Here's a breakdown of popular blockchain protocols using hybrid governance mechanisms, along with insights into how they function:
Off-chain: Community participates in discussions and signaling votes on forums and social media. Specialized groups, called "Core Units", facilitate specific aspects of the protocol.
On-chain: Final decisions on major upgrades and risk parameters are made via on-chain voting by MKR token holders.
Mechanism: Informal off-chain discussion is crucial for identifying issues and shaping proposals before they progress to formal on-chain voting.
Significance: MakerDAO is one of the pioneers of DAO structures and their governance demonstrates a multi-tiered approach allowing speed and agility for iterative processes.
2. Compound Finance
Off-chain: Proposals and debates take place on Compound's governance forum.
On-chain: Proposals must go through a timelock period, followed by on-chain voting using COMP tokens.
Mechanism: This creates a measured process, allowing discussion and code review before binding decisions and lessening the risk of hasty implementation.
Significance: Compound showcases how technical proposals can be thoroughly vetted in off-chain arenas before formalization through on-chain voting.
3. Polkadot / Kusama
Off-chain: An elected Governing Council, along with discussions on forums and technical committees, manages proposal generation and prioritization.
On-chain: Major protocol changes are governed by on-chain referendums open to all DOT (or KSM) holders.
Mechanism: Polkadot has complex on-chain mechanics with weighted voting depending on lockup periods for tokens. The hybrid mechanism lets their Council streamline initial discussions and manage technical elements off-chain.
Significance: This highlights governance that is adaptable for highly technical changes needed for a complex parachain system.
Off-chain: Community voting occurs on a user-friendly interface (like Snapshot) for various matters (e.g., land auctions, content decisions).
On-chain: A Decentraland Security Council and the DAO have authority for smart contract implementation and emergency actions.
Mechanism: Decentraland prioritizes participation by decoupling much of its governance decision-making from costly on-chain execution.
Significance: Provides a model for governing user-driven content and assets within a virtual world ecosystem.