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Cryptocurrency seeping into our daily lives: Blockchain-based voting and contributions

For the first time in quite a while, fresh news came out on blockchain for voting and contributions. On the 17th last month, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced that it will start to take cryptocurrency for campaign contributions. NRCC is one of the three major Republican organizations that raise election funding for the party along with the RNC and the NRSC. The committee’s decision shows how much the US mainstream is interested in cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Voting and contributions have long been talked about as some of the most feasible blockchain application areas in daily life. In fact, many mainstream politicians and companies have shown much interest in these areas. Then, how have the blockchain-based voting and contribution systems been formed over the years?

Blockchain-based electronic voting already existed before the ESG era

ESG has been the latest topic of conversion. ESG stands for environment, social, and governance, and is the concept that sustainable growth is only possible by taking non-financial factors into consideration, such as improving the corporate governance based on environmental and social responsibilities.

Blockchain-based voting has attracted attention from the past because of the fact that it can be done without human contact and can also reduce waste of voting paper. During the 2020 election season in South Korea, it was critically pointed out that as much as 13,000 tons of paper were used for this election alone.

Concerns over such waste may seem unnecessary considering that voting papers are recyclable, and electronic voting is too soon to fully implement yet due to the lack of regulations and technology. However, there is no question that electronic voting can present some unique advantages in the long term. First of all, apart from the fact that resources input for the existing voting system are recyclable, electronic voting entirely eliminates the need for resource production and recycling processes. Because of this advantage, some US states have continuously been testing blockchain-based electronic voting for years now.

In South Korea, organizations are moving to adopt blockchain-based voting, with the National Election Commission (NEC) stepping forward in establishing the blockchain-based online voting system that can accommodate more than 10 million voters and Samsung SDS adopting blockchain for its salary contracts and in-company voting.

According to an NEC official, the “blockchain-based online voting system in the past was a pilot project, but the current project is for building a system that can actually be used.” It will be watched with keen interest whether the blockchain-based public voting system could come into actual use next year.

Global political circles are eyeing cryptocurrency as a means of contributions

Meanwhile, political circles in many countries are paying attention to using cryptocurrency for contribution. In 2014, the US Election Assistance Commission recognized Bitcoin as a means of in-kind contribution. After this, many US politicians started to use cryptocurrency for their contributions.

Besides individuals, NRCC, the main election fund-raising organization for the Republican Party, officially approved cryptocurrency as a campaign contribution means recently. Making the announcement, NRCC chairman Tom Emmer said that cryptocurrency “will help provide Republicans the resources we need to succeed.”

Political circles in other countries are showing similar movements to adopt cryptocurrency. Russia’s major opposition leader Alexei Navalny is one of the main personages that raised political donations in Bitcoin. According to the January 2021 report by the cryptocurrency news outlet CoinDesk, Navalny had received about 657 Bitcoins in donation over the past five years. The report also said that the amount accounts for up to 10~15% of the total donation raised by Navalny.

In South Korea, the regulations on cryptocurrency are not yet clear enough, and there is no reported case of using cryptocurrency for contributions. However, it seems that once the uncertainties from regulations are resolved, such cases will start to emerge. As many count voting and contributions as the main areas of daily life where blockchain and cryptocurrency can be usefully applied, we can expect to see more experiments and results in these areas.

*This research and analysis material was produced for the purpose of providing reference information based on reliable data and information. However, its accuracy or quality is not guaranteed.

*This material reflects personal opinions which may not be consistent with the company’s official views.

*This material has never been provided to third parties such as institutional investors

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