Yesterday evening, Vitalik weighed in on what could be one of the most important potential uses cases for blockchain technology: Online voting
Important thread. Online voting requires some very specific privacy and security properties and specific techniques to achieve them, and just shoving stuff onto a public ledger can often even be actively counterproductive. https://t.co/6toXfn9E3W
— Vitalik “Not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) June 6, 2018
This was in response to a recent news story about West Virginia becoming the first U.S. state to allow Internet voting by blockchain in primary elections.
The announcement sparked off a debate about the effectiveness of Blockchains in registering identities, the flaws of the current voting system, and fears of a potential 51% attack to the voting Blockchains network.
Others pointed out that electronic voting has already been proven successful in countries like Estonia.
Vitalik’s input reflects just how important it is for privacy, security and information processing to all be done correctly for online voting to work.
Here are a few Blockchains that could potentially collaborate to create an effective online voting system:
Privacy: Civic (CVC) provides access to identity verification services using Blockchain technology.
Governments could use this platform as a way to verify voters’ identities by paying validators in civic tokens to confirm important information (date of birth, employment, etc).
On Civic, validated identities are later encrypted for privacy. Civic instead stores attestations’ or references to personal data on the public Blockchain.
Security: Sentinel protocol crowd sources threat intelligence from cyber security experts in order to keep blockchain applications secure. Governments could utilize Sentinel protocols community to defend against potential cyber attacks
Validating outside information: iCash is providing a new technology that will enable smart contract validation via what is called a proof of trust protocol, which could enables information gathered about candidates to be properly validated by multiple parties before accepted into a voting smart contract.
Ultimately, the idea of online voting is very exciting but will require significant interoperability amongst Blockchains to create a secure, private and properly validated voting process using token incentive models.