Australia to See Blockchain Based Voting by 2017

Executive Brief

There have been many proposed uses of blockchain technology over the last few years, and as investment and research begins to mature, we are now starting to see real world applications for the blockchain technology begin to appear. A recent announcement by Australia Post, the government owned mail and services business, revealed that trials are beginning for a digital voting system that is built on blockchain technology to provide a secure, robust and transparent voting system that is efficient to run and convenient to use.

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We see no shortage of proposals, research and ideas for the application of blockchain technology, hardly a week goes by without a new innovation built upon the technology that drives the digital currency industry. However, while many are ideas and tests, we are now seeing increasing real world applications for the technology, and this cannot fail to excite anyone associated with the cryptocurrency industry in any way.

Australia Post, the government owned business that handles mail, logistics and services throughout the country, has announced a test of its new digital voting system, which uses blockchain technology for its infrastructure. The idea behind this project is to reduce both operating cost and counting errors, while increasing convenience for voters and being a more efficient service overall to operate.

Australia Post have noted that the emergence of digital currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has provided an opportunity to repurpose this robust and flexible technology into other kinds of digital transactions, where it brings secure transactions and transparency, including the voting process.

Tim Adamson, state director of Victoria Government and Tasmania for Australia Post noted in the submission “voting is an ideal use case for blockchain technology application beyond crypto currency. With demand for digitisation high and technology shifts opening up new approaches we believe that now is the time to solve the digital voting challenge.”

The system aims to provide a tamper-proof, trustworthy infrastructure that can eliminate and chance of manipulation, while maintaining accountability and transparency of the process for voters and administrators alike. Building trust with the electorate will likely be the biggest challenge of this project, however, for the digital currency industry, this could be extremely beneficial. A successful rollout of digital voting and the trust that goes with that cannot fail to have a knock-on effect for the wider use of blockchain, including digital currencies themselves. For Australians, it introduces them to the concept of distributed ledger technology, many perhaps for the first time, and this itself represents an opportunity for the entire industry to build on that new awareness long term.

The views expressed by the authors on this site do not necessarily represent the views of DCEBrief or the management team.

Author: Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore is a writer and researcher with a love for the eclectic, family and the world we inhabit. He spends his spare time photographing the varied wildlife that surrounds us daily and contemplating why Firefly never made it past season one.

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