21 June, 2018
You may have heard that Switzerland is becoming a hot spot for investing and development in the crypto world. The Swiss city of Zug is going even further, releasing a voting prototype for local elections. In a country with the only purported “Crypto Valley” and tax-free investment policies for cryptocurrency investors, it’s not surprising to see an interest in blockchain for use in the public sector. After all, Zug is the same city that accepted up to 200 francs’ worth of bitcoin for various government services.
Testing the blockchain-based vote
This new voting system will be active between June 25 and July 1, and is part of a city-wide initiative to support blockchain research and development efforts since Zug announced that it would be verifying identification with Ethereum last summer. The early phase of the program, called “uPort,” began in November, accumulating over 200 signatures.
Citizens will be able to cast votes this year during what the city government called a “consultative test,” where the results are not binding. The primary goal of the test is to review the platform’s technical abilities, including evaluating security and privacy concerns, to make sure things are operating as planned.
Other blockchain voting initiatives
Zug’s government isn’t the only one experimenting with blockchain for elections. West Virginia’s pilot voting app for absentee voters in the military—and their dependents—provides a greater level of security for voters. West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said to expect all 55 of the state’s counties during the next election to show interest due to the quality of the new pilot system. Since the United States’s absentee voting system is currently not very efficient, citizens are hoping to adopt this new system quickly.
Blockchain-based voting systems are being implemented in other areas as well, like Nasdaq’s shareholder voting system for South African markets. And there is surely more adoption to come as countries and large corporations find blockchain’s benefits too enticing to ignore.
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