Propose upgrades and changes to Moonwell


The Moonwell protocol operates under community governance through a structured proposal process. Members recommend, discuss, vote on, and implement changes, thereby removing the reliance on any specific individual or team.

Ideation and Forum Discussion

To submit a proposal, begin by posting in the Moonwell Governance Forum, ensuring that it aligns with the proposal guidelines. If a proposal cannot be condensed into a focused and organised format, it should be shared in either the forum's ideas subcategory or Discord's #governance channel first. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the governance process by registering for a forum account or joining the Moonwell Discord.

Onchain Voting (MIP)

Changes to the Moonwell codebase are initiated through an onchain proposal known as a Moonwell Improvement Proposal (MIP). These proposals include a detailed description and execution code. The implementation process for these proposals differs depending on the target chain: Base, Moonbeam, or Moonriver.

MIPs can be found by navigating to "Governance" within the Moonwell application.

Use the network toggle to change between networks and display the corresponding proposals.

Onchain voting follows the process illustrated in the diagram below.

Proposal Creation

Any wallet with sufficient voting power can create a Moonwell Improvement Proposal. The current proposal threshold is set at 1,000,000 votes for Base and Moonbeam, and 500,000 votes for Moonriver. The author of the proposal must provide a detailed description and accompanying code, containing up to 25 operations that will be executed if the proposal is approved. After a short delay of 60 seconds, the active voting period for the proposal commences.

Voting Period

The voting period lasts for 3 days, during which any wallet with voting power can register a vote of "For", "Against", or "Abstain".

At the end of the voting period, a proposal will be considered to have succeeded if it meets the following criteria:

  • Proposal has received a majority of "For" votes (greater than 50% "For" when compared to "Against")

  • Proposal has received quorum of at least 100,000,000 WELL votes (Base/Moonbeam) or 40,000,000 MFAM (Moonriver)

Quorum is a measure of all "For", "Against", and "Abstain" votes on a proposal.

It is possible for "Abstain" votes to assist a proposal in reaching quorum and passing successfully.

If a proposal fails to secure a majority of "For" votes AND quorum within the 3-day voting period, it will be deemed defeated and cannot be executed.

Vote Collection [Base/Moonbeam]

Once a proposal is successful, it will be placed in a Vote Collection period. The Vote Collection period is a designated 24-hour timeframe that commences immediately following the closure of the voting phase. This period does not require any direct action from voters but plays a critical role in the governance process.

The primary purpose of the Vote Collection period is to allow remote networks, such as Base, to transmit their vote totals to the main governor located on Moonbeam. This aggregation process is crucial for:

  • Ensuring that votes from various networks are accounted for in the final tally.

  • Providing an indication of whether a proposal has met the required quorum for successful passage.

Potential Disruptions to Vote Collection

While the system is designed for robustness and reliability, there exists a potential for disruptions, notably through service outages such as those that could affect the Wormhole network. In such scenarios:

  • A prolonged outage (exceeding 24 hours) during the Vote Collection period could result in the inability to collect vote totals from remote networks, like Base.

  • This situation might lead to a proposal that appears successful in the app failing to pass due to incomplete vote aggregation.

Timelock [Moonriver]

Once a proposal is successful, it will be placed in the Timelock queue. The Timelock enforces a mandatory 24-hour delay before the proposal can be executed. This allows the community to have time to react to the proposal before it takes effect.


After the Vote Collection or Timelock period has ended, any account can execute the proposal. Once executed, all operations included in the proposal will be performed.

Base MIPs (Temporal Governance Verification and Execution)

All MIPs concerning the Base deployment of Moonwell are subject to an additional 24-hour waiting period after the Vote Collection period.

After garnering sufficient support and success, a proposal for the Base deployment of Moonwell undergoes a 24-hour Vote Collection period. Once this period concludes, the proposal is executed on Moonbeam, and a message is relayed to the Wormhole protocol. Subsequently, Moonwell's Temporal Governance cross-chain governance framework validates the proposal's authenticity and source legitimacy. If all requirements are satisfied, the proposal enters the temporal governor's 24-hour Timelock before its final execution on Base. This additional Timelock serves as a safeguard against rare instances where the Wormhole guardians validate a message that circumvented Moonwell governance, allowing any discrepancies or concerns to be addressed before the proposal's execution.

Snapshot Voting

To propose significant changes to the Moonwell protocol, it is advisable for proposal authors to first gauge community interest and feedback by conducting a Snapshot "signal" vote. These votes are non-binding as they cannot directly alter the protocol. However, they serve as a valuable tool for measuring sentiment on substantial matters.

Snapshot proposals can be found by navigating to "Governance" within the Moonwell application.

Use the network toggle to change between networks and display the corresponding proposals.

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