Japan has already shown itself to be a believer of the blockchain and cryptocurrency. It is working diligently to properly regulate the industries while allowing for strong innovation, which will lead to increased acceptance. Now, the country is set to explore the use of the blockchain as a vehicle for digital voting, which could revolutionize voting processes around the world.
In the Japanese city of Tsukuba, citizens will participate in a blockchain-based voting test for “social contribution projects.” The pilot will verify individuals’ identities by way of Japanese identification cards to ensure that the votes are legitimate. It will work the same as a “traditional” voting process, but votes will be made through a secure digital screen tied to the blockchain, instead of ticking a box on a paper ballot.
The system was already tested by the city’s mayor, Tatsuo Igarashi, who admitted that it was simple. He stated, “[I] had thought it would involve more complicated procedures, but I found that it’s minimal and easy.”
In spite of its simplicity, the rollout hasn’t been as efficient as city officials had expected. Voters have to apply for a password, which many forgot when it came time to place their votes. Additionally, it wasn’t always apparent that a choice on the ballot had been made. However, since it is only a test and tests are designed for exactly this reason, it was still a success.
West Virginia in the US began testing a blockchain-based voting system for remote military personnel earlier this year. That system incorporates facial recognition alongside ID cards to verify identities and is the first blockchain-supported voting system backed by a government in the country.
Several other governments have been contemplating or testing the use of the blockchain for voting activity, as well. Maine is looking into the feasibility of using a blockchain-based voting system, while Switzerland launched a pilot program for municipal voting in Zug this past June and July.
As cryptocurrencies are poised to revolutionize global economies, the blockchain will do the same for a great number of industries. Its secure and immutable properties make it the perfect solution to solve a number of problems that plague markets such as supply chains, elections, counterfeit goods and many more. Undoubtedly, we are in the early phases of a new global paradigm of how we do business.