Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) has stated that it’s interested in using a blockchain-based voting system for the country’s next election process. Blockchain based voting systems are becoming popular around the globe, as they help to add legitimacy to the process and the end result – especially in countries where corruption is rife. Thailand is just one of many countries looking to utilize this new wave of technology to help instill confidence in the next government elected by the people.
Voting is at the Core of Blockchain
At the beating heart of every blockchain there is a consensus mechanism, and the majority of these all involve voting of some sort. Most blockchains that have voting-based consensus mechanisms allow participants to stake a native token to back a block to be published to the blockchain. This process has inspired governments around the globe to use blockchain to let citizens cast their votes on elections. It’s a wonderful self-fulfilling prophecy that is powering the future of this technology.
Controversial Results are a Thing of the Past
No matter where you live in the world, come results day there is a chance you could wake up in total disbelief at the outcome of an election. In a bid to help legitimize these results through immutable voting mechanisms, governments are instilling a certain degree of trust by using blockchain voting systems. No longer can people cry foul play come results day, leaving governments to get on with the task at hand.
Catalan Says “Yes” to Blockchain Voting
Nestled in the northeastern corner of Spain, the Catalan region is no stranger to controversial votes. It has tried to break away from Spain and gain independence a number of times, but Spain’s king refutes the vote and denies the people’s request. This controversial region is once again stirring up trouble, as it decides to put a blockchain based voting system in place before the end of 2020, giving the government just one more year to finalize its plans. Whether this will invalidate all votes from the region in wider general elections has yet to be seen. However, it looks very much like the region is using blockchain technology to distance itself from the rest of Spain.
America On the Fence
When rolling out new technology, having a large country to cover makes it decidedly harder to do so. West Virginia has rolled out a blockchain-based voting system for all citizens of the region that currently live overseas. A trial during the midterm elections with the system went remarkably well, and more states are looking to adopt it for the 2020 elections. However, a number of officials are still on the fence about the system, fearing votes could be tampered with before they are confirmed to the chain.
Blockchain voting looks like it’s set to become a huge thing in the next few years, but only time will tell if it’s here to stay or not. All it takes is one of these early trials to go awry and the entire blockchain-based voting system movement could be scrapped. Government’s don’t like losing elections, and they certainly don’t like losing because of technical glitches. The next set of tests – especially in Thailand – are going to be critical to the future of blockchain voting.