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With Blockchain Tallying, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame 2017 Vote Escapes Scrutiny

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM

When controversy struck the 2016 Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame voting process – as nearly one hundred million votes were cast in favor of the band Chicago in under a week – the integrity of the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame was damaged. And so, the Cleveland, Ohio based museum contracted Votem, a blockchain-based voting system provider, to ensure the integrity of the 2017 vote. One month on, and after the TV program aired on HBO, the blockchain-based system has received little scrutiny.

“We are demonstrating the power of blockchain voting technology in private elections such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Fan Vote where almost 2 million votes were cast without incident on the Votem platform,” said Votem CEO Pete Martin in a recent interview.

The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place last month and was aired this past weekend on HBO. The symphonic British rock band Electric Light Orchestra opened the show with a tribute to Chuck Berry – their first charted single in the U.S. was a cover of Berry’s “Roll Over, Beethoven.”

Along with E.L.O, Journey, Tupac Shakur, Joan Baez, Yes, and Pearl Jam were inducted into the Hall. David Letterman inducted Pearl Jam.

“I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor and a privilege it is to be out of the house,” the former late night talk show host started his speech.

Snoop Dogg poignantly remembered Tupac Shakur , discussing an experience parasailing with Shakur in South America while Suge Knight, former Death Row Records CEO, drove the boat.

The rapper recalled: “And Suge’s ass kept dropping the lever and slamming us into the water, like, ‘Boom!’ I don’t know what was in there, there could’ve been sharks, or octopuses or whatever, and I’m, like, ‘Man, quit playing!’”

2017 was perhaps the perfect year for the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame – based in Cleveland, Ohio – to use blockchain to ensure the integrity of its system. Last year, the voting process for the 2016 inductions came under intense scrutiny.

Controversy sparked after poll totals increased from 371,000 votes after one day to 82,000,000 four days later. A vast majority of the votes, awarded to the band Chicago, were suspected to be fraudulent. “The damage to the credibility and integrity of the vote was deep and far spread from fans and to the media,” wrote Votem.

For the 2017 vote, the Hall of Fame opted to use Votem’s blockchain system to ensure the integrity of the Hall’s votes.

The blockchain-based platform was used in the “fan vote” of the 2017 induction of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members. The nearly 2 million votes, cast using the blockchain, represent the largest use of blockchain in voting to date. More than 60% of its votes were cast via mobile phones.

“We wanted to prove to the world that you could use blockchain technology to conduct online voting in a highly scalable way,” Mr. Martin said. “But what we did with the Rock Hall is never something we would take to the government. It would never meet all the requirements.”

The Votem platform has its eyes set on national elections worldwide for its blockchain system.

Featured image from Shutterstock.