Survey of decentralized governance models for CIP-1694 Part 1 Democracy Earth

I’m looking into existing models of decentralized governance. The first one is Democracy Earth. They offer a blockchain based governance model. It may be a useful reference. The Smart Social Contract

Here is a ChatGPT 4 summary of the “Smart Social Contract” followed by criticisms of it:

  1. Challenges with current democratic systems: The paper highlights the limitations of traditional democratic systems, including the risk of corruption, centralized control, lack of transparency, and the disenfranchisement of citizens. It also discusses how these issues are exacerbated by the increasing complexity of global issues and the influence of technology on society.

  2. The need for a new social contract: Democracy Earth argues that a new social contract is necessary to address these challenges and create a more transparent, inclusive, and participatory form of governance. They propose leveraging blockchain technology and cryptographic methods to build a decentralized and secure digital democracy platform.

  3. Liquid democracy: The paper introduces the concept of liquid democracy, a hybrid between direct and representative democracy, which allows citizens to vote directly on issues or delegate their voting power to trusted representatives. This flexible model enables more granular and dynamic representation of citizens’ preferences in decision-making processes.

  4. Decentralized identity and voting: Democracy Earth envisions a system where each participant has a verifiable digital identity, enabling them to vote securely and participate in governance processes without the risk of fraud or manipulation. They propose using blockchain technology to create a decentralized and tamper-proof voting system.

  5. Quadratic voting: The paper explores the use of quadratic voting, which allows participants to express their preferences more accurately by allocating a fixed budget of voting credits, leading to more efficient and fair decision-making.

  6. Transparent and verifiable processes: Democracy Earth emphasizes the need for transparent and verifiable governance processes, leveraging blockchain technology and cryptographic methods to ensure that voting and decision-making processes are tamper-proof and auditable by all participants.

  7. Open-source development: The paper highlights the importance of open-source development, making the tools and platforms developed by Democracy Earth available to anyone who wants to use, modify, or build upon them. This approach fosters collaboration, innovation, and the broader adoption of decentralized digital governance solutions.

Criticism of The Smart Social Contract

  1. Scalability and performance: Blockchain technology, in its current state, faces scalability and performance issues, which could be a challenge for implementing a large-scale digital democracy platform. Critics argue that the proposed system might not be able to handle the volume of transactions and data necessary for a functioning digital democracy without compromising its speed and efficiency.

  2. Security and privacy: Although blockchain technology offers a high level of security, concerns remain about the privacy and security of users’ digital identities and voting records. Ensuring the confidentiality of voter information while maintaining transparency and verifiability can be a complex challenge.

  3. Digital divide and accessibility: A digital democracy platform built on blockchain technology assumes that all participants have access to the internet and the necessary technological tools to engage with the system. Critics argue that this could exacerbate the digital divide and exclude certain segments of the population, particularly those in developing countries or disadvantaged communities, from participating in the democratic process.

  4. Complexity and user-friendliness: The concepts and technologies presented in the paper, such as liquid democracy, quadratic voting, and blockchain, can be complex and difficult for the average person to understand and engage with. Critics question whether the proposed system will be user-friendly and accessible enough for widespread adoption.

  5. Potential for manipulation: While the whitepaper aims to address issues related to fraud and manipulation in traditional democratic systems, critics argue that the proposed digital governance model may still be vulnerable to various forms of abuse or gaming, such as vote buying, Sybil attacks, or collusion among voters.

  6. Implementation challenges: Transitioning from traditional democratic systems to a digital democracy platform as envisioned in the “Smart Social Contract” would require significant changes to existing legal, political, and social frameworks. Critics argue that the practical challenges of implementing such a system could be substantial and might meet resistance from various stakeholders.