Scrypta — Study on the Voting System
Democratic countries around the world are starting to adopt technology to improve the efficiency of the electoral process. Almost all of the current voting systems, however, are based on proprietary and centralized design of a single organization that controls the system database and in the same time provides monitoring tools. Often, these systems do not have an open source and independently verifiable production to gain the trust required by voters and election organizers. In fact, in the electoral sessions there is frequent talk of fraud and illegitimacy and the existing mechanisms have proved to be vulnerable.
By moving voting systems onto the blockchain — a practice that different countries and states are already experiencing — we can improve a system that has proven itself exposed and attackable.
The main advantage would be a greater level of transparency.
The blockchain definitively prevents the malevolent subjects to “tamper” in a decisive way the system: for example it could forbid to vote twice, since the registration of each vote would be immutable and indelible as well as connected to a single identity. Moreover, the scrutineers and the voters themselves would be able to verify the correct recording of votes at any time.
Everything is verifiable on public blockchains. It is important to remember that voting results would be encrypted, in order to encourage transparency without compromising the privacy of the voters.
The blockchain would consent faster election results. In fact, the results entered and stored on the blockchain would be immediately available. This means that relying on the blockchain for holding elections will not only be safer, but also more efficient.
Right now it takes hours and sometimes days to count the votes after the elections — and sometimes results are confused because of human or mechanical errors, which obviously leads to an even longer process. The blockchain offers a reality in which human error is drastically reduced and results are made available immediately.
In fact, several countries are already testing blockchain technology for more efficient voting processes. To name just a few:
• The Japanese city government of Tsukuba has tested a blockchain-based system that allows residents to vote and decide on local development programs.
• The US state of West Virginia is adopting a blockchain-based application to allow army voters overseas to vote from abroad during elections.
• Moscow’s municipal government, capital of Russia, has launched a service that allows skyscrapers residents to vote electronically on issues such as upgrading buildings or hiring new management companies.
• Zug, a city in Switzerland known as the “Crypto Valley”, successfully completed its first test of a blockchain-based local voting system, storing both survey information and residents’ identity documents on the system.
• Sierra Leone used blockchain technology, provided by a Swiss agency, to verify votes in an election.
• South Korea is testing a new voting system using the blockchain through which survey responses will be collected, submitted to a sample of users. Collected data will examine the user experience and the satisfaction among the participants in the experimentation. Users personal information will be collected and uploaded directly to the blockchain system
More and more governments are beginning to understand that the security and integrity of the electoral processes are not only a matter of state control but also an area that can be managed by the community. The technology to make it happen already exists.
With the infrastructure of Scrypta we imagined how a secure online voting platform could be built, allowing greater electoral transparency.
Likewise, in a smaller context, Scrypta’s blockchain could also be used to improve voting processes within companies and organizations.
Scrypta uses peer-to-peer technology and activates transactions that do not require central authorities or institutions to act as controllers. The technology is based on an open source software that will allow anyone to control the source code.
The heart of the Scrypta blockchain system is represented by an open ledger that stores all encrypted information sent between users (nodes). The data is certified and stored inside cryptographic blocks, which are connected to each other and are unalterable, thus contributing to the creation of an infinite chain. One of the main features is the certification of transactions. When it comes to the inviolability of data, Scrypta provides substancial guarantees: within each block we can find encryption data that has been linked to the previous block as well as a timestamp that certifies the date and time when the transaction took place.
Scrypta is developing a NFC enable Identity Card (NFC is the acronym for near-field communication, see Roadmap), which bases its operation on a pair of keys, a public and a private one, used to identify users and allow the exchange of data in protected and safe way. Users are identified in the blockchain by a string of characters, called the “address”, derived from their public cryptographic key. This system allows users to keep and protect their online identity and to access their account.
The authentication could be designed and integrated in order to provide the possibility of using multi-factor authentication methods, allowing access in a KYC — Identity Verification — which is distinguished in three different methods:
• “Something” you know, such as the password
• “Something” you have, such as a number generator whose algorithm is linked to the user
- “Something” related to yourself, such as your retina, the fingerprint, the vocal timbre or other unique characteristics of the human body, a biometric method.
Scrypta would allow voters to cast their vote online and verify independently that their vote was correctly assigned without alterations. Voters could even revise each ballot in order to verify that election results are accurate, maintaining privacy and maximum security.
Scrypta’s dApp, or the voting platform, could be divided into three sections:
• User interface, accessed through multi-factor authentication methods.
• Register, which certifies the eligibility to vote and enables the “ballot paper”
- Voting, the digital version of the ballot box, where the polls take place
In order to add an additional level of security, the path from A to B and from B to C could be managed by what Scrypta calls “Trustlink”, i.e. voluntary trust lines established by two or more users. Trustlinks are in fact addresses of the Scrypta network,voluntarely generated by the union of two or more single addresses (Legacy). The creation of an account called “Multisignature” will allow the creation of transactions of a common type, whose transmission and validity takes place only if both parties voluntarily affix their digital signature.
In the particular case of the electoral consultation, the Trustlink to be used would be of the second type (per approfondire vai a questo link).
This methodology can be utilised for traditional voting (a person who goes to the polling station) by writing in the register using a Trustlink generated by the verification of identities. In case of distance voting, the citizen should be verified through an additional factor, such as a biometric data.
The introduction of Scrypta’s innovative technology could drastically reduce the cost of running elections and allow more voters to vote comfortably online from anywhere in the world.
Problems such as votes casted by malevolent subjects would be addressed and mitigated by the decentralized system, as tens or hundreds of nodes should be attacked at the same time. Obviously the “physical” attacks, ie the intention by criminals to impose the vote in a violent way, can not be eradicated from a technological solution and the problem, also present with the current voting system, would not be completely solved.
However, the opportuniy of being able to “verify” that one’s vote has been effectively memorized in the correct manner, will create greater trust in the citizen, since this fiduciary relationship will no longer be based on the mere acceptance of a dogma.
It is obvious that the hypothesis illustrated by us will not prove to be useful as long as governments do not decide to adopt it, perhaps pressed by the citizens themselves who will always require greater control instruments.
There is still work to be done before this scenario will becomes reality. But we are convinced that Scrypta’s blockchain is a technological opportunit, because it is based on the noble principles of the internet.
In this phase, Scrypta intends to test the blockchain system on a smaller scale, for example for the elections in universities, for private companies, small municipalities, autonomous organizations, etc … And will start looking for proof-of-concept partners , pilot projects and operational tests.
We strongly believe that when we will be able tp transmit the profound meaning of the fundamental motto “Do not trust, verify”, and to respond to this request thanks to the implementation of effective tools, then we will have brought down the problem itself.
SCRYPTA - Archiving and VerificationWebsite: www.scryptachain.org
Scrypta Masternodes Platform: https://masternodes.scryptachain.org
Block Explorer: https://chainz.cryptoid.info/lyra
Official Github: https://github.com/scryptachain