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Gauges

What is a gauge?

A gauge is a governance mechanism allowing you to use your voting power to allocate your share of governance where you desire in a specific way.
For example, let's imagine that there are 100 MNDE in circulation, and those MNDE control the delegation of 2M SOL through a gauge. If you own 1 MNDE, you could allocate 1% (or 20,000 SOL) to the validator of your choice. This principle can be applied to control any type of allocation in a decentralized way.

Liquidity Mining Gauges

One of the planned gauges to be discussed by MNDE holders will be the Liquidity Mining Gauge.
As you may know, Marinade's liquidity mining program is allocating additional rewards in MNDE to certain pools or DeFi protocols that are using mSOL.
Thanks to the Liquidity Mining gauge, you would be able to vote on the DeFi possibilities that you would like to see incentivized in the next weeks.
This gauge is currently being discussed on the Marinade Forum.

Validators Gauges

Following a successful on-chain vote, Validators gauge have been implemented into Marinade delegation strategy. They are accessible through Tribeca.
Those gauges control 10% of the total Marinade stake. The control of those 10% is split between MNDE locked (NFTs) and used in gauges.
Gauges do not allow to delegate stake to validators belonging to the superminority, blacklisted for cheating with credits or changing their commission at the last minute or validators that have a commission superior to 10%. They also do not allow to go over the general Marinade parameter that is currently set to forbid a validator from having more than 1.5% of the total Marinade stake.
Due to how the Delegation strategy operates, votes on gauges may take a few epochs to be fully reflected in the stake obtained by validators from Marinade.

Validators gauges introduction

Gauges are a complex governance mechanism and it may not be easy to grasp what purpose they serve, how to use them or why you would want to use them in the first place. Let's dive into a digestible explanation.
Before gauges, Marinade stake was fully distributed according to the Delegation Strategy. This delegation strategy focuses on validators that decentralize the network and have good performance, which results in a good score.
Thanks to the gauges, it will be possible for MNDE holders to select a validator that should receive some stake from Marinade for another reason than solely score. Indeed, a lot of validators are performing well or bringing other things to the ecosystem but do not manage to get stake from Marinade, as the delegation strategy only takes score (calculated with on-chain metrics) in consideration and as the competition is rough. Let's list some examples of why a MNDE holder could want to use the gauges to handpick a validator that should receive more stake:
  • The validator contributes to the same communities as you
  • The validator has built free Web3 tools you've found useful
  • The validator has helped you with a DeFi or crypto question personally.
  • You want to further support the validator's high performance or commission model
  • You've noticed the validator advocate for Solana in other channels
Now that the reasons for why you would want to use the gauges are more clear, let's quickly review what purpose they serve.
First, they give more power and utility to the MNDE token, making it fundamentally more valuable as the power they represent is something that adds value to it.
Secondly, the gauges allow validators to receive stake in a more sticky way, allowing them to plan for their growth more clearly.
Finally, gauges could also serve the purpose of allowing validators that receive more than enough stake to be profitable to slightly lower their commission and lead to a better APY for the users.

How to use the Validators Gauges

In order to use the Validator Gauges, you will need at least one NFT Chef that represents locked MNDE. You can mint your NFT on the MNDE page in Marinade app.
Remember that only 15 NFTs can be considered for your total voting power by Tribeca. If you own more NFTs, please use a second wallet to be able to fully use all your voting power.
  • Connect your wallet that contains at least one NFT Chef to Tribeca.
Tribeca page
  • Click on 'Validators Gauges'. The gauges page will open.
Gauges panels
  • Click on "Cast votes" and look for the validator(s) you want to support.
  • You will be able to split your voting power in the way you desire, by using the 'weight' field for each validator of your choice. Weight works in a relative manner, so you're free to use any number you'd like and see the expected percentage of your total voting power that will be allocated to each validator. You can delegate your total voting power to one validator, or choose up to 5 validators.
Update weights page
  • Click on the 'Update weights' button and then on the 'Execute all' button to send the necessary transactions to cast your votes to the blockchain. Multiple transactions will be needed.
Transactions to cast your votes
  • Your votes are now registered and will influence the score of the validators over the next epochs. You can learn more about how it will affect their score in the Delegation Strategy page.

How to create a gauge for a validator

  • If the validator that you wish to vote for is not here, click on 'View all gauges'. A page will appear with all the already created gauges.
All gauges panel that display all the existing gauges and their current allocations
  • Click on 'Add validator' and create a gauge for this validator using its vote_address.
Creating a Validator Gauge with its Vote Address
  • Click on 'Create Validator Gauge', confirm the transaction in your wallet and your newly created gauge will appear in the 'All gauges' panel. You will then be able to cast your votes towards this validator.
All gauges panel after adding 'Validator #1' through the Add validator function

What happens if my voting power changes?

If your total voting power has changed since the last time you casted your votes in gauges, a new button ('Recalculate votes') will appear in the top right of the 'Your gauges votes' panel allowing you to conserve the same allocations that you had set previously with your current voting power.
The 'Recalculate votes' option appears if your voting power is not the same as the last time you casted your votes
Unlocking a NFT that is used in gauges is possible but will require multiple transactions in the Marinade app. Once your NFT is in its unlocking period, check the Validators gauges to see if you need to recalculate your votes or not. This should not be necessary when your votes were casted to a single validator.

Can I cancel all my votes?

Yes, in order to cancel all your votes in gauges, you just have to edit your votes and leave all the field blank. You can then click on 'Update weights' and all your votes will be cancelled.