In August end, the city of Tsukuba in Japan became the country’s first to test a blockchain-based voting system.
Currently, the system is being tested on “social contribution projects”, and if trials prove successful, it could soon be used for elections.
What the first test of blockchain-based voting entailed
Tsukuba, from the 1960s, has had a reputation for being a forerunner in scientific development. On August 28, the city tested its first blockchain-based voting system, and saw 119 votes registered.
Voters were asked to pick from a pool of technology applications like internet-of-things (IoT) and artificial intelligence.
While the system proved successful, there were a few snags along the way.
Tsukuba’s Mayor shares his two cents on the new system“I had thought it would involve more complicated procedures but I found that it’s minimal and easy,” said Tatsuo Igarashi, Tsukuba’s Mayor.
Some voters forgot their passwords, and couldn’t vote
The blockchain-based voting system works similar to normal voting, except that votes are entered electronically on a decentralized ledger to prevent any falsification of information.
Voters have to use their 12-digit social security number and unique, user-set passwords to cast a vote.
However, during the trial, several voters forgot their passwords and were unable to cast a vote, thus marking a minor setback.
Several countries have tested or are testing similar systems
Notably, Japan isn’t the first country to be experimenting with blockchain-based voting.
In April, West Virginia became the first US state to test blockchain-based voting on mobiles to help military service members posted overseas vote.
In June, the Swiss city of Zug followed suit.
Yet, that’s not all – several other countries have also announced such systems including Russia, Ukraine, and Kenya.