Planned Updates to HOPR Governance

Dear Community,

This post will provide some background context on the governance changes mentioned in the proposal for HOPR Governance Experiment 7 and the follow-up post from our founder Sebastian

(Standard disclaimer as always: I’m not a lawyer, none of this is legal or financial advice and you should always do your own research into your legal obligations in your own jurisdiction.)

Since the launch of the HOPR token in early 2021, we’ve been experimentally iterating on different approaches to governance processes. We’ve learned a lot about incentivization, participation, and voting modalities. We’ve taken a very slow, risk-averse approach, and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved. HOPR governance has some of the highest participation in the governance space, and it feels like each experiment we run

But we’re not operating in a vacuum. While we’ve been doing this, the governance and regulatory landscape has shifted. Cases like OokiDAO show that there are real legal risks to navigate.

For the past few months, we’ve been working on a new approach to HOPR governance which combines what we’ve learned from our experiments with the practical reality that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot meet the needs of the different parts of HOPR ecosystem.

It seems we’re not alone in this approach. Gabriel Shapiro, [LexNode description] recently wrote a great article introducing the concept of BORGs, legal entities with a smart contract basis that sit somewhere between DAOs and traditional off-chain entities.
I don’t agree fully with the article. It’s very hazy on what the actual DAO part is once all the BORGs have been established, and despite stressing the important distinction between autonomy and automation, the confusion starts to creep back in towards the end. (Also BORG is a really dumb name. Their original CybOrg, Cybernetic Organization, is much better.)

But it’s very gratifying to see that we’re not alone in our thinking, even as other projects seem to be doubling down on their wrapped DAO approaches.

What does this mean for HOPR?

I don’t want to get into too many details now, since this isn’t the focus of the current governance experiment, but the high level version is this:

We’ll wrap up our governance experiments with this proposal and move to the next stage of HOPR governance. From a process perspective, this will be very similar to what you’re used to. There will still be proposals and discussions on the forum, and votes on Snapshot. We plan to transition to better tools, throughout the year, but even then the core process will remain. Propose, Discuss, Sign, Vote.

From an organization perspective, however, things will be radically different. Instead of a DAO which tries to handle every aspect of governance within the HOPR ecosystem, there will instead be a governance platform and various entities making use of that platform in different ways.

These different entities will plug into the platform with different parameters and levels of obligation. For example, once the Community Trust is established to manage the assets raised at launch, that entity will plug into the platform and be obliged to act on the decisions made by all HOPR token holders.

The HOPR Association will continue to use the governance platform in an advisory capacity: it will still consult all token holders, but will not be obliged to act on the results.

Finally, the HOPR protocol itself will also use the governance platform (eventually) and be bound by its outputs. However, only HOPR tokens staked in active HOPR nodes will count towards votes and proposals will be limited to those related to protocol parameters.

Similar to Gabriel Shapiro, we believe that this kind of multi-entity approach is a significant improvement over all-purpose DAOs. It’s more coherent, dynamic, efficient and from a legal standpoint appears to be more compliant and less risky for all parties involved.

Interesting plans. I only have one question, why can I vote on this at the top and what’s the deal with this ‘50’ votes limit?


Oh that’s just an old voting module that was installed at the time the forum was created. Nothing to do with the new governance plans.


Where can I find the timeline for discussions, signing and voting as don’t want to miss them and hope they are of sufficient time to allow us mere working mortals time to get back to be able to sign / vote.



Hi Ian, for the current governance experiment voting begins on Thursday and ends on Saturday at 1400 CEST. Discussion is currently open. There is no referendum signing phase this time.

Ok thats great many thanks for the response

Shower thoughts but in legal context, even after shifting, does this mean all Hopr devs would agree to a contract to stay employed by the Hopr company for a set period and then who exactly handles the human resources aspect and how would the semiDAO aka CybOrg be involved? It’d be helpful to break out a list of what exactly is more beneficial to pursue as a company versus a DAO for exact clarity.

The HOPR Association would continue to exist and operate as it currently does, for the foreseeable future

Once the governance platform is established, initially I imagine the Association would use it in an advisory capacity (much like the third governance experiment, related to use cases). But this governance relationship would be more formalized than it currently is.

1 Like
Entity Token Holders Voting Modality Automated on Chain? Binding?
HOPR Association All Quadratic No No
Community Trust All Quadratic Partially Yes
HOPR Protocol Node Runners One token / One Vote Fully Yes

As a quick example of how this might work. If we imagine three different entities all using the new HOPR governance system, they could plug into it in different ways (defined at time of registration, updatable only via supermajority).

Relevant token holders would continue to discuss and vote on proposals as usual, and implementation steps would also be defined through a combination of the registered rules and additional instructions included in the proposal.

(This is just an example, the final platform will be much more customizable and the specific entities’ choice of parameters might differ.)