Moscow Government Open-Sources Blockchain Voting Tool

The government of Moscow is pushing ahead with plans to test blockchain for use in its municipal elections.

Dec 4, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:13 a.m. UTC

The government of Moscow is pushing ahead with plans to test blockchain for use in local voting initiatives.

Last year, officials from Moscow's government told local media that they were looking into the technology in a bid to reduce the risk of fraud when people are voting on city management issues. The possible use would come as part of its "Active Citizen" e-government project, constituting one of several areas in which blockchain is being explored (including as a basis for a new land registry system).

Now, according to a Dec. 4 statement, officials have developed a pilot system for tracking votes via blockchain, declaring that the tech would make its ongoing Active Citizen program "more open" according to a translated statement.

The government explained:

"The introduction of this technology will make the voting in the [Active Citizen initiative] even more open: it will be difficult to say that the administration incorrectly interprets the answers, changes the results of the voting when the citizens themselves can verify this information."

In addition to the public announcement, the government made the code behind the pilot solution open-source on GitHub.

The statement itself doesn't offer any clear indication that the use of blockchain-based voting will extend beyond the pilot phase. Yet the area is one that has attracted interest from Russia's private sector as well, including its central securities depository which began testing blockchain proxy voting – allowing shareholders to issue votes on corporate decisions – last year.

Editor's Note: Some of the statements in this report have been translated from Russian.

Voting box image via Shutterstock

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