Decentralized voting platform Snapshot will soon introduce shielded voting, a privacy-preserving feature that will enable decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to encrypt individual votes when a governance vote is still going on.
If a particular vote has not concluded, shielded voting will fully hide the distribution of already-cast votes. Once the voting is finalized, all votes will be revealed, along with their respective addresses as well as automatic calculation of results.
Snapshot is one of the most widely-used governance tools among crypto projects. The off-chain voting system is used by hundreds of DAOs to democratically make decisions on topics such as roadmap and treasury spending via multiple-choice or a simple "yes or no" voting scheme.
Whenever there is a governance vote on Snapshot, anyone can check data on who is voting and for which voting option. While this is great for transparency, providing information on already-cast votes can inadvertently influence behavior of the remaining voters.
In rare cases, the voting information can also be abused towards undesirable actions from stakeholders, such as vote collusion or vote buying to sway governance decisions. Having the votes shielded can prevent such situations.
"Everyone should be on the same information level when they vote. That's how we do it for real elections as well," Nathan van der Heyden, ecosystem lead at Snapshot told The Block. "Due to the state of a certain vote, voters might be inclined to change their behavior. Knowing how others voted has an influence on our own voting behavior."
To integrate shielded voting, the Snapshot team has partnered with Shutter Network. Snapshot's shielded voting relies on threshold encryption, a cryptographic solution offered by a project called Shutter Network.
Any DAO using Snapshot will be able to enable shielded voting in their admin view. The feature is currently at the end of its closed beta and will be released this week for everyone to test.