Overview: The US Senate proposes a blockchain voting on the investigations on the Permanent Committee with a 29-page report on 30 April 2020, as an alternative in carrying out key-decisions within the country due to ongoing COVID – 19 pandemic
The whole world is aware of the stand-still situation created by the coronavirus pandemic at present. As a result, many key decisions are laid pending which now can be carried out with the help of blockchain technology.
The US senators who have been driven indoors created an alternative to successfully comply with the key decisions for the country.
What’s in the Memorandum?
The memo called ‘Roundtable on Continuity of Senate Operations and Remote Voting in Times of Crisis’ dated 30 April 2020, was proposed to the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The memorandum provides details for five key points
- Efforts of the congress to maintain the continuity to date
- A description of Senate proposals to allow senators to participate and vote remotely
- A legal analysis of remote congressional proceedings
- A discussion of other jurisdiction that has implemented remote legislative procedures
- A discussion of the technical security specifications the Senate should consider if it adopts a remote participation and voting system.
The memo raises the possibility of using the blockchain technology for intra-government voting, where a voter’s identity needs to stay anonymous.
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The committee members also mentioned the risks of a 51% attack occurring during voting on the blockchain which is a potential attack. The other vulnerabilities include cryptographic flaws and software bugs. The Memo stated,
“Due to the small size of Senate, any remote blockchain voting system would need to be properly set up to eliminate any threat of a 51% attack to ensure that no bad actor could gain majority control of a voting chain,”
How does the Voting System work
The data in the blockchain are stored on a permanent cryptographic record that is distributed across a network of nodes. If a single node fails on a blockchain network, it is easy to pick up fraudulent or tempered entries as other nodes store a copy of the record.
“With its encrypted distributed ledger, blockchain can both transmit a vote securely and also verify the correct vote,” the Memo stated.
The memo also stated the example of the blockchain-like national voting model used in Estonian elections.
Estonia was the first country to offer a digital option for national elections in 2007 and still follows the internet-based national voting system.
What would be the further process
The United States operates with two Federal government chambers, The Senate and The House of Representatives. The memorandum address both.
The Senate may consider blockchain if its 100 members vote remotely in favor of the memo.
However, 11 lawmakers have urged the US treasury to consider the blockchain technology for the COVID – 19 relief.
The US Senate’s memo on utilizing blockchain technology in the virtue of completing government tasks can be fulfilled minimizing the risks.
The blockchain can be more reliable as each and every record verified which inturn could identify tampered entries if occurred during the process of voting.