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Constitutional committee

The Constitution

The Constitution is an off-chain document with its hash registered on-chain. A provisional Constitution, containing essential provisions and safeguards necessary for the implementation of CIP-1694, has been published here. This provisional document is intended as a temporary measure. The final Constitution, which will require ratification by Ada holders, is expected to be approved by late 2024 or early 2025.

In addition, the Constitution is supplemented by a set of "Guardrails" to ensure the blockchain operates securely and sustainably. These guardrails are designed to prevent unexpected issues with the operation of the Cardano Blockchain. They aim to guide the selection of sensible parameter settings and mitigate potential problems related to security, performance, or functionality. Some of these guardrails are automatable and will be enforced via an on-chain script or built-in ledger rules.

The Guardrails Script

The Constitution is accompanied by a guardrails script. At any given time, there can only be one guardrails script, and its hash is also registered on-chain. The guardrails script enforces limits on protocol parameter changes and treasury withdrawals. This script is executed whenever a governance action attempts to change protocol parameters or make a treasury withdrawal. If the proposal adheres to the guardrails, it is accepted on-chain and can be considered by the governance bodies: the Constitutional Committee, DReps, and SPOs. Conversely, if the proposed change exceeds the guardrails, the action is deemed unconstitutional upon submission, and the transaction is rejected, reducing the risk of introducing undesirable changes to the protocol parameters.

Constitutional Committee

The Constitutional Committee is a group of individuals or entities, each associated with a pair of Ed25519 credentials or a script, collectively responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the constitution within the Cardano blockchain ecosystem.

The Constitutional Committee operates based on a social contract with the network's actors, focusing solely on voting for actions that align with the constitution. This ensures the upholding of the fundamental principles and values of the blockchain.

It's important to note that the Constitutional Committee has the authority to reject certain governance actions by voting 'no.' However, committee members should exercise this power judiciously, using it only when actions clearly conflict with the constitution.

As the guardian of the blockchain's integrity, the Constitutional Committee ensures that the network operates in harmony with its established principles. Through responsible decision-making and adherence to the constitution, the committee contributes to the sustainable and prosperous future of the blockchain ecosystem.

Becoming a constitutional committee member

Becoming a member of the constitutional committee involves off-chain procedures. The detailed process to join will be outlined in the upcoming weeks. Similar to how SPOs manage their cold/KES keys, committee members will utilize a cold/hot key setup. Hence, developing a solid understanding of the generation and secure management of these keys becomes crucial for those aspiring to join the committee.

In general, the constitutional committee member will need to:

  1. Run a node
  2. Request funds from the faucet
  3. Generate cold/hot credentials (keys or scripts)
  4. Generate their corresponding key hash or script hash.
  5. Be elected on a governance action.
  6. Once elected, create a corresponding cold -> hot authorization certificate and submit it on-chain
  7. Review active governance actions
  8. Engage in discussions with other constitutional committee members to assess the constitutionality of governance actions
  9. Cast votes
  10. Include anchors (URL/hash) in their votes.

Moreover, the committee members might be required to perform specific tests, such as issuing a new hot key and authorizing it, resigning from committee members, or voting on new committee members.

Detailed tutorials will be provided upon the launch of associated features. These tutorials will offer step-by-step guidance to ensure a smooth and effortless walkthrough of the process.