India attempts to realize the much-theorized concept of remote-voting or e-voting. It is a bold and ambitious project befitting a nation as technologically advanced as India. HashCash Chief and Blockchain pioneer Raj Chowdhury reacts. Election and its free and fair conduct is a parameter of democracy. Progressive governance is characterized by its efforts to facilitate unobstructed and all-inclusive elections in a neutral environment. Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sunil Arora’s recent statement, offers the flashes.
Remote voting or e-voting is a concept nursed by state heads of leading countries for some time. India, apparently, is set to pioneer the model by putting her IT supremacy to the ultimate test.
As per Arora, a team of top scientists from the prestigious IIT Madras is engaged in this project. The project is to be built harnessing blockchain technology by enabling app-based e-voting to ensure fuss-free and fair elections via secure channels.
Blockchain pioneer and HashCash CEO, Raj Chowdhury lauds the effort “Blockchain technology is one of enormous potential in terms of transparency and security. It has long been erroneously perceived as a crypto-exclusive framework. It is good to see possibilities mined out of this very powerful technology.”
It has, in fact, taken the world some time to realize that blockchain and cryptocurrency are indeed two disparate concepts. “Crypto is purely a financial instrument and blockchain, a technology that powers its functioning. Their relationship is akin to mail and its delivery van,” explains Chowdhury.
There exist volumes of literature on the implementation of the voting process riding on blockchain technology, albeit, among several others. The first instance of online voting in the US was during the Utah GOP Presidential Candidate election of 2016; it was attempted by Utah Republican party caucus. The second recorded event was the 2018 US Federal Elections in the state of West Virginia. A voting application built on a blockchain framework enabled 144 voters across 31 countries to securely cast their votes. Other countries like Sierra Leon, Estonia, Switzerland have also experimented with pilot projects to demonstrate the voting process.
However, no live-run of a project of this importance has ever happened on this before.
“Conducting an event as large and as important as the Parliament election could be a milestone in the nation’s history of scientific development. Successfully wound up, this would open a floodgate of opportunities in the technology sector,” concluded Chowdhury.
A blockchain operation of this scale would also invite challenges and threats in varying formats and degrees of severities. To mete out every single one will be a mammoth task in themselves. Having said that, India is a populous democracy armed with a technologically sound workforce. That alone drives the bet in favor.