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Russian blockchain voting system has centralized characteristics

Russian blockchain voting system has centralized characteristics

Rostelecom unveiled the Russian blockchain voting system meant for the upcoming September elections. The announcement comes as a welcome step as more democracies adopt such transparent systems to avoid muddy voting.

Russian blockchain voting is poised to undergo testing beginning next month. Rostelecom developed pilot is meant for the September 13 elections in Kurskaya and Yaroslavskaya State Duma. The second pilot project is operated by the Department of Information Technologies.

Russian blockchain voting credentials are suspicious

Waves blockchain and Rostelecom have jointly built the system. As per the Rostelecom announcement, it gives uniform control to various election participants. However, Rostelecom servers would host all the blockchain nodes to prevent any security breach. Independent observers are not allowed to operate any nodes on their own due to the same reason.

Sasha Ivanov of Waves stated how every element of the election is transparent and available for public and observer oversight. The public will have full access for viewing chain information. She further emphasized how meddling is impossible with cryptographic instruments. Despite flaws in previous similar Russian blockchain voting systems, she is confident about the latest iteration.

Ivanov added that blockchain-powered election mechanisms are not researched much. The technology promises fair and transparent selection. Many democracies are currently in various stages of deploying blockchain-powered mechanisms to eliminate tampering. Russian blockchain voting project aims to take blockchain technology beyond just the financial realm.

Blockchain voting has promising potential

Earlier, blockchain-powered election mechanisms used in Russia for constitutional amendments came under doubt. The entire operation turned controversial due to security concerns. The IDs of Russian voters was up for grabs on dark web portals.

Russia’s tryst with blockchain began in 2019 when it was first employed for local elections. Since then, the country’s authorities have researched similar systems across various selection events. The latest Russian blockchain voting system must perform competently to pave the way for fair and free elections.

Gurpreet Thind

Gurpreet Thind

Gurpreet Thind is pursuing Masters in Electrical Engineering at University of Ottawa. His scholarly interests include IT, computer languages and cryptocurrencies. With a special interest in blockchain powered architectures, he seeks to explore the societal impact of digital currencies as finance of the future. He is passionate about learning new languages, cultures and social media.

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