I think this is a good point, and from my perspective developers certainly seem to be the key actors for every project. I’m interested in projects that try define some constituency broader than developers and put it in charge, because as someone who is not a developer there is clearly no place for me in the governance of most projects.
I don’t (yet) know of a single blockchain that forces all stakeholders to vote on governance issues, which implies that the above condition is true for all of the blockchains I know about.
I’m curious whether the set of blockchains you know about includes Decred.
While Decred doesn’t force stakeholders to vote on governance issues, it does give them an incentive to. Quite successfully too, as 46% of the supply is currently locked up in voting tickets.
It is true that voters can abstain and still collect their reward, but the protocol requires a certain degree of approval from the stake-voting constituency to adopt a change to the consensus rules. At least 10% have to vote Yes or No for the vote to be valid (in addition to updating their software to hold the vote in the first place) — but there’s a requirement there for at least some proportion of holders to actively participate to bring in a rule change.
There’s much more to including stakeholders in governance than giving them a way to vote though. Voting rights have to be accompanied by accessible information about how things work and what’s being decided, plus an open discourse that people can follow and feel welcomed to participate in.
The Decred community recognizes this need for an informed and engaged voting constituency, and is putting serious effort into building out the communications infrastructure and information resources needed for that to happen. Cultivating the collective intelligence of stakeholders is recognized as being important for Decred’s strength long-term.
I kind of disagree that developers will be central to governance in perpetuity, and I think informed and engaged stakeholders will turn out to be quite important. In any case, it is good for the space more broadly that this approach is pursued.