Eva Kaili is a Member of the European Parliament. She represents Greece and has a very positive view of blockchain technology. Unlike many politicians that strongly associate blockchain with cryptos, Eva Kaili sees blockchain as a transformative technology in the political realm.
As the recent US midterm elections demonstrated, voting systems are far from perfect. Recounts are a time-consuming process and don’t address the foundations of a voting system that isn’t as secure or precise as it should be.
Eva Kaili Sees Promise in Blockchain
Eva Kaili sees that blockchain is already entering the global marketplace.
She told EAK TV that:
“I would say that in every sector I can see interesting developments, but value maybe more with supply chain…the other things are removing friction with intermediaries, saving us from costs that we shouldn’t have in financial services.”
There is no doubt that logistics is a prime industry for blockchain adoption. Not only does item tracking stand to benefit from blockchain trade finance is also on the cusp of going onto private blockchain platforms.
Many politicians have been wholly negative on blockchain and cryptos, but Eva Kaili sees more interest coming up from other EU MPs. She commented that,
“I would say we try to have a very positive environment for innovation and technology, not to accept the resistance of the traditional system and banking system…I think everybody now understands the potential and impact that this technology could have.”
Political Positions Matter
There are a number of other people both inside, and outside of global governments who are suggesting that blockchain could have a future in governance.
The head of PR for Estonia’s e-Residency initiative, Arnaud Castaignet, recently talked about an idea that would allow users to employ blockchain-based tokens to identify themselves. He feels a crypto-based program would slash bureaucracy, and thus, costs.
The Minister for Information Technology and Tourism for the Government of Karnataka (India), Priyank M Kharge, told media that,
“We need to understand that blockchain technology did not happen overnight. Even the internet revolution or mobile technology took its time. It took two to three decades to have this kind of disruption. So we need to explore and understand this technology [Blockchain] better to really make it a people’s technology. And more importantly, we need to understand how to use this technology in governance. How can I use this to give a better delivery system for the citizens.”
Indian states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are also working on platforms that would manage public sector records like property or vehicle registration with blockchain as well. The Indian federal government also seems to be on-board, though no official initiatives have come yet.
Read: Implementing Blockchain for Voting: An Indepth Look at the Technical Issues
Thai Party Using Blockchain for Elections
Thailand’s Democrat Party used a blockchain system to facilitate their primary elections at the beginning of the month. The platform was powered by Zcoin, and it was the only system used for the entire process.
Founder and Lead Developer at Zcoin, Poramin Insom, said that,
“I am very proud that Zcoin played a role in making Thailand’s first large-scale e-vote, a reality, which saw greater voter participation and transparency. I believe we’ve achieved a huge milestone in our country’s political history and hope that other political parties or even the government not just in Thailand but in the region can look to using blockchain technology in enabling large-scale e-voting or polling.”
The blockchain platform brought together more than 120,000 people from across Thailand, and was deemed to be successful. All of the votes were recorded on Zcoin’s blockchain, and are impossible to modify. Before being recorded, Zcoin reportedly used InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) to create encrypted data packets which held voting numbers and identifying documents.
Blockchain is certainly making inroads in many areas that seem distant at first glance. The binding thread is a need for secure records. In many areas the established system is simply inefficient, and in others it isn’t fit for purpose at all. Blockchain voting is one area where people could benefit from better record keeping, but it isn’t the only one!
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