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Polygon PoS v1 Consensus and Governance

This page includes common governance terms and processes for the Polygon PoS v1 blockchain.

Heimdall

Upgrade TypeSoftfork/HardforkProposalConsensus OptionsImplementation Flow
Software upgradesBothPIP proposed via community forum (recommended)Rough consensusRough consensus: 1. Development and testing on local dev machines 2. Multi-node testing on devnet 3. Rolling out the release on a few Mumbai nodes (testnet) 4. Rolling out the release on a few Mainnet nodes 5. Full roll-out on Mumbai (testnet) 6. Full roll-out on Mainnet
Consensus rulesHardfork onlyPIP proposed via community forum (recommended)Rough consensusRough consensus: 1. Development and testing on local dev machines 2. Multi-node testing on devnet 3. Rolling out the release on a few Mumbai nodes (testnet) 4. Rolling out the release on a few Mainnet nodes 5. Full roll-out on Mumbai (testnet) 6. Full roll-out on Mainnet
Governance moduleBothPIP proposed via community forum (recommended)Governance module voteGovernance module: 1. Proposal submission: Validators can submit proposals with a deposit. Once the minimum deposit is reached, the proposal enters the voting period. Validators that deposited on proposals can recover their deposits once the proposal is rejected or accepted. 2. Vote: Validators can vote on proposals that reached MinDeposit 3. Once the voting parameters needed to pass the proposal are met, the change is simultaneously carried out across the network

Bor

Upgrade TypeSoftfork/HardforkProposalConsensus OptionsImplementation Flow
Software upgradesBothPIP proposed via community forum (recommended)Rough consensusRough consensus: 1. Development and testing on local dev machines 2. Multi-node testing on devnet 3. Rolling out the release on a few Mumbai nodes (testnet) 4. Rolling out the release on a few Mainnet nodes 5. Full roll-out on Mumbai (testnet) 6. Full roll-out on Mainnet
Consensus rulesHardfork onlyUpgrades are made in line with the geth implementationRough consensusRough consensus: 1. Development and testing on local dev machines 2. Multi-node testing on devnet 3. Rolling out the release on a few Mumbai nodes (testnet) 4. Rolling out the release on a few Mainnet nodes 5. Full roll-out on Mumbai (testnet) 6. Full roll-out on Mainnet

Definitions

Hardfork

A hardfork happens when the node software changes, so the new version is no longer backward-compatible with earlier blocks. This is usually the result of a change in the consensus calculation, meaning that blocks validated using the new calculation will produce a different hash.

In the current style of change implementation, hardfork block numbers are broadcasted by the Polygon team after an initial staggered rollout to the larger nodes. A block number is selected before which all nodes in the network should have upgraded to the new version. Nodes running the old version will stop working (will be disconnected from the canonical chain after the hardfork block).

Should there be ⅓+1 staked MATIC in disagreement with the fork, two canonical chains will temporarily form until the end of the current span. After this, Bor will stop producing blocks, and the chain will halt until consensus is reached.

Softfork

This type of change is backward-compatible with the pre-fork blocks. This protocol change does not require nodes to upgrade before a deadline. Therefore multiple versions of the node software can be running at once and be able to validate transactions.

Rough Consensus

Defined as the 'dominant view' of a group as determined by the current consensus framework. Without a vote that can carry out a synchronous update across the network, the 'dominant view.' is defined by the node software used by each validator, weighted by its total stake.

In the case of the Polygon PoS chain, this is programmatically defined by ⅔+1 of total staked MATIC.

Governance module

The Polygon PoS consensus engine (Heimdall) has an inbuilt governance module that can synchronously carry consensus parameter changes across the network. Users can submit proposals to the module along with a deposit containing the proposed changes. Each validator tallies votes cast by validators. Once the defined voting parameters are met, each validator automatically updates itself with the proposal data.

The current voting parameters (denominated in staked MATIC):

  • Quorum: 33.4%
  • Threshold: 50%
  • Veto: 33.4%

A list of the changeable parameters by the Heimdall governance module is available here.

Polygon Improvement Proposal (PIP)

The PIP process, as defined in PIP-1, outlined a preliminary approach for allowing the community to put forward-protocol upgrades that improve the network.

This takes inspiration from the PEP process, which has become a standard used for open source projects, including Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Due to the permissionless nature of governance on the Polygon PoS chain, ⅔+1 of the total stake can change the network by simply updating their node software. This fact is also actual for the Ethereum Beacon chain. However, no change is considered for inclusion unless a proposal passes through the right track.

As a guiding rule, it is recommended that all changes originate from the Polygon community forum in the form of a proposal written in line with PIP-1.