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Abstract The Internet is full of revolutionary and original institutional forms that transform social organization online and offline, regardless of whether we are aware of it. EBOOKMARKS Software engineers have had to face challenges in navigating issues of governance on these platforms as well as other institutions. Many of them haven't had exposure to relevant history or theories of design for institutions. This paper provides a useful framework designed to encourage dialogue between computer scientists and political scientists. Incentive-focused behavioral engineering paradigm and a variety of atheoretical approaches like A/B testing and incremental issue-driven programming have been the dominant methods of design of digital institutions. EBOOKMARKS The "Ostrom Workshop" resource governance literature has proved to be a valuable tool in the design of traditional institutions. One of the most important findings of this literature which is yet to be fully integrated into the design of many new institutions, is the importance of including participatory process processes in what is known as a "constitutional" layer of design for institutions. EBOOKMARKS This basically defines rules that allow and enable diverse stakeholder participation in institutional design modifications. We investigate whether this requirement is fulfilled or could be better met in three varied cases of digital institutions: cryptocurrencies, cannabis informatics, and amateur Minecraft server governance. We can show the importance of constitutional layers in various kinds of digital institutions by looking at these diverse scenarios.