Switch Snapshot space to shielded voting/secret ballots using Shutter threshold encryption


This is a proposal to Rocket Pool to toggle on encryption/shielded voting in the Snapshot admin settings. “Shielded voting” is a Snapshot feature using Shutter’s threshold encryption DKG and Keyper set. Shielded Voting is developed by Snapshot and Shutter in tandem. More on the release of the feature here: https://twitter.com/SnapshotLabs/status/1580674555710181378 & Shielded voting is live! — Snapshot Labs


The proposal focuses on the introduction of the Shutter Governance to Rocket Pool. Shutter Governance enables Shielded Voting to be set up when voting on the Snapshot platform. We think shielded/secret ballot voting is superior to open voting in many ways, especially around preventing strategic voting/misbehavior and voter apathy, factors that, in our view, negatively affect the overall voting structure in the DAO environment. Above all, we believe that Shutter Governance will restore awareness in the participation of the individual for the good of the whole and bring positive, democratic values. The use of Shutter Governance is entirely free of charge, and it only takes a couple of clicks from the admin side when setting up the proposal.

About Shutter

Shutter promotes base layer neutrality and information symmetry using threshold encryption and a decentralized Keyper set. The protocol has 2 primary applications:

  • Rolling Shutter prevents malicious MEV (front running, sandwich attacks) and censorship on L1s and Ethereum L2s by encrypting transactions as they are created and then decrypting them after the transaction order in the block has been fixed.

  • Shielded Voting increases the fairness and integrity of votes on Snapshot and other voting platforms by encrypting all votes as they are cast and then decrypting them when the voting period has ended.

MEV and front running are recognized to be among the final unsolved fundamental issues in the blockchain space. Ethereum is vulnerable mainly because of the block producer’s ability to arbitrarily reorder transactions in the blocks they produce. More about Shutter and the MEV problem here:


At Shutter, combating front-running and malicious Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) by threshold encryption remains our core mission, however, we could not pass up the opportunity to extend the positive effects of our solution to other areas of the Ethereum environment. This is why we developed Shutter Governance, a tool for governance platforms which allows the use of shielded voting for their users.

We think by default - similarly to how voting works for political elections - all DAO voters for a given DAO vote should be able to access the same information beforehand. Shouldn’t we, who are using crypto governance, also have that option?

To be more specific, these are some of the benefits that we’re hoping shielded voting adds to the voting process:

  • Pre-voting information symmetry,
  • And added layer of censorship resistance,
  • Partial privacy

This might sound a little theoretical, so let’s have a look at these two examples:

  1. Consider a contentious vote in which a minority is pushing the poll early in one direction. Voters that don’t have a strong opinion already formed might see this and think the outcome is already decided. Thus they’ll be discouraged from voting and also from researching/forming an opinion. This could then lead to the vote going in favor of the minority due to voter apathy, which would not be a good outcome, given that the goal of the poll is to represent the majority opinion.
  2. Consider a whale with malicious intent observing and waiting for a vote to play out. Only to come in at the last minute, borrowing/buying just the right amount of tokens needed to sway the vote, and doing this at a time when there’s no more time for the rest of the community to react.

In both of these scenarios, having the vote shielded could improve the situation massively. The first example covers how this feature can help with incentivizing people to vote, leading to a higher voter turnout. In the second scenario, we show how shielded voting protects the proposal from manipulation.

Specification & Implementation

With Shutter Governance, votes are encrypted during the voting period and revealed after the poll closes, similar to secret ballot political elections in which we would not like to reveal the voting results before the polling stations close. To vote on a proposal with Shutter Governance, the user first requests the Eon key with the Keypers signature, there is then a signature check against the Keyper registry to prevent the system operator from giving out a fake key that they control. After this step, the votes get encrypted with the Proposal key, derived from the Eon key and the proposal ID.

Shutter Governance had its official launch on the Snapshot platform on October 13, 2022. From then on, all Snapshot DAOs have the option to choose Shutter as a voting privacy option in the Snapshot admin settings. With this in mind, the use of Shielded Voting does not require any work or technical input from anyone at DAOs, the entire solution is fully implemented on Snapshot and whether organizations will use it is just a matter of choice.

Can you give us examples from previous Rocket Pool Protocol DAO votes where open voting was detrimental?

Or is this just copy & pasted spam garbage?

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So I admit to being this person. I always read the vote text but if the vote is uncontentious I don’t vote.

So, this way it affected previous votes, maybe not in the outcome but at least in the participation rate. As I read this, it seems to just say “hey, there’s a switch which could prevent voting results from being shown before the end of the vote. And it’s free.”

So IMO we should use this unless we have a good reason why we think open voting is better.

I don’t get why you suggest an informative heads-up is" garbage".

Mostly, I don’t think this applies to what we’ve seen within RP.

We’ve benefitted greatly from transparent voting.

  • Large delegates have made efforts to post their preferences early so that their delegators can shift away if they wish.
  • Discussions have occurred and shifted opinions throughout the course of a vote. Open votes essentially provide a list of folks to convince via discourse.

(2) does not apply to RP. Because votes are snapshotted, buying/borrowing later does nothing. Late voting, however, could be effective. We have not seen this type of gamesmanship.

Finally, I’ll note that we’re about to have on-chain voting (open). I suspect we’ll keep snapshot for gasless voting when it’s for things that aren’t executed on chain. Given that, I think there’s a real benefit to having the systems be as similar as possible.

He’s shilling his product. He seems to be spamming governance forums with this e.g. there is an identical word-for-word proposal on the Euler governance forum.