Ethereum: high-tech app for voting systems is here
Ethereum: high-tech app for voting systems is here

Ethereum: high-tech app for voting systems is here

By Lorenzo Dalvit - 20 Mar 2020

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In a recent post, the team of the Ethereum-based project Vocdoni presented a technical overview of the results achieved after 2 years of research stating that the team is approaching the release of the Android/iOS app with a voting system suitable for any type of organization.

Building a scalable, anonymous, censorship-resistant and universally verifiable voting system requires a great deal of engineering

After 2 years of research and concept testing, the team presents the first version of the infrastructure.

The project is based on the security of Ethereum. When specifying the main coordination and data integrity, Vocdoni’s team defines the ETH blockchain as follows:

“One might call this component the Bible but its name is actually Ethereum, is where all main and most important information is stored, though we try to use it as little as possible for scalability reasons. At the moment”.

The main technologies used by the Vocdoni group are:

  • Ethereum as a public reference blockchain for publication; 
  • Tendermint for the creation of a validation support blockchain; 
  • IPFS for metadata storage via file system.

The system is already up and running and the team cannot resist the temptation to anticipate an upcoming release:

“We’re super happy to have this system up and running. Will be soon available to all kinds of organizations through an Android/iOS app!”

The model is much more advanced than those to which we were accustomed in the first versions based on blockchain or other computer structures considered reliable.

The voting system of the Vocdoni app 

The main objective of the team is the creation of a democratic voting system that is resistant to censorship, free and secure without the need to rely on a central body for the trust of the vote. It is an evolving process open to external contributions.

Here the decentralization component is fundamental and has emerged as a possibility only thanks to the revolution set in motion by the birth of blockchain systems such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Vocdoni will be able to support elections with millions of votes, such are the great objectives of the group, with the voting process being verifiable by anyone. Through a system called “scrutinizer”, it is possible to verify the correctness of the results.

No tokens or virtual machines: the purpose of the code called Vochain is to count votes safely and efficiently. 

For this, they used Tendermint with the aim of having a Proof of Authority connected to an Ethereum smart contract. Once consolidated, the project will be use Proof of Stake to decentralize the validators.

ZKSnarks and anonymity of the vote

To combine personal verifiability with forced secrecy, there must be a mechanism that gives each voter sufficient certainty that their vote has reached its destination, but not so transparent that it can be demonstrated to someone else how they voted (vote trading).

For this reason, Vocdoni has implemented ZkSnarks, one of the most interesting technologies applied to blockchain in recent years. 

The tech applied to the anonymous version will not yet be available in the upcoming app on stores.

The technology linked to zero-knowledge proofs creates a ZK transaction that appears on the public blockchain, so it’s known that it occurred and fees have been paid. 

But the addresses, transaction amount and memo field are all encrypted and not publicly visible. Recently, Zk-snarks from Zcash has also been applied on Ethereum.

Lorenzo Dalvit

Blockchain enthusiast tutor, expert in sales and marketing, social community manager, artistic director, musician, lover of disruptive paradigms and life. All my skill are about human interaction and connection

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