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US Congress Considers Blockchain-Based Voting Amid COVID-19

A workers memo has revealed that the U.S. Congress is contemplating blockchain know-how as a way for the Senate to conduct distant voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The report states that blockchain could also be deployed alongside end-to-end encrypted, or E2EE, purposes to facilitate voting.

The memo was composed after the Everlasting Subcommittee on Investigations’ Roundtable on Continuity of Senate Operations and Distant Voting in Instances of Disaster occasion. 

The dialogue got here because the Senate prepares to reconvene this week.

Senate considers DLT-based voting contingency

The doc states that Congress’ two chambers have all the time “met in-person to conduct enterprise, together with committee hearings, ground deliberation, and voting,” emphasizing that “neither chamber has contingency plans to permit these features to proceed remotely.”

The Senate workers memo asserts that via an encrypted distributed ledger, “blockchain can each transmit a vote securely and likewise confirm the proper vote — noting that stated traits have been used to argue for the efficacy of blockchain-based voting methods.

“Blockchain can present a safe and clear surroundings for transactions and a tamper-free digital document of all of the votes,” the memo states. “It additionally reduces the dangers of incorrect vote tallies,” the doc provides.

Congress additionally notes that blockchain-like methods are already being deployed within the context of voting — citing Estonia’s 2019 parliamentary elections that noticed 44% of votes forged on-line.

Senate involved about safety vulnerabilities

The report identifies issues relating to a 51% assault on the blockchain used to host Senate ballots, emphasizing that “any distant blockchain voting system would should be correctly set as much as get rid of any menace of 51 % assault.”

The Senate additionally expresses anxieties regarding “potential vulnerabilities from cryptographic flaws and software program bugs.”

The memo comes amid rising discussions surrounding the efficacy of blockchain-based options to governance challenges ensuing from the COVID-19 pandemic, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin being urged by members of Congress to think about blockchain-based stimulus distributions.

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