On-chain governance is useful for controlling system parameters, authorizing trusted oracles and upgrading the core protocols. The architecture adopted by interBTC is modelled on Polkadot with some significant changes:

  • Optimistic Governance
    • No Council, only public proposals from community

    • Community can elect a Technical Committee to fast-track proposals

    • Referenda are Super-Majority Against (Negative Turnout Bias) by default

  • Stake-To-Vote
    • Adopted from Curve’s governance model

    • Users lock the native governance token

    • Longer lockups give more voting power

Governance Architecture

An important distinction is the negative turnout bias (Super-Majority Against) voting threshold. This is best summarized by the Polkadot docs:

A heavy super-majority of nay votes is required to reject at low turnouts, but as turnout increases towards 100%, it becomes a simple majority-carries as below.

\[\frac{\text{against}}{\sqrt{\text{electorate}}} < \frac{\text{approve}}{\sqrt{\text{turnout}}}\]


  • Proposals are community-supported motions to perform system-level actions.

  • Referenda are accepted proposals undergoing voting.



  1. Account submits public proposal with deposit (> MinimumDeposit)

  2. Account “seconds” proposal with additional deposit

  3. New referenda are started every LaunchPeriod

  4. Community can vote on referenda for the VotingPeriod

  5. Votes are tallied after VotingPeriod expires

  6. System update executed after EnactmentPeriod

Technical Committee

  1. Community creates proposal as above

  2. TC may fast track before LaunchPeriod

  3. The new referendum is started immediately

  4. Community can vote on referenda for the FastTrackVotingPeriod



The period to wait before any approved change is enforced.


The interval after which to start a new referenda from the queue.


The period to allow new votes for a referenda.


The minimum deposit required for a proposal.


Used to fast-track a proposal before the LaunchPeriod.


The period to allow new votes for a fast-tracked referendum.


Used to cancel a proposal before it is launched.


The maximum number of public proposals allowed in the queue.


The maximum number of possible members in the TC.