Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bitcoin Could Change Voting the Way It's Changed Money

Source: VICE Motherboard
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Political groups and tech startups are beginning to experiment with digital voting systems based on the bitcoin and blockchain protocol. 
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"Just replace a coin in your head with a vote, and run it the exact same dynamic," said Maximiliaan van Kuyk, cofounder of the V initiative, based in New York. The V initiative and V mobile voting app is one of the leading bitcoin-based e-voting efforts here in the US
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Each registered voter gets a Votecoin through the election organizer—say, the US government. The government also sets up what's effectively "yes" and "no,” or maybe it’s "candidate A" and "candidate B” wallets. When it comes time to vote, you send your Votecoin to the wallet of your choice, just like a bitcoin transaction.
... instead of placing your trust in a central authority like, say, the ballot counters tallying up hanging chads in Florida, the network is anonymous but transparent, and audited by the crowd.
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Crypto voting is has been used in elections in Norway, Denmark, Europe’s Pirate Party, and the Spanish Congress.
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On the privacy point, the V platform would need to be 100 percent anonymous, notably unlike bitcoin. As a last line of defense, the protocol would run on an IP-masking software like Tor to protect users against mass data scraping that can reveal identities by putting together enough clues, as we learned from the NSA leaks.

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