‘Crypto Valley’ Zug to Launch Switzerland’s First Blockchain-Based Voting

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by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
‘Crypto Valley’ Zug to Launch Switzerland’s First Blockchain-Based Voting
Photo: digitalcoins exchange / Flickr

The first blockchain-powered trial municipal vote will be conducted with the help of the city’s eID system. Voters will decide on Zug’s minor issues as well as the future of eID system.

Zug, a city in Switzerland, is going to conduct the first blockchain-based test vote later this month. The step will help the Swiss city decide whether the technology can be used on a broader scale.

According to the official announcement, the first Blockchain-based consultative vote will be offered to all owners of a digital ID at 10:00 am on June 25th. The survey will be running until 11:59 pm on July 1, 2018. Using the city’s eID system, which has been set up in November of last year and currently counts around 200 users, voters will be able to vote via their smartphones by downloading the existing uPort app to register.

The questions citizens will be asked are whether they are in favour of fireworks at the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library or pay parking fees. Moreover, voters will be surveyed on whether the blockchain-based eID system should be used for referendum votes in the future. The results of the vote will be non-binding for city authorities, as this voting is only a test.

Zug is considered to be the center of blockchain in Switzerland. Its eID system, launched in autumn of last year, was developed to allow citizens digital access council services in a pilot phase.

In 2016, Zug launched an initiative accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for certain municipality services, becoming the first city in the world to do so. Later, having established “Crypto Valley”, a not-for-profit association supporting the development of blockchain and cryptographic related technologies and businesses, Zug has become one of the centers of world’s leading ecosystems for crypto, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies. The organization was formed to promote the development of blockchain and cryptographic related technologies.

The major rival to Zug’s Crypto Valley is Chiasso, the Swiss municipality that was planning to start accepting tax payments in bitcoin in the beginning of 2018.

Switzerland has proven to be the perfect environment for innovative businesses and has a great potential to become a leader of innovation in financial technology. The region boasts one of the globe’s most stable and decentralized political systems and world-leading infrastructure. In March of this year, Bitfinex, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume, had plans to leave its current base in Hong Kong and relocate its resources to Switzerland.

On June 6, the privately held Hypothekarbank Lenzburg bank, became the first bank in Switzerland to provide business accounts to blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.

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