Originally designed to democratize power within the financial system, Bitcoin’s blockchain technology is now playing a role in the area of democracy itself.
Despite receiving much attention, online voting adoption has yet to take off meaningfully worldwide, amid concerns that existing platforms are vulnerable to fraud, corruption and sabotage. Last year a team accredited to observe the 2013 municipal elections in Estonia – the only country to run Internet voting on a wide scale – revealed that they observed election officials downloading key software over insecure Internet connections, typing PINs and passwords in view of cameras, and preparing election software on insecure PCs.
Norway also canceled trials of e-voting systems in local and national elections, concluding that voters’ fears about their votes becoming public could undermine democratic processes.
There are, however, increasing examples of political organizations and technology startups experimenting with secure digital voting systems based on the use of Bitcoin’s blockchain technology. Last year Denmark’s Liberal Alliance became the first political party to vote using a blockchain-based system for its internal elections. Similar systems have since been adopted in Norway and Spain and the movement is gathering momentum in the United States.
“There is a common misconception