News hardware Blockchain: Online voting becomes safer thanks to the technology behind Bitcoin
As you know, electronic voting is a controversial subject in France. By its lack of transparency, it is not unanimous. Nevertheless, French companies are working hard to provide flawless systems, reassuring for voters, in order to organize the suffrage of tomorrow. This is the case of the Bordeaux company V8te which has just obtained certification from the CNIL for its voting system supported by blockchain technology.
What is a blockchain?
Simply put, blockchain technology allows information to be securely stored and exchanged over the Internet from one individual to another without an intermediary.
Each block is made up of several anonymous users using a machine ensuring the validity of the information contained in this block in order to transmit it to another block and so on.
As a result, the blockchain constitutes a truly transparent register. This archives all information exchanged between users and makes it accessible to all those who consult the archive.
The mathematician Jean-Paul Delahaye invites us to imagine:
“…a very large notebook, which everyone can read freely and for free, on which everyone can write, but which is impossible to erase and indestructible.”
What is a blockchain used for?
The first time blockchain was conceptualized and implemented was for Bitcoin. Indeed, despite previous studies on cryptographic blocks, it was Satoshi Nakamoto who was the first to use this technology to secure his cryptocurrency. In the specific case of Bitcoin, the blockchain aims to replace banks as intermediaries.
Apart from money creation, this emerging technology is useful to many companies. Private or public blockchains are experimenting with product traceability, the guarantee of authenticity of a work and so many other things…like voting.
Blockchain, the perfect technology for online voting
By its many reassuring aspects and its transparency, the blockchain proves to be a wise choice in the development of online voting.
The Bordeaux start-up V8te has been able to use the many advantages of the Ethereum blockchain to develop a voting system storing and encrypting data on the French host OVH.
This system will allow the company V8te to offer its services to companies or associations… and perhaps one day it will serve as a service provider for the polls of the legislative or national elections.
A good opportunity for France to produce its own voting machines in order to limit the importation of foreign machines such as those of Nedap (Dutch company) or ES&S (American company).
Guillaume Odriosolo, founder of the start-up explains:
“Your members, your employees, the voters of your organization, will be able to verify themselves, they will be sovereign, like a citizen, in the verification, in the transparency of the voting process. The fact of having connected the platform to the blockchain , this allows any citizen or observers to be able to verify for themselves that the voting process went well”
This guarantee has been confirmed by the awarding of a certification by the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL).
Online voting a controversial topic
Despite these technological advances, the defenders of face-to-face voting claim that voting at home does not guarantee any form of privacy and that it can be influenced by the manipulation of a loved one.
On the other hand, supporters of online voting believe that it is an ideal solution to reduce the growing abstention and offer more intuitive means to young people who show up less and less at the polling station.
Faced with these arguments, the hybrid solution combining online voting and face-to-face voting remains the most neutral choice.