South Korean Government funds blockchain voting system

The system will allow apartment residents to vote and access other housing-related governance services, such as parking

Image of an aerial view of Seoul, South Korea
Apartments pose a heightened health risk in the midst of the pandemic due to the number of people living close together

South Korea has been working steadily towards the implementation of blockchain in several sectors: transportation, banking and even hospitality. Now, the frenzy has bubbled over into the housing sector, with the national government pledging $1.27 million worth of funding for a platform built on the blockchain that can be used by apartment residents across the country.

ZDNet Korea, a local online tech publication, reported that the South Korean Ministry of Science partnered with Ksign, a local company, for the development of a contact-free platform that allows residents to access services like electronic voting, parking space management and other housing-related governance measures.

Since these services will not require any physical interaction, the platform is expected to help enforce social distancing measures; the creators of the project said they hope it will “strengthen public health in the apartment spaces”.

Homeowners, residents and management will have access to the platform, and will also be capable of holding video conferences and providing electronic payment solutions.

The Vice President of Ksign, Keo Ja-in, explained that decentralized identifiers (DID) are a key part of making the blockchain token system work.

“We are developing a DID that can be applied to the token ecosystem by controlling personal information and verifying the identity by controlling personal information. The goal is to also create a token ecosystem that can be used in any store,” he said.

South Korea is not the only country to consider using blockchain for their elections. The Chief Election Commissioner of India revealed earlier this year that the Election Commission is collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for the creation of a blockchain voting system.

According to The Times of India, a local news outlet, roughly one-third of eligible voters did not participate in the voting process during the 2019 elections. A large portion of these voters stated that they could not do so because they had migrated away from where they are registered as voters. This leads to “Lost Votes”, and the Election Commission believes that blockchain technology could be one way to solve it.

The system would enable voters, regardless of where they are registered in the country and where they are currently residing, to cast their votes.

While experts believe that implementing blockchain technology in the voting process is highly likely to result in increased voter turnout, they are also concerned that mobile voting technology could pose a serious security risk and potentially endanger the democractic process.

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