Mars Protocol
Martian Council


The Martian Council is the governing body for the deployed Mars protocol instance--a particular set of smart contracts on Terra.
This council, consisting of a DAO of xMARS holders, proposes and votes on crucial decisions regarding the parameters of the deployed Mars smart contracts and the use of tokens staked or otherwise accumulated in the Mars smart contract treasury. Decisions can range from new asset listing, asset risk paramaters, credit limit to smart contracts (C2C Lending), treasury spending and more.

Council Members

Anyone can become a member of the Martian Council by holding xMARS tokens.
Active council members will accept or reject protocol proposals, or even submit one for other members to vote on. xMARS entitles you to submit or vote on the on-chain proposals.
xMARS tokens can be obtained by staking MARS tokens in the protocol. When the protocol launched, each MARS token was stakeable 1:1 for xMARS. As the protocol accumulates fees from borrowers, 10% of those fees will be programmatically used to purchase MARS and add it to the xMARS pool. That means that over time, each xMARS will be redeemable for more MARS than was initially staked. For example, at the moment of launch, if users staked 100 MARS tokens, there was 100 xMARS in circulation. Over time, the staking pool would grow to say 200 MARS tokens as the protocol accumulated fees, purchased MARS and added it to the staking pool. If someone staked an additional 100 MARS at that point, they would have received 50 xMARS. The staking pool would then hold 300 MARS, and there would be 150 xMARS will be in circulation. At that point, each xMARS would be redeemable for 2 MARS. Note that each xMARS token is always worth 1 unit of voting power on the Martian Council.


Each xMARS token will represent 1 unit of voting power.
To be eligible to vote on any given proposal, you must have been holding xMARS at least 1 block before the proposal was submitted. This ensures only committed stakers are eligible to participate in governance votes.


Only xMARS holders can submit proposals. To facilitate this process, we envision the following workflow for proposing and implementing changes. Visit the governance section for more information on proposals.

1. Submit a Mars Request for Comment (MRC) in the Mars Forums.

MRCs are an opportunity to present your idea and solicit feedback before submitting it for a formal governance vote. Each MRC should be posted for at least 5 days to gather community feedback. After that time, the proposer should review and incorporate any feedback they believe will strengthen the proposal by editing their original post.
MRC-0 includes links to templates for specific types of proposals (specifically for technical proposals, general proposals, adding assets to the Red Bank, and applying for a C2C credit line).

2. Wait for the 2-day freeze period to elapse.

After gathering community feedback, the proposer can make any desired edits to their original post. Then, they must leave the full text of the proposal unchanged for at least two days before it can be sent on for a formal governance vote.

3. Submit a Mars Improvement Proposal (MIP) for an on-chain vote.

The text of an MRC that’s been frozen for at least two days can be used to submit a formal governance vote or Mars Improvement Proposal (MIP). Proposers must submit an on-chain transaction with the MIP details and a link to the original Mars Request for Comment (MRC).
At the protocol’s inception, the following parameters were set for on-chain governance votes: 100,000 MARS must be submitted with the governance proposal. If the proposal passes, all MARS tokens are returned to the proposer. If the proposal is rejected, the 100,000 MARS tokens will be distributed to xMARS holders. The high MARS requirement is intended to protect the protocol from governance attacks in its nascent stages and it incentivizes proposers to listen very closely to community feedback in the forums before proceeding to an on-chain vote.
To pass, a vote must hit the following targets as defined at launch:
  • Participation: To be eligible to vote, xMARS holders must have held their xMARS at least 1 block before the MIP was submitted on-chain.
  • Quorum: At least 10% of all available voting power (xMARS supply + vesting xMARS) must participate in the vote.
  • Threshold: A simple majority (at least 50% + 1 of all cast votes) of participating voters must vote in favor of the proposal.
The voting period will be open for 37028 blocks or approximately 3 days.

4. Implementation.

Proposals that successfully pass an on-chain vote are authorized by the Martian Council for implementation by Mars contributors.

Risks & Rewards

Council members will be directly affected by the outcomes of their decisions, both positive and negative.
Positive outcomes will be rewarded with MARS tokens. While negative outcomes may lead to up to 30% of staked tokens being sold in case of shortfall events.
Staked Mars tokens will be the last-resort source of recovery for Shortfall Events. More on this in Mars General Risks.

Martian Council FAQ

1. When governance voting will go live?

The first Mars governance proposal went to a vote starting on April 6, 2022.

2. What happens if a governance vote doesn't reach quorum?

The proposal gets rejected.

3. Do proposal submitters lose their MARS if their proposal fails?

Yes. If a proposal fails to pass, the proposal submitter loses their MARS. Deposited MARS gets sent to the staking contract so that MARS stakers receive the rewards.

4. When/How often will MARS rewards will be given to xMARS stakers?

In theory, anybody can call the rewards distribution function at any time. Delphi Labs currently runs a bot where the frequency of the distribution is being tuned according to the amount of rewards the protocol is getting (correlated with borrow rate). Currently, the call happens every 12 hours but may drop to 24 or 48.

5. Where can we see accumulated fees for MARS stakers?

Protocol fees are used to buy MARS which are deposited in the staked Mars contract. This causes xMARS to be redeemable for an ever-increasing amount of MARS. You can see how much xMARS has accrued by looking at the xMARS vs MARS rate.