VIZ as a Digital Representative Self-Governing State

16.08.2023 09:09:39

One of the directions of development for VIZ is the concept of playing the Digital State game.

Sometimes, we can overlook the obvious for quite a while. Representative elections? They exist. Grants and management through committee? Absolutely! Self-governance through rewards? You bet.

It's clear that VIZ encompasses far more than just a blockchain for tokenizing likes. Don't get me wrong, liking tokens is a powerful tool for expanding into people's minds as a way to demonstrate the principle of self-governance. However, that's just a part of the VIZ economy, and that's what we're going to discuss.

Representative Elections

Let's make it clear from the start that VIZ inherited some mechanics from the old codebase, but it has evolved significantly since then and introduced new mechanisms that hadn't existed in the same way before.

In other ecosystems, there are validators who agree on changes in the system's state and approve them. Getting there requires capital in the system; you need to stake it and climb to the top, often giving kickbacks to those who supported your candidacy. I'm not exaggerating; kickbacks are directly coded into many systems. Buying votes is "legally" accepted in the code. The moral decay is caused by the fact that participants in such systems don't want to build, they want to earn. So, small participants immediately rush to vote for whoever promises more kickbacks, often without much thought—handing over power to those who offer the most.

In VIZ, it's different. We don't have validators; we have witnesses, which we initially translated as "delegates" in the Russian manner, to whom the decision-making is delegated. However, terms like delegation exist in our ecosystem (temporary capital transfer), as well as in other systems. For example, in Minter, a quote:

'Delegators' or 'Delegates' are an important part of the Minter blockchain mechanism. This role is suitable for network participants who want to invest in a developing blockchain but don't act as classic miners (nodes in Minter).

Technically, witnesses don't validate a block before it's considered; they observe transactions in the network and report to others, saying, "Yes, I observed three transfers, a key replacement, and a couple of new participants." And other observers, if they don't see disagreements in their block observations, continue their duty. Therefore, I suggest using the term "observer" as the closest to the original.

Anyone can become an observer, but they listen to those who gather the most votes for themselves, as representatives of a certain statement of intent. Each observer broadcasts it as a political and economic vision of VIZ. Network participants can vote for those they align with or even become observers themselves.

Observer elections are ongoing. They don't stop. If someone enacts bad policies, their vote can be removed. It's a constant game that anyone can join. The competition is currently low; occupying a position is not that difficult, but it requires responsibility and a desire to understand the VIZ economy.

Grants and Committee Governance

In short, the committee is a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). It has its voting principles, deeply ingrained as granite in the foundation of VIZ. An applicant pays a fee (symbolic, used as protection against spam) and submits a proposal for up to 500,000 VIZ to be voted on. The committee consists of all capital holders in VIZ. Do you only have 1000 VIZ? You can still vote on any proposal until its review is complete.

There used to be an agreement to consider proposals only post-factum. The applicant would showcase their contribution to the VIZ ecosystem, and the committee would then make a decision.

Later, this agreement was abolished, but the requirements remained constant: open-source code, contribution to the ecosystem, results under a free license (like MIT, the most permissive license that doesn't exclude commercial use).

Self-Governing State

Of course, we're talking about a digital phenomenon—a game of the Digital State that excludes influence on the real world. But imagine if a territorial state allowed direct allocation of taxes to initiatives you care about. Precisely.

Need to fix a road near your home? You direct your tax specifically to the road construction organization that collects donations for this specific task.

School lockers missing? You allocate a portion of your tax for these purposes.

This is the essence of self-governance by the State. It's more complex than having a "manager" who decides where and how much to allocate. However, we're not talking about a million-member society; we're discussing a game with no more than 200 participants.

Moreover, participants decide where to direct rewards themselves. They can spend them on a brothel if they want. It's their right. It's subjective, yes, but it's not to be interfered with. But then the brothel will have more VIZ, and they might want to put up a sign or order sofas for visitors. The economy operates even in such matters; it's a circulation of decisions. As the game is digital, it can be introduced into unexpected environments, communities where people haven't even heard of VIZ. This is a separate game of social interaction and rewards, just like the aforementioned "tokenization of likes."

"Do what must be done; such is the whole of the Law."

If you transpose this into a blockchain as a software product, where the Law is the Code, that's precisely what VIZ enables. To go your own path of self-governance and organize the game of the Digital State.

Many might argue about the terminology. Through digitalization, a state expands its influence on the Internet through services. The concept of The Network State, as proposed by billionaire Balaji Srinivasan, involves the reverse phenomenon, where DAO captures minds and real capital from people all around the world, expanding its influence precisely in the real world (you can read more about it on Vitalik Buterin blog post).

The idea of the VIZ Digital State is different. It's about building its own digital space based on its economy and politics, refusing to impact the real world. Because this life is a game in the digital world, not the real one.

I invite you to discuss.

Anatoly Piskunov


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16.08.2023 15:46:27

We discussed in the Witnesses' chat :) There were debates regarding the terminology (personally, I was in favor of using lighter gaming slang).

So, the term "State" has a negative connotation. Therefore, it was decided to change it to "Republic." Digital Republic VIZ. Star Wars fans will appreciate that :D

The Committee is a separate entity, and since any VIZ participant can vote in it, the term doesn't quite fit. Instead, we decided to use the term "referendum" for this. A proposal for a general vote (referendum) implies open discussion and feedback. Those who want to participate, do so; those who don't want to, don't. Quorum reached? Great. Quorum not reached? It means the proposal isn't interesting or doesn't meet the society's requirements.

The Council of VIZ is a place for discussing the economy (network parameters). Therefore, the "Witnesses" take on the role. Witnesses have the function of a "regulator" (setting parameters) and the role of an "witness" (signing blocks). Each Witness is a self-nominee, and they can (and it's better if they do) publicly declare their intentions, so network participants understand whom they're voting for, as a representative of their interests.

I still suggest keeping the title "Witness"; I really like it ;)