xGov 170: Decentralized Voting & Agreement Signing for Everyone

Abstract

This proposal seeks to fund a new no-code voting & agreement signing tool that will enable any user, brand, or community to deploy custom contracts for streamlined proposal creation, decentralized decision-making, agreement signing, and immutable record keeping.

With a focus on accessibility and a high quality user-experience, the proposed tool aims to onboard teams and communities from within and beyond the Algorand ecosystem.

The voting tool will be the most user-friendly voting & agreement signing tool within crypto, supporting a range of essential use cases for businesses and communities.

Team

Jesco Brandt (@heartberg)

Mark Crae (@dolphinkitty)

  • Product Manager / Award Winning Designer with 10+ years of experience

Experience with Algorand

Jesco has been actively developing Algorand based projects for >3 years. In this time he has created ~20 PyTeal smart contracts and multiple Front / Back ends to support this. The smart contracts cover a wide range of application types, including staking, vesting, trading, and more.

Together, Mark and Jesco have been building the www.everyone.space platform for the past year. When launched, Everyone will provide key tokenization and NFT infrastructure for the Algorand ecosystem.

Present Proposal

The proposed Voting & Agreement Signing tool will enable anyone to create custom contracts aligned to their project’s specific needs, whether that is critical decision making, instant polling, agreement signing, or feedback acquisition.

The tool’s highly intuitive no-code UX will provide a streamlined proposal creation, voting and signing experience. It will enable easy onboarding to increase participation from existing Algorand projects, and more importantly, from new entrants to the Algorand ecosystem.

The voting tool will be integrated with the upcoming Everyone platform, joining a suite of user-friendly no-code utilities for the Algorand network. This integrated approach, combining voting, signing, and immutable record keeping, facilitate a more cohesive decision making process, promoting trust, engagement, and inclusivity across the Algorand ecosystem.

Key Features:

  • No-code voting contract configuration and deployment
  • Multiple voting models to support diverse governance use cases
  • Dedicated webpage for project-specific voting experiences
    • Comprehensive project information
    • Real-time voting and results
  • Public and private voting
    • Support for sensitive decision-making and IP protection
  • Access controls and user permissions
    • Specify requirements for proposal creation and voting
  • Enhanced transparency and trust
    • Immutable record keeping and verification

Future Blueprint

We are here to support and update this project over the long term, far beyond the scope of this proposal.

Benefits for the community

Key benefits:

  • Build a product that is so useful and user-friendly that we drive expansion of the Algorand user base.
  • Provide an improved voting & agreement signing experience for Algorand ecosystem projects.
  • Promote a fairer, more engaged, and inclusive ecosystem.

Additional information

2 Likes

Hi everyone,
With this proposal we aim to build a truly useful and intuitive tool for the whole ecosystem. But more than that, this tool will be so simple that non-algofam people will want to use it – thats how we expand the network!
Algorand is fast, low cost, sustainable, and scalable… all we need is easy to use tools with high quality UX/UI.
Thanks for considering!
#algofam :pray::two_hearts:

I love this! It’s very inclusive and exactly what the community needs. We need our voices to be heard and right now no one hears us.

That is not just words, it’s a core goal!
Algorand succeeds when we have tools that are genuinely useful, independent of your preferred network. We need to attract web2 people, and they are used to tools that work… minimal onboarding, easy to use, get the job done! :heavy_check_mark:

Great outline of how it will benefit a newbie to the network. For myself as a big onboarder with Block Cycle having more tools to enable community engagement is a win-win.

Absolutely.
We believe that decentralized voting and agreement signing are widely needed tools. From co-founder agreements to DAO community voting, they all need to immutably record decisions and terms. As a tiny startup, we’ve already needed such tools ourselves, multiple times. And when a community or organization picks a voting platform, they bring their whole team or community – potentially many users heading to Algorand. :heart_eyes:

@waltknowsmoney The primary use case is decision making, but you’re right, projects can also use this tool for community engagement… to run polls, request feedback… :raising_hand_woman: In this way, community members have their voices heard and teams are able gather insights: win-win


If anyone would like to share this proposal. Here you go.

Check out: xGov 170:
Decentralized Voting & Agreement Signing for Everyone :heart_eyes:
https://forum.algorand.org/t/xgov-170-decentralized-voting-agreement-signing-for-everyone
#algorand #algofam

You are asking for 125k. The project is NOT open source, and what you want to build is a voting tool.

You need to provide more details to support this. An onchain voting tool is not complicated. That is essentially what Governance is. Send a 0 Algo transaction to an address with a certain string in the notes field.

Also, I’m curious how you can have a private voting tool while simultaneously guaranteeing an immutable and trustworthy record. Are you building some sort of ZK system?

Without more explanation, this seems like a very overpriced method of taking simple inputs and converting them into 0 Algo transactions with notes field inputs that are then read and converted into votes. I’m not seeing why this is worth $20k.

1 Like

Hi @GhostOfMcAfee thanks for your detailed response, and taking the time to dig into our project. I checked some of your replies to other threads and see that you’re being very thorough and even handed everywhere. Good job, we need this kind of questioning! I’d like to respond to your points one by one.

1 “The project is NOT open source”
We love open-source too! but competitive pressures mean that we, and the ecosystem in general, need to build sustainable businesses so that more resources can be invested over the long term. If everything is open-sourced, then there is minimal differentiation between products and there is limited ability to build a sustainable business. With this approach, on a small network like Algorand, we end up with low quality products and reduced economic activity across the ecosystem. Definitely there are situations where open-source is the right solution. In this case, we need to go above and beyond to invest in the product to make it great. That is what we are planning to do.

2 “An onchain voting tool is not complicated”
You can reduce many products to a core feature that sounds simple, but high quality products with sophisticated UX and feature sets, require a substantial design and implementation effort. Example, many of the features of Docusign.com will lie within the scope of this project. DocuSign just lets you sign docs, but they have >7,000 employees.

There is already a voting project within Algorand with a very bare bones UI/UX, and consequently practically no one uses it. It does not benefit the ecosystem, it does not attract users to the ecosystem.

In contrast, we want to build an awesome and useful product, with lots of features that will be continually iterated on, long after this money runs out. We aim to have a top notch UI/UX that is well thought through, easy to use for both tech-savvy and non-savvy users. That means a lot of detailed work on the design and implementation.

3 “this seems like a very overpriced method”
The amount that we are asking for includes money to pay for a smart contract audit. This could be around 25% to 30% of the fee. Let’s assume $5k for that, leaving $15k left. This is taxable income, so we end up with maybe $11k. This is divided by 2 people across many tasks: More detailed spec work / project management, intensive design work, Figma components, then implementation of front end/back end/smart contract, QA, bug fixing, beta testing. We also need onboarding info and related UI that is integrated within the app, and FAQ material. Along the way there will be tons of admin, communication, and social engagement. Meanwhile the cost of Algo and of an audit is unknown. Also, the 2 people on this team are both based in major world capitals. This money is not a big pay day for us, it’s just enough to get the job done.

Okay. So, I think the there is a failure to convey fully what is planned and how it can be used. From the proposal it wasn’t really even clear that this involved smart contracts. It sounded a lot like just a simple voting tool (which as you note, we already have) and a signing tool (which seems somewhat simple as well, since the work of verification and provenance is supplied by the chain).

I think it would be helpful if in your proposal you: more fully describe the features you all have planned, the various ways it can be used (including concrete examples), and why existing projects don’t meet our current needs.

I also have some follow up questions:

First, is this going to be targeted/marketed to people outside of crypto. In other words, is this something that someone needs an Algo wallet to sign a document or construct votes and/or vote? Or is this going to be something that is also for the crypto illiterate?

Second, what’s the long term revenue model after complete? Are you trying to build a true competitor to Docusign where you charge entities to use these services? If so, then I think it is very important that it be usable by the crypto illiterate.

Finally, I understand that not everything can be open source. And you do deserve the right to try to monetize your product. I totally get and support that. However, what I think people are afraid of is that money gets paid, code gets built, but if idea doesn’t pan out as expected the code left closed source. So, we essentially have to pay someone to build that code again (and, of course, they will also say they want to keep code so they can monetize it). We end up in a revolving door of paying for similar code over and over. So, to allay those concerns, could you commit to open sourcing in the event the business sunsets?

Hi @GhostOfMcAfee
We will add clarification in the proposal regarding the usage of Smart Contracts, but notice that it is mentioned twice already…

In the Title:
with No-code Contract Configurator

In the Present Proposal
Key Features:
No-code voting contract configuration and deployment

We had previously included more items in the key features list but thought our proposal was too long compared with others, so we removed items. :slightly_smiling_face: In any case we will add more details.

We have included these example use cases:

  • critical decision making
  • instant polling
  • agreement signing
  • feedback acquisition

We will expand this info.

Regarding existing voting solutions… In @dolphinkitty’s previous reply he was critical of the existing voting project, but we don’t want to point fingers directly. The lack of quality of that project is plain to see.

Regarding your earlier question about vote privacy/encryption… this is a key feature that will be required for many use cases. We are still defining the final solution for this, for both encrypting vote terms / agreement docs, and obscuring vote counts. We will follow up with more info on this in the coming days.

1 Like

@ GhostOfMcAfee Concerning your additional points:

Targeting people outside of crypto:
We definitely plan to target people and companies outside of the Algorand ecosystem, and outside of crypto. But they will be required to get themselves an Algorand wallet to interact with the voting contract.

We specifically know of teams (outside of web3) that need the features that we plan to build. We’ll be very happy to onboard as many new users as possible.

Long term revenue model
As mentioned in the proposal, the voting feature set will be integrated into a more expansive platform that we are currently building, that enables users, teams, projects, to deploy various contracts and access certain necessary web3 tools. We will be releasing a beta sign up page for the platform itself in the coming days. This sign up page contains a lot of explanatory info and graphics. It won’t mention voting, but it may be clear how voting will fit nicely within this platform.

The voting tool itself may not be monetized directly, but the overall platform will have paid features via subscription.

Open-Source
Could you commit to open sourcing in the event the business sunsets?
Yes we can commit to this.

1 Like

Thanks for the clarifications. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to make the proposal long (there’s a lot of proposals and reading them takes time). But I think it’s important for people to clearly understand what the product does using relatable terms. And given that this isn’t something that will make the typical DeFi/degen crowd swoon, you need to beat us over the head on why this will be appealing to businesses based on what they can do with it.

2 Likes

Thank you. I appreciate the feedback. Best of luck.

2 Likes

We have updated the proposal text with more comprehensive information. The proposal text at the top of this thread is now outdated but uneditable. Please visit the Github page for the latest version. xGov 170: Decentralized Voting & Agreement Signing for Everyone by heartberg · Pull Request #170 · algorandfoundation/xGov · GitHub

Key Features edits:

  • Voting contract configuration and deployment
    • A core feature within the voting system are no-code forms to configure and deploy dedicated voting smart contracts per project
  • Multiple voting models to support diverse governance use cases
    • Simple Majority Voting
    • Supermajority Voting
    • Token-weighted voting
  • Dedicated webpage for project-specific voting experiences
    • Projects can create a dedicated mini website associated with their voting contract, this provides comprehensive project information to users

Benefits for the community

  • We pledge to open-source the code in the event of any future project sunsetting

And a few more minor edits.

We have updated the Present Proposal section to really emphasize why this project is worth funding:

Community decision making is a core feature of decentralized networks; it is critical that attention is paid to this area. As Algorand grows and takes up its rightful leadership role within crypto, we need to showcase the best possible decision making processes.

By providing best in class tools, we can increase participation in decision making, thereby promoting trust, community engagement, and inclusivity across the whole Algorand network.

Hi, have you read the vote coin standard ? Introduction - VoteCoin

From my experience there is no purchasing power on algorand to pay for the onchain decision making. The onchain communities must handle the costs on the users when they cast the vote. Be ready that the funds received from this grant will be probably the only money you can receive as the DAOs does not have money to fund it.

On the other side the vote coin standard is very efficient in the costs. The main drive is the delegation of the voting power, where people can just delegate their voting power to other account and they does not have to periodically vote.

If you want to work on the decentralized voting solution, can I suggest we cooperate?