Voting Escrow


In the DeFi and governance landscape, innovative mechanisms are constantly being developed to promote sustainable growth, equitable decision-making, and long-term stakeholder commitment. One such mechanism, the Voting Escrow (VE) system, has emerged as a pivotal strategy for aligning the interests of token holders.

In this doc, we aim to explain the concept of Voting Escrow, detailing its operational framework and the positive feedback loop known as the Voting Escrow Flywheel effect.


The Voting Escrow system is a token-based vesting mechanism designed to incentivize long-term participation in the project. Unlike traditional voting systems where each token equates to a single vote, VE assigns voting power based on not just the number of tokens held, but also the duration for which these tokens are committed to being locked up.

How it Works

  1. Token Lock-up: Token holders lock up their tokens in a smart contract for a specified period.

  2. Voting Power Allocation: The voting power granted to each participant is calculated based on the amount of tokens locked and the length of the lock-up period. The longer the tokens are locked, the greater the voting power. This method rewards long-term holders and reduces the influence of short-term speculators.

  3. Governance Participation: Holders with locked tokens can participate in governance decisions. Their voting power influences the outcome of proposals, steering the project’s direction.

  4. Incentives and Rewards: Projects may offer additional incentives for locking tokens, such as yield boosts, distribution of fees, or enhanced governance rights, further encouraging long-term holding and participation.

Voting Escrow Flywheel

The Voting Escrow Flywheel effect refers to a virtuous cycle that promotes the growth and stability of a blockchain project through incentivized long-term holding and governance participation. This effect is achieved through a series of interlinked processes that reinforce each other:

  1. Increased Participation: By rewarding longer lock-ups with greater voting power, the VE system attracts committed participants interested in the project's long-term success. This increased stakeholder engagement enhances governance quality and project direction.

  2. Stabilization of Token Supply: Depending on the model, as more tokens are locked up for extended periods, the circulating supply of tokens decreases, leading to reduced price volatility and a more stable token economy.

  3. Sustainable Incentives: The alignment of incentives between token holders and project outcomes ensures that rewards are distributed to those contributing positively to the project's long-term goals, fostering a sustainable economic model.

  4. Feedback Loop: Increased participation, supply stabilization, and aligned incentives create a positive feedback loop. This loop attracts more long-term participants, further stabilizing the token economy and reinforcing the project's growth and success.

Splash is the first protocol that leverages the VE mechanism on Cardano. To know more about how Splash's voting escrow works start from the Understanding $SPLASH doc.

Last updated