Last month, Gitcoin launched the 9th round of donation activities. Its fundraising scale has created the largest amount in history. More than 12,000 donors have donated US$1.38 million to 812 different projects, reflecting the high enthusiasm of crypto users for emerging projects.
This degree of enthusiasm is driven to a certain extent by the airdrop expectations of many users. Because many projects such as Mask Network have airdropped tokens to Gitcoin donors before, and this event supports ZkSync payment, which has a lower interaction threshold, many users Get airdrops and participate in donations, and even register multiple accounts to brush the amount.
Ethereum founder Vitalik wrote an article today summarizing this round of Gitcoin donation activities and criticized the aforementioned phenomenon.
First of all, Vitalik pointed out that the most challenging new phenomenon in this round of donation activities is the emergence of large-scale fraud. Some unknown groups have registered a large number of accounts trying to deceive the Gitcoin mechanism and conducted donation activities. Since multiple sponsors will donate the amount of user donations, this phenomenon makes the sponsor need to pay an additional 33,000 US dollars.
Therefore, Vitalik believes that Gitcoin needs to create algorithms that can prevent undesirable manipulations, and at the same time reduce fraud by manually verifying accounts, inviting third-party analysis, and community supervision.
Since then, Vitalik has taken Mask Network as an example, believing that the retrospective airdrop of the project has set a precedent for the industry. Nowadays, many projects have hinted on the forum that users will airdrop to donors. This situation makes the users participating in this Gitcoin donation motivation Two types are presented, “Do you donate because you like the results of the project’s funding (within the mechanism), or because you like you to get some (outside the mechanism) results by funding the project?”
“If there is a long-term model for a project to provide retroactive airdrops to Gitcoin donors, users will feel a pressure that they will not mainly give them what they think is a public product, but they think there may be generations in the future. Token projects are donated.” Vitalik pointed out, “This subverts the ideal of using Gitcoin quadratic financing as a monetization strategy to provide an alternative to token issuance.”
For this reason, Vitalik introduced a solution called MACI in detail. The code has been released on Github. The following part is a partial translation of the original text of Vitalik by the chain catcher:
MACI is a toolkit that allows you to run anti-collusion applications with several key attributes:
The first is correctness. Invalid messages will not be processed. The actual output result of the mechanism is the result of processing all valid messages and calculating them correctly;
The second is censorship resistance: if someone participates, the mechanism cannot deceive and pretend that they are not participating by selectively ignoring their information;
The third is the right to privacy, no one can see how everyone participates;
The fourth is collusion resistance. Participants cannot prove to others how they participated, even if they want to prove it.
Collusion resistance is one of the key features. It makes bribery (or retroactive airdrop) impossible because users cannot prove that they actually donated or voted for a project.
The technical description of how MACI works is not difficult. The user participates by signing the message with the private key, encrypting the signed message into a public key issued by the central server, and publishing the encrypted signed message to the blockchain. The server downloads the message from the blockchain, decrypts it, processes it, and then outputs the result with ZK-SNARK to ensure that they are calculated correctly.
Users cannot prove how they participated because they have the ability to send a “key change” message to deceive anyone who tries to audit it: they can first send a key change message to change their key from A to B, and then Then send the “forged message” signed by A. The server will reject the message, but no one else will know that the key change message has been sent. Although it is only for privacy and mandatory considerations, there is a trust requirement for the server; the server cannot publish incorrect results by incorrectly calculating or checking messages. In the long run, multi-party computing can be used to decentralize servers to a certain extent, thereby enhancing privacy and anti-compulsory guarantees.
There is already a secondary financing system using MACI: clr.fund. It works well, although the current proof generation is still quite expensive. The ongoing work is expected to reduce these costs soon.
Please note that adopting MACI does bring the necessary sacrifices, which will prevent certain projects from rewarding donors, but will still leave a lot of space for users to express their pride in their contributions. Projects can be airdropped to all Gitcoin contributors without distinguishing them by project, and announce that they are doing so through a link to their Gitcoin profile. However, users can still make donations for other projects and get airdrops. Therefore, this can be said to be within the scope of fair competition.
But this is still a long-term problem. MACI may not be ready to be integrated in Gitcoin’s 10th round of donations. In the next few rounds, focusing on strengthening the verification of uniqueness remains Gitcoin’s top priority. The Gitcoin team has taken an excellent step in this direction.
If the Gitcoin team succeeds in playing a pioneering role in taking the lead in challenging and overcoming challenges, then we will finally obtain a safe and scalable quadratic financing system that can be used in a wider range of mainstream applications.
Author/ Translator: Jamie Kim
Bio: Jamie Kim is a technology journalist. Raised in Hong Kong and always vocal at heart. She aims to share her expertise with the readers at blockreview.net. Kim is a Bitcoin maximalist who believes with unwavering conviction that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency – in fact, currency – worth caring about.