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Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin’s idea of Quadratic voting: Interesting but vulnerable

Ranjitha Shastry

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Vitalik Buterin's idea of Quadratic voting: Interesting but vulnerable
Source: Pixabay

Blockchain seems like the ideal technology for online voting since they enable smart contracts, which can execute on the block elections autonomously and put an end to election authorities. On May 21st, Vitalik Buterin published on his blog about “Quadratic Voting” [QV]. He explained QV in terms of “giving power to minorities to protect their own most deeply valued interests and can restore the legitimacy of government”. He mentions:

“A leading candidate is “Quadratic Voting”, in which citizens can use a [possibly artificial] currency to buy votes at the cost of the square of the votes bought on the issues that are most important to them.”

Recently, Eximchain announced that they plan to host community bounty for Quadratic Voting Illustration Competition. Jackson Palmer, Creator of Dogecoin on Twitter expressed his doubts on how QV will help resolve the unequal distribution of wealth. He said:

“How will Proof of Stake systems that weight voting power based on token holdings not simply allow the 1% to mirror their wealth/power distribution in the real world over to a decentralized network? (Ignore arguments about initial distribution, because exchanges exist).”

Having said that, Vitalik also agrees that this process comes with its own vulnerabilities. Its said that QV relies on the concept of “verifiable, separate human identities” because a community member can multiply effective influence easily by misrepresenting oneself as multiple individuals [sockpuppets].

This regular use of anonymity in cryptocurrency communities is a thing with the need for such clearly-portrayed identities, this naturally gives rise to some of the unequal distribution of wealth and power dynamics which is what these communities hoped to avoid.

Vitalik mentions:

 “QV also poses important technical and conceptual challenges to existing crypto-currency communities.”

Vitalik Buterin's tweet | Source: Twitter

Vitalik Buterin’s tweet | Source: Twitter

Vitalik also mentioned in his blog:

“There have been many attempts to use votes to gauge community sentiment when deciding on potentially controversial protocol changes, but so far they have been criticized either for being too vulnerable to manipulation by sockpuppets (fake accounts) and malicious voting by non-community-members or for being too skewed toward reflecting the views of a small group of wealthy coin holders. “



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Ranjitha Shastry is a part of AMBCrypto's News Reporting Team. Having done her major in Journalism and mass communication, she is passionate about business and economic journalism.

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