Question about "Buying votes" - Danger?

The Vault Compensation Plan Approval Poll has just ended.

The end result is that no compensation will be delivered.

This was a very interesting Poll because some people had a clear incentive to “buy MKR votes” (namely those who lost money during Black Friday)

They obviously didn’t buy, or not enough, possibly for the lack of capital and/or technical competence.

So let me discuss the situation abstractly in a similar hypothetical scenario in the future, where actors are much more sophisticated (and wealthy).

TL&DR: big players may have a big economical incentive to borrow MKR to win Executive votes. Small MKR holders, have little economical incentive to vote, and in fact have larger incentive to sell their ‘voto’ (lending their MKR). This seems dangeous.

Situation: there is an executive where with YES, a certain Actor(s) “Alice” is given 5000 freshly minted MKR. With NO, Alice gets 0 MKR.

Alice has therefore an economical incentive to get the vote YES passed, and this incentive corresponds approximately to the value of 5000 MKR.

Incentive for Alice: approx ~ 5000 MKR.

An average MKR holder, named Bob, has 10 MKR. Bob may want to vote YES or NO. But ultimately, if the YES passes, their 10MKR will be diluted and lose value. The loss of value is approximately expressed by the equation:

Loss of value for B: 10 - 10 * [ 1,000,000/ (1,000,000+5,000)] = 0.049 MKR

CONCLUSION: Alice has a big economical incentive to win the executive poll. Bob has a negligible economical loss in case the YES passes.

I think this is potentially a dangerous situations. It might get fixed with vote delegation, possibly. But even there the ‘vote buying’ dynamics are unclear.

FINAL REMARK: I know that every voter with 50k MKR (think?) can trigger an ES and avoid extremely dangerous executives results. However the situation discussed above does not seem catastrophic enough to trigger an ES. Also, the ES is a tragic event for MKR holders, while Alice might not give 2 sh*ts about causing the MakerDAO to shut down.


One ‘solution’ I can imagine (but I am sure it’s a bit naive, and other possibilities exist) is to require the MKR to be locked for a certain amount of time (in the voting contract) before allowing them to express a vote.

This ‘lock’ could be activated only on certain critical situations, when we think that the risk of ‘buying votes’ is a concern.

Other ideas? In general the notion that borrowing MKR to attack the system using voting is well–known. So this must have been discussed already.

But in the example I described, it’s not a real attack. It simply a situation where whales have large incentives to ‘overturn’ a vote, while normal MKR-holders (little shrimps) have no incentives (or, in fact, incentive to lend their MKR).

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