Enabling Shielded Voting on Snapshot


This post proposes that Octant enable Shielded Voting on Snapshot. It asks the community to provide a signal (“For” or “Against” the proposal) and to share their questions, comments and suggestions.

Shielded Voting will increase the fairness & integrity of Octant votes on Snapshot.

Shielded Voting is a non-profit service by Shutter Network, which uses threshold encryption technology and a decentralized Keyper set.

Enabling/disabling Shielded Voting is simple and takes 1 minute. Octant Snapshot admins merely click “Shutter” under the vote privacy section of the Snapshot settings.

Note: Shutter Network has also applied to be a part of Octant Epoch 2. See our post here: Shielded Voting by Shutter Network.

Problem & Solution

Voting is the backbone of community decision-making. web3 voting mechanisms, like Snapshot, aim to be transparent & verifiable. However, these same voting mechanisms can also suffer from voter apathy, manipulation, and lack of privacy - which can lead to unrepresentative outcomes and compromised governance systems.

Shielded Voting addresses these challenges by using threshold encryption. In a nutshell: During the vote, Snapshot only displays the total amount of voting power already deployed. After the vote, Snapshot displays all votes, including how each person voted.


Fairness & Information Symmetry: Equal access to information for all voters before casting their vote.

Enhanced Privacy: Keep individual votes confidential until the conclusion of the voting period.

Reducing Influence: Minimize early voter sway and manipulation by large token holders.

Increasing Participation: Encourage unbiased participation by reducing voting apathy and promoting decisions based on the merits of the proposal.


Consider a contentious vote in which a minority is pushing the poll early in one direction. Voters who 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 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.

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 they are doing this at a time when there’s no more time for the rest of the community to react.

User Experience

The proposer creates a proposal as normal.

The voter casts their vote as normal.

All cast votes are hidden from spectators, voters, and the Octant Snapshot admins) during the voting period.

At the end of the voting period, all cast votes are revealed.

Processes & Technology

The voter commits an encrypted vote using the encryption key created (using distributed key generation - aka “DKG”) and provided by a group of special nodes called Keypers. At the end of the voting period, they Keypers decrypt the votes by publishing the corresponding decryption key, thus revealing the end result.

Shielded Voting by Shutter Network utilizes threshold encryption. Threshold encryption is a technique that enables the Keypers to provide a cryptographic lock, and then only open it if at least a certain number (the “threshold”) of the Keypers collaborate. This ensures that neither a single party nor a colluding minority of Keypers can decrypt anything early. Nor can they stop the DAOs from revealing the results of a vote. As long as a threshold of Keypers are well-behaved and act honestly, the protocol functions as intended.

There are currently 20 Keypers, selected by the Shutter ProtoDAO.


Shielded Voting has been live on Snapshot since October 2022, and has performed without flaw. However, the technology is in a nascent stage. Decryption failure is possible, but extremely rare. Other potential unknown bugs may exist.


Shielded Voting on Snapshot is now the preferred voting setup of Snapshot. Shielded Voting on Snapshot is currently used by 382 unique communities - including prominent DAOs such as Arbitrum DAO and ShapeShift DAO. It has protected over 2,330 proposals and 216,805 cast votes.


None. Shutter Network provides Shielded Voting to all communities Snapshot at no cost.

Enabling / Disabling

Shielded Voting can be enabled by the Octant Snapshot admins in less than a minute. They would go to Snapshot > Voting > Privacy > click “Shutter”.

Similarly, Shielded Voting can be disabled by the Octant Snapshot admins at any time.

Additional Info

Signaling & Discussion

If you are in favor of enabling Shielded Voting for Octant on Snapshot, please comment “For” or “Yes” below, and leave a comment with your reasons / feedback / suggestions.

If you are not in favor of enabling Shielded Voting for Octant on Snapshot, please comment “Against” or “No” below, and leave a comment with your reasons / feedback / suggestions.

If you have questions or requests for the Shutter Network team, please leave a comment and we will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you all for your consideration.

I like this. Seems like it would mitigate a lot of weird metagaming that happens around polls.

Yeah I do as well. Implementing this without a vote though seems to be premature. With the other issues I’ve outlined for spaces in Octant, maybe we can put a series of votes together so community members can easily go through each issue during the period that the next 6 PG projects are selected?

1 Like

Follow up to my last comment, we’re going to propose a series of changes to hopefully improve the transition from one epoch to the next for current and potential new projects, as well as suggesting changes like using Shielded Voting on Snapshot.

These proposals will happen after the Epoch Two allocation window has concluded so our suggestions are backed by the most recent data we have.

I’m in favor of utilizing shielded voting for a few epochs to do a test A/B and see how it turns out. The example outlined in the original forum post outlines a perfect reason for Octant to use shutter voting.

Side note: it would be interesting to see whether shutter voting might lead to increased or reduced voting activity.