[News]How far has blockchain voting come in the untact era?
As the ‘untact’ culture spreads due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), online voting development using blockchain is also expected to gain momentum.
The government announced the ‘blockchain technology diffusion strategy’ in June and selected online voting as one of the seven areas to fully introduce the block chain. The goal is to build a system where stakeholders can directly access and check the voting results based on blockchain by 2022.
The reason why the government is trying to introduce blockchain to voting is that there is still distrust of online voting and the non-face-to-face culture has spread due to COVID-19. Recently, controversy has arisen over the manipulation of the counting of various elections, including online voting for various audition programs. Some argue that there is a high risk of data forgery, such as the central server that manages tables being attacked or used maliciously. If a voter directly visits a polling place, it takes time and money to move, wait for voting, and check temperature.
The blockchain-based online voting system applies distributed data processing technology to the electronic voting system. It is possible to prevent data falsification and ensure transparency and security by recording the entire process from the identification of voters to voting results on the blockchain. Voter turnout is expected to increase in the long run as confidence in voting has increased. It has the advantage of saving a lot of time and money because it does not visit the polling place in person.
The first place to apply blockchain to online voting is likely to be the National Election Commission. The National Election Commission announced that it will collect opinions on the pilot service from the Financial Investment Association, Seoul National University Blockchain Society, and Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) by early December. Based on this, the blockchain will be applied to the online voting system ‘K-Voting’. K-Voting currently operates and provides the online voting system needed by public institutions, local governments, schools, and political parties. However, it does not support elections for public officials such as the president, parliamentarians, and local government heads, where online voting is not legally prohibited. The number of votes using K-voting increased every year from 107 in 2014 to 1,495 in 2018.
As the government announced that it would directly foster a blockchain voting system, domestic blockchain companies are also rapidly developing the technology.
Reapchain, a domestic blockchain project, has started developing a blockchain-based voting system. On August 3, 2020, Reapchain signed a business agreement with the Korea Blockchain Promotion Association (KBIPA) to commercialize Reap Voting, a blockchain-based voting system. KBIPA plans to provide advice related to the discovery of future business models for Reap Voting, and business operation and expansion. Reapchain will be in charge of planning and marketing for the establishment and operation of Reap Voting service infrastructure and commercialization.
Reapchain said, “Reap Voting can be used in various fields, such as election of representatives of various institutions, presidents of universities and private organizations, large-scale public opinion polls and surveys, popularity voting at broadcasters, general shareholders’ meetings, and party decision making.”
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