Despite still being in its infancy, electronic voting is “inevitable.” And what better way to ensure transparency and efficiency than to integrate the blockchain technology to elections?
That was the “what if” question posed by a new paper written by Philip Bucher for the European Parliament.
“Now we have a further choice; to continue trusting central authorities to manage elections or to use blockchain technology to distribute an open voting record among citizens,” posited the paper.
Blockchain is the underlying technology that supports popular digital currency bitcoin. It makes use of cryptography to create a distributed ledger system in order to hold and spend money in a more open, transparent and flexible manner compared to the traditional bank or credit card companies.
In terms of elections, Bucher sees two ways blockchain can be utilized. The first is that governments can create a distributed ledger system where votes are recorded. The second calls for a “piggyback” approach, where governments of smaller countries will run the election on a more established blockchain, such as the one used by bitcoin.
“Given that the security of a blockchain ledger relies upon the breadth of its user base, this piggyback approach may also be secure for elections with a small number of voters,” according to the paper.
Fund manager believes bitcoin may counter central banks
Bond manager Bill Gross is betting that investors will soon turn to new financial technologies, like digital currencies, as a protection against central banks, including the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and European Central Bank.
Gross, who runs the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, said in a recent investment outlook that as investors lose faith in the system, they will increasingly seek asset haven, like bitcoin.
“Bitcoin and privately agreed upon blockchain technologies amongst a small set of global banks are just a few examples of attempts to stabilize the value of their current assets in future purchasing power terms,” Gross wrote. “Gold would be another example—historic relic that it is. In any case, the current system is beginning to be challenged.”
Current bitcoin price and trade volume
Bitcoin started Wednesday’s trading at $606.72, with a trade volume of $44,627.47.