Aragon ZK Research and Aztec partnered in the last few months for a study on private voting for Nouns DAO. The research was completed with a proof-of-concept and both general and technical reports. In addition, two time-locked cryptography protocols were developed to support their work.
Funded by Nouns DAO, known for its innovative approach to governance experimentation, the Private Voting Research Sprint looked into solutions for private voting for their organization. Aragon ZK Research and Aztec were among the three teams that were funded for the project. The primary question they sought to answer was how feasible it is to build a user-friendly, trustless, fair, weighted, and ballot-secret voting system in Ethereum. The teams made significant progress and have a demo to demonstrate their work. The proof of concept shows that one vote can be cast per NFT.
The partners believe that onchain private voting is important for DAOs, as it ensures that votes are not visible to the public and also enhances security. The proof of concept is not a live product, but it shows the possibility of trustless private voting on Ethereum.
Moving forward, Aragon ZK Research will be working on extending their research to an Aragon OSx plugin. This plugin will enable DAOs built on Aragon OSx to conduct entirely private votes. Aztec Labs will continue to enhance the development of Noir to improve trustless private voting. Those interested in exploring their research can check out their documentation and repositories.