South Korea Set to Upgrade Its E-Voting System Using Blockchain

South Korea is going to introduce a blockchain-based online system for voting. The first trial will be conducted next month.

Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

Today it may seem that blockchain technology has reached all the spheres of our life and this assumption is really not so far from the reality. Thanks to a great number of possibilities that this technology offers, its application can bring a lot of benefits.

For example, it is believed that the use of blockchain in the voting system can help to make all the related processes more transparent and secure. Though some governments consider this idea to be rather controversial, some others have welcomed it very positively.

South Korea’s Initiative

As it has been announced, South Korea is planning to implement a blockchain-based online system for voting. It is said that the Ministry of Science and ICT, and the National Election Commission (NEC) are currently working on the development of such a system.

According to the official plans, the first trials will start next month. In the framework of this procedure, the new system will be used to accumulate responses for surveys conducted by Seoul National University’s Blockchain Society and Korea Internet and Security Agency.

Nevertheless, now it is too early to speak about using this system for official democratic voting.  A decision will be taken only after the analysis of the results of the trial.

It’s also worth mentioning that this initiative is not the first attempt of the NEC to apply new technologies to the voting procedure. In 2013, the Commission proposed its non-blockchain-based online voting system. This system that is known as K-voting is said to have been used by 5.64 million. But there are some serious concerns due to a high risk of hacking and voter fraud.

Now it is believed that the blockchain system will help to increase the level of security and transparency of voting. The results of voting rounds received through this system are expected to be more credible as it will be impossible to manipulate them on blockchain.

Moreover, the NEC also plans to upgrade the blockchain voting system with artificial intelligence, big data, and IoT technology.

Experience of Other Countries

South Korea has always been known for its passion for innovations and attention to the emerging technologies and cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, the country hasn’t become a pioneer in using blockchain to revolutionize the voting system.

Earlier this year, Coinspeaker has reported about Zug, a city in Switzerland, that has become the first one to conduct the blockchain-based test vote. During a week all owners of a digital ID had an opportunity to take part in the survey via the city’s eID system.

The Asian region has also already joined this new trend.  In September, the government of Tsukuba, Japan, successfully tested their newly developed online voting system that is based on blockchain technology and the My Number identification system.

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