RFC: Proposal to integrate Subsquare as Governance UI

Short summary

Integration of Subsquare as UI for governance.

High level objective

The purpose of this proposal is to:

  • Make participation in governance more user friendly and straightforward
  • Increase participation in governance
  • Create a better overview of (previous, current and upcoming) governance processes

Governance is a crucial part of Centrifuge/Altair and important decisions should always go through both an off-chain and an on-chain governance process, where the community is involved.

Currently, our off-chain governance takes place here on our Forum (RFCs and polls) and our on-chain governance takes place in the Portal (endorsing proposals, voting on referenda/motions etc.).

Many people have expressed that the portal is not the easiest to use and navigate in, so in order to address that issue and gather all governance activities in one place, we would need to integrate a new UI. Furthermore, many other Polkadot/Kusama projects use a governance UI.

Description of activity

Based on our own research and the feedback of other projects, I would like to propose to integrate Subsquare as our new interface for governance activities (both off-chain and on-chain) on both Centrifuge and Altair.

There were two candidates for the choice of UI - Subsquare and Polkassembly - and we had a presentation of both during two of our previous Governance Calls.

  • See the presentation of Subsquare here (2:20 - 15:20).
  • See the presentation of Polkassembly here (27:40 - 49:30).

I recently reached out to the Governance Facilitators of five different projects (Acala, Moonbeam, Hydra, Bifrost and Kilt Protocol) and all projects highlight the responsiveness of both teams behind the UIs.

At first glance, both UIs seem very similar and in many ways, they are. They both offer the same essential governance features (making proposals, voting on referenda, polls etc.), they both have the option to customise a lot of the features and their menus are roughly shown the same way.

The choice fell on Subsquare because it seems a bit faster than Polkassembly (more responsive) - this is also something that I gathered from the feedback from some of the projects.

You can see how Subsquare looks on Polkadot here. Note that our UI might look different, depending on what features we chose to implement.

Currently, the only limitation on both Subsquare and Polkassembly is that it is not possible to create Council Motions and vote for councillors - but this is something that is in the works and will be added in the near future.

Subsquare will also be ready for Gov2, once we decide to adapt that.

Alignment of the mission of Centrifuge DAO

If decentralization is something we want to achieve, and not just something we talk about, I believe it starts with robust governance and transparency. Integrating an easy-to-use UI is an important step in that direction.

Some of the advantages that integrating Subsquare will bring to our governance process are:

  • Easy user interface to participate in governance
  • All governance activities will be in one place
  • Clean overview of all previous/current/upcoming on-chain events
    • proposals, referenda etc.
  • Calendar function
    • to see off-chain events (like Governance/Community Calls) in addition to on-chain events
  • Snapshot voting
    • for off-chain polls
  • More transparency
    • you can see a description of the referendum you are voting on
  • Notification system
    • you will get notified when a new referendum is open for vote etc.


In around a week - or once there has been enough discussion around this topic - there will be a poll here on the Forum for whether the community would like to see Subsquare integrated. If the poll passes, I propose we start the process immediately after (integration will take around one week after we have initiated it) and that this integration be paid for by the Centrifuge Network Foundation out of existing reserves.

The price for integrating Subsquare will be:

One time fee of $10K for each chain, so $20K in total.
Monthly maintenance fee of $700 for Centrifuge and $500 for Altair.

I would like to hear feedback from the community regarding this proposal. What are your thoughts about integrating Subsquare? And what features do you think are important to include?

Please post your comments/questions below.


Subsquare is the place to be :sunglasses:

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Let’s see if the community agrees.

Personally I like the cleanliness and responsiveness of the UI, the overview of governance activities and the possibility to customize the features. I guess I feel about governance as I do about shopping - I prefer doing it all in one place and want to quickly find what I’m looking for :grinning:

Will there be a chance to keep using polkadot dot js for governance?

Yes, you can just keep using the portal for all on-chain governance, if you want. Subsquare just provides an easier user interface - it is entirely up to the individual, how they want to participate in governance.

are we going to have a vote on this proposal? It seems Altair is already in Polkassembly: https://altair.polkassembly.io/

They just did that so we could see how it looks - no agreement has been made.

And yes, after this RFC there will an off-chain poll where the community can vote - but no on-chain voting with tokens.

Thanks for bringing this up. A comprehensive and easy to navigate governance platform is important. I had a look into Subsquare and Polkassambly and at first glance the UI from Subsquare looks a little bit more structured and cleaner

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Thank you for providing the screenshots @Tjure07 :ok_hand:

A couple of additional notes to the proposal, just to make it entirely clear:

  • This RFC will run for around 7 days, followed by a poll that will run for 7 days, and the integration will also take around 7 days. So if the community votes in favor of this proposal, we could have a new UI in around three weeks from now.
  • The Substrate/Polkadot portal can still be used simultaneously for governance if some people prefer to do so - some interactions will still need to take place in the portal, until they are added as a feature, as mentioned in the post (e.g. creating council motions and voting for the council).

I’m down for some Subsquare action. I’ve only ever used Polkassembly, but sub looks nice as well.



Where do we vote for the proposal? I see no active referenda in Polkadot/Substrate portal

Hi @vlashe, thank you for your interest in the proposal.

In the beginning of next week, there will be an off-chain poll here on the Forum - there will be no on-chain vote (i.e. you will not be voting with your tokens in the portal).

Once the poll is open, I will link to it from this post.

Oh, i see thanks. By the way… are there any plans to have everything in one place, i.e. in Altair dApp - governance, utility, links to liquidity/DEX?

You mean sort of how Acala/Karura has set it up? To my knowledge, there are no plans of gathering it all in one place right now.

However, integrating a governance UI is a step towards gathering all governance activities in one place.

And the Centrifuge/Altair dApp will be having all financing activities in one place.

But I do see the advantage of what you are suggesting, so once everything is up and running fully, this could definitely be an interesting topic of discussion.

I have one comment to the snapshot voting for polls in Subsquare. I became aware that the snapshot date can be chosen in the past which has advantages and disadvantages. It gives the poll more flexibility to include token holders from the past but on the contrary could include token holders who already sold their position.

In my opinion the date shouldn’t be too far in the past and should have a window of max. 72 hrs prior to the creation of the date.

Is this a feature which can be changed or is it standard for Subsquare?

Thanks for this proposal. I believe switching to snapshot style voting for temperature checks instead of the forum votes will be beneficial for having more accurate feedback on polls.

A very good point - I have inquired this with Subsquare and will post the answer here when I get it.

For anyone who is not familiar with snapshot voting; the way it works is that a snapshot of your token balance is taken at a given time, and this will determine your voting power. The snapshot date can currently be selected manually by the creator of the poll (like @Tjure07 highlights) but you can only select a date that is either exactly on the day the poll is created, or prior to this (date in the past) - so you cannot set the date in the future.

As you mention, there are both advantages and disadvantages in being able to select the date. Personally, I think it would make sense to set the snapshot date to when the poll is created to avoid any kind of speculation.

Anyone has a different view on this?

cc. @ImdioR @omegafattyasses

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This is a technical question which needs to be clarified once the decision on the implementation of Subsquare has been made
It shouldn’t be a hindrance to choose Subsquare over Polkassembly imo

Thank you everyone for contributing to the discussion.

The poll for integrating Subsquare is now open for 7 days from now here.

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Good day Rhano
In my opinion, the date of the snapshot should be selected from the date of creation of the poll with a max time limit of 7 days (this is our standard deadline for polls).

The ability to select dates that have already passed or dates that will come much later will only introduce misunderstandings, errors, and loss of time (after all, the survey will have to be conducted again).

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