EIP-1202: Voting Standard Source

AuthorZainan Victor Zhou, Evan, Yin Xu
Discussions-Tohttps://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/1202
StatusDraft
TypeStandards Track
CategoryERC
Created2018-07-08

Simple Summary

Propose a standard interface for voting.

Abstract

This proposal creates a standard API for implementing voting within smart contract. This standard provides functionalities to voting as well as to view the vote result and set voting status.

Motivation

Voting is one of the earliest example of EVM programming, and also a key to DAO/organizational governance process. We foresee many DAOs will ultimately need to leverage voting as one of the important part of their governance. By creating a voting standard for smart contract / token, we can have the following benefits

Benefits

  1. Allow general UI and applications to be built on top of a standardized voting to allow more general user to participate, and encourage more DApp and DAO to think about their governance
  2. Allow delegate voting / smart contract voting, automatic voting
  3. Allow voting results to be recorded on-chain, in a standard way, and allow DAOs and DApps to honor the voting result programmatically.
  4. Allow the compatibility with token standard such as ERC-20 or other new standards(EIP-777) and item standard such as EIP-721
  5. Create massive potential for interoperability within Ethereum echo systems and other system.
  6. Allow setting voting deadline, allow determine on single or multiple options. Allow requiring voting orders. (trade-off is interface complexity, we might need ERC-20 approach and later a EIP-777 for advanced voting)
  7. Recording the voting with weights with token amount.
  8. Possibly allow trust-worthy privacy-safe voting and anonymous voting (with either voter address being un-associated with the vote they cast, given a list of randomized/obfuscated voting options). 8
  9. Possibly allow result in reward by voting partitipation or voting result

Use-cases:

  1. Determine on issuing new token, issuing more token or issuing sub-token
  2. Determine on creating new item under EIP-721
  3. Determine on election on certain person or smart contract to be delegated leader for project or subproject
  4. Determine on auditing result ownership allowing migration of smart contract proxy address

Specifications

pragma solidity ^0.5.8;


/**
 * - Multiple issue
 * - Multiple selection
 * - Ordered multiple result
 **/
contract ERC1202 {

    // Vote with an option. The caller needs to handle success or not
    function vote(uint issueId, uint option) public returns (bool success);
    function setStatus(uint issueId, bool isOpen) public returns (bool success);

    function issueDescription(uint issueId) public view returns (string desc);
    function availableOptions(uint issueId) public view returns (uint[] options);
    function optionDescription(uint issueId, uint option) public view returns (string desc);
    function ballotOf(uint issueId, address addr) public view returns (uint option);
    function weightOf(uint issueId, address addr) public view returns (uint weight);
    function getStatus(uint issueId) public view returns (bool isOpen);
    function weightedVoteCountsOf(uint issueId, uint option) public view returns (uint count);
    function topOptions(uint issueId, uint limit) public view returns (uint[] topOptions_);

    event OnVote(uint issueId, address indexed _from, uint _value);
    event OnStatusChange(uint issueId, bool newIsOpen);
}

Rationale

We made the following design decisions and here are the rationales.

  • Granularity and Anonymity:: We created a view function ballotOf primarily making it easier for people to check the vote from certain address. This has the following assumptions:

    • It’s possible to check someone’s vote directly given an address. If implementor don’t want to make it so easiy, they can simply reject all calls to this function. We want to make sure that we support both anonymous voting an non-anonymous voting. However since all calls to a smart contract is logged in block history, there is really no secrecy unless done with cryptography tricks. I am not cryptography-savvy enough to comment on the possibility. Please see “Second Feedback Questions 2018” for related topic.

    • It’s assumes for each individual address, they can only vote for one decision. They can distribute their available voting power into more granular level. If implementor wants allow this, they ask the user to create another wallet address and grant the new address certain power. For example, a token based voting where voting weight is determined by the amount of token held by a voter, a voter who wants to distribute its voting power in two different option(option set) can transfer some of the tokens to the new account and cast the votes from both accounts.

  • Weight: We assume there are weight of votes and can be checked by calling weightOf(address addr), and the weight distribution is either internally determined or determined by constructor. However we have not been considering updating the weight distribution. Please comment on this design decision as we want to learn how likely an implementor would want to be able to update the voting weight distributions.

Backward Compatibility

There is no backward compatibility issue we are aware of.

Simple Code Examples

Example 1: Simplest Version: Single Issue Yes/No Question Per Smart Contract Address Per Non-Weighted Vote

Example 2: TokenVote with Simple Interface with Weight Assigned by Token and Pre-registered Snapshot of Token-Holders

Example 3: TokenVote with Advanced Interface

Security Considerations

EIP-1202 is a voting standard. We expect the voting standard to be used in connection with other contracts such as token distributions, conducting actions in consensus or on behalf of an entity, multi-signature wallets, etc.

The major security consideration is to ensure only using the standard interface for performing downstream actions or receiving upstream input (vote casting). We expect future audit tool to be based on standard interfaces.

It’s also important to note as discussed in this standard that for the sake of simplicity, EIP-1202 is kept in the very basic form. It can be extended to support many different implementation variations. Such variations might contain different assumptions of the behavior and interpretation of actions. One example would be: What does it mean if someone votes multiple times through vote?

  • Would that mean the voter is increasing their weight, or
  • vote multiple options in the meanwhile, or
  • Does the latter vote override the previous vote?

Because of the flexible nature of voting, we expect many subsequent standards need to be created as an extension of EIP-1202. We suggest any extension or implementations of this standard be thoroughly audited before included in large scale or high asset volume applications.

The third consideration is non-trivialness. Some voting applications assume anonymity, randomness, time-based deadline, ordering, etc, these requirements in Ethereum are known to be non-trivial to achieve. We suggest any applications or organizations rely on audited and time-proven shared libraries when these requirements need to be enforced in their applications.

The fourth consideration is potential abuse. When voting is standardized and put on contract, it is possible to write another contract that rewards a voter to vote in a certain way. It creates potential issues of bribery and conflict of interest abuse that is previously hard to implement.

Bibliography

Worthnoting Projects

Acknowledgement

We appreciate Ansley, Andrew, Fred from Enigma, Fan and Raullen from IoTex for sharing us their use cases. we also appreciate the valuable input for designing an EIP from distinguished community members including: @frozeman, @fulldecent, @bingen, @aodhgan.

Work Directory

The drafting and revision of EIP-1202 is conducted at GitHub/xinbenlv/eip-1202

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

Citation

Please cite this document as:

Zainan Victor Zhou, Evan, Yin Xu, "EIP-1202: Voting Standard [DRAFT]," Ethereum Improvement Proposals, no. 1202, July 2018. [Online serial]. Available: https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-1202.