Quadratic Voting Evens The Wallet Value Weight Issue

I was just having another look at how Polkadot used Quadratic Voting for their ballot to change their branding last year. https://vote.polkadot.network/

Plural Voting (also known as Quadratic Voting or QV) is a redesigned voting method reflecting the intensity of people’s preferences in collective decisions. It greatly mitigates tyranny-of-the-majority and factional control problems. Plural Voting - RadicalxChange

We could use a similar mechanism to give individuals with limited ADA similar vote weight to whale accounts. This also means that voting can still remain anonymous. How did this work for Polkadot?

As we can see in the above image, a wallet with 1 DOT = 1 vote, 4 DOT = 2 votes, 9 DOT = 3 votes, and so on.

This can be calculated as V = √ A,
where V = number of Votes,
and A = Account Balance.

So, an Account Balance of 1M DOT would have 1,000 Votes, comparable to, say, 1,000 Accounts of 1 DOT each.

We would need to further discuss how to implement QV for Cardano governance, I hope you’ll join us here.


… or they could distribute 1 million on 100 accounts with 10 000 DOT/ADA and, hence, 100 votes for a total of 10 000 votes.
… or on 10 000 accounts with 100 DOT/ADA and, hence, 10 votes for a total of 100 000 votes.
… or on 1 million accounts for a total of 1 million votes.

Depends on how important the vote is if it is worth the effort to do this splitting. …, but we want to do really important votes.

Registering an account could be made expensive to discourage this, but that would, of course, affect all people registering and might discourage small accounts even more than whale splitting.

Registering and voting could be made deliberately effort-full and hard to automate, but – again if the vote is important enough – it’s just a game of whack-a-mole to prevent automation, while it makes the experience a lot worse for everybody else.

Bottom line: Quadratic voting – just as “one person, one vote” – is only really possible if we have some way to identify voters and ensure that they can have at most one identity, one voting account.

… and there is nothing that could guarantee that at world scale at the moment. Democratic countries do more or less successful attempts in general elections, but that totally depends on having centralised control and knowledge about your populace.

Nope, there is nothing in the DID/SSI pipe dreams that even tries to be a solution to this.


This can be done, of course, if individuals wanted to.
The way it seems that Polkadot achieved success with this vote was that the wallet snapshot was done before the announcement of the vote. From reading https://vote.polkadot.network/ I believe the snapshot was of just staked addresses, not balances. So more funds could be added prior to voting, but more wallets weren’t able to vote.

On the one hand, this only works once. If we use voting for ongoing governance, whales who deem important to maximise their voting power would just leave their funds distributed on as many stakes as they think is sensible.

On the other hand, such a plot needs secrecy and central decisions, which are probably not what we want.

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You did read the process that occurred prior to this vote?

Brand Update Roadmap

Since Polkadot already had a governance structure in place, and many steps had already been concluded publicly, I don’t think “secrecy” was involved.

Seems that a decision has already been made. I’ll leave it there.

I am sympathetic to this sort of voting scheme but doesn’t it discourage big investors?

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Big investors would still have a greater weight than a lot of smaller investors, just not an outsized weight to their vote.

So why wouldn’t an investor, who was driven more by a desire for profit than the philosophical goals of the DAO, simply maximise their vote by splitting it into 10 or 100 or whatever number of controlled vote owners?

If they wanted to, they could. As HeptaSean noted, they could split 1M ADA into a million 1 ADA wallets.
We could, for example, like the Foundation did last year, link your voting wallet to a mobile number.

Oh what a fantastic idea!!!

Let’s just make it easy for big tech and governments to link everything you do, say, or vote. While you are at it, you should just get your mobile phone implanted into your body so that it is always with you!!! Brilliant idea!!!

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Rather than being negative, can you suggest a better idea?

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Yes. We should leverage digital identities that we control, and use zero knowledge proof technology to prove various aspects as required. This would enable us to prove things about ourselves without making it easy for government and big tech to exploit us.

Linking everything to our personally registered mobile phone number is heading in the wrong direction.


Totally agree.

Just waiting on those ZKsnark formulas to be developed.

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How should digital identities magically ensure uniqueness of voters? And that in a privacy preserving manner? And decentralised?

It’s utterly impossible.

Ye hath no faith.

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