Democracy 3.0 for the transparent world

In these series, we will research and publish our exploration of decentralized applications and Web 3.0 ecosystem. We plan to post small notes and articles on the subjects of decentralization, blockchain, economy, social and legal aspects, programming and future vision.

What is Liquid Democracy?

Liquid Democracy is a subset of Delegative Democracy, combining advantages of Direct and Representative democracies.

Illustration and lettering by Alina Loseva (http://alinaloseva.com/)

There are three significant functional differences to modern widely used democracies.

  1. Liquid Democracy is genuinely democratic empowering participants to vote or delegate their vote to the trustable party
    Imagine Bob was out of the country for two years and now wants to vote as he is not happy with recent happenings within his country he is not up-to-date with political propositions and decides to pass his vote to Jane.
  2. Another powerful feature which brings Liquid Democracy is the possibility to delegate votes for domain-specific topics
    For example, Bob was disappointed by Jane’s proposition on the subject of Bitcoin fork, but she is still the only known expert of Bob’s circle in the question of charities, so he still keeps his vote on this topic after Jane. Compared to current democracy models, representatives might have the majority of his propositions relevant to the elector but have quite the opposite positions on a couple of subjects.
  3. A compelling aspect of Liquid Democracy is its vote recommendation system instead of vote passing. 
    Bob passed his vote to Jane, Jane proposed to vote for support Segwit2x, but Bob doesn’t agree. He still has three days to revoke his election and vote from his side or pass his vote to another delegate.

As the following result we have additional enhancements:

  • Delegating vote to someone more experienced in particular subject brings us closer to Meritocracy, the system where each representative is the expert of his field. That, in turn, leads to cooperation over the competition and overall better decision making in the community. 
    Using previous examples, Jane could pass Bob’s vote to her boss, who is even more experienced in the subject than she is.
  • Liquid Democracy has low entry barrier, to become a delegate the only things one needs are trust and will. There are no rules or laws to enter, which facilities representability of minorities in the system.
  • Liquid Democracy increases the responsibility of the delegates
    Jane immediately lost her support and trust from Bob voting for Segwit2x and therefore his vote. Contrary to Representative Democracy, where the community chooses a representative for a prolonged period, and he might not be following his goals and aims presented in the election campaign.
  • And finally, Liquid Democracy brings scalability and increases participation to the integrated systems due to the busy life of a modern man and inability to be covered up on all of the topics.

With the previously said currently the most suitable and beneficial areas of implementations for Liquid Democracy are DAOs, decentralized funds, independent banks of trust and broader digital communities.

Projects that are bringing Liquid Democracy closer

Giveth for charity

https://giveth.io

Giveth is the altruistic, free and open-source platform for charitable donations.

Giveth provides users opportunities to build DAC (Decentralized Altruistic Community) around specific topics they want to support on Ethereum blockchain.

Built using Liquid Democracy in mind Giveth is bringing better communication, transparency, and accountability to charity.

Using Giveth, you can check and control in real-time where your donations are going and how they are being used. Contributions are being locked in until milestones are completed, during this time givers can contact everyone involved in the process to make sure the funds are being used appropriately and can revoke their donation.
DACs are creating and supporting Campaigns and giver can donate directly to campaign or pledge funds to a delegate via the LiquidPleding system.

Giveth team, decentralized over the world, is being run through Giveth DAC and works solely on donations with the help of volunteers, genius developers, white hat hackers and social innovators.

You can check project MVP here:
https://alpha.giveth.io/


Democracy Earth Foundation for borderless governance

https://democracy.earth/

Started in 2015 DEF is a non-profit organization in Palo Alto, Democracy Earth is interested in the actual implementation of Liquid Democracy for the borderless governance of real countries.

Democracy Earth is working on Sovereign, token-based app, bringing Liquid Democracy to work.
As soon as any person registered in Sovereign can validate his identity, they receive the corresponding amount of votes every voter has in the network. Omitting central party authority Democracy Earth is incentivizing participants by giving rewards for finding duplicate identities, the process they are calling attention mining.

Source code: https://github.com/DemocracyEarth/sovereign

Open source whitepaper: https://github.com/DemocracyEarth/paper

Democracy Earth already launched two pilots: in Colombia and Hong Kong. Democracy Earth was funded by YCombinator and Fast Forward.


Minime Token to create Liquid Democracy for current entities

https://github.com/Giveth/minime/

Minime token is the ERC-20 compatible token bringing additional powerful features.

  • Minime is a cloneable token, which is useful to provide token holders with extra functionality leaving primary assets unaffected.
  • Minime token is cloneable at any block number in the past, which means that at any moment in the history you can clone first token keeping the same distribution of newly launched tokens as it was for cloneable one.
    That is great for reward models leaving participants the possibility to trade and move tokens freely.
  • Minime also has the option to set a token controller, which can create, transfer and destroy tokens, as well as ability to freeze transactions between users.

Minime token is widely used by Dapps on Ethereum, such as Giveth, Status, Aragon, district0x, Ethfinex.


Conclusions

There are still many issues to resolve especially in UI and UX for the present projects, but visible opportunities to build flexible trustless decentralized governments are encouraging and inspiring.
It’s inevitable that we going to see more implementations of Liquid Democracy in decentralized applications now and hopefully, as the adoption of cryptocurrencies would grow in the world, and we’ll see its testing in the governance of state and community organizations.


D E C E N T . F U N D

Decent.fund is the community of people interested in decentralization and the opportunities that new technologies are bringing to us in the inevitable future. In the world worried about markets and speculations, we will try to explore the real potential for new products being evolved.

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