CosmosHub Prop 101: Abstain By Not Voting

Polkachu Team | 2023-02-10

With great power comes great responsibility. - Spiderman

Being a validator on a Tendermint chain carries a great responsibility. When we vote, we not only carry our own self-stake, but also the delegator stakes. Some delegators might override our vote, but many do not. When they do not, sometimes they agree with our vote, sometimes they do not bother, and in rare cases they simply have lost their keys and cannot voice their dissent.

Most on-chain proposals have two important properties:

  1. Proposal is regarding a matter intrinsic to the said chain. For example, an Osmosis proposal is about Osmosis, not about CosmosHub, Ethereum, or something completely outside the scope of crypto.
  2. Proposal is about what is technically the right thing to do for the said chain. For example, to fund a hackathon, to re-open an IBC channel, to upgrade the node software, etc.

For these proposals, we regard ourselves as a thought leader. Since we have full-time staff members working in the blockchain space, we take a leap of faith that we know more about the context of such proposals than an average delegator. By taking a leadership role, we help inform and guide our delegators. We think that we have done a good job so far, as we publish all our votes and sometimes even write long-form blogposts to explain the more controversial votes (CosmosHub 82, CosmosHub 69, Juno 16). If our delegators disagree, they can still override.

CosmosHub Prop 101 (Aid Proposal for Earthquake Survivors in Türkiye) is different. It is not regrading a matter intrinsic to CosmosHub, nor is it about what is technically the right thing to do. Instead, it is about a matter outside of CosmosHub chain and about what is the right thing to do from an humanitarian perspective.

As a result, CosmosHub Prop 101 is beyond the scope of the thought leadership that we can assume as a validator. Not only a vote of "Yes", "No", or "No with Veto" feels improper, even an " Abstain" vote carries a presumption that we have a better idea to vote on this proposal than our delegators.

Therefore, we abstain by not voting.

P.S.: We support the cause of the earthquake relief and will try to help with this global effort through other means such as a private donation. What we do privately has nothing to do with how we vote on this proposal, and it is none of your business.

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