Celo Foundation Voting Policy

The following describes how the Celo Foundation anticipates allocating its votes to validator groups, with special attention to the first allocated groups at the Celo Mainnet release and the months thereafter.

The policy described here can change at any time as determined by the Foundation Board.

Policy Objectives

The Foundation voting policy aims to:

  • Be fair by avoiding preferential treatment to certain groups;

  • Vote in-line with the Foundation’s purpose, which is to encourage financial inclusion and prosperity for all;

  • Encourage professional, secure, and reliable validators;

  • Be equal opportunity by enabling new groups to have validators elected; and

  • Promote network stability by encouraging a gradual turnover in elected validators instead of abrupt election changes


Every 3 months, the Foundation, through its Board, will distribute a portion of its total available votes to a cohort of validator groups. These validators must meet certain basic standards (details below) and alignment with the Foundation’s purpose. The total number of validator groups in a cohort can vary.

Validator groups who will be selected for a cohort (and will thus receive a portion of the Foundation’s votes) will be informed by the following (non-exhaustive) considerations:

  1. The number of elected validators in earlier cohorts;

  2. Network stability;

  3. Celo Gold governance participation (e.g., how many Celo Gold holders are actively participating in voting); and

  4. The quality of validator group applicants

Each validator group selected in the cohort will receive a portion of the Foundation votes for a period of 9 months. During this period, so long as a validator in the group is not slashed or otherwise engages in misbehavior, the validator group will continue to receive these votes. If the validator group is slashed or engages in misbehavior, however, the votes for that validator group will be withdrawn for the remainder of the period. If the validator group is slashed, it may reapply to the Foundation after a 6 month period. In addition, the Foundation may also withdraw its votes if the validator group or the validators in the group fail to meet other standards, including running an attestation service.

Eligibility Criteria

Standard Criteria

To support effective and responsible validators, the Foundation considers the following, basic criteria, which must be met by all applicants who receive Foundation votes:

  • Zero Slashing Incidents. The validator members of any applying group must not have been slashed within the last 6 months of application. (Note, there are a variety of reasons for slashing, including downtime, security issues, etc. At the outset, and because groups can re-apply at 6 months and 1 day of the slashing, all slashing will be considered equal at this stage)

  • Audit Checklist and Self Reporting. As part of the application process, the Foundation will publish a list of recommended validator settings. The members of every group applying will self attest to complying with the recommended checklist.

  • Education. An effective validator must be secure. Applicants’ members will take an education course. The course must be completed annually.

  • Basic Diligence. Because the Foundation holds a substantial number of votes, and its voting may determine whether a validator is elected, the Foundation will conduct a basic diligence process for voted groups. The diligence would include name, location, entity information. This diligence would occur on an annual basis for any group receiving votes.

  • Attestation Service. Ability and commitment to running attestation services.

Additional Criteria

In addition to meeting the standard criteria, outlined above, the Foundation anticipates prioritizing validator groups who are mission aligned and/or will provide greater network resilience. These criteria may include:

  • The geographical location of the validator group

  • Non-profit organizations

  • Organizations who commit to donating a percentage of rewards to non-profit organizations

  • The likelihood of the validator group having substantial network support from other voters


At Celo Mainnet release, the Foundation will vote for the top 50 The Great Celo Stake Off (TGCSO) winners divided into the following two cohorts:

  • Cohort 1: open to TGCSO leaderboard participants at ranking 26-50, this cohort will receive votes for 3 months period

  • Cohort 2: open to TGCSO leaderboard participants at ranking 1-25, this cohort will receive votes for 6 months period

Following Mainnet release, the Foundation will open the application process for a third cohort. This third cohort must meet basic requirements (as stated above) and it is anticipated that this third cohort may begin to receive votes 3 months after Mainnet release, and will receive votes for the expected 9 month period.

The application process for the third and following cohorts will be shared here in due course.