Quadratic Voting: Fostering Fairness in Online Communities

Quadratic Voting is a collective decision-making strategy that permits members to articulate the strength of their preferences, rather than merely indicating their stance.

Quadratic Voting is a collective decision-making strategy that permits members to articulate the strength of their preferences, rather than merely indicating their stance.


Published on July 10, 2023

July 10, 2023

Introduction: The Evolution of Voting in Digital Communities

As the digital realm continues to evolve with structures like Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), it becomes increasingly crucial for online communities to adopt fair and effective decision-making mechanisms. One promising method making waves in this sphere is Quadratic Voting (QV).

The Power of Quadratic Voting in Online Communities

Quadratic voting emerges as a potent instrument for making collective decisions within online communities, allowing members to express not just their preference, but the intensity of it. Traditional one-person-one-vote systems offer each member a single vote to support or oppose a proposal. However, this method fails to capture the intensity of a member's preference.

Quadratic voting introduces a more dynamic system. Each member receives a predetermined number of votes (or voting credits) to distribute amongst different proposals according to their inclination. However, the cost of casting additional votes for a single proposal rises quadratically, meaning each subsequent vote costs more than the last. This mechanism allows members to express a strong preference, but doing so becomes increasingly costly, which prevents any single member from monopolizing the decision-making process.

Overcoming Challenges in Quadratic Voting

Like all systems, quadratic voting also has its challenges. A significant concern is the susceptibility to Sybil attacks, where one member creates multiple false identities to manipulate voting outcomes. In the context of quadratic voting, a member could distribute their votes across multiple accounts, thereby unfairly increasing their voting power.

In our pursuit to ensure the integrity of decision-making processes in communities, Common Ground has been designed with versatile Sybil resistance mechanisms. We believe that community governance should be adaptable, enabling communities to decide when and where identity verification is necessary to maintain the integrity of their votes.

We empower communities with the ability to define their own rules. Community administrators can choose to require an anonymous form of identity verification for specific actions or spaces within their community. This selective application of verification procedures can be a strategic tool for preventing Sybil attacks, especially in areas where voting and decision-making take place.

By providing this flexibility, we ensure that communities can maintain their desired levels of privacy and freedom, while also having the tools to safeguard against vote manipulation when needed. This approach encapsulates our commitment to providing a secure, transparent, and flexible platform where every voice has the potential to be genuinely heard and valued.

Conclusion: Harnessing Quadratic Voting for a Fairer Digital World

Quadratic voting presents a novel approach to collective decision-making in online communities. By introducing the dimension of preference intensity, it allows for a more refined and representative decision-making process. While it brings new challenges, like susceptibility to Sybil attacks, the potential benefits it brings to the table make it an exciting area of exploration in the continual evolution of digital community governance. By empowering individuals to express their preferences more accurately, we can achieve collective decision-making that is more efficient, equitable, and truly reflective of a community's desires.