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Japanese City Attempts to Use Blockchain to Vote for Development Projects

A city government in Japan has become the first in that country to test a blockchain-based voting system in which the citizens vote for their preferred social development programs.

A new report from the Japan Times reported on Sunday that the government of Tsukuba, a city that has played a vital role in scientific developments since the 1960s had just completed the test project allowing people to vote for such programs using the blockchain technology. According to the report, there were 119 votes casted in an election that took place on the 28th of August 2018.

Projects Proposed

Those running this program used blockchain to enable people select social contribution projects from a pool of several proposals including technology and social applications, artificial intelligence and the internet of things. This data was from the government’s website.

According to the report, the system used connects an identity verification machine to a decentralized network. Users are required to insert their personal ID cards on the machine which then verifies the user’s authenticity and allows them to choose their preferred programs. After casting their votes or selecting their programs, the system encrypts these data and stores that information using a tamper-proof distributed network.

The mayor of Tsukuba Tatsuo Igarashi said after he had cast his vote that he thought the system would be a bit more complicated but instead found it easy and efficient.

Way Forward After The Test Project

According to a report from Jiji news agency on Saturday, the local government is waiting for the test project to end and determine its success. If it is in deed successful, then the same government intends to extend the services to people living in mountainous areas, remote islands and even abroad.

Other Countries With Similar Technology

This test is the one the latest tests in which governments have attempted to use blockchain or distributed ledger technology to carry out a voting process.

According to a Coindesk report, the United States (US) has also not been left behind on this. The State of West Virginia has plans underway to set up a blockchain-based system that will enable military personnel based overseas to vote in absentia. The state hopes that the project will be ready for the up coming November elections.

Another country utilizing this technology is Russia. The municipal government of Moscow, the capital city of Russia, set up Digital Home, a system that allows residents who live in high-rise blocks to vote electronically and decide on pressing issues such as whether to upgrade buildings or bring new management.

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