Ukraine, a relatively young democracy that has struggled to sustain its independence, could become the first country to deploy blockchain-based voting. A group committed to deploying blockchain-based voting known as E-Vox recently signed a memorandum to support a blockchain-based voting system.
The E-Vox website notes a memorandum was signed by volunteers and organizations to give the world e-voting for fair and transparent decision making. CCN could not find any reference to this project on any Ukraine government website.
An official signing ceremony on Feb 11, 2016, following two months of negotiations and educational efforts, according to Ambisafe, a San Francisco, Calif.-based blockchain software provider that developed and presented a prototype of the system which is based on the Ethereum platform. The first publicly available pilot of a voting system is promised to go live a couple of months from now, according to Ambisafe.
E-Vox’s mission statement refers to itself as a group of experts, developers, and enthusiasts who want to manage their lives and to project their future. “We believe in the power of human relations and potential social opportunities. We want to make our common solutions quickly and honestly.” It calls the blockchain the best existing solution to accomplish this mission.
E-Vox’s objectives are:
• Provide a reliable electronic instrument to develop democracy.
• Minimize the impact of any third party in voting and making decisions.
• Publish as open software under the MIT License (MIT) x11.
• Provide voting for primaries, e-petitions, e-referenda, e-plebiscites, local representatives, and any communities or other purposes.
Anyone can join the memorandum which is available to sign online. One does not have to be a developer or an expert in e-democracy to sign the memorandum.
“Basically, blockchain eliminates hacking and fraud,” the E-Vox website notes. “It is as if a million people voted by show of hands at the same time and it can absolutely reliably capture in real time.”
“We believe that people can directly control all aspects of their lives – how much to pay taxes, which the city was built, in which the development of scientific projects to invest etc.”
“For three thousand years the instrument of representative democracy has outlived itself. Now we have learned how to communicate and work in spite of the distance and time – at the same time as Kiev and New York. Just as easily, we can take the ‘decision of national importance.’ You only need the Internet, and the rest is elementary and we are ready to learn.”
Andrei Zamovskiy, CEO of Ambisafe, said the system will not employ colored coins since smart contracts are preferable under Ukraine’s legal requirements, according to forklog.net. He said the e-Vox system is intended for perceiving votes as votes, and cannot use hybrid solutions that represent actual votes such as colored coins.
The petitions will apply without limitations both at the national and local levels. However, the voting system will initially be subject to testing in some Ukrainian town councils, namely in Kiev and Odessa.
A blockchain-based voting system will also deploy in the town of Vyshgorod 10 miles away from Kiev, as a part of a public services platform development, noted forklog.net. In autumn 2015, a blockchain-based system for state property auctions was announced in Odessa.
E-Vox members include the Center for Innovations Development (A Kiev-based non-government organization [NGO]); Ambisafe; Vareger Group, a Kiev-based blockchain software provider; Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine; Titanovo, based in Raleigh, N..C.; OPIR.org, a Kiev-based NGO; and Olga Kornieva, a public affairs expert.
According to Ambisafe, the project’s signatories include Alexander Ryzhenko, head of the State Agency for e-government; Egor Stevanovich, head of IT of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine; Alexey Momot, Mayor of Vyshgorod; Giorgi Vashadze - member of the Parliament of Georgia; and David Kiziria, advisor, the Presidential Administration of Ukraine.
Images from Ambisafe and Shutterstock.