Governance Guide — How To Propose

Anybody with 1% of COMP delegated to their address can propose a governance proposal; proposals are simple or complex sets of actions, such as adding support for a new asset, changing an asset’s collateral factor, changing a market’s interest rate model, or changing any other parameter or variable of the protocol. This post is a visual, step-by-step guide on how create a governance proposal via Compound’s Voting Interface. If you’d like to jump ahead straight to the Voting Interface, you can jump ahead here. In addition, for a more technical understanding of what’s happening under the hood, please see our protocol Documentation.

Before we get started, let’s review the requirements to create a governance proposal as of today:

  • A web3 wallet
  • A delegation amount (votes) in excess of 1% from a single wallet address

Important proposal information:

  • If your proposal involves calling a new contract address, that work should be previously completed, and audited before creating a proposal.
  • All proposals have a pending period. This acts as a period for votes to set delegations prior to a proposal becoming active, at which point, it can be voted on.
  • Only the creator of a proposal can cancel it. This can be canceled up until the execute function has been called on the passed proposal.
  • For a detailed view of the states of a proposal, view this diagram.

Step 1 – Navigate to the Compound Interface and Connect your Wallet

  • Go to
  • When you first visit the interface, a pop-up modal will ask you to connect your Web3 wallet. We recommend using MetaMask, the most popular browser-based Web3 wallet.

Step 2 – Understanding the Compound Voting Interface

  • After connecting your wallet, you’ll see the main components of the interface: the Voting Wallet component on the left, Proposals on the right, and your Vote Balance on top.
  • The number of votes the connected wallet has is displayed in the center, large, on top of the dark background.
  • If you have over 1% of total votes (100,000.00000001) you will see a “Create Proposal” Button that leads to a simple interface to create governance proposals. For the sake of this guide, we will be focusing on this part of the interface.

Step 3 – Click “Create Proposal” to Start

Step 4 – Understand the Create Proposal Interface

  • The proposal creation page is broken down into two halves: the Proposal Description and associated Actions.
  • Each proposal is required to have a Title , Overview , and at least one Action.
  • To add an Action, click the ‘+’ button in the green “add action” bar.
  • Once everything is filled out, the “Submit Proposal” button will become active and you can submit your proposal.
  • There are many contracts and functions to propose changes to, but for sake of this walk through, we’ll focus on a single type of proposal.

Step 5 – Add an Action to the Proposal

  • You may add multiple actions to any proposal , but for the sake of this guide, we’ll only be adding one.
  • Because all proposals are executable code , the creation process is simply a selection of pre-defined dropdowns.
  • To start, click the ‘+’ button in the green “add action” bar on the right side of the screen.
  • The first part of adding an action to a proposal is selecting the targeted contract address for the action. You may select from the contracts used in the Compound Protocol or reference a new one. In this case, we’ll select the cETH contract.
  • Based on the chosen contract (cETH), we’ll now need to add a function we wish to change. In this case, we’ll select _setInterestRateModel.
  • Based on the chosen function, you may be required to enter additional inputs, in this case, to complete the proposal we need to provide a new interest rate model contract address.
  • Once all fields are completed, the “Add Action” button will become active (green) and you can add the action the the proposal.
  • You can edit all actions after adding them, but the current interface limits deleting an action. Simply refresh your page to clear the proposal and start fresh.

Step 5 – Add a Title and Overview to your Proposal

  • After all actions are added, you’ll need to provide a Title and Overview to describe your proposal. The more clear and concise these inputs are, the better. This is a great place to link audits, blog posts with further analysis or details, etc.
  • In the Overview section you can use Markdown to stylize your content.
  • Once filled out, the “Submit Proposal” will become active and your proposal is ready to be submitted into the Compound Governance system!

1 Like

Thanks, @jayson, great guide. Do you have a guide specifically for the process of proposing a new asset?

I’ve so far just been looking at the May 2020 USDT vote as a point of reference.


Thank you very much for this thorough guide. It’s much needed for people like me who are currently exploring the governing processes in Compound and other protocols.