Experimental Voting Effort Aims to Break Ethereum Governance Gridlock

When people think of ethereum, they generally think also of the protocol's developer Vitalik Buterin, now - off his creation - a multi-millionaire.

No doubt, Buterin is a leader of sorts for the community, even if decision-making is somewhat decentralized. And above that, ethereum's most active developers have a significant amount of say in the direction of the technology.

Recently, however, the protocol's decision-making has been called into question as a series of controversial proposals have arisen - be it the development of new forms of mining hardware or the recovery of lost funds due to various vulnerabilities.

As the community debates the various pros and cons of such proposals, Buterin has begun working with economics researcher Dr. Glen Weyl to experiment with the idea of enabling a new kind of voting for the ethereum users. In a blog post announcing the collaboration on May 21, Buterin described how ideas from Weyl's recent book, "Radical Markets," could help address these governance challenges and coordinate solutions for contentious issues.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Weyl, who received a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University and is now a researcher at Microsoft, explained that quadratic voting aims to focus voters on issues they are passionate about and educated on. Rather than votes being distributed equally across participants, users can purchase extra votes to have a greater say in certain issues.

"The idea is it allows people to express how important things are to them, and not just which direction they feel about it," Weyl said.

The collaboration comes at a time when other ethereum researchers have banded together in an effort to come up with ways to better measure community sentiment.

And although Buterin wasn't directly involved in those meetings, in the blog post, he noted his belief that existing proposals for decentralized decision-making either put too much authority into the hands of those who own ether or, in trying to reach a larger pool of stakeholders, are vulnerable to attack by fake accounts and malicious actors trying to sway the vote.

As such, Buterin and Weyl write, the quadratic voting proposal is a more "moderate alternative" to other forms of decentralized governance.

Weyl told CoinDesk:

"[Quadratic voting] allows for decisions to be made for the greatest number of people."

Connecting communities

The duo's post on the matter seems aligned with an announcement made earlier this month by Virgil Griffith from the Ethereum Foundation, the not-for-profit that funds ethereum-related research, that it was seeking applications for projects wanting to test experiments based on Weyl's theories.

Prior to fully fledged announcements, however, Buterin and Weyl's blog post hints at ways the method could occur.

"Citizens can use a (possibly artificial) currency to buy votes at the cost of the square of the votes bought on...


Norway's Central Bank Mulls Digital Currency as Cash Use Declines

Norway's central bank is preparing for a future in which it might issue a digital currency amid a slump in cash usage in the country.

Looking into the possibility, a working group at Norges Bank has released a report titled "Central Bank Digital Currencies," which explains that, as citizens turn away from physical forms of money, the bank must consider "a number of new attributes that are important for ensuring an efficient and robust payment system."

Already, the country's DNB bank has stopped handling cash, with Trond Bentestuen, group executive vice president of wealth management and insurance at the bank, telling local media as far back as 2016, that only 6 percent of Norwegians use cash on a daily basis.

Further, Jon Nicolaisen, deputy governor of Norges Bank, stated in a speech last April that the role of cash "continues to diminish" as consumers move towards electronic payments, adding that "For many consumers, electronic central bank money could provide an...


Ligercoin – A Winning Blend of the Casino Industry and Blockchain Technology

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Trade Recommendation: Populous

The Populous/Bitcoin (PPT/BTC) pair launched its uptrend on January 7, 2018 when it took out resistance of 0.0032. This triggered the cup and handle reversal pattern on the daily chart. The breakout attracted so much momentum that the pair quickly became parabolic. With its supercharged velocity, PPT/BTC skyrocketed to 0.007901 on January 31. In less than a month, the market rose by almost 147%.

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