Change the Voting Type to Improve Decentralization and Fairness in Governance

Before I take the time draft a formally templated proposal, I want to share some background and perhaps stimulate a little dialogue first. The topic is fairness (or lack thereof) in the current approach to voting.

It was brought up repeatedly here and on social media, due to the ongoing friction between the community of individuals, and whales with an outsized influence on DAO votes. In many holders’ eyes the current system demonstrates a lack of decentralization and fairness in the governance process because virtually all individual holders can (and often are) held hostage by a couple wallets.

While not perfect, the most logical mitigation is to introduce quadratic votes, which are available in Snapshot out of the box. No extra work needed.

In laymens terms, what is quadratic voting? In general it means that to cast one vote, a voter needs only hold one share (or token). But to cast two votes, they must hold four shares (two squared is four). To cast three votes, they must hold nine shares. And so on.

What are the drawbacks? A common concern is that whales will split their stack, if they aren’t KYC’d. Thats a possibility, but my counterpoints: 1.) most large holders are too visible and well known entities who can’t easily mask holdings; 2.) is it any less fair than the system we have now? Even if some players game the systems and split wallets, it will overall reduce their influence on the voting.

Next steps: some will probably suggest a committee and research this. I am not proposing that. I think extensive research is not needed… in the search for perfection we will ignore a better option than we have today- quadratic voting isn’t new, isn’t novel, isn’t risky, and its positive benefits outweigh any risks as far as I’m concerned. Its been implemented and used for a few cycles across a large number of project and is available today in Snapshot.

Reference material:

You can reference the Snapshot page on quadratic voting: Voting types | snapshot

Vitalik is a proponent too. Here is his commentary on quadratic voting (and funding- also relevant): Quadratic Payments: A Primer

You can reference earlier posts in the DAO on the topic:
* List item
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*RFC : Riding The Wings Of Change - #27 by leyota
*AIP-412: Streamlining Working Group Elections: Improved Second-Round Voting Strategy - #13 by bigbull

Here’s something similar I wrote a while back → Quadratic Voting Threat Analysis

I like the idea of researching into different consensus types, even if its only for knowledge purposes.
Stoked to see what you’re gonna being to the table

I really vibe with Conviction based governance where you lock in your stake for a certain time period and your voting power scales accordingly.

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I’ve seen that and participated in similar models.

But my position is that if its not available today, out of the box straight from Snapshot, that is a valid but separate discussion. I say this above, but in the search for perfection, we risk ignoring a much fairer intermediate option (quadratic).

Implementing quadratic voting is extremely simple to implement and (in my view) serves the DAO and community a big W that most individual holders would support.

Once (or while) implemented, we can explore other governance models. Even experiment with them in sub-DAOs, etc.


imo, experimenting in subdao’s would be better

That way we can iterate and collect feedback faster. The learnings we can extract from these small scale experiments can be transferred over to the DAO and then we can act accordingly

also the thing is, it’s pretty easy to game the system (as talked in the post above) without sybil protection measures [which would limit which wallets can and cannot vote (which’d be highly unpopular)] so there’s that.

Before making any big decision, we’d have to look for the unintended consequences they might bring

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Hi @papi ,

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Welcome to the forum @papi and thank you for your proposal!

We have a lot of delegates and delegations in the DAO. How would quadratic voting affect them? Specifically, would an individual’s vote carry more weight when cast independently, compared to when they vote as part of a delegation or a delegate votes for them?

I appreciate you putting up this proposal and look forward to your reply!


Love this idea, will you be moving forward with the drafting? @papi

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Yup I want to, I’ve just been busy with my day job. I have the draft written but unsure on next steps.


If you are voting and have votes delegated to you, it will count as one voter. Meaning it will slightly diminish the influence of the small wallet that delegated to you.


This topic was automatically closed after 2 days. New replies are no longer allowed.

Hi @papi ,

Thank you for your ideas [and the ApeCoin DAO community for the insightful discussions].

A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft using the appropriate template.

  • Once the AIP Draft is confirmed by the author and meets all DAO-approved guidelines, it will receive an AIP ID number and move forward for Draft Analysis Review.
  • @papi please see your messages for the next steps.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments. In accordance with DAO-approved guidelines, if the author does not respond within 30 days, the proposal will be automatically transferred to the Withdrawn category, and the author can re-submit the idea.


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