Snapshot to let DAOs hide votes with threshold encryption

Quick Take

  • Snapshot will launch a feature for DAO votes to be encrypted during the voting process.
  • For shielded voting, Snapshot will rely on threshold encryption technology.

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's shielded voting uses a cryptographic solution that leverages threshold encryption, and was developed in partnership with Shutter Network.

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. 


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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, according to Snapshot.

"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." 

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. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


About Author

Vishal Chawla is The Block’s crypto ecosystems editor and has spent over six years covering tech protocols, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Vishal likes to delve deep into blockchain intricacies to ensure readers are well-informed about the continuously evolving crypto landscape. He is also a staunch advocate for rigorous security practices in the space. Before joining The Block, Vishal held positions at IDG ComputerWorld, CIO, and Crypto Briefing. He can be reached on Twitter at @vishal4c and via email at [email protected]