After all “Image server cluster” is being worked upon for one month and will take roughly one more to finish correct? 50 000HBD for 2 months seems like a massive overkill in my book provided I don’t know how many people for how many man-days we are paying and whether there aren’t cheaper and equally good alternatives (that could be hidden in crypto projects too).

We as a community should ask ourselves questions such as

  • “How much are we willing/can we afford to pay for maintenance (witnesses) and development (partly witnesses, partly Proposals)?”
  • “How (into which sectors) do we want to distribute the money that we have at our disposal?” etc.

Which brings me to…

Economic whitepaper

During the time I worked for @starkerz at D-core and during my heavy commitment into the crypto ecosystem 2 years prior to that I reviewed hundreds of crypto projects. All the projects that at least tried to establish professional outlook had to have a meaningful financial roadmap. Why was that so? Well EVERY business that wants to be sustainable and bring something which is meaningful and needed (from market perspective) onto the table has to have it (more specifically it needs a perfect “business case” – financial roadmap is just a part it).

Since we are a forked community, we are already running and have to make hard decisions “on the go”. What Steem had is mostly outdated now. It would be all fine and dandy if we had business case in place with all its essentials. But that is not the case (and never was) and we need to improvise. We need to set up priorities as a community and execute/solve the most pressing issues. From my perspective the most pressing “issue” that needs to be solved is our economic roadmap.

I love the way where @roomservice is going with his Brave ad campaign proposal. He basically suggests that a fund strictly for marketing purposes should be established. Which in my opinion is the right way. We can rely only on our intuition and approve/disapprove individual proposals while having all the funds at one place, or we could make an educated decision such as (for example) we want to spend 10% of all @hive.dao funds for marketing purposes and move 10% of all newly minted @hive.dao funds into that account + we could issue proposals like @roomservice’s to move additional existing funds into our marketing account.

This is of course just an example. I literally just said the first number (10%) that came to my mind. We would need to put in some serious work if we were to come up with logical money distribution. This post is already too long to tackle that here and it was never meant to convey that message but I will try to come up with my vision of how we should distribute the @hive.dao money in near future. As I try to never publish unpolished (thought-wise…I guess I will never get rid of my typos:D) articles, I will try to dedicate lot of my free time during the next 2 months and I’ll try to come up with something that could become the “the roots” of our economic whitepaper.


Finally I want to announce that I will try to do at least some marketing for Hive and I will follow the #POSH initiative. I will repost each new article on Twitter too. If you found my article meaningful and want to help my new account get some views feel free to retweet me too:). 2 full days of work on this article are finally at the end. Let me call it here and thanks for staying with me! I’m looking forward to see you in the comments!


I agree that all proposals asking for labor reimbursement should have details of what that labor is. Most of us can see a $ amount listed for two servers and get a pretty good idea whether that is a fair price or not. Labor costs are a lot harder to visualize intuitively and need details, the more the better.

It is shame that most of the proposals are doing the exact opposite ("the less the better" approach) which for me is unacceptable. I think that the sooner we take some sort of a “stance against vague description” the sooner the proposals will contain more details.

Now when I double-checked it, I see that you too fall into the category of "not voting for Return Proposal" AND "voting for Hivesigner". Could you please explain your stance and thought processes to me? Because I sincerely fail to see the value as I tried to describe in this post.

I think Hivesigner and Keychain are both important to the long term success of Hive. I feel Hive needs more than one option for an ease of use key storage system. Do we need more than two? Maybe, but unless it is amazing I probably wouldn't vote for it.

I'm not voting for the Return Proposal at this time because I think the threshold is already too high. Not way too high, but too high. There are a lot of things Hive needs, like better image serving. I'm more than willing to pay for that because without it Hive looks bad. If a bunch of proposals start being approved that just seem to be raiding the cookie jar I'll start supporting the Return Proposal. But for now I'd rather pay for things we need to be a top quality blockchain.

Ok thanks for your honest explanation. I understand your perspective now.

A nice read and some solid points made. The DHF is awesome in my book, but we need to keep it that way by keeping those being paid from it honest.


I cannot but agree! I only think that mere "paying honest people" is ultimately not enough (but it is a good start for sure):)

Btw are trying to screw my chances of getting into your list?!:D

Very well exposed, shame that very few people answer to these questions lately. I've tried to know the opinion of some well known hivers without any result. A lot of people looks to other side or simply don't want to express their opinions.

Mine is that I'm afraid that the DAO won't last much if the proposals keep coming with those big salaries. Of course the work has to be paid but also the funds for the proposal system need to be sustainable, which is my main concern.

The DAO is a big amount, enough to cover those payments though, anyways i think that we could reformulate the proposal system.

Agree with you on that hivesigner and keychain are apps that do the same job one of them probably surplus.

I think some of them will answer...they just need time:)

Well one important fact that i didn’t mention in the post (didn’t really know where to fit that info) is that at the moment the DHF is growing at a bigger rate than at which the funds are being distributed. So as of now it is sustainable. But that doesn’t mean that some of that money might not being wasted...

How do you think it should be "reformulated"?

As it is now, one can only vote for the proposals not against them, I find pretty easy for a group of big stakeholders or a few whales to pass their own proposals without more consensus in the community. Thas makes for me the actual system problematic. Of course is what we have and is better than nothing, I mean that we need new proyects to be funded.

Another thing that cares me is that the return proposal of gtg can be actually unvoted by a whale and therefore lower the minimum that is required. The system can be easily tricked.

Is very soothing what you commented about that the DAO is growing in a bigger rate than the funds used for the proposals. I didn't know that, that's why I ask these questions about sustainability.

I totally agree that an option to vote against some proposals (even if we only had some limited amount of votes or they were of a lower power) is missing. But in fact such a change would prolly give even more power to those group of big stakeholders. The whole "general community" combined equals few whales.

A fixed threshold that needs to be met is a much more gamble option than a fluid Return Proposal and by far. You’re saying that we need more new projects to be funded yet you oppose the fact that the threshold for funding can be lowered in time of need. That to me screams inconsistency :D.

Well then at least part of your mind has been eased :P.

Isn't contradictory imo to make the proposals voting system more equal for everyone, I mean a method to difficult whales to pass whatever proposals they want and fund that new projects (maybe as you said voting against them could be also a problem for that idk). I see what you point with that threshold funding, that can be lowered in time of need, I guess that is a valid argument if we think in people acting with good intentions.

When I commented about the return proposal I didn't suggest a fixed limit, only critized that if it can be changed that way is easily manipulable, that seems logical, gives flexibility, yes but at that cost.

I think that you can see as well as many others that there are problems with the system of proposals, solutions aren't easy but what I'm suggesting is to make an open debate with the people who knows well the system and make it more resilient and more fair.

My opinion is that this target should be a priority to everyone because we saw what happened with JS overtaking steemit and if the system remains the same way, we obviously have the same weak points. That's why I see in this an absolute priority and is a issue that I see very few people caring about.

Hivesigner proposal is for more than 2 years and roadmap of things that will be implemented is listed in proposal:

It is long term maintenance and iterative improvement proposal, so money is spend for hosting hivesigner service which is used by many apps plus improve and add new changes. Proposal has Edit section to give update on progress. Also investors or voters should know person trustworthiness through actions and delivered products.

I’m glad that you responded @good-karma but unfortunately you have not answered the core questions. I have of course checked all the available data you have provided and I have never stated that your roadmap doesn’t make sense.

Let me highlight the core questions that remain unanswered:

  • What does Hivesigner bring to the table compared to Keychain that has already been funded?
  • How much exactly is needed for the maintenance and how much goes straight to you for how many hours of work (as it seems like you’re the sole developer)? Where are the calculations? Where are man-days estimates?
  • I find the fact that proposal is supposed to last for 2 years kinda irrelevant. What is relevant is that you’re asking for money that basically covers full-time job during this time. Therefore I think that the community deserves VERY detailed information and business case for a product that seemingly is already in place...

I mean none of this in a bad way. I am GENUINILY interested in those answers. My sole intention is to make good use of the funds we have at our disposal and to make the proposals look professional from more than just “roadmap standpoint”.

  1. Main difference between Keychain and Hivesigner, is that Hivesigner not only chrome extension, it is OAuth2 authentication system that is industry standard for any mobile and web applications.
  2. Funds are used for ~40 hours of development plus server costs per months.
  3. Current state of the product is far from perfect, so goal is to not only improve it but also improve onboarding and ease of login, library maintenance, integration help/support, across all Hive apps. There will be tools and services that also help users sign transactions easily.

So essentially Hivesigner has 2 goals:

a) Developers, onboarding, offering them tools and services to integrate Hive into their apps easily.
b) Users, safe and secure transaction signing

I am going to add these notes to original proposal as a side note hopefully will clarify some/future confusions.

Thanks for the civil reaction and a more in-depth explanation! Yes I think that it would be a good idea to implement those not notes into the proposal so users can make more educated decisions.

this will help the community to grow and a more sustainable ecosystem base on financial growth propose by hive community.