The Moscow government has launched a digital communication service called Digital Home. The service operates on Active Citizen that is an Ethereum blockchain based platform. The service allows members of a small neighbouring community to hold meetings and polls. The project aim is to develop online micro-communities in Moscow.
How Digital Home Operates
In Moscow, a few neighbours according to the city regulations manage every residential house. The neighbours usually conduct a face-to-face meeting to discuss issues affecting them such as if they should install driveway access gates to their yards, whether to hire a new doorkeeper among other issues.
Statistics show that in a year five to seven thousand meetings are held. The digital service launched by the Russian government will simplify communication for micro-communities as they can relate on an online platform.
Most of the community members are too busy to attend face-to-face meetings and it is difficult to come up with a convenient time for everyone to attend the physical meetings. The meetings will now be on an online platform thanks to Digital Home.
Each of the questions that will be discussed by the community and later put up for voting is moved to the polls e-voting system using blockchain technology. Once the poll is complete, it is listed on a ledger that has all the polls that have already taken place across the peer-to-peer network. The use of blockchain technology ensures the security of this data and its integrity as no one can alter it after the vote casting.
The e-voting system is at this point easily accessible by the members via desktops or mobile phones. The meetings are available for different community members including apartment owners, capital repair fund, homeowner’s organizations (HOAs), management organizations, and registered neighbours. Users can access information about current meetings and polls via email and SMS.
Andrey Belozerov, an advisor to the Chief Information Officer of Moscow, noted that micro-communities are important in the city and the neighbours should have a convenient environment that can allow them to influence their living conditions.
Digital home is one such service that is user-friendly and takes into consideration the challenges of urban life that make it difficult for neighbours to hold physical meetings. Digital home makes it easier for neighbours to create the ecosystems they want to live in using blockchain and via an online platform.
Active Citizen was first launched in 2014, and so far, it has more than 22 million users. The platforms motto is “the city entrusts you to decide.” Since its launch, it has also enabled 3510 polls where users were able to vote on various subjects including the best colour to be used in seats in a sports arena, and the best ideas to improve my clinic. The platform launched the use of blockchain to increase transparency.
The increased use of Active Citizen by micro-communities shows that these communities are on the rise and that citizens are interested in being part of a solution to their local issues. Active Citizen Polls also shows that targeted voting is more effective compared to citywide voting as the former engages the communities better.