Kenyans held nationwide elections on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, and the voting system carefully mirrored the Bitcoin
The comparability between the Bitcoin blockchain and the Kenyan voting system utilized in September 2022 is spectacular. To start with, all polling stations had been distributed into 46,229 items, and votes solid in anyone polling station had been counted, signed, and accepted as a everlasting file. This compares to the Bitcoin community, which has an estimated 14,951 decentralized nodes unfold throughout the globe, in response to Bitcoin analytics agency Bitnodes.
The system combines each guide and digital transmission programs to make sure safety. The Kenya Built-in Elections Administration System (KIE
The IEBC would then act as a 3rd social gathering, gathering and analyzing knowledge from these polling stations. This consists of manually gathering all signed voting varieties, verifying them with the returning officer and the digital copy, and tallying them inside seven days of the election to announce the official winners. On the time of writing, the IEBC had acquired and verified 46,193 of the 46,229 presidential election varieties and was awaiting the 36 remaining varieties in order that the election outcomes could possibly be introduced.
This compares with the convenience with which blockchain analytics companies like Chainalysis are capable of question knowledge from the Bitcoin blockchain and publish insights.
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The consensus mechanism is totally different from that of Bitcoin. Political social gathering representatives would watch all the poll casting course of inside a polling station instantly after the voting window closed, depend every vote and signal the file within the electoral system. This copy, as soon as signed, can be a everlasting file. The IEBC representatives would then ship an digital copy of the signed kind to the IEBC headquarters, adopted by the bodily kind to the identical location. To make sure transparency, social gathering representatives would additionally ship a duplicate to their social gathering headquarters.
If this copied Bitcoin, a signed copy of the shape can be despatched to different nodes to replace all copies.
Every polling station has a most of 700 registered voters. The variety of voters within the polling station can be both the quantity of people that voted or the quantity of people that voted earlier than the voting window closed. Which means every file accommodates 700 entries. Compared, Bitcoin’s block measurement is one megabyte per block.
To vote efficiently, a voter wanted to convey an authentic copy of their nationwide ID card, go to their registered polling station, and sign up utilizing an IEBC biometric scanner. To signal a transaction in Bitcoin, one should have a public tackle (just like an ID card) and a personal key (compares to fingerprints on the biometric scanner).
When the IEBC headquarters receives and verifies a kind from a polling station, the shape is printed on its website as an official copy. Voters, social gathering representatives, the media, and aspirants can obtain and examine this knowledge to their very own copy from the polling station. They will additionally depend votes to find out election winners earlier than the IEBC releases the official outcomes.
This compares with the general public nature of the Bitcoin ledger, the place anybody can question any Bitcoin transaction and consider its tackle.
As soon as a voter indicators in to a polling station utilizing biometrics, the gadget sends an digital signature to the IEBC servers, notifying them that the citizen has voted. Whereas this solves the double voting downside, Bitcoin’s blockchain solves the double spending downside.
Votes are saved on the IEBC database within the voting system, and the person solely must signal them. That’s, each registered voter’s data is recorded, and so they solely go to the polling station on election day to signal that so and so are their most well-liked candidates. Bitcoins are saved on the ledger on the Bitcoin community, and also you solely use your non-public keys to signal that your bitcoins be moved to a selected public tackle.
To win the Kenyan presidential elections, one should obtain 50% of the votes solid plus one. Which means if somebody needed to steal the election, they must manipulate knowledge from 50% of the polling locations plus one. This is able to require a big funding by way of assets, however it will make sure the safety of the voting system.
If a number of folks needed to hack the Bitcoin community, they would want to regulate 50% of the nodes plus one. This is able to necessitate an enormous assortment of assets, firmly establishing Bitcoin because the world’s most safe financial community.
If one area went offline or the voting course of was disrupted, different areas would nonetheless vote seamlessly, and the lacking knowledge can be appended as soon as the bottleneck was dealt with. In Bitcoin, if some miners or customers are offline, their cash are nonetheless on the chain and their transactions are appended to the blockchain as soon as they get on-line.
IEBC designed the system to reduce belief and permit voters to confirm all data, whereas Bitcoin’s infrastructure is designed to get rid of belief and permit customers to confirm. In Bitcoin, collective nodes are the only level of failure, simply as collective polling stations are the only level of failure within the IEBC voting system.
On the Bitcoin community, as soon as a transaction is signed, it’s ultimate, verifiable and can’t be amended or reversed. Equally, as soon as the votes solid are recorded and signed, they’re ultimate, verifiable (you’ll be able to go and depend the contents of the poll field), and can’t be amended.
The distinction between the 2 is that IEBC high officers can change voter registration particulars and switch voters. There is no such thing as a single administrator in Bitcoin who can transfer Bitcoin or change transactions.
Moreover, the polling station biometric units have the complete register however can solely enable in voters registered for that particular location. In Bitcoin, one’s transaction could be signed by any node on the community. That is in all probability an IEBC function designed to make sure one doesn’t vote in a location they don’t dwell in.
The vote data will not be stored within the voter registration ledger. The KIEMS gadget shops the voter ledger and scans signed poll varieties whereas the votes stay of their respective poll packing containers. The Bitcoin ledger, then again, shops each the addresses and the Bitcoins.
Whereas it’s debatable whether or not the system designer was instantly impressed by the Bitcoin community, the same options are compelling to conclude that they had been impressed by the Bitcoin blockchain. When you needed a foolproof system with no single level of failure, the place else would you look?
Disclosure: I personal bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies.