Polkadot Launch:
Enabling Governance and Removing Sudo Phase

Now that the chain was running well with a large validator set, the Sudo key enabled the suite of governance modules in Polkadot, e.g. the Council, Technical Committee, and public referenda. Once the Council and governance tools were in place, the public could effect changes in the system and Sudo was removed. Without Sudo, the chain was no longer a candidate but a live, decentralized network.


The DOT Holders, the Council, and the Technical Committee are the three bodies of on-chain governance in Polkadot.

In Polkadot governance, public referenda can be proposed and voted on by any DOT holder in the system as long as they provide a bond. Anyone in the community can also submit their candidacy for joining the council or vote for councillors. The council is an elected body of on-chain accounts that are intended to represent the passive stakeholders of Polkadot.

For more details on the governance system,
please see the Polkadot wiki.

Elect Council Members

Moving to the next phase

With a Council and Technical Committee in place, and Sudo functionality removed from the chain, one of the first features enabled was token transfers with a runtime upgrade.

See All Phases
  • With a Council and Technical Committee in place, and Sudo functionality removed from the chain, one of the first features enabled will be token transfers with a runtime upgrade.

  • Submitting your candidacy for the council requires a small bond of DOT. The bond will be forfeited if your candidacy does not win or becomes a runner-up, but if you become a member of the council you will eventually get your bond back. Runner-ups are selected after every round and are reserved members in case one of the winners gets forcefully removed. Learn more here.

  • The voting period on Polkadot is 28 days. If the proposal passes, then Polkadot’s logic automatically schedules it for enactment, normally 30 days later to give time for external services to make any necessary adjustments and for those who oppose the decision to exit. Fast-tracked referenda, in situations such as an emergency technical fix, can take effect immediately.

  • Referenda can be started in one of several ways:

    • Publicly submitted proposals;
    • Proposals submitted by the Council, either through a majority or unanimously;
    • Proposals submitted as part of the enactment of a prior referendum;
    • Emergency proposals submitted by the Technical Committee and approved by the Council.
  • During the governance phase you can run for Council, vote on councilors, vote on referenda or submit a proposal.

  • How can I vote on referenda? keyboard_arrow_right

    To vote, a voter generally must lock their tokens up for at least the enactment delay period beyond the end of the referendum. This is in order to ensure that some minimal economic buy-in to the result is needed and to dissuade vote selling. It is possible to vote without locking at all, but your vote is worth a small fraction of a normal vote, given your stake. To vote, visit the Polkadot JS app or learn more here.

  • How can I vote on councilors? keyboard_arrow_right

    Voting for councillors requires you to lock your DOT for the duration of your vote. Like the validator elections, you can approve up to 16 different councillors and your vote will be equalized among the chosen group. Unlike validator elections, there is no unbonding period for your reserved tokens. Once you remove your vote, your tokens will be liquid again. Learn more.

  • Proposals must pass through a public referendum where all stakeholders can express their opinion. Every thirty days, Polkadot’s governance system autonomously selects the next proposal to go to referendum by alternating between awaiting Council and public proposals to ensure that public proposals have an equal chance of reaching referendum.

  • Can I transfer my DOT? keyboard_arrow_right

    No, DOT transferability is not yet enabled at this stage. However, it is possible to claim DOT if you have bought them in any previous token sale.

  • When DOT, kind sir? keyboard_arrow_right


  • View the latest proposals, referenda and discussions in the Kusama governance system on Kusama’s Polkassembly forum.

  • You are welcome to join Polkadot‘s official Discord channel or Element chat. For all governance related discussions, join the Polkadot Direction Element chat or visit Polkassembly. Validators can join the Polkadot Validator Lounge on Element. Or visit our support page, where you can find answers to most issues and questions.

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