January 25, 2018
Just like the effects of cryptocurrency on wealth and economy, there has been interest over whether the same blockchain technology could be applied to help revolutize the democratic process. In fact, there is the mounting evidence that the world has become increasingly decentralised, and the power of decentralizing technologies to influence current and future political outcomes, and even the internal structure of nation states, is growing exponentially.
Paper voting has its flaws. For example in the 2012 U.S presidential election one in every eight voter registrations was invalid or inaccurate, and 2.7 million voters were registered in multiple states (1). While this doesn’t mean voting was rigged, it does suggest areas for improvement. Therefore, much attention has recently focused on the capability of blockchain technology to make voting completely secure and transparent to voters and communities.
Decentralised firms such as rLoop (2) use blockchain-based tools like Boardroom to deliver successful high tech projects that support robust, decentralised, real-time decision-making capabilities. Such capabilities include quadratic voting, liquid democracy and prediction markets. Although public support for blockchain-enabled decision solutions might not be enough to convince governments to change the traditional voting system, technology companies could still influence changes. In fact, some companies already engage in jurisdictional arbitrage and some nations will make the wise decision to welcome them.
When 7.4 billion citizens over the world can establish their own blockchain-based user centric or self-sovereign identity along with a persistent and portable reputation, each of them will be able to transact or bootstrap themselves into enfranchisement in the growing global digital economy. For instance, Blockpass, a mobile app which is a collaborative project between Infinity Blockchain Labs (IBL) and Chain of Things, allows individuals to register their unique identity by using blockchain technology. Moreover, the information, which is stored in an user-controlled space, is independent from legacy institutions and thus offers identity a much deeper representation of an individual. Blockpass has become a persistent trust anchor for the digital transactions (3).
Platforms where anyone can bet on the outcome of any deciable event, also known as prediction or wisdom markets, present a powerful use case for blockchain development that can impact democratic voting. For example, Gnosis, a wisdom market established based on Ethereum, is the place where individuals who seek the truth in certain situations are allowed to post a consulting fee to surface information that might affect business or political activities4. When other wisdom seekers do the same thing, putting more value behind the quest for truth, those who were previously not incentivized to find such information could become “wisdom consultants”. After that, these wisdom consultants could earn the consulting fee for collecting and finding information. Hence, accepted fact and actual truth will come closer together, and the infrastructure supporting deep, systemic corruption will definitely fade. As a result, the possibility of low-corruption future elections will excite 99% of citizen throughout the world.
With the way the traditional voting system works now, electoral fraud can definitely happen. One such example is that claims were made Kenya that more than half of the votes for a candidate in the country’s presidential election were “fictitious”, leading to violence from protests to clashes with police5. Not to mention the outcomes of the election, it is impossible to know whether corruption was occuring as it is too difficult to keep track of.
With blockchain development, the situation can completely change. Democracy Earth, a non-profit organisation in California with the sole purpose to make electoral frauds or any other kind of corruption are no longer possible, designed an app combining liquid democracy – which gives individuals more flexibility in how that use their votes – with the blockchain6. The blockchain is incorruptible, no one can modify or subvert how the votes are stored, which is crucial for democracy. Therefore, if implemented correctly as a method for vote processing and verification, blockchain development is the best solution for the remaining problems in the traditional voting system, that could return political and democratic power to the hands of the voting citizens7. Can you just imagine, a world with only fair elections, where parties and politicians are held accountable for their actions?
Looking to the future, blockchain development could enable tools to serve as an infrastructure from start to finish. To sum up, applying this technology could potentially eliminate the need for recounts, as it removes the human element involved in vote manipulation and voter fraud.
About Article Publisher Infinity Blockchain Labs
Infinity Blockchain Labs is a visionary R&D company engaged in intermediary and RegTech services employing blockchain technology. We focus on forming alliances with established businesses and regulatory institutions across various industries, as well as providing collaborative incubation for early stage blockchain projects.
IBL aspires to empower Vietnam to become a global leader in blockchain development and therefore are committed to sharing information to nurture a passionate, educated blockchain community. One of the ways we maintain our role as ecosystem pioneer is by helping create educated blockchain enthusiasts. We are committed to sharing information and resources to help Vietnam become a blockchain hub through conferences, courses, contests, alliances, workshops, speaking engagements and incubations. Information regarding topics like hard forks helps people become more familiar with key blockchain concepts and thus able to adopt the technology.
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Contact: Nicole Nguyen PR@blockchainlabs.asia