By CCN Markets: Andrew Yang wants your vote. And if he gets it, he promises that when you vote for him again in 2024, you’ll do it on a smartphone. And that the vote will be recorded on a blockchain.
According to the 2020 presidential hopeful’s website, Yang believes that his “Modernize Voting” policy will increase voter participation and reduce “tampering” and “hacking.”
Yang is no stranger to crypto, of course, and his pro-Bitcoin campaign targets a demographic which has largely been cast out in the financial cold. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he knows what he’s talking about.
A number of crypto startups have already attempted to promote blockchain voting, with very little to show for it thus far. I remain highly skeptical of the idea, and I’m not the only one.
As the Bitcoin oracle Andreas Antonopolous explains, you can’t simply throw “magic blockchain” at every single problem.
Identity on the blockchain sounds wonderful at first, but there’s very little substance to back it up. That’s because “official” identity relies on a central authority to administer it. So basically, the antithesis of everything that blockchain supposedly stands for.
It’s no wonder then that crypto proponents push up against laws like KYC and AML that provide information and ultimately a certain kind of power to a select few.
Now there’s little doubt we should bring voting into the comfort of our own homes. The technology is indeed there, but that’s a separate issue.
You don’t need a slow-a** blockchain voting system to achieve that. We’ve had centralized databases for decades now, and they work just fine. With that in mind, it’s a little reckless to be making statements like this one from Andrew Yang:
“It’s ridiculous that in 2020 we are still standing in line for hours to vote in antiquated voting booths. It is 100% technically possible to have fraud-proof voting on our mobile phones today using the blockchain.”
Zero percent chance of fraud? I’d like to see that. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my skepticism. The annual Javelin identity fraud study, for example, highlights that while fraud was down last year, scammers still duped 14.4 million victims in the US alone.
Blockchain may be many things to many people, but the holy grail of all problem-solving it is not.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.