As Americans lined up to vote this month, it was a reminder that voting is a fundamental requirement for a functioning democracy. It enables individuals to express opinions on how they believe their country should be run and who should run it. This process can be an extremely difficult task, especially in larger countries such as India, as collecting votes for millions of people is far from simple. That being said, the voting techniques we use worldwide have barely changed over the last century, and are long overdue for an update. The primary problem with the antiquated methods come down to a single fundamental issue, centralization.
Current voting methods require a large amount of human involvement, from poll workers, to vote counters, to the companies and engineers that design the voting machines. Then you have the oversight groups who employ individuals to oversee the election workers. Current voting methods are inefficient and expensive, susceptible to fraud and manipulation, and need to be vastly improved. Bitcoin technology can provide us with a new and improved voting system built from the ground up, a decentralized and secure alternative.
Related: Bitcoin in 10 Years: 4 Predictions From SecondMarket’s Barry Silbert
At its core, Bitcoin is a decentralized and robust ledger secured by computers around the world that run the Bitcoin software. Think of it as a globally transparent accounting book, shared worldwide, that anyone can access and interface with. Through the concepts of game theory and cryptography, the Bitcoin protocol creates a financial incentive to secure its network. The way this incentive is structured, it ensures that no single party can manipulate the data that has been written into the ledger. This makes it superior to state sponsored alternatives, especially in countries with a history of corruption, since the ruling government is unable to manipulate any voting data stored on the ledger.