PIP-49 - Shielded voting for ParaSwap Governance

PIP-49 - Shielded voting for ParaSwap Governance


Participation in ParaSwap DAO votes fluctuates greatly depending on the subject, but remains low overall when compared with the PSP staked and the voting power used.

There are a number of possible ways of boosting participation, such as introducing a delegate system, increasing communication (although this is more than reasonable), etc.

This proposal in the making would like to introduce Snapshot’s ‘Shutter’ module.
This module allows votes to be kept temporarily private until the end of the voting period and then made public once the voting period is over.

The aim is to pass this research topic to a Governance proposal topic by the end of the week (22 December), then to carry out a temp check on 29 December for a vote on 2 January (potential 1 week delay if comments made about the holiday season).

Goals & review

The aim of this proposal is to activate this feature on snapshot.

You will find below a presentation of the feature as well as discussions and tests that have already taken place on this subject in other DAOs.
In my opinion, although useful, the experience of other DAOs should not obscure the fact that each DAO is different, whether in terms of its community, its state of decentralisation or its adoption.


During the vote:

  • You can see who has voted.
  • You can see the voting power of the voters.
  • You can NOT see the voting choice of the voters.
  • You can NOT see the global voting choice.

After the vote ends:

  • You can see each voter’s choice
  • You can see the final result

Other DAO similar discussions:


  • Enhances the overall security and integrity of the Snapshot platform by making it more difficult for bad actors to interfere with the voting process.
  • Reduces Herd Mentality: Promotes independent decision-making and discourages voters from being swayed by the trends or decisions of early voters.
  • Upholds Voter Confidentiality: Safeguards voter privacy by keeping individual voting preferences undisclosed, until the voting period ends.


  • If a delegation system is set up, the people delegating will not be able to see on the snapshot whether their delegate’s vote is acceptable to them.
    In my opinion, a delegate should also communicate his choice upstream and in parallel of the Snapshot to those who delegate to him.
  • The fact that the vote is hidden prevents discussion during the vote.
    The ParaSwap DAO’s temp check system, which is necessary before the Snapshot is created, marks a symbolic stop on the content of the proposal that will be put to the vote. At this stage, the author of the proposal has judged that the discussions have gone far enough to launch the vote. There is, of course, nothing to stop discussions continuing on the forum.


It is only necessary for an administrator of the ParaSwap DAO Snapshot space to activate this functionality in Snapshot settings so that all subsequent proposals take it into account.

Et voilà!

Given the ease of implementation, the proposal requests activation of this feature within 5 days of acceptance of this proposal, if applicable.

Implementation Overview

Activating the “Shutter” module can improve participation and the voting process.
It will need to be accompanied by further action to improve the DAO governance process.

Voting options

  • YES, activate “Shutter” module
  • NO, don’t activate “Shutter” module
  • Abstain

I think it’s a really good idea. I support this proposal


I find this idea excellent.
I am in favor of this proposal which I think will bring best practices to future votes.


This is a straight forward proposal that is expected to further strenthen the DAO in the long as it eliminates peer influence and encourages independent decision making.

Well done.


A much needed feature! I support this proposal.


Voting systems are very often imperfect, but I think this proposal is a step in the right direction. For.


Having discussed Shutter voting in other communities, I think there might be a very good idea! However, it might be too early based on discussion I had on other delegates for other communities.

Some of the concerns I read in other communities are that shielded voting would reduce the kind of ways proposers could help their vote pass, which makes their campaigning harder. Additionally, it increases information assymetry on what should be an open process.

Imo, best to leave it as an option any author can implement on their proposal as the default, at least until we have a larger delegation framework :slight_smile:


Hello and thank you for your point of view!

I’m interested, could you develop these two subjects?

- On proposers pushing their vote
I’ve recently realised that making a proposal that we think is useful isn’t enough for it to be accepted, even if the community sometimes seems to agree. There’s a lot of communication and lobbying involved in getting your vote through (most of the time, this is done in private…) and, above all, reaching a quorum.
On the other hand, I find it hard to see the impact of shielding on this point: you have to push your vote no matter what, don’t you? As far as I’m concerned, this persuasion phase takes place when you’re on the forum.
Let’s say you see the glass as half empty and I see it as half full ^^
I think that shielding will make people more interested in voting and they won’t say to themselves “they don’t need my vote”. The ideal objective would even be for this lobbying work to be replaced by the empowerment and intervention of each voter.

- On asysymetry and openess
I’d like to understand this notion of asymmetric information and open process.
The process does not change, it is always open, all information is transparent, before and after the vote.

The aim here is not to make the proposal and voting process more difficult than it already is, but to try to get the community interested in the life of the DAO, with as little influence as possible.
So I’d be delighted to have a better understanding of the two points above.


You are running a vote, you see that 1000 users have voted for your proposal. The proposal is currently not going to pass.

If the vote is open during the 5 day window, you can approach the key delegates/voters to ask to change their mind and vote in your favour, you can discuss changes during the vote, etc. You can reach out to half a dozen that could move the needle.

If the vote is shielded, you either have to reach out to every one of the major voters to ask for their vote (a much more time consuming task), or engage in the in private lobbying you mentioned.

The ‘during’ part is missing in this sentence, which is where the information assymmetry appears. In many cases, a lot of things can change in that 5 day window, and shielding can remove that ease of choice.

If during the 5 day voting window there is no clear way to see how the vote is going, making sure that your vote gets to pass makes the voting process more difficult than it already is. This is especially the case if they are not familiar with the community or have connections.

This is why I am suggesting that it’s best to leave shielded voting on a case-by-case basis (on sensitive matters like elections, suspension of funds, etc) as opposed to all votes. Otherwise, shielded votes make the key hours when the vote is live difficult, especially if there isn’t an established delegate system, as at least delegates vote are usually open to approach and discuss their thoughts before and during the vote, making it easier to discuss even if the votes are shielded.

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The lobbying
This is where our opinions differ and where we don’t see things the same way.
As I said, I’m aware that this is how it works, lobbying in the corridors. But that’s clearly not how I imagined governance within a DAO, I naively imagined that all the debates would take place in public (on the forum or the discord) and not privately with the big holders.
And that’s clearly not where I want ParaSwap to go (with my modest participation as a learner).
And that’s whether the vote goes in favour of the proposal’s creator or not.

Um, I don’t see how a change discussed in private could be applied to a vote in progress.
A proposal on Snapshot is supposed to be what’s voted on, at least until another vote. Even more so if the said change isn’t discussed in public.

Not the main thing, the proposal. Frozen during the vote.

Finally, these negotiations, which sometimes have to take place during a vote, outside of public channels, are just an admission of failure.
Either our ability to motivate stakers to vote, or to create proposals that seem important to the community.

I’m well aware that you want the best for the ParaSwap DAO, and so do I. I just think that this little change (which, let’s not forget, can be removed as soon as it’s added if the DAO no longer wants it) can remind people that their vote counts, and avoid us having to contact them to get them to vote.

I think the risk/reward ratio is worth a shot.


I don’t think we need to make every vote shutter by default to see how it goes, perhaps we can experiment with it for a couple individual test votes and see how it goes? We might not need a vote in that case as it’s the author choosing it, so it would be the same as an author choosing to go with a ranked choice vote for their proposal. Depending on how things go, we can then implement this small change by default on all future ones!

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The key element of Oxy’s argument is that there’s no way to tell if the lobbyist has successful won a delegate or big holder over untill after the vote as compared to without shielded voting. Keep in mind that voters have a right to change their vote within the 5 days window of proposal.

My only concern is the possibility of the feature reducing vote participation rate especially since we don’t have the numbers.


How can you not be in favour of this idea?
The anonymity of voting choices is a precious resource and should be the spearhead of a DAO.

I’m astonished that the opposite should be the case.

I can’t wait to test this feature on the upcoming burn vote !!


Thanks D.

One of the key points of this proposal is to avoid/reduce the need for lobbying.
This is a fact today, but is it really a good thing for a DAO? Our DAO?

To draw a parallel with ‘real life’, polls and estimates during political elections are often pointed at for influencing voting behaviour:

  • “Why would I go and vote, my opinion has already lost/won”.
  • Ah yes the majority have voted that so far, I have a doubt so I’ll vote like them.

If the main risk of this proposal is to make lobbying difficult, you’ll understand that I don’t mind in the context of the initiative.

I agree, the voter can change his vote right up until the last moment, and he can do so influenced by the public debate on the forum or on discord if the conversation continues there.

The evolution and comparison of participation can only be done over the long term, which is why I haven’t included a trial period in the proposal, and why I don’t want to lobby future proposal creators to ask them if they want to use this module (cf @0xYtocin proposal).

I don’t understand the problem brought here. The vote choice data is temporarily hidden but that all the results are available after the vote and can be compared if necessary. Final result is the same.


By “the numbers”, I meant the population of our community and the number of active participants.

Truely, the actual data for comparison can only be derived after implimentation.

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Hey guys, moved the post to the Governance proposal topic!

Please continue to share your thoughts!


I don’t see how it’s possible to be against such a proposal or opposed to the implementation of this feature in all future votes.
I guess losing control of who votes what (during the voting phase) scares some people…

Absolutely right.

Terrifying. :scream:

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Shutter voting by default doesn’t make lobbying difficult, it rewards insider knowledge and circles, so actually makes it easier if you’re not ‘in’, as there is an instance of information assymetry being generated between the people that in parallel discuss their intentions vs the one that is out in the open. This assymetry being generated is undeniable, and hiding voter intentions will not encourage to push discussion out into the open.

I feel this conversation is turning circular now, I’ve already shared my opinions and personally still support shutter voting for specific case votes, but making it the default introduces an additional governance roadblock that will increase inaccessibility for new votes even more


We agree, we just don’t imagine the same impact from this proposal.

I’d just like to point out that I don’t think shielding would in any way encourage collusion compared with today.
Asymmetry can already be created by collusion combined with a last-minute vote.


It sounds very naive to think that. For now, without shutter voting, we can already preview the discussions taking place in private messages. I really don’t see how it can be worse than now.

Let’s take an example, during the proposal PIP-46 the vast majority of those commenting were in favor.
Those against didn’t vote during several days, hoping that they don’t have to, if the quorum wasn’t reached. Once the quorum was reached, they were suddenly all able to vote. I don’t believe such coordination was possible without discussing in private.
Please, after my message, don’t focus on this example, which was just an example.