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New year, new MACI

· 5 min read
Sam Richards
MACI team lead

Greetings anons,

Happy 2024 and welcome to the new MACI documentation website and blog! Moving forward, we’ll post our latest project news and development updates here.

We have a few exciting announcements to share, but first, a quick review:

Overview of MACI


Minimal Anti-Collusion Infrastructure (MACI) is an on-chain voting system which protects privacy and minimizes the risk of collusion and bribery.

MACI is a set of smart contracts and zero-knowledge circuits upon which developers can build applications, such as voting applications or quadratic funding platforms. It was originally proposed by Vitalik Buterin in 2019, then implemented and maintained by community members with support from the Ethereum Foundation. It's now actively maintained within Privacy & Scaling Explorations (PSE).

Using MACI, voting is private, yet voting results are public. On-chain votes are encrypted, and no voter can prove how they voted, but final results are published publicly and verified on-chain with cryptographic proofs to prevent censorship, bribery, collusion, fraud, and other nefarious acts common in public polling processes.

To understand the promise of on-chain voting, start with Vitalik's post on blockchain voting. For a general overview, brief history, and context on the importance of MACI, check out the Release Announcement: MACI 1.0 by Wei Jie, one of the creators. He also created a helpful overview of MACI video. Kyle Charbonnet wrote a great Technical Introduction to MACI 1.0 that provides a walkthrough on how MACI operates. I also recently presented an introduction to MACI at Devconnect 2023.

MACI Vision

MACI is a public good that is quickly becoming a core piece of infrastructure for Ethereum-based applications to support on-chain voting while protecting user privacy.

Our MACI team’s vision is to build the most secure e-voting solution in the world.

Let's hop in to our updates to see how we plan to execute on this bold vision.

Project updates

New year, new team, new roadmap!

1) New team

Over the past few months we've undergone a lot of changes within MACI's core team. I'd like to take this chance to introduce and welcome our new core members!

MACI is now maintained and will be continuously be improved by our core team, which consists of:

Now is a great time to mention that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Many gigabrains have made heroic advancements in this project - a big "thank you" to all those who have contributed to date! There are too many people to list here, but calling out a few notable players:

  • Vitalik, Barry, Wei Jei for the original idea, architecture, initial implementation, and ongoing guidance
  • Recent team members that helped launched our v1.1.1 release and have since moved on: Q, Jei, Chao, and Daehyun

We're excited to carry the baton forward to bring the vision of MACI to reality!

2) New roadmap

As a team building in the open source space, we're taking a concerted effort to make our work more accessible and to foster more collaboration and feedback from our community. As part of this work, we're making our core team's roadmap public and will continue to do so.

Read our full 2024 roadmap here.

TL;DR: We'll be focusing most of our time on:

  1. Developer experience (documentation, tooling, refactoring) so that MACI is easier for projects to integrate and use
  2. Community engagement (integration support, hackathon bounties, conference presentations) to more quickly iterate and improve based off feedback
  3. Quadratic Funding Experiments to advance real-world adoption of this technology

We're happy to share that these efforts are already underway. We expect to release a new and improved version of MACI within the next month. We're exploring MACI integrations and are in discussions with projects including Gitcoin Grants Stack and Optimism RetroPFG on how MACI could provide collusion resistance to those systems. Major shoutout to (who became the first production project to integrate MACI back in 2020)! We're actively working with to help them upgrade their stack to the latest version of MACI. Expect to see announcements of upcoming MACI-enabled quadratic funding rounds soon!

3) New documentation

MACI now has a fresh new website, with revamped documentation!

We immediately recognized the need for improved educational content about MACI, as it's a complex project with several core components (ZK circuits, Ethereum smart contracts, TypeScript libraries). Whether you're a developer looking to integrate MACI into your application, an open-source developer interested in contributing, or a product manager seeking to understand the high-level mechanics of MACI, we want to hear from you in order to continuously improve your onboarding experience.

Please take a look and let us know what you think.

4) New community access

Whether you're interested in contributing to MACI or looking to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, it's now much easier to stay connected with us and the community. Here are some ways you can keep in touch:

  • GitHub: open an issue or PR or join our discussions
  • Discord: join the PSE server and hop in the #🗳️-maci channel to chat with our core team
  • Twitter/X: follow our new handle @zkMACI for updates or to hit us up with feedback
  • This website: we'll continue to post updates here (at least 1 blog post every quarter, we promise 🤞)!

Expect to see announcements around new MACI releases, integrations, event participation (quadratic funding rounds, conferences, hackathons), and grant RFPs.

We look forward to collaborating closely with our open source community this year!

How does that sound?

Questions? Concerns? Ideas? We’d love to hear from you!

If there is a feature you think we should work on, or an initiative you'd like to collaborate with us on, please let us know! We welcome input from anyone in the community.

Onward and upward 🚀