I had a hard time keeping these two terms straight at first because they're highly related. Governance can be handled by the consensus mechanism, but it isn't always. On Koinos, the consensus and governance aspects have not been announced yet (but consensus is coming soon).
As mentioned previously, consensus keeps all the computers running a blockchain honest. Specifically, when producing blocks (chunks of data) to add to the chain (database). The consensus algorithm determines who gets to produce blocks (and earn rewards) fairly.
Governance makes it so all the humans who care about the blockchain can vote on its future. This can be done "off-chain" (hard forks) or "on-chain" using automated voting systems built into the blockchain. There are reasonable concerns for having governance run on-chain, but there are two key aspects of Koinos that (in my mind) make it the only decision:
- Modular upgradeability (which is enabled by on-chain governance and makes it more than worth it)
- The "fair launch" of the Koin token (distributing the ownership/voting power more evenly than just about every other blockchain in existence)
I'll write more on the fair launch in a future newsletter.
P.S. If you have a clearer explanation for governance vs. consensus, I'd love to hear it! Hit reply and let me know if this one made sense...