Decentralized Governance

How does governance work?

RAILGUN governance is entirely decentralized, any wallet that stakes RAIL can vote on and submit proposals to vote. For all governance stages, 1 RAIL staked is equal to 1 vote, snapshots of voting power are taken at each governance stage. Votes can also be delegated to another wallet, however the associated Active Governor Rewards will be accrued by the wallet to which votes are delegated.

Proposals come in the form of code changes to the smart contracts and anyone with enough technical expertise can write and submit code. Decision making rests with the active community of RAIL stakers who vote on whether or not proposed changes are beneficial to the protocol. Once approved, proposals are executed on chain.

Potential Governance Topics

There are no subject matter limitations on the decentralized governance system and every RAIL staker is entitled to submit a proposal on any code changes.

For example:

  • Protocol upgrades to the smart contracts

  • Deploying RAILGUN on additional blockchains that allow for smart contracts

  • Protocol fees

  • Distrbuting treasury funds

Governance stages

Proposal Initiation

Governance begins with a proposal being written up containing:

  • Title

  • Document

  • Description

  • Code actions to execute

The proposer must pay a small gas fee to submit a proposal in order to prevent spam.


After submission, a 30-day Sponsorship Period begins where the proposal must reach 500,000 sponsorship votes to go to vote. Sponsoring a proposal does not reduce the amount of RAIL voting power. Votes are counted on a daily snapshot basis.

If a proposal does not reach the required 500,000 sponsorship votes within the 30-day window, it has failed.

Sponsorship is a period that enables the decentralised community to properly analyse any proposal’s value, feasibility and solidity, by engaging the full spirit of open-source, whilst filtering out unusual or unpopular proposals without needing a full quorum. This period and its structure also ensure that proposals that pass result in the best outcomes for both stakeholders and RAILGUN users alike.

Call to Vote

If a proposal reaches 500,000 sponsorship votes, then a community member must call it to vote by executing a transaction on chain.


Sponsored proposals called to vote are held for 2 days to give the community more than enough time to review and discuss before voting commences.


At this stage, voting is open and RAIL stakers can vote "Yes" or "No" for 3 days.


After 3 days, there is a 1 day veto period where the only voting option is "No". This is an additional filter to ensure that the community as a whole is aligned in enacting the changes.

A minimum of 4 million votes must be cast to achieve quorum. If quorum is reached and there are more "Yes" votes than "No", the proposal is passed.


1 day after the voting period ends, a week-long Execution Window opens. For the proposal to take effect, a wallet with staked RAIL must execute the proposal. This can only be done without revealing their identity. Executing a proposal initiates the smart contract functions from the proposal. If there are errors in the code, then no changes will occur, and the proposal will need to be rewritten and resubmitted.

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