Russia’s latest blockchain-powered voting operations could be misused by corrupt bureaucrats, becoming “tools” for the architects of rigged votes and voter cheating alleged a journalist.
The allegations were addressed in a new column called “Blockchain for Dictators” by Sergei Golubitsky, an IT journalist and a long-time patron to the liberal-leaning Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
Golubitsky said that Russian blockchain-powered voting – now rolled out in recent by-elections, at the state level in testbed zone for a referendum on constitutional reform and beforehand by the Moscow city authorities – is fundamentally flawed.
He insisted that all iterations of blockchain voting so far used in the Russian political process are more like conventional corporate-issued networks than true blockchain networks – because they are not decentralized in nature and are hosted on government-servers.
Numerous reports have declared that the blockchain voting processes already used have been riddled with fatal issues.
In a sharp attack, the journalist addressed that the Russian state feared “completely losing control over election results,” in a system that allowed powermongers to “govern without democratic traditions.”
He added that “electronic voting on a pseudo-blockchain” was becoming extensive in Russia, indicating,
“Soon we will see [pseudo-blockchain voting] in Russia everywhere (because, as far as I know, this adaptation trend has already been taken up by the powerful elite).”
He did offer hope for proponents of “true” fully decentralized voting platforms that make use of blockchain technology, stating,
“All technologies, however, have one remarkable property: If they provide objectively better results, sooner or later they will be used, regardless of whether we like them or not.”
Despite Golubitsky and other critics’ opposition, Russia looks set to roll out more blockchain-powered voting systems shortly, with offerings from the state-run telecommunications firm Rostelecom and Russian software giant Kaspersky Lab gaining traction in the Russian public sector.