Waves Enterprise releases blockchain voting platform to the general public

Waves Enterprise, the business-focused spin-off of the Waves challenge, introduced on the general public launch of its blockchain voting system primarily aimed at corporations and board governance.

The Waves system makes use of blockchain at each step of the voting course of, as votes are recorded after which counted with full cryptographic ensures. Homomorphic encryption is used to precisely tally votes with out having to disclose the identification of the one who solid every poll.

Whereas the system is primarily focused for decrease stakes environments equivalent to company boards, the know-how has just lately been trialed in Russia throughout its local and parliamentary elections.

The workforce says that the expertise confirmed the platform is prepared for deployment, however the public product is considerably completely different from the one utilized in Russia, chief product officer Artem Kalikhov instructed Cointelegraph:

“These elections used a voting system developed in cooperation with Rostelekom […], which relies on an analogous cryptographic protocol however has a number of vital distinctions. For instance, it makes use of Russian cryptography, it has completely different mechanisms for identification and anonymization, [and] the voting course of is modified.”

Although Kalikhov stated that authorities in Brazil are additionally exploring a possible implementation of blockchain voting, the present product is supposed for company settings and board voting — a market estimated by Waves to be price $100 million globally.

The completely different goal clientele allowed to make the platform extra accessible to the general public. Through the Russian elections, the platform was criticized by some for the inability for external parties to connect and verify the blockchain nodes. Kalikhov stated that the industrial model runs on Waves Enterprise Mainnet, a permissioned however public blockchain.

The platform makes use of quite a lot of methods to forestall fraud within the processes of voting and vote tallying. Kalikhov stated that using blockchain and cryptographic signing of transactions ensures the vote won’t be modified or deleted after being saved on the ledger. He continued to clarify:

“Using homomorphic encryption permits to robotically accumulate the outcomes of the election with out decrypting every particular person poll, guaranteeing the privateness of the vote. Utilizing a distributed key technology protocol and several other impartial encryption servers excludes the potential for a single actor with a ‘grasp key’ and ensures that nobody is ready to decrypt the outcomes or look into single ballots earlier than the vote has ended.”

Total, the mixture of cryptographic methods, blockchain and a system of checks and balances goals to attenuate the potential for fraud in the course of the election course of. Nonetheless, using blockchain does not exclude bugs or potential backdoors, as another platforms confirmed.

Assuming that the election system is strong, the platform continues to be solely as robust because the voter registration course of. Election fraud usually revolves round creating faux or manipulated ballots — for instance by casting ballots within the identify of useless folks, felons, or in any other case ineligible voters; paying or harassing folks to vote for a selected candidate; or leaving loopholes that permit for a similar individual to solid a number of votes.

Kalikhov stated that voters are registered by means of a system of private and non-private keys. Good contracts maintain a registry of all legitimate voters by means of their public keys, whereas every personal key stays on their private units. To defend in opposition to insincere voting, the system permits voters to alter their choice at any level earlier than the election is over.

However the system “can not, after all, shield the customers’ private units from hacks, loss or key transfers initiated by the person,” Kalikhov famous. Whereas the voting software program is constructed to make sure the security of the personal keys, customers should nonetheless “observe the foundations of cyber hygiene — utilizing antivirus software program and putting in the newest working system updates.”

Sooner or later, the workforce is planning to implement applied sciences that would certify the identification of every person, Kalikhov added. Nonetheless, in company settings the present answer could possibly be ample — fraud involving further ballots might be simpler to note in non-government elections.

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