Thai agency develops blockchain for use in elections


With tampering and security issues becoming a more prominent concern in elections across the world, Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), has developed a model for using blockchain technology that could prevent fraud and other interference at the polls, a NECTEC official said last week.

A government organization, NECTEC has “developed blockchain technology for e-voting that can be applied to national, provincial or community elections, as well as business votes such as the board of directors,” said Chalee Vorakulpipat, the head of the cybersecurity laboratory at NECTEC.

The goal in employing blockchain is “to reduce fraud and maintain data integrity,” he added.

The system developed by NECTEC, its researchers said, functions as a type of controller. Candidates can use the system to register, and it will check their eligibility. It can also identify voters and their qualifications. And, of course, record their votes.

The system would eliminate the need to have people physically collect data from polling stations and deliver it to a central location for overall tallying. That helps prevent tampering and fraud by removing more hands from the process. It also saves substantial labor costs.

NECTEC said that should the government adopt the system it would have to be phased in gradually because, despite the popularity of social media and e-commerce in the Kingdom, not all voters are digitally literate at this time.

A columnist for the news website for the NASDAQ stock exchange in the United States wrote that “NECTEC’s current plan seems solid. A noted benefit of this blockchain technology is that voters will not need to physically travel to polling stations, as blockchains are secure enough to allow voting to occur online.”

“With these kinds of steps under its immediate belt, Thailand is poised to make serious gains in the field of blockchain-based electoral systems. Due to the secure nature of blockchains, elections are frequently discussed as one of the most immediately promising use cases for the technology. In this respect, Thailand is positioning itself well ahead of the curve,” the NASDAQ columnist wrote.

Last year, one Thai political party used a blockchain system to conduct its national primary vote to select its candidate for prime minister when a general election is eventually held.

It was the first time a blockchain-based voting system had been used in Thailand, and the system performed well, according to those involved.

Thailand Accelerates Blockchain Adoption (http://fintechnews.sg/26253/thailand/thailand-blockchain-adoption/)
Thailand is becoming a critical country for blockchain (https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/31/thailand-blockchain/)

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