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The Referendum Problem in Anonymous Voting for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations
Authors: Artem Grigor, Vincenzo Iovino, Giuseppe ViscontiAbstract:
A natural approach to anonymous voting over Ethereum assumes that there is an off-chain aggregator that performs the following task. The aggregator receives valid signatures of YES/NO preferences from eligible voters and uses them to compute a zk-SNARK proof of the fact that the majority of voters have cast a preference for YES or NO. Then, the aggregator sends to the smart contract the zk-SNARK proof, the smart contract verifies the proof and can trigger an action (e.g., a transfer of funds). It is believed that as the zk-SNARK proof guarantees anonymity, the privacy of the voters is preserved by attackers not colluding with the aggregator. Moreover, if the SNARK proof verification is efficient the GAS cost will be independent on the number of participating voters and signatures submitted by voters to the aggregator.
In this paper we show that this naive approach to run referenda over Ethereum can incur severe security problems. We propose both mitigations and hardness results for achieving voting procedures in
which the proofs submitted on-chain are either ZK or succinct.
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