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Get an SNS


We explain how to get an SNS that is provided as a system functionality by the IC. As explained in the introduction, there are also other ways to deploy and maintain a DAO. Many concepts explained here may be relevant for you even if you deploy another kind of DAO.

We introduce here the steps to go through to get an SNS. This page only provides a high level overview of this process and, for each of the steps, we will provide a link to a page with further details.


Some of the detail pages are still being created or edited and might not yet be stable. Please bare with us as we update them along with the last features that we add to the SNS.

Step 1: Defining the goals (non-technical preparation)

A successful launch of an SNS does not only depend on technical aspects. In fact, it is advisable that before taking any technical steps, you take some non-technical preparation steps and define what the SNS that you are about to request from the IC should achieve. To motivate this better, let's look at two examples of such non-technical considerations.

  • Example 1: to decentralize a dapp, the governance control has to be distributed among many parties. Therefore, a successful decentralization relies on reaching many parties and convincing them to participate in the governance system. Achieving this may rely on non-technical strategies, such as proper advertising and marketing.

  • Example 2: the SNS implementation is very flexible and allows each SNS community to set various parameters according to their needs. Choosing these parameters entails non-technical work to define which goals a given SNS should pursue. For example, you can configure parameters that determine how voting rewards are distributed to users that participate in SNS governance. Choosing these parameters entails non-technical considerations, such as deciding on a tokenomics plan that defines in what ways the SNS tokens will be used and what behaviors should be incentivised.

These examples show that before diving into the technical details, you may want to spend some time defining non-technical goals of the SNS and the dapp that will be controlled by it. To provide some tips on what considerations you should not forget, we list a few of them on this page.

Step 2: Technical preparations

Once you have defined what (non-technical) goals the SNS should achieve, you are ready for the more technical preparations. A main goal of this step is to translate the previously defined high level goals into parameters and configurations that can be set for your SNS. To specify these parameters it helps to first understand on a high level how the SNS launch proceeds. Also, you will need to get some tools and set up or collect some principals' identities. We explain these more technical aspects of the SNS preparations on this page.

In addition to preparing the launch, you might want to start planning how the SNS will be integrated into you dapp. For example, you may want to integrate some or all of the SNS frontend in your dapp's frontend.

Step 3: Testing the SNS

Once you chose the parameters, you probably do not want to immediately go live without testing them. In fact, you may want to test different initial parameters and compare them with each other. Moreover, you might want to test the integration between the SNS canisters and your dapp canister(s). For example, it is advisable that you confirm that the dapp canister(s) can be upgraded by an SNS. Also, if you integrate parts of the frontend for the SNS into you dapp, you probably want to test that this integration works.

For all these reasons, we explain on this page, how the SNS can be tested locally.

We also encourage the developers to run SNS testflight as part of the technical preparation to make sure that their dapp can be operated via SNS proposals. In particular, the developers are strongly encouraged to perform SNS testflight on mainnet, too.

Step 4: Getting an SNS in production

Once you properly tested the SNS, you are ready to ask the IC to launch an SNS for you in production! We will add more detailed instructions here soon.