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In blockchain voting, leave out the general election

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  • In blockchain voting, leave out the general election

    The idea of further digitising India’s electoral infrastructure is problematic and could hinder free and fair polls

    The Election Commission of India has for a while now been toying with the idea of further digitising the electoral infrastructure of the country. In furtherance of this, the Election Commission had, last month, held an online conference in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (“TNeGA”) and IIT Madras, through which they explored the possibility of using blockchain technology for the purpose of enabling remote elections. While this exploration is still only in the nascent stages, there are several concerns that must be considered at the offset with utmost caution.

    Rise in new applications
    A blockchain is a distributed ledger of information which is replicated across various nodes on a “peer-to-peer” network for the purpose of ensuring integrity and verifiability of data stored on the ledger. Blockchain ledgers have traditionally been used as supporting structures for cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum; however, their use in non-cryptocurrency applications too has seen a steady rise, with some solutions allowing individuals and companies to draft legally-binding “smart contracts,” enabling detailed monitoring of supply chain networks, and several projects focused on enabling remote voting and elections.

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