[Informal Poll] Zero Knowledge (secret) Voting

There can be a contract that accepts MKR deposits, has an on-chain escape function, provably can only vote as signed by unrevealed MKR depositors, and provides incentive to do so rolled-up and with extremely low gas fees.

So this isn’t about whether it can be done, but what stance MakerDAO should take on it.

Should it be embraced and developed?
Does it raise concerns MakerDAO should prepare for?
Is secret MKR voting a good thing?

  • Should Zero Knowledge (secret) Voting be embraced and developed?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

  • Does Zero Knowledge Voting raise concerns MakerDAO should prepare for?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

  • Is secret MKR voting a good thing?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

2 Likes

Interesting question. Perhaps it would be worth adding an example of a scenario where voting publicly is undesirable for some party?

In my mind, if I wanted to preserve my anonymity in voting, I’d just move MKR tokens to a fresh address through Tornado Cash and then start voting from there.

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I don’t think you can move MKR through Toronto cash.

I can see value to anonymous votes, tho is that desirable …

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I haven’t used it myself but I believe ERC20 tokens can be sent through Tornado cash - see https://tornado.cash/

Tornado works only for Eth and few tokens, you need a lot of traffic to create a robust shuffling.

Eth is probably the only one that garantie it.

I believe, it also makes this discussion pointless due to the technical challenge as it is very difficult to hide your vote.
For example if you have 5321 mkr, it will show it and therefore it is going to very easy to find out who voted what.

1 Like

Right. The implementation would need to be significantly more complicated to hide address balances. And even then, it could still be obvious what a few large holders are doing.
I like the idea, but the reality may be unworkable.

2 Likes

The shuffling part is true.

That said, if you have that much MKR, you could split it over several wallets and vote seemingly independently. So maybe the idea isn’t too unworkable.

If the goal is to increase voter participation, keeping results hidden until end of voting + secret voting are generally seen as good practice in the real world

Hi @Spidomo, thank you for putting this discussion forward.

To keep it with our standards, I renamed the thread to [Informal Poll] and added the appropriate tag.

As the poll is already underway, we probably don’t want to edit its formatting as to not delete the votes. For future reference, here are the settings for Signal Requests which also work well for Informal Polls.

One last tip, when writing down options for a poll, remember to add a # before the question. Otherwise, it’ll become one of the voting options.

5 Likes

Problem is, you’d also have to introduce delays so that split votes couldn’t be tracked via timing. And you’d need to shuffle a large wallet to avoid people simply tracing back from the smaller ones.
Hiding the outcome of a vote via a secret would not provide anonymity, but would prevent voters being influenced by others, though I’m not sure if that’s really an issue given the open nature of the governance process anyway.

1 Like

Interesting discussion. Personally I would need more information, so I opted for Abstain. I would say since Delegated Governance will eventually come into fruition and in a democratic government one would prefer an open voting system (I think) for “politicians” and their voting habits. But perhaps that is open for debate. I would also say that it is already private as I have no idea who has what amount of MKR, or what Addy is connected to who (except when Khan Maker was voting for the community–then we all knew).

Speaking of SECRET, Interesting to see this announced today: Secret Network Raises $11.5M to Further Privacy and App Development

1 Like

Thank you for the corrections.

@Cassius,

As described in the post I assert that it is already possible.
It would require some specialized development, but could be done outside of the existing voting system.
That’s why one of the questions is to consider what happens if someone creates that system, since anyone could.

Strongly against secret votes. The system depends on the threat of burning attacking MKR in the event of a governance attack.

If a malicious vote was cast through some sort of anonymity pool, my inclination would be to burn all MKR held in the pool as a deterrence against participation.

2 Likes

What would be the process to authorize something like that?

Governance controls would be transitioned to a new MKR token that excludes the attackers. I can only assume it would be a messy process, but hopefully the deterrence effect is enough to let us avoid attacks.

Interesting.
If there were a social consensus that an entire Zero Knowledge (secret) voting pool would be penalized on re-deployment if any votes from the pool were perceived as a governance attack, that would indeed strongly discourage creating such a pool.

This seems like a capability to make widely known we have, even if we hope to never use it.

After burning all MKR held in the pool would you be inclined to mint MKR to depositors who submit cryptographic proof that their deposit did not contribute to the vote deemed a governance attack?