Thai government agency develops blockchain for elections

A blockchain-based voting system developed by the Thai government to reduce fraud and maintain data integrity is now set for trial.

A newly developed blockchain-based voting system is set for trial in Thailand, according to a report from Bangkok Post.

Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Nectec), the government agency that developed the new e-voting system, is now seeking trial partners. The head of cybersecurity at Nectec, Chalee Vorakulpipat, noted that “the goal is to reduce fraud and maintain data integrity” in the voting process.

The cryptographically secured nature of blockchain as an immutable ledger of information is well suited for use in the voting process, as it withstands fraud and is auditable.

Voting process and challenges

For the blockchain voting process to work in Thailand, explained Vorakulpipat, voters’ qualifications would need to be verified by an election controller before an election and candidates would have to register in the system after confirming eligibility. In the voting process, voters would simply cast their ballots through an email, clicking to vote electronically with identity verification.

With the blockchain-based system, labor costs would be drastically reduced while preventing fraud – and election results would be instantly tabulated.

Initially, Nectec will put the blockchain-based voting system to the test in smaller-scale elections, such as in universities and businesses. The technology can eventually be applied to national, provincial, and community elections as well.

For general elections and other large-scale implementation, however, significant preparation will be required. “Every voter needs to have an affordable mobile internet connection and identity verification,” said Vorakulpipat, noting that this will take some time to arrange.

Other explorations of blockchain-based voting

The use of blockchain to develop more efficient and secure voting processes is a concept that has garnered plenty of attention, with other countries and municipalities investigating its application in the real world as well.

For instance, South Korea announced in November that it would be testing a blockchain-based voting system, and in August 2018, residents of Japanese city Tsukuba were able to vote on social development programs using a new blockchain-based system.

The Swiss city of Zug – often referred to as Crypto Valley – tested a similar system for municipal elections in a wider initiative to support blockchain research as well.

 

 

 

 

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