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Department of Informatics Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies

Voting Mechanisms in Decentralized Autonomous Organisations

Level: MA
Responsible Person: Florian Spychiger
Keywords: Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, Decision-Making, Voting

Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) are community-governed structures based on smart contracts deployed on a blockchain. All members collectively decide on the faith of the DAO in a governance process [1]. In order to do so and reach decisions, DAOs use a variety of voting mechanisms: quorum-based voting (e.g. Aaragon), quadratic voting (e.g. Gitcoin), conviction voting (e.g. 1Hive), liquid democracy (e.g. Tezos), holoraphic consensus (e.g. DAOStack), and many more [2]. Since everything is happening on public blockchains, all the data is available. A few authors have started to analyze the voting power distribution and the governance participation, and they could clearly show that a concentration has occurred over time [3, 4]. In this study, the student will apply time series and panel data analysis to study the evolution of different DAO votes. For this, they need to collect data on voting processes of DAOs. The thesis goal is to unravel the dynamics of this concentration processes observed in DAOs.

[1] Hassan, S., & De Filippi, P. (2021). Decentralized autonomous organization. Internet Policy Review, 10(2), 1-10.
[2] Ding, Q., Liebau, D., Wang, Z., & Xu, W. (2023). A survey on decentralized autonomous organizations
[3] Feichtinger, R., Fritsch, R., Vonlanthen, Y., & Wattenhofer, R. (2023). The Hidden Shortcomings of (D)AOs - An Empirical Study of On-Chain Governance. ArXiv, abs/2302.12125.
[4] Goldberg, M., & Schär, F. (2023). Metaverse governance: An empirical analysis of voting within decentralized autonomous organizations. SSRN Electronic Journal.