The on-chain voting and plutocracy


I’ve been thinking about the on-chain voting system and I basically came to realization that identity is critical if
we want to avoid plutocracy.

The one-token-one-vote system can easily lead to the inequality of wealth, which yields to inequality of political power. The one-person-one-vote system, although still not perfect, can at least mitigate the risk of plutocracy.

However, I have not yet found any legit identity system on the blockchain. I’ve looked into some, but they were all highly centralized model that didn’t really require a blockchain.

Do you know any legit system out there or have any ideas about how we could achieve this with blockchain tech?


Totally agree, a robust identity system could open up possibilities for a whole new set of experiments on Ethereum that currently aren’t feasible. A great quote from Glen Weyl about Blockchains is: “The problem is they formalized private property in an incredibly rich way, and yet they didn’t formalize democracy. And private property without democracy is an incredibly dark and scary thing.”

Unfortunately, there’s currently no well-functioning system to achieve identity (without a centralized issuer) on a blockchain that I know of. Some projects that are attempting to build identity systems are uPort, Democracy Earth, and some developing work by Glen Weyl.


From what I can tell, uPort doesn’t seem to be a “1 human, 1 identity” system, but I’m not an expert on their protocol. From this paper:

A user is free to create multiple uPortIDs that are unlinkable

The private key that controls a uPortID is stored only on the user’s mobile device.
Therefore, an important aspect of uPort relates to its social recovery protocol for the
event of loss or theft of the user’s mobile device. For that, users must nominate the
uPortIDs of trustees who can vote to replace the public key referenced in the controller
with one proposed by the user in need; once a quorum is reached between those trustees
on the new public key, the controller replaces the lost public key with the newly proposed public key. This process enables the user to maintain a persistent uPortID even
after the loss of cryptographic keys

Seems a lot more like an improved way of storing private keys than a formalized human identity.

Democracy Earth

Again, not an expert on their work, but Democracy Earth seems to be taking an approach where you prove your identity by sharing a video of yourself every year, and posting a hash of that video to a blockchain. They then layer on a reputation system to allow organizations to grant reputation to an individual. See their paper, especially pages 16-19.

Glen Weyl’s work

Glen has discussed on Twitter and at conferences a proposal for an identity system that he calls “Polypolitanism”. The basic idea is that our identity is the intersection (think Venn Diagram) of the different communities and our shared experiences/relationships with others. See some discussions on Twitter and this section from his talk at Devcon 4.


You might want to take a look at brightID

BrightID is a global, unique identity network that keeps fake people out of applications. BrightID is your identity as a world citizen.

The community is on Telegram and keybase

Adding Economic Incentives To Cryptoeconomics.Study

Identity is hard, but 1 size does not fit all. At Daonuts we’re experimenting with a dual token model that is partially transferable and partially not transferable. This means that whenever an account does something that earns tokens (in this case posting, commenting, tipping, etc) they get 1 of each (both the transferable and non-transferable). This ratio can be adjusted from 50/50 to 80/20 or whatever else as well. This allows communities to establish reputation (via the non transferable token), but also have access to open markets for tipping/trading/purchasing (via the transferable token). Community votes can be created to be based on karma (non-transferable reputation token) or donuts (the transferable fun token), or a blend of both. For important votes/things you can prevent (market based) vote buying by representing the interests of engaged long time community members. You can also create fun games/experiments where anyone can acquire (earn or buy) tokens and participate anytime they want. None of this requires a trusted party to verify or manage user identities.

We’re still in the process of refining the messaging around this process, so if this does not make sense PLEASE LET ME KNOW! :slight_smile:
Also please let me know if you see a flaw in this plan or have any questions! :slight_smile:

Also, since the Ethereum account is the thing that’s establishing identity/reputation via token balances it should be relatively easy to integrate into other decentralized identity solutions if a user desires. Key word there is IF, because the process works without any personal identifying data.


Daonuts is a really cool concept. I still haven’t had the time to explore it more fully though. Splitting reputation and reward tokens is an interesting idea.

As far as identity goes, without having provable uniqueness in a decentralised way, there is a whole class of applications we can’t even begin to experiment with in any meaningful way. 1 token 1 vote just doesn’t scale without it. That’s what is so exciting about brightID


Here’s the current tldr on Daonuts

Regarding IDs, personally I’m not a huge fan of 1token/1vote, but I’m also not a fan of 1person/1vote. I like meritocratic systems where people earn reputation/influence. That’s why 1Hive has BEE tokens and HONEY tokens and why Daonuts has Karma and Donuts. It’s the best of both worlds :slight_smile: