[ARFC] Private Voting for Aave Governance [2-month Trial]

Hey Luis, appreciate the effort in building out these types of products. I’d push back on the following re: negative effects and election voting.

Although results would be public, the benefit of having transparency would have no impact until after the vote and would lead to voters finding out any collusion only when it’s too late.

This same concept applies to your outlook on election voting, which is true when it comes to the “1 person = 1 vote” mentality.

However, this is not the case when it comes to token-gated governance where users can purchase their voting power. I’d assume that the same types of strategies would apply in this case with the added benefit of hidden addresses/tokens used.

Did your team discuss similar factors as this? Would love to know how parts of these discussions ended up and where improvements could be added.

The Snapshot proposal has passed. @MarcZeller, given that this was an ARFC and no code changes are required, would you be able to turn on the privacy option in Snapshot as an admin? We can then monitor performance according to the three criteria we highlighted here.

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taking care of this, let’s sync on telegram for implementation details

Update: this has been implemented, and will remain as such until the 5th of July 2023 unless community votes to extend private voting on snapshot.


Good afternoon Aave community! I’m a Safe Guardian and would like to know what the takeaways are from the 2 month trial of shielded voting. The SafeDAO is considering a similar test.

  • What worked well and improved with shielded voting?
  • What did not improve with shielded voting?
  • Will Aave governance continue using shielded voting? If so, will it be for specific types of votes, or sub groups within the DAO?

Much appreciated! :ghost: 🫱🏻‍🫲🏼 :beginner:

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Hi @AHurwitz thanks for asking!

It’s been 2 months since the trial has ended and @fig and I are planning on having a chat and running through the takeaways, including your questions here. We’ll post our takeaways here ASAP :blush:

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Excellent and thank you! It will be great for DAOs to learn from Aave’s insights here. :raised_hands:t2:

I came about 2 additional Snapshot add-on strategies I brainstormed today that could potentially be useful with existing voting strategies to reduce collusion of larger voters.

In my opinion, Aave’s obscured voting provides the community with the opportunity to express their opinions freely. Just like the 1787 Constitutional Convention in the United States, where delegates privately deliberated on a new government framework, this approach encourages open discussions, increased participation, and well-informed decisions for Aave’s future governance.


I for one really like the feature; Causes me to read snapshots more fully. I no longer rely on going with the masses and am forced more of my own opinion. This trial in my eyes was a success.

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@lbsblockchain @fig we feel like the potential learnings of this experiment would be valuable to multiple DAOs and communities. Is it enough that those are only published on the forum?

We would like to suggest a Twitter space so that our shared learnings have better reach and there can be an active discussion about it.

Hi all – thanks for your patience here.

Reflecting on the efficacy of the program, we are grateful for the Aave community’s willingness to experiment and try new tools, solutions, and approaches for Governance.

This trail seemed to inspire others – with @BristolBlockchain sharing it to dYdX.

We’ve used our off-chain Snapshot data to analyze general participation statistics.

March – May 2023 (Disabled):

  • 879.9k total votes
  • 32.6k total unique voters
  • 65 total proposals

The ratio of YAE: NAE votes for this period is 73%

May 2023 – July 2023 (Enabled):

  • 119k total votes
  • 14.2k total unique voters
  • 59 total proposals

The ratio of YAE: NAE votes for this period is 85.4%

You may find the query here for more Snapshot data and analysis.

At a quick look, these numbers suggest there is more general participation without private voting. For next steps we will analyze the size of voters and how these stats compare to a similar period last year.

It is clear in both instances minute voters are polluting Snapshot in an attempt to airdrop farm.

I will share some reflections from a perspective of a contributor which we expressed in the dYdX post; some thoughts so far from the implementation in Aave:

  • it forces you to form and define a clear opinion, not just defer to the largest / most passionate voter. This may be especially true for risk votes due to their frequency and quantitate manner

  • it is more difficult to anticipate the outcome and initiate the next steps; i.e you must wait til the Snapshot vote has concluded to understand the results and begin the next steps

  • it’s pretty easy to turn on (and off) and creates a new, less familiar UX for Snapshot users

  • it requires a bit more active management of the Snapshot space in general, re-awaking admins and toggling features such as visualizing the quorum

This UX is worth noting while evaluating its future role (or lack thereof) in Aave.