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Governance & Rapid Evolution

The Network Nervous System (NNS) is the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that governs the Internet Computer (IC). It is a fully on-chain, decentralized system and is, for instance, responsible for making protocol level upgrades to continuously improve the Internet Computer. ICP neuron holders vote on proposals that uprade the IC. Once such a proposal is accepted, it is autonomously executed across the blockchain (no human intervention).

While other blockchains take weeks or months to upgrade (sometimes called hard fork) and typically require substantial manual work and coordination to do so, the IC upgrades itself on a weekly basis.

The IC's ability to upgrade and iterate quickly is a comparative "superpower."

How It Works

The purpose of the NNS is to allow the IC network to be governed in an open, decentralized, and secure manner. It has complete control over all aspects of the network. For example, it can upgrade the protocol and software used by the node machines that host the network; it can create new subnet blockchains to increase network capacity; and many other things. The NNS works by accepting proposals, and deciding to adopt or reject them based on voting activity by “neurons” that network participants have created.

Inside the Internet Computer | Upgrades


Users submit NNS proposals to the NNS to update the code of the IC: IC Releases . Consequently, the IC can update itself many times faster than other blockchains.

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