This Tuesday bitcoinmagazine.com published an interview with Eduardo Robles and David Ruescas who both work on the revolutionary project that implements cryptocurrency into the digital voting system.
The system is named Agora Voting and it takes its root in 2008 project called Agora Ciudadana, when a team of programmers was trying to find an alternative for polling stations.
So, what are the requirements of a system that secures an honest election? First, the votes must be unique. Hence, the voting must be guarded from illegitimate votes for obvious reasons. Secondly, the system must be unmalleable; meaning that after the voting is over nothing would be able to somehow change the poll. Finally, some extra protection from DDoS attacks would be welcome, as such could easily stall the polls.
Our readers should know that all these properties are what Bitcoin and other crytpocurrencies are loved for. All transactions are written in a blockchain and therefore are unique and cannot be meddled with in any possible way. Also, the nature of cryptocurrencies – their lack of centralization makes them much less vulnerable to a DDoS attack, because it is almost impossible to bring the whole network down.
However, nothing is perfect neither are Bitcoins. That is why the developers are proceeding to look into Zerocoin. The property that gives latter an edge over good ol’ Bitcoin is the almost complete anonymity of sender, which eradicates any bias.
Certainly, some subsystem would be required to count and keep the votes, and this is where Chronobit comes in. The idea is to associate a useful data to a blockchian as a hash. The mining pool first has to decide on such an option. Thus, using Chronobit we get the register of votes with a date applied to every transaction.
There are few weaknesses of the system that creators see so far. Among those, mainly two are significant enough to mention. One is that voting could have some cost in bitcoins. The other issue is the inability to revoke the votes, because of the anonymous nature of the transactions.
Another hot topic raised in an interview is the Bitcoin overall effect on democratic society and the way in which it could benefit to the latter. The answer given to this question was quite broad, but the main thought is that using bitcoin we do not need a middleman in any of our financial operations. Thus, the removal of links to any centralized structures makes a system more resistant to attacks on privacy.
At this point, the development process is on the “search & research” stage. Eduardo and David also hope to collect funds needed the creation of the system. The anticipated amount of 100 BTC is quite optimistic but in developers’ words: “a voting system doesn’t write itself”. Oh, and if you still think that this is a lot, you should see the price tags on the projects from Kickstarter.
Anyway, the developers of Agora Voting gladly accept donations. If you want to help here is their wallet: 1EwqtN6GwHmkfYEfxGhuVcjrNBdQwvXMd3
David and Eduardo also said that those that they still require people for coding, cryptography, testing and other stuff that could potentially arise.
While the developers of Agora Voting are not sure about the efficiency of such system, the concept is intriguing. A few years into the future, we could probably vote from our mobile phone with enough certainty that the system will count it.