Slowly, experiment by experiment, there have been attempts at testing how blockchain’s unique characteristics can be taken advantage of in the administration of elections. Limited, local initiatives have shown that blockchain may have a real role to play. The latest news on this front is an article published at the Bitcoin Exchange Guide by freelance journalist Ali Raza that has an exhaustive look at the current uses of blockchain and its potential uses in government, elections, and more:
Blockchains are not only about cryptocurrencies, despite Bitcoin being the instigator of the new technology. More and more, blockchain is being looked at as a viable, and in some instances, a superior method to do a wide variety of tasks in a more efficient manner. The first wave of using blockchain outside of cryptocurrencies came with industry.
The ability to have a trustless system that organizes the supply chain and is hack-resistant and immutable made it a prime target for companies that have spent billions upgrading software and hardware alike to do a fraction of what blockchain does naturally.
The next step in the evolution of blockchain application is securing one’s own identity and with that, the idea of using blockchain to vote was born. It is almost the perfect system for such a use case but there has been stiff criticism of the technology from all corners due to a few factors.
A new technology that is not understood all that well is nothing new. The same happened with the internet and home computers before that. The same happened to cars and probably many other radical implementations of technology. There is also the fear of hacking, which is a great point.
See full story here. One interesting new look at the changes underway comes from Phil Goldstein at StateTech Magazine who recently published an article about how blockchain technology is working its way into America, finding a role in several different aspects of election administration and beyond. From the article:
Blockchain technology, in and of itself, cannot replace legacy systems for databases, record keeping or transaction management, but it can enhance such systems, experts say. Blockchain voting is also getting more attention, though cybersecurity experts are skeptical about it and it has not been tried in the United States on a large scale yet.
Most state government officials are still in a wait-and-see mode about the technology, though blockchain use cases continue to proliferate. According to a 2017 National Association of State CIOs report, 63 percent of those surveyed were still investigating blockchain in state government with informal discussions, 26 percent said there were no discussions of blockchain at that time and 5 percent had adopted blockchain technology in support of some state government services.