Waves Enterprise, the business-oriented subsidiary of the Waves project, announced the announcement public introduction of the blockchain voting system, which is primarily aimed at companies and boards of directors.
The Waves system uses a blockchain at every step of the voting process as the votes are recorded and then all cryptographic guarantees are in place. Homomorphic encryption is used to accurately count votes without having to reveal the identity of the person who cast each vote.
While the system is primarily geared towards lower risk environments such as corporate boards, The technology was recently tested in Russia during local and parliamentary elections.
The team says experience has shown the platform is ready to be deployed, but the public product is slightly different than the one used in Russia, Product Director Artem Kalikhov told Cointelegraph:
“A voting system that was developed in collaboration with Rostelekom was used in these elections […]which is based on a similar cryptographic protocol but has several important differences. For example, it uses Russian cryptography, it has various identification and anonymization mechanisms, [y] The voting process is changed. “
Although Kalikhov said the Brazilian authorities are also looking into a possible implementation of blockchain voting, the current product is intended for corporate environments and board voting, a market that Waves estimates at $ 100 million worldwide.
Various target customers have helped make the platform more accessible to the public. During the Russian elections, the platform was criticized by some for the inability of external parties to connect and verify the blockchain nodes. Kalikhov said the commercial version runs on the Waves Enterprise Mainnet, a public but licensed blockchain..
The platform uses a variety of techniques to prevent fraud in voting and voting processes.. Kalikhov said the use of blockchain and cryptographic transaction signature ensures that the reconciliation is not changed or deleted after it is saved in the ledger. Then he explained:
“By using homomorphic encryption, the election results can be recorded automatically without each individual ballot being decrypted, which guarantees the privacy of the vote. Using a distributed key generation protocol and multiple independent encryption servers eliminates the possibility of a single actor having a ‘master key’ and ensures that no one can decrypt the results or review individual ballots before the end of the voting. “.
In general, the combination of cryptographic techniques, blockchain and a system of mutual control aims to minimize the possibility of fraud during the electoral process. However, Using blockchain doesn’t rule out bugs or possible backdoors, as some other platforms have shown.
Provided the voting system is robust, the platform will remain as robust as the voter registration process. Voting fraud often involves creating false or manipulated ballot papers, for example by casting votes for the deceased, criminals or ineligible voters. Paying or harassing people to vote for a particular candidate; or leave gaps that allow the same person to cast multiple votes.
Kalikhov said voters will be registered through a public and private key system. Smart contracts record all valid voters using their public keys, while each private key remains on their personal devices. To defend themselves against insincere votes, voters can change their preferences at any time before the end of the election.
But the system “obviously cannot protect users’ personal devices from attack, loss, or user-initiated key transfers.”Kalikhov noticed. While voting software is designed to keep private keys secure, users must still “follow the rules of cyber hygiene: use antivirus software and install the latest operating system updates”.
In the future, The team plans to implement technology that can be used to verify the identity of each userKalikhov added. In companies, however, the current solution may be sufficient: fraud with additional votes is likely to be easier to spot in non-governmental elections.