How should DAO build a voting system? Learn about Horizen’s “mobile democracy” practice


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Mobile democratic voting is expected to be realized in a fair and effective manner, and to give full play to the expertise of individual experts without depriving ordinary users of their rights.

Original title: “What is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)?”
Written by: Horizen Official
Translation: Olivia

Horizen’s long-term goal is to shift its organizational structure to DAO. DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is also called decentralized autonomous organization. It is actually a set of smart contracts. When it is used as an organization’s DAO, there will be some predefined rules and procedures.

When DAO was created, the rules and procedures governing the organization were written in code. The main goal of our DAO is to determine how to use our non-profit organization funds in a decentralized manner. All community members will be able to submit proposals for funding. For example, this might be to develop a new function of a wallet, or to pay for attending a meeting.

For this kind of decentralized decision-making, a voting system is needed. This voting system needs to be reliable. We decided to implement it on a dedicated side chain, which will run in parallel with our main blockchain. We will talk more about side chains in a dedicated article.

In order to build an effective voting system, the expertise of individual experts should be used without depriving the rights of “ordinary” users. If you are a developer, this kind of expertise will make you more likely to vote on a programming proposal because you have a better understanding of the environment. At the same time, you may not have much experience in the marketing field and feel that it is up to others to decide which conferences to attend and which activities to support. Marketing experts will consider deciding which meetings to attend, but may not have strong opinions on which code-based projects to implement.

Mobile democracy is a concept that is expected to solve this problem in a fair and effective manner.

Mobile democracy

The two most common forms of democracy are representative democracy and direct democracy. The original form of democracy was direct democracy. They provide fairness, accountability and control to participants, but as the number of participants increases, they do not develop well. As more and more questions emerged, it became impractical for most participants to vote on every question. It is for this reason that most democracies evolve into representative democracy over time. Although representative democracy allows a large number of voters to participate in the decision-making process, there are problems in the transparency of voting and decision-making of representatives, the accountability of representatives, and the high barriers to entry for participants who wish to participate in the decision-making process.

Mobile democracy is a dynamic mixture of the two established branches of democracy, direct democracy and representative system. Liquid democracy combines many of the advantages of these two branches, while eliminating most of their weaknesses. In a mobile democracy, you can choose to delegate your voting rights to experts who represent your views. Or, you can decide to vote on any particular issue yourself. This means that you are free to choose your level of participation, and if you want to be a representative, the barrier to entry is very low.

In mobile democracy, there are no specific election conditions. You can delegate your vote to an expert or withdraw your vote at any time. This requires experts to bear corresponding responsibilities.

How should DAO build a voting system? Learn about Horizen's "mobile democracy" practice


The different entities of our financial system are as follows:

  • Project leader – the person who submitted the funding proposal. Anyone can submit a proposal, but must pay a corresponding fee to reduce the possibility of spam.
  • Voters – Each voter locks a certain amount of equity to vote. Their votes are weighted according to their locked stake.
  • Experts-Experts are a special type of voters who have expertise in a certain field. Anyone can register as an expert. We will learn more when we know how to register as one of the entities.

To register as one of the aforementioned entities, users need to submit a special type of transaction, which includes all necessary information, such as the amount of locked equity and the address to send voting rewards.


Every voter, expert, and committee member will be rewarded for participating in the governance of the agreement. There is a phenomenon called rational neglect. Rational neglect means that when the cost of educating oneself on a problem exceeds the potential benefits that knowledge can provide, there is no point in continuing to acquire knowledge.

We aim to reduce rational neglect by providing incentives to encourage voters to participate in the decision-making process. This is a problem in the democratic system of the world today. It takes time and effort to get all the information needed to make the best decision in the elections and outweigh the benefits of being able to vote. This problem has caused voters’ indifference. In order to solve the problem of voters’ indifference, those who participate in the governance process can be rewarded for their efforts. This creates an incentive to encourage people to understand the situation and participate in the process. Voters will receive rewards commensurate with their interests, and experts will receive rewards commensurate with the number of delegations they own, in other words, affirmation of their trust and decision-making ability.

to sum up

As the first step to become a DAO, we hope to decentralize decision-making power over financial funds. Users will be able to submit proposals, and the community will vote to decide which proposals should receive funding. The voting process and fund distribution infrastructure will be built on the side chain. The voting mechanism we are implementing is a system based on mobile democracy. Voters can choose to vote directly on issues or delegate experts to vote. In order to eliminate voters’ indifference, we plan to encourage voters to participate in the decision-making process through financial rewards.

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