News hardware Blockchain: online voting becomes safer thanks to the technology behind Bitcoin
As you know, electronic voting is a controversial topic in France. Due to its lack of transparency, it is not unanimous. However, French companies are working hard to provide flawless, reassuring systems for voters to organize tomorrow’s suffrage. This is the case of the Bordeaux-based company V8te which has just obtained certification from the CNIL for its voting system supported by blockchain technology.
What is a blockchain?
Simply put, blockchain technology allows information to be securely stored and exchanged over the internet from one individual to another without an intermediary.
Each block is made up of several anonymous users who use a machine that guarantees the validity of the information contained in this block to transmit it to another block and so on.
Consequently, the blockchain constitutes a truly transparent ledger. This stores all the information exchanged between users and makes it accessible to all those who consult the archive.
The mathematician Jean-Paul Delahaye invites us to imagine:
“… a very large notebook, which everyone can read freely and for free, on which everyone can write, but which is impossible to erase and indestructible.”
What is a blockchain used for?
The first time the blockchain was conceptualized and implemented was for Bitcoin. In fact, despite previous studies on cryptographic blocks, it was Satoshi Nakamoto who first used this technology to protect his cryptocurrency. In the specific case of Bitcoin, the blockchain aims to replace banks as intermediaries.
In addition to creating money, this emerging technology is beneficial to many companies. Private or public blockchains are experimenting with product traceability, the guarantee of authenticity of a work and many other things … such as voting.
Blockchain, the perfect technology for online voting
For its many reassuring aspects and its transparency, the blockchain proves to be a wise choice in the development of online voting.
Bordeaux start-up V8te was able to leverage the many benefits of the Ethereum blockchain to develop a voting system that stores and encrypts data on the French host OVH.
This system will allow the V8te company to offer its services to companies or associations … and perhaps one day it will serve as a service provider for the ballot box of legislative or national elections.
A good opportunity for France to produce its own voting machines in order to limit the importation of foreign machines such as those of Nedap (Dutch company) or ES&S (American company).
Guillaume Odriosolo, founder of the start-up explains:
“Your members, your employees, the voters of your organization, will be able to verify, they will be sovereign, like a citizen, in the verification, in the transparency of the voting process. The fact of having connected the platform to the blockchain, this allows any citizen or observer to be able to personally verify that the vote went well “
This guarantee was confirmed by the issue of a certification by the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (CNIL).
Online voting is a controversial topic
Despite these technological advances, proponents of face-to-face voting say that voting at home does not guarantee any form of privacy and can be influenced by the manipulation of a loved one.
On the other hand, supporters of online voting believe that it is an ideal solution to reduce the growing abstention and offer more intuitive means to young people who show less and less to the polling station.
Faced with these arguments, the hybrid solution that combines online voting and face-to-face voting remains the most neutral choice.