Pairwise: Simplifying Choices, Amplifying Voices

A humble attempt to refine digital democracy

Pairwise is an open-source, fun snapshot-style voting dapp that streamlines community voting by letting users select between just two options and then aggregating those votes into quantitative recommendations.

Pairwise is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, like a dating app, allowing users to choose between pairs of options to signal their preferences as opposed to having to read endless forum posts and vote within a set time period. The system converts these simple subjective inputs into objective, measurable outputs, minimizing the cost and cognitive burden of voting.

How does it work?

Pairwise started as a seed of an idea from the big brain algorithm research out of Colony back in 2018. Pairwise is a decentralized voting dapp that aims to make it easier for Web3 communities to signal their preferences and make informed decisions. Pairwise is implemented as a website with its own front end and an open-source backend. Pairwise voting will be compatible with all EVM chains and development is fully open source.

One of the biggest problems in DAOs is lack of engagement in governance processes. The goal of the project is to improve the decision-making process by providing a valuable alternative to traditional voting systems and promoting community engagement in the decision-making process. We are confident that this project has the potential to make a significant impact as a public good and we look forward to the opportunity to bring Pairwise voting to life with your support.


How does it support Public Goods?

The mission of Pairwise is to be a public good itself (by being free & open source), and by supporting decision making within public good DAOs and projects. It is non-excludable (anyone can use it for free) and non rivalrous (it can work alongside any other governance tool).

|602x320Here are a few practical use case studies and specific examples of how Pairwise could benefit public goods in the web3 space:

Grant Proposals: Pairwise comparison helps organizations prioritize grant proposals by systematically comparing their potential impact and feasibility, ensuring more effective funding distribution. This is especially useful in cases where there are many projects or initiatives that are requesting funding (retroactive public goods, Gitcoin grants etc.).

Decentralized Curation and Ranking: Pairwise can be used to compare, rank and curate projects, content, products, or services, and can serve as a “decentralized suggestion algorithm”. One use case being explored is with Giveth, where users can vote on projects that they are passionate about, which would then feed into the website ranking. This not only allows the community to vote on what projects are important for them, but it also opens the door for new projects to surface that otherwise would have not received the same exposure.

User research: A fun use case is user research, where the community can be polled on what their subjective preferences are. For example, this can be used within any DAO to decide on features as kind of a “hot or not” game, where users can vote on specific designs or traits, to determine which ones are most valued by the community.

Video Demo

Grants received so far

  • ENS Small grant Public Goods round 5 ( 1 ETH )
  • ENS Small grant Public Goods round 7 ( 1 ETH )
  • ENS Small grant Public Goods round 9 ( 1 ETH )
  • Gitcoin (1.5k USD )
  • Optimisms RPGF ( 7805.18 OP )
  • Optimisms grant ( 95K OP )
    • The allocated funds are not intended for this specific roadmap. However, elements of the operational proposal could potentially be repurposed, thereby conserving resources within the overall budget.
  • Dorahacks (0.64118904 BNB + 1000 USDT )

Differentiation (from other projects)


Pairwise is similar to Snapshot, but with a specific type of UX and its own sorting algorithm. Off Chain Snapshot style votes are built around the expectation that users will go do research in forums and read long-form discussions. Our approach leans into the fact that most of the community isn’t even going to skim the forum posts and will vote with their gut. The goal is to give a clearer signal of what the community wants through more engagement with fun and simple micro-decisions.


  • @FreshelleT - Treasury and contract engagement
  • @markoprljic - Design lead. Head of Design and Business Developer at General Magic. “Magic Marko” is a top notch designer and has been practicing his art on web2 and web3 projects for over a decade.
  • @moe_nick - Project Manager. Products & Fintech Enthusiast. Product Manager, ex-MyDigipay, ex-Tadbirpardaz, ex- Finnotech
  • @pourcheriki - Developer. More info: Github Lead Front-End Developer. Cherik has been leading the front-end design on a variety of products and features in the Giveth Galaxy for the last 2 years.
  • @amin__dev - Developer. More info: Github Software Engineer/Developer/Architecture Lead Developer at Giveth
  • @VitorMarthendal - Magically supports cadCAD and general full-stack development for consumer-facing blockchain-based products: Github
  • @thegrifft - Advisor. Co-founder of Giveth, Commons Stack, General Magic, Dappnode
  • @mathsguy - Maths PhD (Category Theory, String Topology / CUNY), then worked on Ethereum, EthSwarm & Colony. Now playing around with math animations using Manim and learning theoretical CS. Wrote the original paper Pairwise is based on.
  • @kronosapiens - Programmer-at-arms @joinColony, prev. ML @Foursquare Pilgrim. Closet anti-positivist. Arts & sciences. More info: Github Created the initial implementation of Pairwise
  • @gichiba - Technical Writer at the Ethereum Foundation More info: Linkedin
  • @ZeptimusQ - Transparency and accountability advocate. A passionate representative focused on decentralized governance.

Additional Resources, Links, Portfolio

General Magic provides solution services and product development to Impact DAO’s.

We support commons-based organizations and public good projects. We build digital products, governance tools, and economic systems, General Magic has a proven track record and high success rate.

Our team of designers, developers, system architects, researchers, writers, and seasoned Web3 professionals have the knowledge and insights to support the ever growing demands of Impact DAOs — both by integrating with existing teams and creating resources from scratch.

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