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On-Chain Polls

In the 8.0.0 version of Cardano-node, we incorporated a new group of commands to facilitate voting among stake pool operators. An "official" poll is characterized by being endorsed with a genesis delegate key.


CIP-0094 - Poll participation


​For this guide, you require a Cardano-cli that has the governance poll subcommands. You can use anything from the Cardano-node release v8.0.0 or a specially backported 1.35.7 version. Once a Genesis Delegate Key holder has signed and posted a new poll question on the chain, it will appear in this Cardano Foundation CIP-0094-polls repository.

You can find the JSON file containing the poll question in CBOR format by navigating into the specific subfolder.

For instance, the first PreProd network Test question appears like this: poll.json

"type": "GovernancePoll",
"description": "An on-chain poll for SPOs: How satisfied are you with the current rewards and incentives scheme?",
"cborHex": "a1185ea200827840486f77207361746973666965642061726520796f752077697468207468652063757272656e74207265776172647320616e6420696e63656e74697665732073636568656d653f0183816c646973736174697366696564816a6e6f206f70696e696f6e8169736174697366696564"

The signature from the genesis delegate key isn't included in this metadata but is employed as an additional signatory on the initiating transaction.

Download this file to your node.

Creating answer

​ From that point, you can generate a metadata entry to respond to the poll using the governance answer-poll command in the following way: ​

$ cardano-cli governance answer-poll --poll-file poll.json

​ This command will invite an interactive response from you. If you prefer not to respond interactively, you can employ --answer along with the index of the answer.

Executing this command will present the survey in a format easy to comprehend and will ask for your answer, as demonstrated below: ​

How satisfied are you with the current rewards and incentives scheme?
[0] dissatisfied
[1] no opinion
[2] satisfied

Please indicate an answer (by index): _

You can move forward by entering one of the possible answer indices (in this case, 0, 1, or 2) followed by a newline. This will generate witnessed metadata in the form of a detailed JSON schema, which should be subsequently posted on-chain in any transaction and signed with your stake pool's cold key: ideally, this is achieved by constructing a basic transaction directed to yourself that carries the metadata.

Here is a sample of metadata where the answer 2 is selected:


"94": {
"map": [
"k": { "int": 2 },
"v": { "bytes": "62c6be72bdf0b5b16e37e4f55cf87e46bd1281ee358b25b8006358bf25e71798" }
"k": { "int": 3 },
"v": { "int": 2 }

Publishing answer

​ From this point, you can utilize the transaction build command to generate a transaction for posting on-chain. You will require a signing key linked to a UTxO possessing sufficient funds to facilitate the transaction (approximately 0.2 Ada if you're making a basic transaction to yourself).

Assuming you have stored the metadata generated from the previous step in a file named answer.json, the command to construct the transaction would appear as follows:

$ cardano-cli transaction build \
--babbage-era \
--cardano-mode \
--mainnet \
--tx-in $TXID#$IX \
--change-address $ADDRESS \
--metadata-json-file answer.json \
--json-metadata-detailed-schema \
--required-signer-hash $POOL_ID \
--out-file answer.tx

Please be aware that adding --required-signer-hash is crucial for the response to be considered valid for the survey; this serves as your identification as a stake pool operator.

You can produce the $POOL_ID hash from the Bech32 formatted pool ID using the Bech32 command: ​

$ bech32 <<< pool1....

To submit the response to the chain, you need to provide the respective values for --tx-in & --change-address from one of your wallets.

From this point, you can sign answer.tx using your stake pool's cold key and any necessary payment key, then submit the result as usual. If everything proceeds correctly, the cardano-cli should present a transaction id that you can monitor on-chain to confirm your survey response was correctly published.

SPO-Poll Dashboards where your transaction should now be visible:

Verifying Answers

​ Lastly, you can validate answers observed on-chain using the governance verify-poll command. The term 'verify' here has a dual meaning:

  • It verifies that an answer is valid in the context of a specific survey
  • It provides a list of the signatory key hashes found in the transaction; in the case of a valid submission, one key hash will correspond to a recognized stake pool id.

Assuming you still have the original poll.json file, and a signed transaction carrying a survey answer as answer.signed, you can confirm its validity using: ​

$ cardano-cli governance verify-poll \
--poll-file poll.json \
--tx-file answer.signed

​ Upon successful execution, this should produce something like: ​

Found valid poll answer, signed by:

​ Alternatively, the command will identify a problem with the answer and/or poll.