Waves Enterprise Rolls Out Blockchain Voting Platform for public Use
Waves Enterprise, the business-centered spin-off of the Waves venture, stated that public release of the blockchain voting platform mainly intended at corporations and board administration.
The Waves platform utilizes blockchain at each stage of the voting procedure as votes are documented and then tallied with total cryptographic guarantees.
Homomorphic encryption is utilized to precisely count votes without a need to disclose the identity of the person who took part in the ballot.
The platform is mainly focused for secondary use, for example corporate boards. However, the platform has been piloted in Russia during domestic and parliamentary elections.
The team has mentioned that the experience indicates the platform is suitable for installation, but the public platform is a bit different from what was used during Russian elections, as per chief product officer Artem Kalikhov.
“Those elections used a voting system developed in cooperation with Rostelekom […], which is based on a similar cryptographic protocol but has several important distinctions. For example, it uses Russian cryptography, it has different mechanisms for identification and anonymization, [and] the voting process is changed.”
Kalikhov revealed that Brazilian authorities are also studying the feasibility of using blockchain platform based voting. However, the prevailing product is suited for corporate use and voting by board, a market assessed by Waves to be worth $100 million worldwide.
The platform also facilitates public access. A similar blockchain platform used in Russian election became a subject of criticism for its inability to permit third party verification of blockchain nodes.
Kalikhov stated that the business variant functions on Waves Enterprise Mainnet, a permissioned but public blockchain.
The blockchain platform utilizes multiple techniques to avoid deception during the process of voting and counting. Kalikhov stated that the utilization of blockchain and cryptography based signing of activities guarantees that the vote will not get altered or eliminated after being recorded on the ledger. He provided further detail as follows:
“The use of homomorphic encryption allows to automatically collects the results of the election without decrypting each individual ballot, guaranteeing the privacy of the vote. Using a distributed key generation protocol and several independent encryption servers excludes the possibility of a single actor with a ‘master key’ and guarantees that no one is able to decrypt the results or look into single ballots before the vote has ended.”
As a whole, the combo of cryptographic technology, blockchain and a process of controls intend to reduce the likelihood of deceit during the election procedure. However, the utilization of blockchain does not avoid bugs or any other devious means of entry, as certain platforms have demonstrated.
Presuming that the election process is robust, the blockchain platform can be only as sound as the voter enrollment procedure. Election duplicity is usually carried out by setting up dubious or altered ballots.
For illustration, election fraud usually happens in the name of people who are not alive, criminals or unqualified voters, paying or threatening people to vote for a specific candidate or deliberately creating flaws that enable a person to cast multiple votes.
Kalikhov stated that voters are enrolled through a combination of public and private keys. Smart contracts safe keep the record pertaining to all verified voters via their public keys, while every private key stays on their personal gadget. To ensure fair voting, the system permits voters to amend their choice at any time before the completion of election.
However, Kalikhov pointed out that the voting platform “cannot, of course, protect the users’ personal devices from hacks, loss or key transfers initiated by the user.”
Even though the voting software has been created to guarantee the security of the private keys, users should still comply with the “rules of cyber hygiene — using antivirus software and installing the latest operating system updates.”
Kalikhov further stated that in the months ahead, the team intends to deploy technologies that attest the identity of users. However, in a corporate environment, the prevailing solution could be more than enough as any malpractice leading to additional voting is likely simpler to identify in non-government related polling.