In recent years, there has been growing interest in blockchain technology’s potential for improving voting systems. However, cryptography expert and MIT professor Ronald Rivet suggested this week that the technology is not likely to be of real value for voting, Australian technology news outlet iTWire reports.
Rivet made the remarks during the Cryptographers’ Panel at this week’s RSA Security Conference in San Francisco. According to him,
"Blockchain is the wrong security technology for voting. I like to think of it as bringing a combination lock to a kitchen fire or something like that … It's good on its own for certain things but it's not good for voting."
Rivet noted that voting presents unique security challenges, including secret, anonymous ballots, that can make it difficult to conduct audits. He said that blockchain isn’t a good fit due to the need for “software independence.”
"Voting is an activity where you actually don't need hi-tech to make it work. You can get by just fine with paper ballots if you can keep that as your foundation.
And if you do use some technology, use the paper ballots to check on it and you can do very well. We call this software independence, so you don't need to trust the results because you trust some software. That's a dangerous path to go down if you don't need to go down that path and with voting we really don't need to."