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Polkadot Revamps Governance System, Removes ‘First Class Citizen’ Voting Groups

Polkadot, an interconnected network of public blockchains, streamlined its governance model to allow voting on multiple issues to take place simultaneously with everything being directly controlled by the community.

Polkadot OpenGov, introduced on Thursday, will abolish so-called first class citizens like the Polkadot Council, an elected entity that could propose referenda and approve spending proposals, and the Technical Committee, which fast-tracked certain referenda.

Living up to its next-generation blockchain moniker, Polkadot and its sister "canary" network Kusama have learned the lessons of earlier systems, such as Ethereum. Getting decentralized governance to scale is a problem organizations like MakerDAO, for example, have been grappling with for some time.

Replacing the Polkadot Council and Technical Committee is a new, elected body named the Polkadot Fellowship, that has no hard power over the network and cannot change parameters or move assets. The Fellowship has 45 members and is likely to keep growing as core developers submit their candidacy.

To remove bottlenecks in the existing system, multiple voting proposal tracks can take place simultaneously, explained Joe Petroski, System Parachains Team Lead at Web3 Foundation.

“The previous governance system could only take one referendum at a time with the default that each one lasted for 28 days, so you could only get 12 or 13 of these through a year,” Petroski said in an interview with CoinDesk. “That pace makes sense for sensitive things like system upgrades, but not for when somebody wants to make a treasury proposal or start a new option for a parachain.”

OpenGov comes to Polkadot after being tested on Kusama for six months.

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