Moonbeam Foundation Participation in Governance

The Moonbeam Foundation is committed to community-driven governance and refrains from using its held tokens to influence the outcome of referendums. While the Foundation will frequently propose referenda such as runtime upgrades, chain updates, ratification of community guidelines and programs, as a general rule the Foundation does not vote on referenda.


  • As a general rule, the Moonbeam Foundation will NOT vote with its tokens
  • Exception 1: Moonbeam Foundation tokens may be used to vote with “Abstain” in order to provide enough support to pass a referendum if all the following conditions are satisfied:
    • Referendum is in the root track
    • Referendum was proposed by an OpenGov Tech Committee member or the Foundation
    • Referendum has at least 95% approval
    • Referendum has at least 0.1% support already
  • Exception 2: Moonbeam Foundation tokens may be used to vote with “Abstain” in order to provide enough support in order to accelerate and pass a referendum if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
    • The OpenGov Tech Committee specifically requests the Foundation to do so (via a majority vote of members) due to an urgent technical issue impacting a network
  • In addition, the Moonbeam Foundation may assist with providing a decision deposit for certain referenda under exceptional circumstances.


As one of the first parachain teams to adopt OpenGov, a lot of thought went into the design of the Moonriver and Moonbeam governance tracks that have been launched thus far. As part of Moonbeam’s emphasis on decentralization, priority was placed on launching the tracks used to manage the operation and evolution of the network.

However, this comes with inherent risks as it opens up the network to governance attacks. Thus, the goal was to achieve a balance between safety and accessibility in setting these parameters.


Currently, the amount of tokens required for the decision deposit and the support threshold level needed to pass a referendum are set relatively high and this is creating barriers to the governance process, especially for the root track.

  • High support level: The high level of support needed is making it difficult to pass important referenda such as runtime upgrades despite high approval levels and a reasonable amount of voter participation - this is especially problematic for root track proposals on Moonriver.
  • Hurdles passing urgent referenda: Due to high support levels required, the period of time from when a referendum is proposed until it is executed can be too long when dealing with urgent technical issues that could impact the health of the network.
  • Decision deposit barrier: The high number of tokens needed for the decision deposit is a barrier to community initiated proposals as many teams do not have a substantial amount of tokens on hand.

While it would be possible to update track parameters and lower them through governance, this would put the networks at greater risk of a malicious actor harming or taking control of the network. Thus, the Foundation is offering the solutions listed below.

Support Level Solution

The Moonbeam Foundation has made it a priority to increase voter participation through various educational and development initiatives, including the recently launched Community Delegation dashboard. It is hoped that these initiatives will lead to participation levels such that a reduction in the support level threshold will not be needed.

In the meantime, the Moonbeam Foundation may assist with the passing of certain referenda in certain instances. It would do so by voting with “Abstain” with enough votes to overcome the minimum required support threshold.

NOTE: Voting with “Abstain” counts toward the support level provided the approval level threshold is achieved. This way, the Foundation avoids influencing the approval level while still assisting with the support level.

For the Moonbeam Foundation to take this action, the following requirements must be met:

  • The governance proposal is in the Root Track
  • It has been proposed by an OpenGov Tech Committee member or the Foundation
  • It has received at least 95% approval
  • It has at least 0.1% support

Urgent Situation Solution

The Moonbeam Foundation may assist with the acceleration of the passing of certain referenda in urgent situations if requested to do so by the OpenGov Tech Committee.

A majority of OpenGov Tech Committee members may vote in favor of requesting the Foundation to assist with the passing of one or more referenda using Foundation tokens, optionally targeting a specific timeline.

In this case, subject to the accessibility to tokens available for voting, the Foundation would do so by voting with “Abstain” with enough votes to cause the referendum to go into the “Confirming” state according to the desired schedule.

Decision Deposit Solution

Since the number of referenda that can be in “deciding” at any given time is limited, the decision deposit provides a way to prevent spamming or having too many referenda of a given type needing to be considered at once. For the root track, this is especially important because proposals on the root track can have an existential impact on the network, and so it’s important to have the decision deposit be high enough that it is effective in this regard.

The Moonbeam Foundation is looking at various options to make it easier for community initiated proposals to get past the decision deposit barrier such as pooling funds across multiple community members or making adjustments to the track definitions themselves.

Community members are required to inform the Moonbeam Foundation ahead of time if they require assistance in securing a decision deposit for their proposal. Advance notice of at least 3 weeks is essential to ensure proper coordination from our end. It’s important to note that the Moonbeam Foundation can support a maximum of 1 community proposal per month per network. This limitation allows us to allocate the necessary resources and expertise to comprehensively assess and assist each proposal.

Closing Remarks

The Moonbeam Foundation appreciates the patience of the broader community while we work to mature our governance processes and increase community engagement.

Any and all feedback as it relates to improving Moonriver and Moonbeam governance is greatly appreciated.


I fully agree with the Moonbeam Foundation’s approach. the “Root” track proposals needs a high support, so it’s great that the Foundation can step in with an “Abstain” vote. this way, we can make sure important updates go through without any unnecessary delays. thanks to the Foundation for thinking of this and helping out the community!


Hi, Aaron
Is it possible to know all the foundation addresses you intend to use for this purpose?

Agreed. This is a very straightforward solution to the problem.

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you can track it on subscan: 1 & 2. just check the referenda index for root tracks, and see which addresses have placed the decision deposit

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I think i made a clear question and deserve a clear answer otherwise no problem.

Sure, we plan to use this address generally (which is where we have tokens for placing decision deposits, etc):

In a pinch, we might use:

(This is for both Moonriver and Moonbeam)