Introducing Vocdoni: a decentralized governance platform for traditional organizations

Introducing Vocdoni: a decentralized governance platform for traditional organizations

The Aragon Project is thrilled to announce the launch of Vocdoni, a platform that securely resolves key governance requirements for a variety of organizations using cutting-edge voting technology. The Vocdoni digital voting protocol introduces an unparalleled layer of security, trust and efficiency to the standard guarantees of governance processes, enjoyed by associations, co-ops, trade unions, companies, and city councils. Try it for yourself at vocdoni.app.

Cognizant of some of the key attributes of projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, the Aragon Labs team have set out to develop a universally-verifiable, permissionless, modular solution that leverages advanced cryptographic mechanisms, allowing for new privacy-preserving identity management solutions, while ensuring that the underlying infrastructure is ready to scale effectively.

Some background on the Project

A couple of years ago, the Vocdoni team set itself the goal of making secure and democratic governance available to any private or public organization or individual worldwide, regardless of their political circumstances. Our idea was - and still is - to allow these same organizations and individuals to easily access this breakthrough technology, while abstracting away the complexity of using it day-to-day and ensuring key properties such as immutability, verifiability and extremely high security guarantees. With these goals in mind, we are currently striving to integrate the most advanced cryptographic mechanisms such as zkSNARKs, IPFS, and the Ethereum network in order to create a ‘common good’ voting protocol with the highest possible standards powered by our purpose-built vote-counting blockchain.

In 2020, we ran an Early Access program that enabled secure voting with an aggregate census of more than 250,000 individuals whose votes were captured in a variety of use-cases such as AGMs, board meetings and elections, as well as surveys and polls across Spain. This trial period has allowed us to validate key hypotheses and has helped us battle-test our product in various circumstances, resulting in a more mature technology ready to accommodate formal voting processes and ultimately making Vocdoni one of the most widely used blockchain technologies.

Key features of Vocdoni

As of today, this first version of Vocdoni will give users the ability to conduct all kinds of statutory votes, such as AGMs, board meetings, and committee meetings, alongside conventional governance processes such as elections, surveys, polls, and participatory budgeting. With the ability to tally 18,000 paperless votes per minute using open-source blockchain technologies, our product delivers a voting alternative with code that can be universally verified by objective third parties, unlike proprietary, centralized voting processes. In this first version, Vocdoni will offer the following the features:

  • Create sovereign entities where you and designated administrators are the sole users able to manage the organization.
  • Create unlimited voting processes to satisfy all of your governance needs through an easy-to-use and intuitive interface.
  • Enable voting rights on-the-fly for every voting process you create.
  • Configure voting processes with multiple options, including live and encrypted, time-locked results.
  • Configure voting processes to start and end at preset times, both programmatically and manually.
  • Guarantee vote secrecy among voting participants and external third-parties.
  • Customize the voting experience by embedding live streaming of your event onto the ballot’s landing page and attach complementary resources (eg. Q&As, reports, documentation, etc.) to make available during the voting process.

What’s coming up next?

Aragon’s vision for Vocdoni is to push its development beyond just digital voting as a mechanism for binding participation and signalling. It is our belief that governance relies on key components such as communication, finance and consensual deliberation. For these reasons, we are focused on the following product features to ensure the advancement of said goals, namely:

  • Anonymous voting: through advanced cryptographic mechanisms such as zkSNARKs and zkRollups, which will guarantee that no one (not even Aragon Labs), nor the administrator of the organization can know the direction of votes.
  • Secure Payments: different organizations need to collect donations, membership fees or conduct fundraising. With Vocdoni you will be able to do all this with ease using both crypto and fiat.
  • Advanced Census: manage voting rights and easily segment the census according to various voting criteria.
  • New Voting modalities: from ranks to quadratic voting, Vocdoni's voting protocol will allow multiple permutations and will be available soon on the platform.
  • Direct Communication: non-algorithmic and verifiable communication channels, to keep your social base informed of everything going on in your organization, ensuring that all of them receive the same information.

Try Vocdoni Today

Despite our sophisticated world, elements of ‘divine right’ still permeate many of our governance systems today. Whether it is an unhealthy dependence on centralized power, or the ‘black box’ nature of many digital governance systems, single points of failure, inscrutable processes and high participation costs make governance systems fragile and harmful for those they presume to serve. Vocdoni’s inexpensive, transparent and auditable system flips the script and makes trustless governance a common good, allowing any group of participants to employ governance mechanisms only previously available to large organizations. This is the frontier of governance and we invite you to be one of the first to participate.
Vocdoni is available free of charge with all of its features until October 15th 2021. Create your own entity today at vocdoni.app.