The government of Thailand has developed a blockchain platform for facilitating digital voting in elections, according to reports emerging today in the Bangkok Post.
Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), which operates under the Ministry of Science and Technology, has already completed development of the system, and is now in the process of engaging partners for a trial of the technology.
Powered by the same type of infrastructure behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the platform will allow for votes to be recorded securely and immutably on a blockchain, improving the efficiency and accuracy of counting as well as ensuring greater transparency in elections.
Head of cybersecurity at NECTEC, Chalee Vorakulpipat, said the system could be used for votes at all levels of government.
“Nectec developed blockchain technology for e-voting that can be applied to national, provincial or community elections, as well as business votes such as the board of directors. The goal is to reduce fraud and maintain data integrity.”
Initially, the platform is to be tested on smaller scale elections, such as those for university officers or for smaller municipal elections.
More time for testing will be required before the system can be rolled out to larger elections, with Vorakulpipat saying “every voter needs to have an affordable mobile internet connection and identity verification.”
The deployment of blockchain in voting has long been considered an exciting use case, with a number of governments worldwide already turning towards similar systems. In November, South Korea was the latest to join their number, with a system designed to improve reliability and trust in elections.
In August, the city of Tsukuba in Japan trialled a similar system for allowing residents to vote on local development priorities, while the state of Virginia announced plans for a mobile blockchain voting app for military personnel stationed overseas.
With blockchain allowing decentralised, distributed data collection and recording, voting systems are one of a number of different applications for the technology, above and beyond its association with currency, banking and payments.
With the Thai system now nearing its test phase, more are expected to follow suit with similar systems in the months to come.