Using The Graph to Power DAOs: Snapshot Case Study

The Graph lowers the barrier to entry for building in web3 by making access to blockchain data easy by anyone, for a wide range of use cases. As the decentralized web grows in adoption, one use case that is gaining momentum is decentralized governance. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, or DAOs, are organizations that are run by distributed communities, in contrast to centralized authorities. Because the bulk of decision-making in DAOs relies on on-chain data recorded on blockchains, The Graph is a crucial protocol for enabling DAO members to accurately and easily read that data, while also making it effortless to track votes. But how do projects building in web3 use The Graph in practice? Let’s take a look at Snapshot as an example!

Snapshot is a decentralized governance protocol that enables people to coordinate and make collective decisions about the future of the organizations they participate in. Snapshot makes it possible for people to easily create and vote on proposals without incurring any gas fees. It’s a widely used tool for thousands of people working on protocols, collaborating in DAOs, and building innovative new projects in web3.

Snapshot plays a critical role in making decentralized governance a reality, and it leverages subgraphs served by The Graph’s decentralized network to power the vast network of diverse communities that rely upon it to make decisions.

Subgraphs aren’t only an integral piece of infrastructure for Snapshot’s interface and user experience — they also enable the protocol to scale decentralized decision-making all over the world.

Decentralized Decision-Making

By leveraging subgraphs, Snapshot is revolutionizing the way that DAOs conduct governance and voting. The platform's off-chain voting feature enables efficient and verifiable decision-making processes, empowering DAOs to operate at a greater scale and speed than ever before. This is a significant development for the future of autonomous organizations.

So far, Snapshot has recorded more than:

  • 8.5M off-chain votes
  • 8K protocols integrated
  • 64.8k proposals

As the protocol grows, so does its need to consume and organize blockchain data. Those needs are served by The Graph Network.

Many well-known projects are using Snapshot, including PancakeSwap, ENS Domains, Arbitrum, Uniswap, Trust Wallet, and thousands more to facilitate the process of reaching consensus and making informed decisions as a group. Several protocol teams are building identity and social media solutions using Snapshot, and even grassroot businesses and organizations depend on it.

Projects using Snapshot include: Copernicus Beer DAO, a DAO financing a small brewery in Tbilisi, Georgia; Raid Guild, a small network collective of designers and developers who bid on projects together; and Meta Factory, a collective that creates fashion designs and markets them together.

Activity on Snapshot showcases many diverse and interesting use cases. The following list is a breakdown of categories that currently use Snapshot:

  • 28% social dapps
  • 22.7% protocols
  • 16.2% investment communities
  • 9.9% creators
  • And many more!

With so many distinct communities using Snapshot, scalability and customization have become features that the protocol’s users rely upon.

Flexibility in customization is a key benefit for web3 communities collaborating on various use cases. Snapshot supports various voting strategies, which can be catered to the needs of the group. For example, one strategy to determine voting weight is using an NFT or ownership of a specific token. Snapshot supports six different types of voting, including popular options such as weighted voting, ranked choice voting, quadratic voting, and more.

How The Graph Powers Snapshot

Snapshot helps communities make informed decisions about how they allocate their resources, from time, to focus, and often most importantly, their treasury.

To ensure that this process is reliable and secure, Snapshot uses The Graph's decentralized network, powered by a global web of independent participants. The Graph delivers consistent and dependable results thanks to the many Indexers, Curators, and Delegators who power the network.

Snapshot leverages subgraphs on The Graph Network in many ways. One of the primary benefits of Snapshot is the ability to delegate voting power — users of Snapshot can “delegate,” or assign, their voting power to others. Using on-chain data that’s been organized by subgraphs, Snapshot is able to calculate a user’s voting power.

Snapshot also uses subgraphs to enable voting participation for Gnosis Safe multisig wallets. The subgraph stores signatures from multisig users and enables them to participate in the voting process!

Snapshot is using subgraph data to power close to 60 different voting power calculation strategies. Thanks to subgraphs whose queries are served in a decentralized way, historical on-chain data is accessed reliably and securely, helping power Snapshot’s many use cases.

We’ve always focused on flexibility and accessibility when building Snapshot. With subgraphs, we can safely provide a delegation system that allows users to have their voices heard with a minimum time-commitment and no security risks.
Nathan van der HeydenEcosystem Lead at Snapshot Labs

Decentralizing the Future

With Snapshot, communities have the ability to collaborate and make decisions in a decentralized manner, increasing transparency and equity.

Snapshot has a wide range of potential use cases, both online and offline. It is already being used by companies and protocols in the web3 ecosystem to facilitate decentralized governance. In the future, it is not difficult to envision governments adopting decentralized technology, such as Snapshot, to ensure the integrity of elections and other important decision-making processes. The decentralized nature of Snapshot ensures greater security and trust in these types of systems, as it removes the need for a central authority and enables the participation of all stakeholders.

The Graph and Snapshot are revolutionizing the ways communities and organizations make decisions and interact with each other across the globe.

How to Supercharge your Dapp with The Graph Network

Using The Graph Network adds a layer of robustness, security, and reliability to your dapp. Relying on centralized infrastructure poses a risk to your application’s uptime and user experience. Migrate your subgraph and be a part of the wave of leaders like Snapshot committed to shaping a radically better internet.

Learn how to migrate your subgraph to the decentralized network.

If you need assistance migrating your subgraph to the decentralized network, you can apply for a migration grant, or, contact [email protected] with any questions.

About The Graph

The Graph is the source of data and information for the decentralized internet. As the original decentralized data marketplace that introduced and standardized subgraphs, The Graph has become web3’s method of indexing and accessing blockchain data. Since its launch in 2018, tens of thousands of developers have built subgraphs for dapps across 40+ blockchains - including  Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism, Base, Polygon, Celo, Fantom, Gnosis, and Avalanche.

As demand for data in web3 continues to grow, The Graph enters a New Era with a more expansive vision including new data services and query languages, ensuring the decentralized protocol can serve any use case - now and into the future.

Discover more about how The Graph is shaping the future of decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN) and stay connected with the community. Follow The Graph on X, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and Medium. Join the community on The Graph’s Telegram, join technical discussions on The Graph’s Discord.

The Graph Foundation oversees The Graph Network. The Graph Foundation is overseen by the Technical Council. Edge & Node, StreamingFast, Semiotic Labs, The Guild, Messari, GraphOps, Pinax and Geo are eight of the many organizations within The Graph ecosystem.

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