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Author Topic: How Bitcoin will change the voting systems  (Read 5180 times)
Frozenlock
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August 13, 2011, 02:36:40 AM
 #1

The distributed database that is Bitcoin will not only revolutionize money, but many other things with it.

There's already Namecoin, the distributed decentralized DNS alternative (which should probably be built on top of the current blockchain - more on that later).

I think one of the biggest opportunity the blockchain offers is to be able to witness a vote, live, and be able to independently check the results.
That's right:
  • no more trusting someone to count the votes;
  • no need for millions of dollars of logistic to prepare for "the big event";
  • no need to go physically to a little booth (no need to even be on the same continent);
  • faster results;
  • no need to have an ID;
  • possibility of a fallback vote (depending on bitcoin's contracts development);
  • Protected by the blockchain.

Here's a little example:
I am a chairman in Acme.
We have an important decision to make in the next 10 days that will influence the future of the company, say option A and option B.
The message is sent to all shareholders, asking them to choose one of them.
  • To select A, send 1 BTC to address 1thisisthefirstchoice,
  • to select B, send 1 BTC to adress 1thisisthesecondchoice.

By now you should see where this is going.
Everyone can check what is send to which address, count the total of BTC (sent from authorized addresses1) and yet still remain anonymous from every other shareholders.
The most transparent voting system - ever -.

This isn't perfect of course: there is still abuse possibilities for the vote organizer2. However, if we assume the organizer to be honest, everything else is secured by the network. This is really important: the same blockchain proof of work that protects our Bitcoins can simultaneously guaranty the voting process. Which is why, as told before, I think Namecoins (or an alternative) should be built on top of the Bitcoins blockchain: to obtain the same protection for almost no cost!


1. You don't necessary want a limited number of votes: the voting itself can be used to finance something. However, in the case of a company, you probably want to limit the possible voters to the shareholders. To do that, the company either ask for a public key for every action bought, or, if the actions are bought using bitcoins, the buying address is in itself the proof of ownership and can be used in any subsequent vote (with some mechanism to be able to sell the action).

2. In case of an unlimited number of vote, even the organizer can't trick the system.
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bitrebel
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August 13, 2011, 02:46:35 AM
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While I admire the idea tremendously, it will never happen in this form of government.
To change the structure of the voting system, you will need a huge amount of support and not enough people will understand the blockchain in order to effect this change in our lifetimes, in these current governments.

But, i'm a pessimist by nature, and I could be wrong, and hope I am. I do support the idea though.

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Because Bitrebel says things that some people do not want YOU to hear.
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August 13, 2011, 03:37:12 AM
 #3

with current blockchain, who ever has deeper pockets wins because transactions are pseudo-anonymous, single person can vote many times from different wallets.

but, i agree that blockchain concept could have many utilities in the future including voting, it would need to be custom build for that to account a single person voting single time, lets say vote comity issues   anonymous private/public keys to their voters and they submit their votes by signing off on any particular choice, votes then counted and verified through blockchain.
Frozenlock
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August 13, 2011, 03:49:25 AM
 #4

(...)single person can vote many times from different wallets.

Indeed, which is why I said the company need to only accept a limited number of pre-chosen addresses (In a case where a limited number of vote is needed).

What I am saying isn't that the blockchain should be modified, but that voting system can be build on top of it.

---

I am not naive enough to believe governments will willingly embrace this method, but it's the superior one. Popular preferences can go a long way.  Wink
Dansko
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August 13, 2011, 05:55:31 AM
 #5

Good idea but the government would never change the voting system because then there would be no need for a recount.

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August 13, 2011, 04:14:52 PM
 #6

Good idea, no doubt. This has been discussed on these forums before but the conversation turned into more of a method for making more forceful and efficient petitions. The only hitch with a straight-up voting scheme is that you need access to this crazy currency of ours to have a vote - no money no vote?

You can combine with this idea <a href="https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2868.0">steganographic communication</a> if you want to get some real new world order shit going down. Secret cabals running their shady organizations through the uninterruptible blockchain anyone?
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August 14, 2011, 04:58:56 PM
 #7

+1   hooking into thread

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August 14, 2011, 05:34:02 PM
 #8

Maybe built it up like this: I dont know about blockchain and its "transaction validation stamp".
 

But would it not be possible for example to bulit up a "votecoin" (VoteC) like this:

Maximum number of possible votes/voters is the max currency.

The currency allows 1 VC per address.

The government will print sth like "votebills" aka bitbills.

There will be government bureaus where they check your ID for vote permission, you pick a bill out of a raffle and use it to vote at the bureau at a machine or at home or your open soruce smartphone tunnel it 15 times through proxy and tor to hide ur ip address client.

and then like OP proposed: 1 VC to receving address of choice or even to VOID to show u wanted to vote, but were for neither choice.

The bitbill raffle would keep your anonymity, but still enable anonymous statistics which area voted which way.

A vote from an unminted address is disregarded.

One could even think of a client for the home user where he can watch the polls.


Darn I really like it the more i think about it...


Problems: usage of not picked up "VCbills" being used for voting.   Could be prevented by allowing public to witness everything from counting the VCbills poured into the rafflecontainer and watching the whole day and witnessing the leftover bills (which will automatically then be voided, as you can close down by time (even many time zones as u know the public key ranges per county and timezones)


tl;dr: think about, its good... (lets hear about downsides)
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Frozenlock
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August 15, 2011, 01:26:14 AM
 #9

In what you describe, you don't need to "void" any unused VoteC, you just have to stop the vote count when the time is up.
After this, any remaining (and used) bitcoins are... well, just bitcoins.

-------
In the case of a government, it could ask for a public key from every citizen (or alternatively, generate both the private and public and then send them, but it's IMO more subject to abuse).

Now, one could ask "But even if the blockchain is public, how can we see which address is accepted?"

Simple: You announce 1 master BTC. (for example: http://blockexplorer.com/tx/288d2d02ac8dea74334c030d234198effd9a3fadfbb33f2ff2466615d43d18fa#o0)
This master BTC is then divided and sent to every public key.
Now you know what are the accepted public keys and everyone can independently check the result: the vote is valid if it comes from the master BTC! With that, you don't even have to check for double vote!

Even more interesting, you can void your vote by not sending your bitcoins before the time is up, but also by sending a fraction to each party. You can even make what I would call "partial vote". Say 80% to #1 and 20% to #2.

However, to insure anonymity, each master BTC's part must be authorized to make an unlimited number of transactions before being used in the vote. This make possibles a "vote laundering", but also a "vote market". This is the price to pay to have anonymity. (Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with selling a vote.)
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August 15, 2011, 01:40:14 AM
 #10

The distributed database that is Bitcoin will not only revolutionize money, but many other things with it.

There's already Namecoin, the distributed decentralized DNS alternative (which should probably be built on top of the current blockchain - more on that later).

I think one of the biggest opportunity the blockchain offers is to be able to witness a vote, live, and be able to independently check the results.
That's right:
  • no more trusting someone to count the votes;
  • no need for millions of dollars of logistic to prepare for "the big event";
  • no need to go physically to a little booth (no need to even be on the same continent);
  • faster results;
  • no need to have an ID;
  • possibility of a fallback vote (depending on bitcoin's contracts development);
  • Protected by the blockchain.

Here's a little example:
I am a chairman in Acme.
We have an important decision to make in the next 10 days that will influence the future of the company, say option A and option B.
The message is sent to all shareholders, asking them to choose one of them.
  • To select A, send 1 BTC to address 1thisisthefirstchoice,
  • to select B, send 1 BTC to adress 1thisisthesecondchoice.

By now you should see where this is going.
Everyone can check what is send to which address, count the total of BTC (sent from authorized addresses1) and yet still remain anonymous from every other shareholders.
The most transparent voting system - ever -.

This isn't perfect of course: there is still abuse possibilities for the vote organizer2. However, if we assume the organizer to be honest, everything else is secured by the network. This is really important: the same blockchain proof of work that protects our Bitcoins can simultaneously guaranty the voting process. Which is why, as told before, I think Namecoins (or an alternative) should be built on top of the Bitcoins blockchain: to obtain the same protection for almost no cost!


1. You don't necessary want a limited number of votes: the voting itself can be used to finance something. However, in the case of a company, you probably want to limit the possible voters to the shareholders. To do that, the company either ask for a public key for every action bought, or, if the actions are bought using bitcoins, the buying address is in itself the proof of ownership and can be used in any subsequent vote (with some mechanism to be able to sell the action).

2. In case of an unlimited number of vote, even the organizer can't trick the system.


Now this is a really good idea Smiley
Meni Rosenfeld
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August 15, 2011, 11:43:21 AM
 #11

If you want the voting power to be directly related to the amount of money offered, this is good but not new.

For "normal" voting where the voting power of each person is determined by his status (this includes equal power to every one in some group, as in elections), the block chain doesn't bring much to the table. You can, however, use plain old cryptography. Here is an example cryptographic voting system with some good properties.

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Bitcoil - Exchange bitcoins for ILS (thread)   |   Israel Bitcoin community homepage (thread)
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Frozenlock
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August 16, 2011, 02:54:32 AM
 #12

Interesting read.

Unfortunately, it seems to be more of the what we have actually: Go to a little booth, provide a piece of identity, write something on a piece of paper... ? ... profit.
You still have to hope that none of the papers will be lost (or tossed away).

What I like in the blockchain is how it's public, anonymous (with care) and a history record. (and incredibly cheaper)
Meni Rosenfeld
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August 16, 2011, 04:25:07 AM
 #13

Interesting read.

Unfortunately, it seems to be more of the what we have actually: Go to a little booth, provide a piece of identity, write something on a piece of paper... ? ... profit.
You still have to hope that none of the papers will be lost (or tossed away).

What I like in the blockchain is how it's public, anonymous (with care) and a history record. (and incredibly cheaper)
You don't need to go to a booth, you can do it via the internet with encryption and digital signatures. And you don't need to hope the papers won't be lost, because the information required to prove to you that your vote was counted is published (without anyone else being able to tell what you voted). That's the whole point.

Being "public" is not what the block chain solves, you have the internet for that. What it solves is creating a timeline, which you don't need for voting.

1EofoZNBhWQ3kxfKnvWkhtMns4AivZArhr   |   Who am I?   |   bitcoin-otc WoT
Bitcoil - Exchange bitcoins for ILS (thread)   |   Israel Bitcoin community homepage (thread)
Analysis of Bitcoin Pooled Mining Reward Systems (thread, summary)  |   PureMining - Infinite-term, deterministic mining bond
arsenische
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August 16, 2011, 04:36:13 AM
 #14

I thought about it too and I implemented somewhat similar approach at Bitcoin Pyramid Ads... You are welcome to use this service not only for advertising, but for voting too Smiley

Put your message into ads, share the ad's link with voters... and the system will count the score for you Smiley

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