Ephesus introduces the ability of the council to pay creators at scale, and frees the DAO by removing sudo

Assuming the Runtime Upgrade Proposal is approved, the platform will have a native and transparent way of drawing in new creators to the platform as a whole - crucial for a "Video Platform DAO".

Speaking of DAOs, in addition to a few new features, Ephesus also "doubles" as the last step of the mainnet rollout, where by removing the sudo module in its entirety, Joystream is truly liberated.


The Runtime Upgrade Proposal was made on Thursday the 2nd of March in block #1191179, and the proposal type (currently) has a constitutionality of four – meaning it must be approved by all three Council Members, for  four consecutive councils). Thus, the release is still some time away.

Even with the lucky timing of creating the proposal with only day remaining of that council period (and having it passed), the earliest block the proposal could theoretically pass is at #1641608. Which would mean it would execute at #1713608, close to midnight Saturday GMT, the 7th of April.
Edit: this post originally stated the 22nd of April.

Looking at the timeline, it's clear Joystream can't move too fast at the moment. For a runtime upgrade that makes a substantial change, adds a sizeable feature, or changes parameters that are contentious, 6-8 weeks might be too fast. For the most established projects in the space, even minor, superficial changes might require more time. For Joystream in it's current state, it may sometimes be too slow.

What is Ephesus?

The most important changes that Ephesus brings are outline in the sections below.

For those interested, this github issue provides a complete list of the runtime changes for Ephesus, and the release changelog can be found here.


As alluded to above, we believe it might be to early to always require a runtime upgrade proposal to take 6-8 weeks. Especially when considering that the proposal effectively requires 100% threshold and quorum with it's current size - meaning it easily fail at some stage purely by accident, which requires starting from scratch. Adding insult to injury, when a runtime upgrade is executed, all proposals in the pipeline are finalized with veto, meaning one can't have two proposals in the pipeline at the same time.

For these, and many other reasons you can read (more) about here, we propose reducing the constitutionality to maximum two, temporarily, for all proposals. Simultaneously, we are working on ways to improve the process for the future.

Update Channel Rewards Proposals

Going back to the more fun stuff, the Update Channel Rewards Proposal, and the complementing transactions (which incidentally already are a part of the runtime, but filtered out) is a way for the platform to attract, retain and improve content creators to participate and create. Instead of using Spending Proposals, which at scale would exhaust blockspace, and council members, this approach allows for an almost limitless amount of payments. Creating the proposals requires the CLI for now, which makes it a bit clunky, but for the creators themselves, the UI is rather nice.

Channel Reward Account History

The funds are automatically deposited to channels reward account, and can be withdrawn to the wallet of their choice – at their convenience.

Direct Channel Payments

A watchful eye may spot a few occurrences called "Direct Payments" in the image above. This is another new that allows consumers to tip the channels of their favorite creators – or for a specific video they like – while sending some words of encouragement. This feature requires a lot more work on the infrastructure side to see much use, but we hope this will be a good way for creators to earn a little extra while engaging with their own community in the future.

Sudo Removal

Jsgenesis is still committed to setting Joystream free, and removing sudo is imperative for that to happen. This will officially move us to the final phase of the the mainnet rollout – namely the liberated phase.

Incidentally, the last time it was used was to remove the (initial and) invulnerable validators for the mainnet launch! Would be a fitting end...

Don't be Dormant

Although we in Jsgenesis are quite confident in the proposed runtime, the community is planning independent testing – which we are very encouraged to see. They will surely need help.

As the end of April is quite some time, we hope to announce the Youtube Partnership Program, or YPP for short, which will hopefully bring in new creators (to pay with the Update Channel Reward Proposal) and maybe give those storage and distributors nodes some work!


All forward looking statements, estimates and commitments found in this blog post should be understood to be highly uncertain, not binding and for which no guarantees of accuracy or reliability can be provided. To the fullest extent permitted by law, in no event shall Joystream, Jsgenesis or our affiliates, or any of our directors, employees, contractors, service providers or agents have any liability whatsoever to any person for any direct or indirect loss, liability, cost, claim, expense or damage of any kind, whether in contract or in tort, including negligence, or otherwise, arising out of or related to the use of all or part of this post, or any links to third party websites.