Using DAOs, today we have The DAO that aims to be an autonomous company management system. It's ruled by the fact that the more parts of the company you own, the more voting power you own. As this is not a problem for a company that has financial goals, this is absolutely not possible to rule a country with a democratic system. If we would like to rule a country with a DAO, each citizen would have to weight the same while voting in a democratic process.

So, how could we ensure that one account belongs to someone ? I know this is an open question, but I would like some more possibilities to explore this subject. Thanks.


3 Answers 3


The only way I can think of to make this work is to require that DAO accounts are tied to real life identities. The verification process itself (3rd party verification of passports, notary seals, etc) would still rely on some element of trust.

Even with an identification system there would be know way to know if some people were acting as proxies to control the votes of others (family members being an obvious example).

You ask a difficult but important question with no easy answer that will address all of these issues.

  • +1 for pointing out that PoI alone isn't enough: you still have the problems of voter identifiability, coercion, vote buying, etc. Digital voting is hard. May 22, 2016 at 11:02

This topic is called "proof of individuality" and is open for a great solution. One possible solution works as follows: Around the planet, participants are meeting at the same time via video-chat and uniquely identifying one another. This should supposedly not allow anyone to be present in two videochats at the same time. From then on, the keys which have been involved in those proofs of individuality can be used as keys belonging to individual human beings.


This is a bit theoretical and I don't know of a practical way to use this right now but one thing people have been discussing is Proof of Passport. Modern passports contain data signed by the government that issued them, which can be read with an NFC reader. In theory it should be possible to create a Zero Knowledge Proof of information in the passport, so you can prove that you have a passport issued by that government, without necessarily needing to give away your name or other information on the passport.


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    It's one thing to prove that you have a passport using a zero knowledge proof, but i think it would be much harder to prove that you have a passport that had never been used to vote before. May 21, 2016 at 14:27
  • @TjadenHess I guess once an address is associated with a passport your passport is known for the system and it can check if you use it for another address. Then you can register only one address for this passport so you vote only once. May 22, 2016 at 8:42
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    @NicolasMassart How do you prove that without revealing your passport number, though? The set of passport numbers is sufficiently small that brute-force search is practical, so a hash wouldn't do you much good. May 22, 2016 at 11:01
  • @NickJohnson I search for the passport data format (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine-readable_passport) and it seems to be at least two rows of 44 characters, are you sure hashes would collide and brute-force can be used ? May 22, 2016 at 17:44
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    @NicolasMassart That data's internally structured - it contains name, date of birth, passport number, nationality, and so forth. Have a look at some of the research people have done on RFID passports; the optical scan information is used as a key for that, and people have successfully demonstrated how easy it is to brute-force it. May 23, 2016 at 10:18

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