Quadratic Voting as a robust system for xGov

There is more and more progress being made related to the governance of Algorand. Multiple posts emerged to discuss the pitfalls of the existing system and proposal structure:

Staci, made it clear that “robust system for voting on and funding community proposals” is top priority for 2023.

Here I would like to provide motivation for highly anticipated quadratic voting and pluralism.

Quadratic Voting

ELI: Individuals pay for as many votes as they wish using a number of “voice credits” in the votes they buy. Only quadratic cost induces marginal costs linear in votes purchased and thus welfare optimality if individuals’ valuation of votes is proportional to their value of changing the outcome. A variety of analysis and evidence suggests that this still-nascent mechanism has significant promise to robustly correct the failure of existing democracies to incorporate intensity of preference and knowledge.

Democratic voting doesn’t calculate a voter’s level of interest in a candidate or outcome. Without a way to calculate such interests, direct democracy can be dangerous. Majoritarian cycling will exist, as will the tyranny of the majority, which the realized was just the tyranny of the poor over the rich.

Because the votes and the voice credits have a quadratic relationship, monopolies of votes cannot exist—no matter how many voice credits one voter has, they cannot control the outcome. Voters would carefully select the outcomes they care most about, a feature standard voting lacks.

Hard requirement:

Quadratic voting requires a sort of identity system. Users should not be able to forge freely identities to make cheap plural votes.


  • Establish a simple identity system (doesn’t need to work 100%, but must be good enough)
  • Use QV for xGov


  • allow an option to recurrently subscribe for governance, rather “by default” missing out.

Requiring the wallet to be running a node could be a way to at least force people to create some value for the network if they are going to try to use multiple wallets to game QV.

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Governance should be as inclusive as possible. Requiring a “citizen” to run a node will wind out 99% of blockchain users.


Having done some light reading on quadratic voting, it seems like a wonderful idea. One of my primary concerns with current governance systems is the potential for informed voters to be overpowered by virtue of the multiple-choice voting format. Uninformed voters may cast arbitrary votes simply to maintain eligibility for rewards.

Case in point, during the recent mid-term elections in the US, I was asked to vote for school board candidates. I don’t have children and didn’t do any reading up on the candidates beforehand. So what did I do? I voted for the first one on the left. I told my wife that I felt guilty about doing so.
When the election results were announced, who do you think was elected to the school board? First candidate on the left. Could be a coincidence, but in this case quadratic voting may have prevented a potentially arbitrary outcome.

Uninformed voters may cast arbitrary votes simply to maintain eligibility for rewards.

Uninformed voters need a good source of information. Voting won’t solve it. The system today doesn’t solve it either.

Agreed 100%. But similar to ranked-choice voting, QV seems to offer a partial remedy in that informed voters with strong opinions can make their voices heard to greater effect.
Solving the problems of voter apathy and reliable information sources are perhaps another thing altogether.

But this would only be for xGov not for regular governance. I’ve also heard a desktop UI client has been in the works which would make that feasible for non technical people who want to participate.

Isn’t the idea of xGov to take over the “regular governance”?

No just gain the ability to make proposals that “regular governance” decides on. xGov: an Expert Governors System for Algorand

But proposals are up to be voted by the Algorand Ecosystem - ALGO holders.
So xGov should cover both proposals and voting.

I agree. I have suggested this before but there is no desire for the voice of non-whales to be heard. Good suggestion. It will be ignored.

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