SMP-1 [Included]: Initialising SubQuery Governance

SMP-1: Initialising the SubQuery Governance

Author: James Bayly - @jamesbayly
Created: 2024-05-27
Status: Included
IPFS Link:


This SMP is designed to reflect the previous Forum post made here

In the world of Web3, open governance is not just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental principle that guides the development of decentralised networks. The SubQuery Foundation stands at the forefront of this movement, empowering the SubQuery Network by nurturing its growth and development.

Dedicated to fostering an inclusive community, the Foundation intends to establish a robust governance program which aims to deliver on the promise of inclusivity, ensuring a fair, transparent, and decentralised ecosystem that will shape the future of Web3.

Introducing the SubQuery Foundation

At the heart of SubQuery’s governance approach, the SubQuery Foundation will oversee governance decisions and shape the ultimate strategic direction of the SubQuery Network. The SubQuery Foundation will help foster and guide the development and growth of the SubQuery Network.

By actively promoting and advocating for the Network, the SubQuery Foundation aims to broaden its reach and influence within the Web3 community. Through strategic marketing efforts and efficient Treasury management, the Foundation will drive the growth and adoption of SubQuery’s services.

Moreover, grants programs administered by the Foundation will incentivize developers and users to leverage the SubQuery Network for their innovative projects. By supporting community-driven initiatives and hackathons, the Foundation seeks to foster an ecosystem of partners and a flourishing user base. Comprehensive educational programs and learning materials will ensure that both beginners and seasoned developers have the resources they need to thrive within the SubQuery ecosystem.

It is expected that the SubQuery Foundation will be composed of core team members, as well as some key advisers and, over the longer term, a variety of community members elected by the community for the community.

The SubQuery Foundation is designed to focus on the following key outcomes.

  • Promote and advocate for the Network across the web3 community
  • Manage the Foundation’s Treasury and marketing efforts
  • Manage grants programmes to stimulate the use of the network
  • Develop the SubQuery ecosystem of partners and user community (incl. hackathons)
  • Drive educational programmes and learning materials
  • Ensure the network is sufficiently decentralised and guided by the community

Day to Day Operations

Over the long term, the SubQuery Foundation should assume operational responsibility for day-to-day tasks in business development, marketing, product management, and other areas of the network.

In business development and sales, the Foundation should spearhead traditional business development efforts while also prioritising community events and outreach. From hackathons and grants to education and sponsorship opportunities, the Foundation aims to foster a vibrant ecosystem that supports developers and promotes customer success.

Marketing and community engagement should also be central to the Foundation’s mission - with a strong focus on brand management, traditional marketing strategies, clear communication, and project awareness across the web3 community. Community management will play a crucial role in ensuring users remain informed and engaged, fostering a sense of belonging within the SubQuery ecosystem.

The Foundation should also guide product management and direction by determining which features to build and prioritising them on the development roadmap. Whether releasing features to the community or entrusting SubQuery Labs with implementation, the Foundation aims to ensure strategic alignment with community needs. Furthermore, bug bounties, investments, and miscellaneous initiatives will enhance the SubQuery Network’s security and growth, cementing its position as a leader in the Web3 landscape.

Core Contribution to SubQuery’s Codebases

It is our long term goal that a collection of independent organisations and individuals contribute to the SubQuery SDK, as well as the SubQuery Network contracts and applications. We’ve already taken steps towards this by introducing our open Developer Guild, which is a collection of paid tasks that any developer can start working on today for inclusion in our codebases.

In order to ensure that the SubQuery SDK and Network continues to grow in the right direction, and operate as usual, the day to day development team will be operating under SubQuery Labs, a new entity that is tasked to develop tools and services for SubQuery. This ensures that our development velocity continues through this transition period, and we continue to release new features and fix bugs as per usual. As mentioned before, it’s expected that SubQuery Labs will be just one of many contracted development teams operating under development grants from the SubQuery Foundation.

Decision Making

Over time, the Foundation aims to transition to a more comprehensive structure, distributing tasks among specialised subcommittees to ease the decision-making burden on core Foundation members. This evolution will ensure more efficient governance and allow each subcommittee to focus on key areas, ultimately leading to a more streamlined and effective oversight of the SubQuery Network’s growth and operations.

This might include the following subcommittees, responsible for various areas but ultimately accountable to the SubQuery Foundation:

  • Grant Committee: Hackathons, development grants, and other key allocation of Treasury funding within a certain pre-authorised grant budget
  • Technical Committee: Monitor system accounts and wallets, and make decisions on day to day parameter changes in the network or key contract changes.
  • Marketing, BD, and Community: Organise community events, outreach, and make decisions and allocate marketing spend within a certain pre-authorised grant budget.

Treasury Management

The SubQuery Foundation manages a substantial Treasury consisting of SQT tokens, crucial for funding ecosystem initiatives that drive growth and innovation within the SubQuery Network. Effective Treasury management is vital for Web3 projects, as it ensures the sustainable development of decentralised ecosystems. By carefully allocating resources, the Foundation can stimulate meaningful innovation while maintaining financial stability, ensuring that the Network thrives even in challenging market conditions.

A well-managed Treasury enables the SubQuery Foundation to fund initiatives that promote long-term network health, from grants and hackathons to education and community outreach programs. The Treasury is funded through a percentage of inflation rewards and vested tokens donated by the Foundation itself.

By remaining public and accessible for anyone to submit a SubQuery Treasury Proposal (STP), the Foundation fosters a transparent and inclusive approach, allowing community members to suggest compelling reasons for the allocation of funds. The SubQuery Foundation will initially monitor and vote on all major Treasury proposals submitted by council members, subcommittees, as well as by the general community members. This open proposal system not only democratises decision-making but also empowers members to contribute to the Network’s strategic direction.


This SMP will ratify the SubQuery Proposal Structure so we can begin governance in a transparent and accessible manner.

SubQuery Proposal Structure

In order to streamline the communication and documentation process for governance, it is proposed that the Foundation operate through the following three proposal mechanisms.

  • SubQuery Meta Proposals (SMP): Proposals that discuss governance matters
  • SubQuery Product Proposals (SPP): Proposals that discuss product and technical matters
  • SubQuery Treasury Proposals (STP): Proposals that discuss SQT Treasury allocation matters

For any proposal to be put to vote, a post should be made in As the proposal is made as a forum post, discussion may happen underneath the post.

SubQuery Meta Proposals (SMPs)

SubQuery Meta Proposals (SMPs) are designed as a vehicle to suggest and document changes to the governance process. The purpose of this category is to make governance self-correcting, and changes to the governance process transparent.

SMPs allow the governance process to be accessible and simple as to not gatekeep contributions, and transparent as to ensure confidence and trust in the process.

SMPs are immutable. Once a SMP receives a passing or failing vote, the contents of the SMP are considered final or frozen. To make changes or override a previously passed SMP, a new SMP must be created that supersedes the original.

To be put to vote, a post must be made in the Foundation category of our Forum. As the proposal is made as a forum post, discussion may happen underneath the post.

The title of the SMP must start with SMP-X, where X is the SMP number (ie. SMP-1). The SMP number must increase in order (eg. a SMP posted after SMP-1 must be named SMP-2).

Under the title should be the header. Header fields include:

  • Author: Author of the proposal
  • Created: Creation date in YYYY-MM-DD
  • Status:
    • Draft: Proposal made, but not voted on
    • Voting: A vote is ongoing
    • Included: Passed vote
    • Rejected: Failed vote
    • Superseded: Proposal has been replaced by a new proposal

The SMP must contain the following sections:

  • Motivation - The reason for making this change
  • Description - A description of what the change is

SubQuery Product Proposal (SPP)

SubQuery Product Proposals (SPPs) are how token holders might suggest which features are to be built into the SubQuery Network, and what changes to key parameters should be made to improve the operation of the network. This aims to make the roadmap more collaborative and ensures that SubQuery is a network of the people.

Examples include changing key network parameters, adding new features to the official network app, supporting new layer-1s, or making changes to the SDK.

SPPs may often specify funding from the SubQuery Treasury to develop and implement the specified feature. It’s important that we attract the best developers to the SubQuery Network through suitable compensation for their hard work.

To be put to vote, a post must be made in the Foundation category of our Forum. As the proposal is made as a forum post, discussion may happen underneath the post.

The title of the SPP must start with SPP-X, where X is the SPP number (ie. SPP-1). The SPP number must increase in order (eg. a SPP posted after SPP-1 must be named SPP-2).

Under the title should be the header. Header fields include:

  • Author: Author of the proposal
  • Created: Creation date in YYYY-MM-DD
  • Status:
    • Draft: Proposal made, but not voted on
    • Voting: A vote is ongoing
    • Planned: Passed vote
    • Rejected: Failed vote
    • Completed: Change is implemented and deployed

The SPP must contain the following sections:

  • Motivation - Why include this feature, including use cases
  • Description - What the feature is
  • Implementation - Technical details on how to include this feature

SubQuery Treasury Proposals (STPs)

SubQuery Treasury Proposals (STPs) may be how token holders decide how large capital allocations are made. Examples include grants, allocation of SQT to certain reward streams and capital allocation to ecosystem development programmes. This is intentionally left broad to allow a wide variety of capital allocations from the Treasury where it makes sense to help the project and network.

To be put to vote, a post must be made in the Foundation category of our Forum. As the proposal is made as a forum post, discussion may happen underneath the post.

The title of the STP must start with STP-X, where X is the STP number (ie. STP-1). The STP number must increase in order (eg. a STP posted after STP-1 must be named STP-2).

Under the title should be the header. Header fields include:

  • Author: Author of the proposal
  • Created: Creation date in YYYY-MM-DD
  • Status:
    • Draft: Proposal made, but not voted on
    • Voting: A vote is ongoing
    • Planned: Passed vote
    • Rejected: Failed vote
    • Completed: Capital has been deployed

The STP must contain the following sections:

  • Motivation - The reason for allocating capital
  • Description - What the capital allocation is, what the milestones will be
  • Implementation - How this capital will be moved, to what accounts will it be paid to and under what exchange rate (if relevant)

What are the Next Steps?

We’re going to leave this forum post up for the next 7 days.

We welcome feedback, suggestions, and any concerns in the comments below so we can work collaboratively to improve and fine tune our governance processes.

After a feedback process, we will put the proposal up for vote on our governance tool Snapshot.

Ultimately, the SubQuery Foundation’s governance program seeks to strike a balance between decentralisation and strategic guidance. With the SubQuery Foundation shaping the Network’s direction, SubQuery will empower a generation of developers and users to realise the full potential of Web3.


Great to see SubQuery governance processes solidifying.

It’s a big step to advance in the right direction.

I’m in full support of this proposal.

After a 7 day discussion period, we are now moving to a vote Snapshot

As this has passed Snapshot voting, it has been codified on our documentation: SMP-1 Add initial governance information · subquery/documentation@2fa58c9 · GitHub

Read more here Introduction to SubQuery Governance | SubQuery Documentation