To go from a proposed HIP to a vote, the Helium Community follows the process initially laid out in HIP 7. Rough consensus and running code are critical factors for achieving approval. Rough consensus is achieved In partnership with HIP Authors, as well as non-binding Temperature Checks in the Helium Discord. Temperature Checks allow the community and all stakeholders discussing the HIP to signal readiness or suggest more time for discussion. HIPs progress through different stages, including Draft, In Discussion, Approved, Deployed, or Rejected.
Read the HIP 7 Process here: https://github.com/helium/HIP/blob/main/0007-managing-hip-process.md
Blockchains + On-Chain Voting
The Helium Network, uses on-chain voting to maximize inclusive participation and maintain a publicly auditable voting record. On-chain voting means storing a piece of data on a Blockchain. The Blockchain acts as an immutable ledger. To store data on a Blockchain, users must pay a small transaction fee, which covers the data storage cost permanently. The Helium Network utilizes the Solana Blockchain for blockchain-based data storage. The Solana Blockchain has fast processing times and low fees, keeping costs accessible to all participants for small transactions like voting and governance. Storing voting data on a Blockchain ensures transparency and immutability of the voting process.
Today, the Helium Network utilizes the tool Realms for on-chain voting. Since the passage of HIP 51- 53, the Helium Network established the distinction between Networks and subNetworks, currently represented by a token for each. HIP 51 - 53 also established the Vote Escrowed Model of token Staking for Voting Power.
The veToken model
The veToken model originated from Curve (veCRV) as a native token initiating a lockup and creating voting rights. Curve’s native token is CRV and has three functions: voting, staking, and boosting yield. To perform any of those functions, CRV is required to be locked in the form of veCRV. The "ve" in veToken stands for "Voter/vote escrowed." Today, this model has been emulated by various DeFi protocols within many Layer 1 ecosystems. The Helium Network has adopted the model originally introduced and passed by the community in HIP 51.
The veToken initiatives within the Helium Network serve two primary purposes: maximizing rewards, specifically for protocol emission earnings and governance. Governance seeks to establish the best outcomes for new projects, new initiatives, and for the future of decentralized wireless.
The Value of veTokens for Governance
In the context of the Helium Network, the veToken model’s primary use is to establish voting strength and governance rights. The additional on-chain object (the veToken) represents that wallet’s voting strength.
The veToken model requires users to stake the underlying token, locking the tokens up for a period of up to four years. The longer the staking period, the greater the voting strength. By locking up tokens, economic interests and voting rights are effectively aligned. The native token holders retain the tokens' economic value and utility, while the veToken assumes the voting rights. All Helium veTokens are non-transferable, ‘soulbound,’ and have zero intrinsic economic value. They are represented by an NFT in your Helium Wallet App.
Visit Realms, the Helium Network, and subNetworks at:
- Helium (HNT): realms.heliumvote.com/dao/hnt
- IoT subNetwork (IOT): realms.heliumvote.com/dao/iot
- Mobile subNetwork (MOBILE): realms.heliumvote.com/dao/mobile
To vote in the Helium Network for changes to either the Network at large, the IoT (LoRaWAN) subNetwork, or the Mobile (5G) subNetwork, a participant must stake tokens: HNT, IOT, or MOBILE tokens.
Staking is a process of locking up a token amount (as little as one token) for a specific period of time in an on-chain program on the Solana Blockchain. This program defines the parameters for lockup. In the Helium Network and subNetworks, users can stake tokens for up to 4 years. Staking allows users to make a commitment to the future, creating long-term alignment to increase the value of the Network.
For a full walkthrough on how to stake your tokens to the Helium Network or one of its subNetworks, see the Realms Staking guide.
Specific network tokens will give you Voting Power in the designated Network or subNetworks. Voting Power is your token amount multiplied by the duration of a lock-up period. Voting Power creates a weight of your vote against others. This Voting Power enables those with strong incentive alignment with the network to have greater influence over governance decisions. The function of staking and Voting Power applies to any new subNetworks in the future, as per the community-passed and approved HIP 51.
Vote Escrowed Positions as NFTs
When you stake a token, you'll receive a veToken position in your wallet. ‘ve’ represents the Vote Escrowed position created by staking your tokens for a voting power multiplier. For all users, the veToken positions will be shown in a web3 wallet as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). They are not tradable or transferable and are considered ‘soulbound’ to your wallet. Vote Escrowed simply means the tokens sit in an escrow period until the staking, or locking, position is over and is only to be used for voting and governance while in escrow.
The Helium Network and the Helium Network serve as the overarching system that enables a multitude of networks (subNetworks) to exist. As such, veHNT's role in network governance is in matters affecting the entire network. For example, a proposal affecting HNT emissions would be voted on using veHNT.
Additionally, veHNT can be delegated to a subNetwork in order to earn a portion of that network's tokens.
The IOT subNetwork focuses on the original vision of the Helium Network, supporting the growth and development of IoT devices and applications. Staking your IOT tokens to the IOT subNetwork grants veIOT which can be used to vote on matters specific to the IOT network. For example, a proposal affecting proof of coverage behavior for IoT Hotspots.
The MOBILE subNetwork is dedicated to the growth and expansion of the Helium Network in the mobile and telecommunications sectors. Staking your MOBILE tokens to the MOBILE subNetwork grants veMOBILE which can be used to vote on matters specific to the MOBILE network. For example, a proposal affecting proof of coverage behavior for MOBILE Hotspots.
A proposition is deemed 'Approved' and accepted by the community if it achieves a super-majority of 66% of the Voting Power. This is not a new rule for the Helium Community and was first established in Phase 2 of Governance.
The duration for which a proposal must be made available for voting is not predetermined. Generally, voting occurs within seven days.
A quorum of tokens represented must be met to certify the proposal as a valid outcome. The quorum is 100,000,000 tokens represented at the time of the vote in the vote results. This quorum is equal across the Network and all subNetworks. If a proposal does not reach this quorum, the proposal will automatically fail. Even if the proposal received a 66% super majority of Voting Power, the proposal did not reach quorum and therefore is invalidated.