Before now, many experts believed that blockchain technology will be highly beneficial if it applied to internet voting. However, the research from three IC3 researchers has proven otherwise. The research was published by Business Insider and it showed an argument that proved that the blockchain technology will not be beneficial in the internet voting system. In fact, it will make things worse.
Blockchain Technology And Internet Voting
According to the researchers, blockchain is beneficial in many other industries so its understandable to think that it will also be beneficial in the internet voting industry as well. The blockchain is immutable in nature. So, it’s easy to conclude that using it for internet voting will make results less susceptible to fraud. However, these researchers claim that nothing can fix the basic issues with internet voting: not even the blockchain technology. Why is this so?
Well, for starters using smartphones to vote appears logical. However, the process is more complicated than it might appear at first glance. It’s true that it is convenient and this may lead to an increase in participation, but one fact that cannot be disputed is that voting is too important to be put online.
While the blockchain technology is extremely secure, the researchers pointed out that the software and hardware being used might still leave room for manipulation in terms of security. There is also the problem of internet outage. Till this date, experts are trying to figure out how much the Russian government influenced the United State 2016 president election through the internet. This shows how far adversaries and foreign governments will go to influence the result of elections by exploring vulnerabilities. So, even if blockchain technology is implemented, technical vulnerabilities can still be exploited.
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As if this isn’t enough, the researchers said that the security of blockchain technology might end up making things worse instead of better. To illustrate: a blockchain can be secure but how are you certain that the device being used is free of vulnerabilities? What if the phone used in voting is infected with a malware that changes an individual’s vote in the last minute? The result of the election will be compromised because the blockchain will register the vote safely and securely.
There will also be a high risk of vote buying in a whole new level thanks to the complete decentralization and anonymity of the blockchain technology. People can sell their votes easily and the buyers will get away with it thanks to the security provided by the blockchain technology.