Voting is a vital a part of any democracy, because it offers its residents the prospect to take part within the democratic governance course of. In a democracy, the target of voting is not only the creation of presidency however a collective effort that drives the pursuits of the society and the financial system.
The elemental goal of voting internationally is to make sure that it occurs in a good and clear manner. The standard poll system has existed for years, however it’s secure to say now that it has outlived its time. Challenges, similar to double voting, spurious votes and poll privateness considerations, have been within the information repeatedly displaying the inefficiency of the present system.
Plus, the price of organizing poll voting at scale is dear and is time-consuming. For instance, India spent near $8 billion in its 2019 nationwide elections and took roughly 40 days to complete the whole voting course of.
Due to this fact, we are able to safely say that the standard voting system has disadvantages not solely with regards to safety and the time it consumes but in addition with the fee to arrange the whole course of in a seamless manner.
Is web voting the answer?
Can we then say that web voting is the answer to all the issues confronted by the present conventional poll system? Web voting pilot initiatives have been carried out internationally however have been discontinued after some time.
Financial challenges, similar to web accessibility, studying and adapting to the brand new voting fashion by the inhabitants, can nonetheless be overcome with growth and coaching.
However the dangers associated to safety (pc viruses/hacking) and scalability mechanisms are those that restrict the pilot. Additionally, web voting additionally can not basically assure one vote per one particular person, and the excessive value of implementing it impacts the implementation additional.
Is blockchain-backed voting the answer?
Blockchain tech implementation for voting positively is an effective choice, because the decentralized consensus protocol ensures safety as much as a sure restrict, which is safer than the present centralized manner of voting.
However then it offers rise to sure challenges like:
- Scalability: Blockchains at this time aren’t scalable.
On the Ethereum blockchain, solely 15 transactions will be validated per second. Which means because the variety of voters will increase, blockchain voting takes far more time to complete the voting course of.
For instance, when the second smallest nation on the planet, Tuvalu, with a inhabitants of 10,600, plans to do its elections on the Ethereum blockchain, for instance, it could take near 11.5 minutes (10,600/15 = 706 seconds) for the whole voting course of to be accomplished, however contemplating a rustic similar to India, which has a inhabitants of 1.4 billion, it could simply take round three years for the whole voting course of to complete on the Ethereum blockchain.
These sorts of time frames are virtually unimaginable in a big democracy to even contemplate.
- Power consumption: Blockchains eat far more vitality than any system current.
For instance, the Ethereum blockchain consumes 1.02 kilowatt-hours per transaction. In a rustic like Tulavu, the vitality consumption for blockchain voting seems to be 10.8 megawatt-hours, which won’t have any appreciable adverse influence on the surroundings. However however, for a populous nation like India, blockchain voting, if carried out with Ethereum, will find yourself consuming 1,428 gigawatt-hours.
Power value not solely seems to be very excessive however it should find yourself having a adverse (if not devastating) influence on the surroundings as effectively.
- Safety: Although blockchains are safe, they’re vulnerable to 51%, the place malicious nodes occupy 51% or extra of the community. Since voting is one thing that might change the state of an financial system, possibilities for hacking/fraud are very excessive.
- Id: Current blockchains can not guarantee a very decentralized id, too.
How ought to blockchains protocols be designed then to be scalable, safe and fewer energy-consuming?
- For scalability. As a substitute of all nodes validating all transactions, solely a subset of randomly chosen nodes can validate a transaction. This manner, the whole community can, in a coordinated manner, validate over 1,000,000 transactions.
That is defined under with the hypergeometric distribution.
In a community, solely 200 randomly chosen nodes are wanted to validate a transaction with 99.999999999% confidence.
- Power consumption. The proof-of-work algorithm designed in Bitcoin (referred to as HashRate PoW) ought to be changed with a PoW that consumes much less vitality since solely 200 nodes are wanted to validate a transaction. The order of vitality consumption must ideally be 3.6 billion occasions much less energy-consuming than Bitcoin.
- Safety. The above hypergeometric distribution demonstrates that even with 90% malicious nodes within the community, solely 200 randomly chosen nodes are sufficient to validate a transaction. Due to this fact, the safety of the blockchain ought to be greater: not 51% or 66%, however 90%.
Blockchain mixed with biometrics
Blockchain tech coupled with biometrics is the perfect resolution for the voting course of. The blockchain protocol, after all, ought to be scalable, contain few validating nodes, eat much less vitality and be extremely safe.
The biometrics must also defend private information, encrypt/decrypt information/messages, it ought to have tamper-proof authentication and adjust to the Basic Knowledge Safety Regulation within the European Union.
Presently, there are not any gamers which have been successfully in a position to mix each blockchain and biometrics to supply an answer for voting.
Going by the challenges that we’ve mentioned above, the reality is that on this web period, if blockchain really has to allow a seamless voting system of free and honest elections, it must be mixed with biometrics.
The talk and dialogue might be round for some time on how the web and the blockchain will ultimately disrupt or not disrupt the voting course of. For instance, a recent article published by the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how’s Laptop Science and Synthetic Intelligence Laboratory identified that shifting to blockchain-enabled voting doesn’t take away the chance of failures. Such a transfer can go from dangerous to worse. Nonetheless, it’s not unimaginable to declare victory on this area and maintain our elections 100% safe and honest.
The views, ideas and opinions expressed listed here are the authors’ alone and don’t essentially mirror or symbolize the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Vishnu Priya Mishra is a blockchain fanatic with six years of expertise in promoting and advertising, she has labored with manufacturers, similar to Burger King, Xbox and Ziff Davis in model and neighborhood constructing. She manages advertising and PR at Uniris.
Nilesh Patankar is a seasoned technologist with over 25 years of expertise within the funds area. He has managed world packages for Mastercard and Barclays. He was additionally the chief expertise officer of Payback, the most important coalition loyalty program in India serving over 100 million customers. Nilesh is a co-founder and chief working officer of Uniris.
Akshay Kumar Kandhi is the top of innovation, analysis and growth at Uniris, the place he’s on the forefront of analysis in blockchain and biometrics. He has a level from École Polytechnique in France.