Governor Guide

How to participate in Algorand Governance

City landscape

This page describes the governors’ view of the Algorand Foundation Governance system. To participate in governance, an ALGO holder must:

  1. Sign-in and commit Algos to at the start of a governance period;
  2. Participate in all the voting sessions in this period;
  3. Maintain eligibility by holding the amount committed in the same wallet during the entire period.

Governance Periods start at each calendar quarter - Jan, April, July and October. 

This governor guide documents how to:

  • Sign in and connect a wallet
  • Commit the amount of Algos you have chosen for the governance period.
  • Vote on the measure(s) in a Governance period.
  • Enroll in the xGov* program.
    *Visit the xGov page first, if you don't know what xGov is yet.
Signing Up to Algorand Governance

The Algorand governance system comprises quarterly governance periods, and governors need to sign up anew to each period during the signup window. 

A would-be governor needs to have an Algorand address that they control, using a wallet or a custodian. In this guide we show examples using different wallets, the Pera mobile wallet, Deftly wallet, as well as a generic wallet/system that supports Algos but is not integrated with governance.

Once a governor establishes such an address, they can access the governance system dashboard at https://governance.algorand.foundation/.

Step 1. Connecting a Wallet

The first step is to connect the wallet to the dashboard by clicking the “Connect Wallet” button. This button pops up a dialog box, where the governor chooses what wallet they want to use.

1.1. Using the Pera Wallet

Clicking the Pera wallet button in the web browser on a laptop will display a QR code, such as this one.

Scan the QR code and the Pera Mobile App will receive a notification such as below;

Click the Connect Button to connect your wallet to the Web Portal application. You will now be presented with a list of accounts (typically only one) back on the browser. You should click the “Use” button for the account you wish to use to participate in Governance.

1.2 Using Another Wallet

While the wallets above are convenient to use since they include governance integration, many of the governors may wish to use other wallets or custodians. This can be done by choosing “Other Wallets”, which will pop up a dialog where governors can specify which address they want to use.

Note on AlgoSigner: This option was deprecated on 31st March 2023. Read the full announcement.

Step 2. Committing Algos

Now the wallet is connected, and you can see the following options to commit Algos.

The governor needs to specify how many Algos they want to commit to the governance period. For that, click the “Commit Algos” button, which pops up another dialog box, asking for the number of Algos to commit.

IMPORTANT: It is NOT RECOMMENDED to commit the entire balance in this address, because the governors are expected to send a few zero-Algo transactions from the governing address during the governance period, and will have to pay the transaction fees for them. If the maximum amount is committed, it may cause the address balance to dip below the committed level, which will make the governor ineligible for rewards.

We recommend committing at most 1 Algo less than the balance in the governing address.

Staking LP tokens

In addition, the governor can also choose to commit eligible LP Tokens already in their wallet through the same window. 

The drop-down menu will show which of the governors’ ASA are eligible (as you can see in the example). A Governor can specify how many of the LP Tokens they want to commit, along with their Algo commitment.

At this time, governors are also able to designate  a different wallet address to receive the rewards at the end of the period. We call that the "beneficiary address" for that governor. If left unspecified the rewards will go to the governors' commit wallet address.The beneficiary designation can be used, for example, to send your rewards to your favorite charity or to a family member's wallet. 

Once the sign-up window closes, governors will NOT be able to change their beneficiary designation for the current governor period.

IMPORTANT: Governors enrolling for the xGov program must not specify a beneficiary address. The xGov enrollment will set that to the xGov Term pool starting at the following governance period

Important to note:

  1. When clicking the “Commit Algos” button, using integrated wallets (Defly, Pera Wallet, you will be shown the appropriate transaction and asked to sign it). 
  2. When clicking this button while using “Other Wallets”, you will be shown the following popup dialog box:
Please note the images shown are for the purpose of showing an example.

Please commit with a ZERO-ALGO transaction only. Each governance period has a different escrow account. You can verify the escrow account by visiting the current governance period's page. 

You then need to sign and send a zero-Algo transaction using your wallet, from your governance address to the address shown in the dialog box, putting in the notes field the content of the Note field, as below.

Note field for signing up to Governance only (Example 1:  af/gov1:j{"com":3000000}). 

Note field for also committing eligible LP token(s) (Example 2:  af/gov1:j{"com":5000,"552701368":400,"607645566":1000}). 

In addition, a governance sign-up transaction in GP7 could also include an optional field "xGv":"<address>". This means that this xGov is designating that address as the one that can vote for them in xGov votes. If you have a governor address which is controlled by a smart contract and want to enroll it as an xGov, then you need to set this field to an address which is controlled by a key (or multisig) known to the user.\

Note field from GP7 onwards show sign-up transaction that includes xGov sign-up:

af/gov1:j{"com":1000000,"12345":2,"67890":30,"bnf":"DRWUX3L5EW7NAYCFL3NWGDXX4YC6Y6NR2XVYIC6UNOZUUU2ERQEAJHOH4M","xGv":"DJRS2K73Q4WGI2FDTK22CZXZYQUX3KROPYSTQMQZ4VIIDNT2CBOF7I3TZU"}

where:

- "com":nnn is the Algo commitment (here 1 Algo)

- "mmm":nnn is the commitment for LP-token with asset-ID mmm (here 2 and 30 units, respectively)

- "bnf":"DRWUX3L5EW7NAYCFL3NWGDXX4YC6Y6NR2XVYIC6UNOZUUU2ERQEAJHOH4M" designates the xGov address as the recipient of governance rewards

- The optional "xGv":"DJRS2K73Q4WGI2FDTK22CZXZYQUX3KROPYSTQMQZ4VIIDNT2CBOF7I3TZU" designates that address as the controller of this xGov account.

‍Once this transaction is sent to the network, click the button saying “I’ve sent the transaction” and refresh the page to have the dashboard reflect your commitment. 

For both examples listed above, we would use the below command line tool goal to send the following transaction to the blockchain:

Example 1: 

% goal clerk send -a 0 -f ALDJ4R2L2PNDGQFSP4LZY4HATIFKZVOKTBKHDGI2PKAFZJSWC4L3UY5HN4 -t RFKCBRTPO76KTY7KSJ3HVWCH5HLBPNBHQYDC52QH3VRS2KIM7N56AS44M4 -n 'af/gov1:j{"com":3000000}'

Example 2: Eligible LP tokens notes field example

% goal clerk send -a 0 -f ALDJ4R2L2PNDGQFSP4LZY4HATIFKZVOKTBKHDGI2PKAFZJSWC4L3UY5HN4 -t RFKCBRTPO76KTY7KSJ3HVWCH5HLBPNBHQYDC52QH3VRS2KIM7N56AS44M4 -n 'af/gov1:j{"com":5000,"552701368":400,"607645566":1000}'

Example 3: xGov example

% goal clerk send -a 0 -f ALDJ4R2L2PNDGQFSP4LZY4HATIFKZVOKTBKHDGI2PKAFZJSWC4L3UY5HN4 -t RFKCBRTPO76KTY7KSJ3HVWCH5HLBPNBHQYDC52QH3VRS2KIM7N56AS44M4 -n 

‘af/gov1:j{“com”:1000000,“12345":2,“67890”:30,“bnf”:“DRWUX3L5EW7NAYCFL3NWGDXX4YC6Y6NR2XVYIC6UNOZUUU2ERQEAJHOH4M”,“xGv”:“ALDJ4R2L2PNDGQFSP4LZY4HATIFKZVOKTBKHDGI2PKAFZJSWC4L3UY5HN4”}’

Verifying your Status

‍After committing your desired amount of Algos, visit the Governor's page to verify your eligibility. You can do this two ways:

1. Click on the Wallet Address button at the top right corner of the page and navigate to My Governor Page.

2. Go to the Governance Portal page for the current period, click on the "Show All" link at the top.

Then, paste your wallet address in the search box and press enter to search. You should see your address in the search results and the status will be: Eligible.

If any issues occurred, the search function will not find your address. If that happens, we recommend that you start the process over.

Voting in a Voting-Session

Each governance period includes one or more voting sessions, and governors must participate in voting on all measures during the governance period to remain eligible for rewards. 

Voting sessions usually happen halfway through the quarter and once the confirmed their details are announced on the governance portal and the Algorand Foundation's website a few days before their start date.‍

Similarly to sign-up, voting is done by sending a ZERO-Algo transaction to the governance target address for that period, which can be done using one of the supported wallets, using any wallet that supports WalletConnect, or using any other wallet that support sending Algo transactions with a note field. 

A governor can vote by accessing the governance system dashboard at https://governance.algorand.foundation/, and performing the following steps:

Step 1. Connecting a Wallet

This step is identical to the first step of the sign-up process, and governors must use the same address that they signed up with.

Step 2. Selecting Options for Ballot Measures

After connecting a wallet, governors need to choose one option for each voting measure. To access the voting page governors, click the voting measure that says “Open to Vote”.

On the voting page governors will see a description of the measures and the different options for each measure, and radio buttons that let them choose one option for each measure. Alternatively, at the top of the list of measures there is a button that allows governors to “Vote with the foundation on all topics”. Clicking that button will automatically select for each measure the radio button corresponding to the option that the foundation recommends.

After selecting the options that they want to vote for, governors must click the button at the bottom of the page to submit their vote.

Step 3. Submitting the Vote

After governors click the button to submit their vote, they need to sign the voting transactions. This is similar to committing the Algos during sign-up, and varies depending on which wallet they are using. The steps using the supported wallets are nearly identical to before.

For the wallets where the note field is required, the note is similar to the sign-up note, but not exactly the same. Specifically the format of it is:

af/gov1:j[idx,list-of-options]

Where idx is the internal index of this voting session, for the Governance Period 5, for example, we had idx=7. The options depend on the voting session in question, for example if the voting session has three measures, each a choice of either “a” or “b”, then the accepted formats for the notes field in the vote are af/gov1:j[7,"X","Y","Z"]  where the session-index is 7, and X,Y,Z are either a or b. 

So for example if you vote b for the 1st and 3rd measures and "a" for the 2nd, then you will send af/gov1:j[7,"b","a","b"].

When connected to “other wallets”, clicking the “Submit vote” button will pop up a dialog box: The below example pertains to the second period of Governance and is only presented as an example. 

Governors will need to send a ZERO-Algo transaction for voting on both measures.‍

For example, using the command line tool goal, they should issue the following command to vote for option A in both measures of the voting session (from governance address ALDJ4...N4 in this example):

% goal clerk send -a 0 -f ALDJ4R2L2PNDGQFSP4LZY4HATIFKZVOKTBKHDGI2PKAFZJSWC4L3UY5HN4 -t RFKCBRTPO76KTY7KSJ3HVWCH5HLBPNBHQYDC52QH3VRS2KIM7N56AS44M4 -n  'af/gov1:j[7,"b","a","b"]'

Remember, a ZERO-Algo transaction still carries a 0.001 Algo fees, make sure that your account has enough Algos to ensure the balance does not drop below the committed Algo amount, as that will change the governor account status to "Not eligible".

Troubleshooting Voting

If you have issues with voting where the transaction hangs on your wallet, try disconnecting your wallet, refreshing the page and reconnecting. Then, try voting again. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the simple action of disconnecting and reconnecting your wallet solves the problem. If the problem persists for you, please contact  your wallet's support team.