South Korea is set to test a blockchain-based voting platform, as the Asian nation looks to adopt the distributed ledger technology system if it turns out successfully.
Reports credited to The Korea Times state that the system is expected to be completed by December this year; with the initiative headed by South Korea’s National Election Commission (NEC) in conjunction with the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT.
Speaking on its adoption, the commission says the system is aimed at enhancing the security, transparency and reliability of the voting process. Kim Jeong-Won, an official at the MSI remarked;
We expect the blockchain-based voting system to enhance the reliability of voting. The ministry will continue to support the application of blockchain technology to actively utilize it in areas that require reliability.
Besides prevention of falsified votes through a user authentication mechanism, the proposed blockchain system is also expected to grant candidates, voters and observers access to voting data as elections progress.
Speaking further on the proposed system, the ministry specifies that should its testing prove successful; then it will integrate jointly with South Korea’s online voting system (K-Voting).
This is not the first use case of blockchain voting in South Korea. In March 2017, the country’s Gyeonggi-do province used a blockchain-based voting system in deciding which community projects to prioritize in its budget.
Although the initiative was tested on a small scale with about 9,000 participants; this did not stop officials in the province from lauding the system as they described it as ‘impactful technology,a technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
The impact and potential benefits of blockchain based systems have become increasingly evident. This is the scenario as more institutions, government and industry players continue to apply this tech; especially with its possible embedding on hand held devices/mobile phones and PCs.
Notably, in the just concluded U.S. Midterms, the state of West Virginia had some of its constituents vote using the blockchain platform with relative success recorded. Similarly in Thailand, the country’s Democrat party had employed the use of the Zcoin blockchain to register, store and carry out voting; a move which they believe if adopted nationally would free the county of electoral corruption.
Other countries such as Japan, Catalonia (Spain) have also made moves in this regard.
Coming home, Africa and indeed Nigeria whose 2019 elections draw closer is yet to make notable moves or tests in the blockchain sector. Considering multiple cases of election manipulation and other cases of electoral fraud being experienced in the past, a new, tech friendly and reliable blockchain system is necessary.
Do you think Nigeria, Africa can adopt this technology in the nearest future? What other use cases of blockchain technology do you project for the region.