Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Japanese City Tsukuba to Implement Blockchain-based Voting System

Tsukuba, a city in Japan, has become one of the first geographical places in Asia to introduce and employ the blockchain technology into its voting system. This has been reported accordingly by the Japan Times.

Tsukuba is no stranger to evolutional developments, and has been roundly described by the local news outlet as a city well known as “the center of scientific research.” Although the system has not been thoroughly vetted and approved as a standard for the governmental elections, it is currently being tested extensively and is over its first-ever trials.

How Does it Work?

Citizens of Japan who would love to vote must possess their My Number Card — which is a 12-digit Identification number that had been previously issued to all citizens in 2015.  The new system would be such that, ballots would be cast by voters through a computer display after the voter places their My Number card on a card reader. Previous electronic forms of voting have been subjected to hacking, but the blockchain technology has been introduced to make that virtually impossible, and to ensure voting data cannot be manipulated, falsified, or even read.

The election has been geared toward diverse important social projects and has been hugely influential in the aspect of selection of proposals for viable social programs. For example, residents or citizens who stayed in Tsukuba would select out of 13 proposed initiatives, one they would prefer to support, or give importance. These social programs have ranged from improving outdoor sports to creating a new cancer diagnostic technology.

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Tatsuo Igarashi, Tsukuba’s Mayor, explained how the technology helped solve these issues, in an interview with Japan times. “I had thought [blockchain] would involve more complicated procedures, but I found that it’s minimal and easy.”

Due to blockchain technology eliminating the most important problem of insecurity, it is no surprise that Japan is not the only country already considering the introduction of blockchain technology into election processes. As a matter of fact, Zug, a city in Switzerland popularly referred to as the “crypto valley,” has already successfully completed its first blockchain-based election, and many more countries still continue to explore the blockchain solution.

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