Vocdoni

Vocdoni • Reimagining governance

Vocdoni newsletter - Q2 2020

This newsletter provides a quick overview of what we at Vocdoni have done during the second quarter of 2020.

🙋‍♀️Intro

We're very exigent when it comes to UX, for us digital participation is only possible and meaningful when it is accessible, easy and intuitive. This is why, this second quarter we've been putting a lot of effort in preparing the Vocdoni platform for the coming launch, polishing the UI and building a more resilient and stable infrastructure.

But trying to build a voting system based on Web 3.0 is a major challenge. A small improvement in usability or adding a new feature implies a lot of design work to not lose scalability nor security. But we are starting to see the first results of our efforts: recently we've been able to test our current infrastructure with a real vote for the yearly assembly of a 180k-strong members' association. For more details, we will soon publish a blog post regarding this use case.

📨 Coming up

🚀 App launch

Our last two development milestones have been focused on the launch of the first comprehensive digital governance platform with universally verifiable digital voting and user-centric identity. Isn't this exciting?

Thanks to our latest progress, we are proud to announce that the platform will be made available this month through an early access program for 20 selected organizations. If you can't wait to try it out as a regular user, you will have the opportunity to download the app and become a member of the Vocdoni organization, through which you will be able to try out new features and already vote on Vocdoni related topics. We will email you when it's ready!

🎖️ Early access

Early access to Vocdoni will be limited to 20 selected organizations, and then we'll open up public access later in the year. This will help us to better understand the needs of all kind of organizations and incorporate those learnings into our development roadmap.

These organizations will have the opportunity to use Vocdoni without limitations until June 1st 2021, and receive special support on how to use Vocdoni, to increase and improve their internal participation. If you're part of an organization and would like to take part in this early access program fill out this form before the 30th of July and we'll get back to you!

🧩 Modular voting platform

A major achievement over the last month has been a redesign of the voting process contract and its components to make it extremely parameterizable. For example a voting process can :

  • Be anonymous or public
  • Publish the results in real time or have them stay encrypted until the end
  • Be a single process or can chain multiple ones
  • Have an immutable census or allow the organization to change it at any time during the voting process
  • Make the process' life cycle immutable or allow the organization to pause or terminate a process before it ends.

Similarly, we also have redesigned the internal setup of the question types allowing for a crazy amount of permutations. As a main type we will support: rank, choice, sorting, weighted and quadratic with multiple variants.

Likewise, we have early designs of a system that will allow us to iterate fast on solutions for delivering all types of content to the app without requiring too much overhead on the dev side and trying to not touch hardcore components such as the blockchain. Combined with the previously mentioned parameterization of the voting process we are super thrilled for the future of our platform.

These new designs will not only allow to adapt faster to organizations' needs, but will allow us to easily explore and implement new ideas. After two years of hard work on the infrastructure level (that were not always so gratifying), we are very excited about this new development phase where we can finally see and play with the results of our work.

Make sure you subscribe to this newsletter to be notified when we release specific updates on this process!

📰 Posts

Apply to the Early Access Program to start using Vocdoni!
Over the last 2 years we have been building Vocdoni [/vocdoni-reimagining-governance/], a digital governance platform with a built-in secure and universally verifiable voting system [/vocdoni-technical-overview-v1/] that uses decentralized technologies to make it both resistant to attacks and censor…

📺 To watch and hear

🎯 Development

This is an overview of what we've done this second quarter

April

  • Vocdoni Manager
    - A built-in wallet and login system that doesn't require Metamask
    - Several UI/UX improvements
  • Vocdoni App
    - Added an account recovery system based on BIP-39 mnemonic codes
    - Several bug fixes and stability features
  • Digital certificates side-project
    - Dario Castañé is leading a side project supported by Vocdoni technology and resources, which consists of researching how to use governmental digital certificates on the platform and designing tools for using them to collect signatures and organize citizen initiatives.

May

  • Vocdoni App
    - Improved gateways connection, this enormously enhances the user experience by improving the speed and minimizing connection errors
    - UX/UI improvements like touch gestures to refresh sections
  • New development: General Assembly
    - A simple pseudo-anonymous voting process that can be used to cover the current demand of general assemblies that are held online due the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Voting infrastructure
    - Stability and performance optimizations on the voting blockchain (Vochain)
    - Added a new voting mode: Encrypted payload. With this mode the outcome of the votes remains encrypted until the process has ended, making the count not visible until the process is completed. It's useful for secret ballot votes.
    - Implementation and deployment of a monitoring system using Prometheus and Grafana to analyze our infrastructure.

June

  • Vocdoni Manager
    - Working on a new manager for organizations that merges the current Entity manager and the Census manager making it much easier to manage organizations. First version to be released July.
  • Vocdoni App
    - Some major usability improvements like a better QR scanning system (multi-platform!)
  • Voting infrastructure
    - Benchmarking and optimizations. We have achieved a new record of 7500 votes per minute!
    - Due to higher fees and congestion we have been researching alternative Ethereum-like blockchains to deploy the Vocdoni Smart Contracts. Poa.network and xDAI are the two main candidates.
    - Design of a new protocol and Smart Contract to allow multiple kinds of voting such as Quadratic, Ranking and Range voting.

💚 Community

As the launch of Vocdoni approaches, it seems that we are getting more and more attention from the community, from other projects that want to collaborate and from organizations that want to use the platform.

And, if you want us to continue to develop tools for sovereign governance you can donate on our gitcoin page.

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