Measuring Governance Utility

It is possible to create a framework that can identify the components of governance utility to protocol stakeholders?

As onchain governance becomes more widespread questions about stakeholder apathy emerge. The introduction of gasless voting such as snapshot ( in some protocols has shown signs in the ability to increase stakeholder participation.

The modern rational voter theory developed by Downs (1957), Tullock (1967), and Riker

and Ordeshook (1968) proposed just such a framework for analyzing why people


The modern rational vote framework can be expressed as: U = qB − C + T


q = the probability voter is pivotal

B = Benefits if ballot wins

C = cost of voting

T = extra benefit of voting

After factoring all these in, only when U or the utility value to the voter is positive will they be compelled to vote.

Using this model, gasless voting would decrease C or the cost while quadratic voting & voting credits increase q or the probability the voter is pivotal.

This also leads to ask if offsetting the cost of voting using incentivized voting would actually increase voter utility?

What if the incentive is so large as to always make utility in the framework positive but not provide true utility to protocol in practice?

The modern rational vote framework is a framework for individual voter utility. What would a framework for protocol wide utility look like? How would the effectiveness of such a framework be tested for?


  • Decentralized decision making