Block(chain) the vote? Slow down, researchers say

One belief about blockchain that has persisted for some time is the idea of a permanent, unchangeable record of something being a tonic for the problems plaguing things like voting systems. But researchers from the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3) aren't so sure that experiments like those in West Virginia are a winning idea. The folks there are blockchain proponents but fear blockchain-based internet voting could do the opposite of what's intended: having the public believe the vote is fairer when in fact it's less so.

Imagine voting records that are stored transparently on a blockchain but reflect votes surreptitiously altered before they were recorded, perhaps via malware installed on people's phones that caused votes for Smith to actually be cast for Jones. Or perhaps widespread vote buying efforts made easier now that ballots are not as secret and anonymous as before. "Officials and companies who promote online voting are creating a false sense of security – and putting the integrity of the election process at risk. In seeking to use blockchains as a protective element, they may in fact be introducing new threats into the crucial mechanics of democracy," the IC3 says. (Source: Business Insider)

About Author

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times. He runs the Technotopia podcast about a better future. He has written five books including the best book on blogging, Bloggers Boot Camp, and a book about the most expensive timepiece ever made, Marie Antoinette’s Watch. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Disclosure: Biggs owns and maintains cryptocurrencies in a private account and has been consulting with startups regarding blockchain-based products. He also edits and writes for startup clients.

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