Swiss City Completes Local Voting Trial on Blockchain

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The Swiss city of Zug has completed trials on a system of local voting powered by the blockchain, in one of the most recent attempts to develop a solution for the blockchain voting use case.

Know as “Crypto Valley,” the city ran trials of its blockchain-based voting system in June, as part of Zug’s ongoing commitment to embracing blockchain technologies in public administration.

The system collected voter ID and polling information within the blockchain over the period from June 25 to July 1. According to local media reports, the head of communications for the city, Dieter Muller, has said that “the premiere was a success,” in reference to the outcome of this initial test run.

He suggested that local authorities would now examine the “technical details” of the trial and the wider voting process, to determine whether the platform could be used again in future as a basis for local democratic events.

Voting on the blockchain has long been held as a strong use case, both in political and corporate sectors. Shareholder voting systems have already been pioneered successfully elsewhere, with systems based on blockchain technologies allowing for secure vote collection, permanent record-keeping and instant validation.

The stated aim of the city of Zug is to ensure their votes are “safer and less susceptible to unnoticed manipulation,” features afforded by the unique properties of blockchain technology.

The voting blockchain system was developed by Luxoft, a local software developer, in consort with academics from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences.

Discussing the project, Vasily Suvorov of Luxoft said their e-voting platform would be open-source, for maximum transparency and utility beyond the immediate use case.

“There are concerns about electronic voting because voting is a fundamental mechanism for direct voting ... That’s why we believe that this technology should not belong to a single company. We will build the e-voting platform ‘open source’ so that people can understand what the technology is and how it works. We want to encourage more people to develop blockchain-based applications for governments worldwide.”

With the initial trial having been considered a success, it seems like Crypto Valley will turn to blockchain-based e-voting technology for future plebiscites.