Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab unveiled Polys, a safe on-line voting system based mostly on blockchain expertise and backed with clear crypto algorithms, at the corporate’s annual Cybersecurity Weekend occasion in Dublin.
“[Online] voting imposes extremely stringent requirements on the security of every aspect of voting,” notes the Polys web site. “We believe that the blockchain technology is the missing link in the architecture of a viable online voting system.”
“In our Kaspersky Lab Business Incubator we’re supporting both internal and external teams in developing bright ideas and technologies, which can be implemented in various areas where safety and security are important,” mentioned Vartan Minasyan, Head of Investment and Innovation at Kaspersky Lab .
“One such area is online voting and, when exploring the possible implementations of blockchain in particular, our team realized that this technology combined with the company’s cybersecurity expertise could solve key problems related to the privacy, transparency and security of online voting. We’re excited that we have been able to create a suitable environment for this internal innovation.”
Kaspersky Lab launched a beta model of Polys, supposed to get early suggestions and iteratively develop an operational voting system that, in response to the corporate, “will change the way people vote.”
At the second, Polys gives a free web-based dashboard to create a web based vote with two choices: majority vote, by which the choice that will get nearly all of votes wins, and cumulative vote, by which the voter has a number of votes that may be given to a single choice or divided amongst a number of choices. Cumulative voting is usually used, for instance, for committee elections the place voters can help a couple of candidate.
Once a vote has been created on the Polys dashboard, the directors can select tips on how to settle for votes. Currently supported choices are electronic mail, distinctive codes, and public voting. In electronic mail voting, Polys sends an electronic mail to every voter with a safe voting hyperlink. In public voting, the voting hyperlink is open to everybody who can view it. A mixture of on-line and offline voting could be carried out with safe codes, generated by Polys and despatched to customers in digital or printed format, which allow customers to vote utilizing both private gadgets or public computer systems in voting kiosks.
Polys will help a desktop app to create a vote and a cell app to really vote. Besides the free dashboard, Polys gives a paid model that helps white-labeling, re-branding and integration choices.
According to Kaspersky Lab, a sturdy voting system ought to guarantee voter anonymity, present safety towards trash votes, vote trafficking and voter coercion, and allow voters to verify that their votes have been recorded within the blockchain. It’s additionally necessary to encrypt the voting outcomes recorded within the blockchain, in any other case intermediate outcomes might develop into out there earlier than voting ends, which is usually towards the legislation.
For now, votes cannot be modified by Polys or by the voters, however a Polys white paper suggests countering the threats of vote trafficking and coerced voting by enabling voters to alter their votes with out limitation.
The supply code of Polys, based mostly on Ethereum good contracts, shall be made out there on GitHub . Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab is main Polys’s safety growth; Parity Technologies , an organization specialised in blockchain and peer-to-peer software program for the decentralized net, will help the venture’s blockchain growth.
“Parity Technologies is excited to be involved with Polys as their platform of choice for such an innovative project,” mentioned Jutta Steiner, co-founder of Parity Technologies. “Blockchain [technology] is increasingly being implemented by a vast number of industries, and we believe that decentralizing the voting procedure will ensure a fair process and create a high level of trust in the system.”
Kaspersky Lab proposes two typical use instances for Polys: early-adopting environments similar to universities, the place college students and school will be capable of informally vote for lessons and pupil councils, and tech-oriented “future cities” that want new options for conducting formal elections with pace, reliability and belief.
It appears probably that blockchain-based on-line voting methods, together with however not restricted to Polys, will first discover operational purposes for casual, non-binding consultative voting in academia and related environments. It’s price noting that Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), which may typically be thought of as demonstrators of future governance strategies, have built-in voting methods based mostly on blockchain expertise, typically carried out with Ethereum good contracts.
Therefore, it appears believable that blockchain-based voting might transfer to the “real” world of cities and governments. Once blockchain-based voting methods are in a position to reveal watertight safety, they may handle the problem of counting errors and fraud in elections. It’s additionally price noting that, whereas blockchain voting has its delays and prices, it could possibly be a lot quicker and cheaper than conventional voting methods. Blockchain voting might allow governments to implement direct democracy with frequent consultations on a wide selection of political and social points.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the writer and don’t essentially replicate these of Nasdaq, Inc.