How We’re Bringing Decentralized Governance to Sonar

Sonar | $PING
4 min readJan 24, 2023

We’re pleased to announce that Sonar is taking its first steps into the realm of decentralized governance. It’s a historical moment for our community, marking the beginning of an exciting process that will bring greater utility to our token ($PING) and more power to Sonarians.

What Is Decentralized Governance?

Chances are, you’ve heard about decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). These online communities are one of the most interesting innovations within the blockchain space. DAOs use cryptocurrency and blockchain to organize themselves and pursue goals/missions. They also empower people to practice democratic decision-making in a new, more direct, way.

While we’re not quite a DAO yet, Sonar will use a decentralized governance platform called Snapshot to provide the necessary tools for our members to participate in — and plan — the project’s future.

Why Are We Taking This Direction?

Decentralization sits at the heart of crypto. The blockchain space is all about introducing decentralized solutions to problems arising from overcentralized systems.

For example, Bitcoin endeavored to create a user-owned digital currency as an alternative to centralized, government-issued fiat. Since its inception, innovation in countless industries has attempted to answer the same question: “Which systems can benefit from more decentralization?”

Centralization Has Its Place but We’re Looking Towards Decentralization

We’re not saying that centralization is bad: Both decentralization and centralization have their place in the world. However, the broader blockchain community thinks that the world can benefit from greater decentralization. With decentralization at their core, blockchain and crypto serve to level the playing field and provide everyone with opportunities that were previously inaccessible.

We’re committed to this movement toward freedom and accessibility for all.

What’s Sonar’s Plan?

Slow and steady wins the race.

Decentralized governance is tricky and requires careful thought and planning. It needs to integrate the ecosystem’s incentive mechanisms without creating imbalances that could steer planning away from our mission and toward different special interests.

Today, the dynamics are simple: Holders of our $PING token will be eligible to vote on all kinds of proposals which will influence our venture’s path forward. But basing governance uniquely on token allocation comes with a few major drawbacks:

Token Allocation and Centralization

A major drawback of DAO governance systems that are based on token allocation? It can lead to the centralization of power among token holders who hold a large proportion of the total tokens.

This means that a small group of token holders would have disproportionate influence over the decision-making process, potentially ignoring the interests of the wider community.

Vulnerable to Fluctuations

Another drawback is that token allocation-based systems can be vulnerable to price volatility and market fluctuations. This can have a massive impact on the value of a token holder’s stake and their ability to participate in governance.

We’re Drawing Influence from Around Web3

While there are plenty of alternative models to use or take inspiration from, we believe Sonar’s goals require us to forge our own path.

For example, for the time being, we expect to have token-weighted voting for non-critical decisions (like our first proposal). In the future, we plan to grant more weight to proven experts within our community, when voting on more strategic and impactful decisions. One way to realize this would be through a form of delegated voting.

Sonar will slowly hand over more responsibility to the community while these systems are being implemented. Of course, we’ll continuously tweak and test the governance process during this time.

Once native, decentralized governance solution is ready, we’ll move away from Snapshot.

What Are You Voting on?

As we get closer to launching the “Trends” application in Sonar Studio, our design team is putting the finishing touches on the UI.

“Trends” is the upcoming brand new homepage of Token Studio, a place to discover the best-performing projects across different chains. Via advanced analytics and original criteria, our dynamic leaderboard will help users find the most notable projects of the day. This curated collection of “template” rankings comes with custom graphics to enrich the user experience and immediately give a strong personality to the app.

For the first vote, we’ll ask you to choose the visual style of some of the app’s UI elements.

Version 1 — Geometric delights
Version 2 — Impossible charts

Get more info (and cast your vote) in our new Sonar profile on Snapshot.

Disclaimer: Implementing effective decentralized governance — especially in a multi-faceted ecosystem — is difficult. For this reason, we can’t guarantee a specific timeline. As developers, we need time to see what works best (and what doesn’t). Rest assured, we’re committed to this move and will keep you updated as things progress.

One small step for Sonar, one giant leap for Sonarians. Thank you for your support!