Snapshot is a decentralized governance platform that numerous Web3 communities, including the Moonbeam community, use for signal voting. Signal voting is an informal and off-chain governance process that allows the community to voice their opinions on a matter prior to an on-chain vote. Signal voting through Snapshot, together with discussion on Moonbeam’s governance forum, are precursors to voting in on-chain referenda on Moonbeam.
The key distinction between off-chain signal voting and participation in on-chain democracy referenda is that the latter is binding. But signal voting is still a crucial element that allows the Moonbeam community to gauge the sentiment for a potential proposal. At the current time, Snapshot’s vote weight mechanism only considers tokens in your free balance. However, in the future, you may be able to vote with staked tokens.
Voting with Snapshot uses no gas and only requires the user to sign a message. Unlike Moonbeam’s on-chain democracy, Snapshot voting cannot and does not lock up tokens for any period of time. Thus, signal voting with Snapshot is fast, easy and flexible. Let’s walk through a demo of how it works.
To get started, head to the Moonbeam Foundation’s Snapshot Space. Then, take the following steps:
- Press Connect Wallet at the top right and connect your desired account
- Press Join
- If you agree to the terms, press I agree
Click on a proposal to get familiar with the user interface. An indicator beneath the title will let you know the status of the proposal. Below the title, you’ll also find the name of the space and the proposer. On the right hand side, you’ll see the following important information:
- Strategie(s) refers to which token holders are eligible to participate. In this case, it’s tokenholders of GLMR.
- IPFS links to the proposal metadata stored on IPFS.
- Voting system refers to how users can vote for their desired choice(s) and how results are calculated, such as single choice, approval, and quadratic voting.
- Start date indicates the proposal start date and time.
- End date indicates the deadline to participate in the snapshot vote.
- The Snapshot block number corresponds to the block number at which the proposal started. Your voting power is calculated as of this starting block number, such that you can’t buy or borrow tokens to increase your influence after a proposal has started.
There’s one more thing you should review before participating in a vote. Under the Discussion heading, you’ll see a link to a Moonbeam Community Forum post corresponding to the Snapshot vote. This forum post typically includes additional context on the proposal such as implementation details and the rationale behind the proposal. The forum is also a perfect place to get involved in the discussion. When you’re ready to participate in a snapshot vote, take the following steps:
- Check out the corresponding post on Moonbeam Community Forum
- Select your desired vote option
- Press Vote
- Optionally, you can provide a reason for your vote that is publicly visible
- Press Confirm and sign the resulting signature request in your wallet
Users are free to change their stance at any point during the voting period. At the bottom of the page is a leaderboard of the most influential voters and their corresponding positions. And that’s it! As you can see, signal voting with Snapshot is a breeze.
Creating a Snapshot Proposal
Just like voting on a snapshot proposal, creating one is quick and easy as well. To get started, head to the Moonbeam Foundation’s Snapshot Space and connect your wallet. If you haven’t yet joined the Moonbeam Foundation Snapshot Space, make sure to do so now. Then, press New Proposal.
On the following page, fill in the details of your proposal by taking the following steps:
- Provide a title
- Enter a description
- Optionally provide any images
- Paste in the link of the Moonbeam Community Forum post corresponding to this snapshot proposal. This step is optional but highly recommended
- You can preview your proposal before continuing to the next step
- Press Continue
You’ll now be prompted for details on how your snapshot proposal will be voted on. Here, you can take the following steps:
- Select a voting system type. You can read more about each voting type here.
- Enter the options for respondents. These are meant to answer the question, “How much potential value would this feature bring to Moonbeam/Moonriver?” The standard options here are: A lot, some, doesn’t seem like a lot, or need more information.
- Enter a voting start date (the default is now)
- Enter a voting end date. The suggested period is 7 days.
- Review the options you’ve selected for accuracy, then press Submit.
And that’s it! You’ve now created a Snapshot signal vote on the Moonbeam Foundation’s Space. All that’s left to do now is encourage your fellow token holders to vote on the Snapshot vote!