Delegated voting is pivotal in the world of crypto governance. This mechanism democratizes power by empowering token holders to have a say in network decisions, even if they lack technical know-how. Delegates, or elected representatives, carry out the will of the community, making the governance process both efficient and inclusive.


When we talk about decentralized governance in the crypto ecosystem, the term “delegated voting” often crops up. But what does it mean? Simply put, it allows token holders to delegate their voting rights to representatives. These representatives are tasked with making informed decisions on behalf of the community.

While long-term investment strategies provide the foundation for success, active participation and decision-making authority within crypto communities now take center stage.

Why is Delegated Voting Important?

1.     Democratic Essence: Unlike centralized systems, delegated voting encourages democratic participation.

2.     Harnessing Expertise: Token holders can delegate their votes to experts who understand the complexities involved.

3.     Operational Efficiency: The delegation system streamlines governance actions, making the process quicker and more effective.

Key Features of Delegated Voting

How Delegated Voting Works

Delegated voting promotes decentralized, efficient governance in crypto. It allows stakeholders to delegate their voting rights to a trusted third party.

Mechanically, it works as:

1.     Stakeholders hold assets in a blockchain network

2.     They assign voting rights to a chosen delegate via an on-chain transaction

3.     The assets remain under the stakeholder’s ownership while voting power transfers to the delegate

Additional aspects include:

  • Delegate Selection: An open process where delegates showcase expertise. Holders choose based on trust, capabilities and values.
  • Vote Weighting: Votes are weighted by the amount of stake delegated. Popular delegates have higher influence.
  • Routine Re-Voting: Token holders shuffle delegates periodically via new votes.


In a delegated voting system, delegates act as the voice of the token holders they represent. They are responsible for making decisions that align with the broader community’s needs and aspirations.

For example, Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) uses delegated votes for consensus and security. Rather than every node voting, stakeholders elect ‘delegates’ who vote on their behalf. This streamlines decision-making with fewer consensus participants.

Types of Delegates

  • Technical Delegates: Experts in blockchain technology.
  • Community Delegates: Individuals who are deeply involved in the community.
  • Financial Delegates: Those with a background in finance and economic strategies.


Accountability is the bedrock of any governance system. Delegates are answerable to the token holders who delegated their voting rights to them. This creates a feedback loop that encourages responsible decision-making.

Mechanisms for Accountability

  • Regular Updates: Delegates often provide regular reports or updates.
  • Voting Out: Poor performance? Token holders can vote to replace the delegate.
  • Transparency: Many platforms require public disclosures from delegates.


One of the most appealing aspects of delegated voting is its flexibility. Token holders are not locked into their delegate choices forever.

Flexibility Features

  • Switching Delegates: Token holders can reassign their votes to another delegate.
  • Temporary Delegation: Some systems allow for delegation time limits.
  • Multiple Delegation: Token holders can sometimes split their votes among multiple delegates.

Implications for Crypto Governance

Delegated voting is now critical for crypto governance. It transfers voting rights to trusted entities, supporting efficient decisions at scale. Delegated voting, also known as delegated governance, has become a critical aspect of cryptocurrency governance. In decentralized networks, where decision-making is distributed among a large number of participants, it can be challenging to reach efficient and timely consensus on important matters.

By delegating their voting rights, cryptocurrency holders can ensure that their voice is heard, even if they might not have the time or expertise to actively participate in the decision-making process.
Delegated voting brings several benefits to crypto governance:

  1. Efficient decision-making: Delegated voting speeds up decisions. Representatives act for many, saving time and effort.
  2. Expertise-driven decisions: Delegates bring subject expertise to the table. Their knowledge leads to smarter choices.
  3. Reduced complexity: Decentralized networks are complex. Delegated voting lets trusted reps simplify choices for individuals.
  4. Increased participation: Delegated voting boosts involvement. Even busy or uninformed holders can have a say through delegates.
  5. Challenges exist: Risks like power concentration and potential manipulation are concerns. Transparency and fairness are key.

Implications include:

  • Preventing Absenteeism: Delegation reduces missed votes from disinterested holders.
  • Fostering Participation: Empowering more holders amplifies community involvement.
  • Promoting Decentralization: Widespread participation safeguards against centralized control.

Risks like delegate collusion must be addressed. However, delegated voting signifies a shift toward democratized, engaged governance.

Case Studies: Delegated Voting in Action

EOS: Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS)

EOS uses a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) mechanism. In this system, 21 “Block Producers” are elected as delegates.


  • Speed: Faster transaction times.
  • Efficiency: Less network congestion.
  • Community Engagement: High levels of community participation.

MakerDAO: Stability Through Delegation

MakerDAO employs a robust governance framework that includes delegate voting, specifically for adjusting the stability fee of its DAI stablecoin.


  • Stable Supply: Ensures the coin supply remains stable.
  • Expert Oversight: Financial experts often act as delegates.
  • User Engagement: Encourages the community to take part in governance.

Advantages and Drawbacks

The Upsides

  • Inclusivity: The system allows for broader participation.
  • Operational Ease: Decision-making becomes less cumbersome.
  • Expert Guidance: Enables expert-led governance.

The Downsides

  • Centralization Risks: Potential for power concentration.
  • Expertise Gap: Delegates might not always make the optimal choices.




Centralization Risks

Operational Ease

Expertise Gap

Expert Guidance

Best Practices for Delegated Voting

For Token Holders

1.     Research: Know who you’re delegating your votes to.

2.     Engage: Participate in community discussions.

3.     Review: Periodically reassess your delegate choices.

For Delegates

1.     Transparency: Be open about your decisions.

2.     Engagement: Keep the community involved.

3.     Accountability: Own up to your decisions, good or bad.


Delegated voting is not just a feature but an essential pillar in the architecture of decentralized governance. It merges the benefits of both direct democracy and representative democracy. While it comes with its own set of challenges like potential centralization and expertise gaps, the pros outweigh the cons when implemented correctly. Strong community oversight and continuous improvements can make delegated voting an even more effective tool.

For tailored insights on crypto investments, please reach out to our General Partner, Eric Kazee, to discuss leveraging delegated votes to align with your goals.


What is delegated voting?

A system where token holders can delegate their voting power to elected representatives.

How is delegated voting different from direct voting?

Direct voting requires each token holder to cast votes on every proposal, which can be inefficient and time-consuming.

Are there risks in a delegated voting system?

Yes, there are risks like centralization and potential poor decision-making by the delegates, but these can be mitigated through proper implementation and community oversight.

How can I become a delegate?

Usually, you would have to campaign and be elected by token holders in the network.