Decentralized Fundraising: A Technical Exploration with Kleros & Blockchain

Unveiling a Transparent and Trustworthy Fundraising System

Aliasgar Merchant
3 min readOct 18, 2023

In the expansive world of digital fundraising, platforms like GoFundMe have become household names, giving birth to a new era of decentralized philanthropy. However, as their prevalence grows, two concerns frequently emerge:

  1. Ensuring Transparent Fund Utilization: How can contributors trust that their donations are genuinely being used for the intended purposes
  2. Authenticity and Verification of Evidence: How can the legitimacy of the evidence provided by fundraisers be assured?

To address these challenges, let’s embark on a technical journey, exploring how the integration of Kleros and blockchain can bring about a revolutionary solution.

Blockchain: The Bedrock of Transparency

Blockchain technology offers a public, decentralized ledger where every transaction is recorded. This ensures each donation and its utilization is transparently documented. For instance, consider a smart contract on Ethereum tailored for this purpose:

pragma solidity ^0.8.0;
contract Fundraiser {
struct Donation {
address donor;
uint256 amount;
string evidence;

Donation[] public donations;

function donate(string memory _evidence) public payable {
Donation memory newDonation = Donation({
donor: msg.sender,
amount: msg.value,
evidence: _evidence

Here, every donation is meticulously recorded, capturing the donor’s details, the donation amount, and associated evidence.

Note: The purpose of this blog is not to highlight the implementation of how to record transactions. Hence it has been briefly explained.

Kleros: The Guardian of Truth in Evidence Verification

Kleros operates as a decentralized, open-source online dispute resolution platform. Its integration can be a game-changer for verifying evidence in fundraising campaigns. Here’s a potential approach:

Evidence Submission

When fundraisers initiate a campaign, they submit relevant evidence, which gets associated with their unique Ethereum address.

Dispute Initiation

If any user discerns inconsistencies in the evidence, they can challenge its validity. This challenge is formalized by staking a specific amount of cryptocurrency as collateral to prevent malicious or frivolous disputes.

struct Dispute {
address challenger;
uint256 stake;
string reason;
bool resolved;

mapping(address => Dispute) public disputes;

function raiseDispute(address _fundraiser, string memory _reason) public payable {
require(msg.value >= 1 ether, "Minimum stake not met"); // an example value
disputes[_fundraiser] = Dispute({
challenger: msg.sender,
stake: msg.value,
reason: _reason,
resolved: false

Dispute Resolution

The fundraiser is given an opportunity to respond with clarifications or further evidence. If the challenger is appeased, they can mark the dispute as resolved, ensuring a quick, transparent resolution process.

function resolveDispute(address _fundraiser) public {
require(msg.sender == disputes[_fundraiser].challenger, “Only the challenger can resolve”);
disputes[_fundraiser].resolved = true;

Kleros Adjudication

For disputes that remain contentious, Kleros steps in. Using its sophisticated protocol, Kleros randomly selects jurors who impartially arbitrate the dispute. Leveraging the K-Ary Sum Tree, Kleros ensures efficient dispute resolution with a complexity of \(O(K \times \log(n)/\log(K))\).

Ensuring Genuine Disputes: The Importance of the Challenger’s Stake

To deter insincere challenges, the requirement for challengers to stake a certain amount is pivotal. It ensures that only genuine discrepancies are flagged, fostering a more harmonious platform and protecting fundraisers from unwarranted attacks.

Concluding Thoughts

By intertwining the transparent transactional capabilities of Ethereum smart contracts with the unbiased dispute resolution prowess of Kleros, we’re not just building a fundraising platform — we’re crafting a vision of trust, transparency, and community-driven justice. This approach not only fosters transparency but instills a renewed sense of trust, ensuring both donors and fundraisers can operate with confidence and peace of mind.

Thank you for reading. Cheers!

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Aliasgar Merchant

Novice astrophysicist in Cosmos. Building the next revolution of BFT consensus with CometBFT. I write about Blockchain related concepts.