Moscow authorities will be implementing blockchain in the Active Citizen e-voting system.
Active Citizen is a platform that allows citizens to influence city management decisions and its urban transformation. Since its launch in 2014, 1,9-million users have voted in 2 800 polls, with activity peaking at 1 000 votes per minute.
The Moscow government will become the first city around the world to implement blockchain in e-voting on such a large scale, and it is expected to radically change the digital voting process.
Currently, votes are listed on the Active Citizen server and users could examine the results through the website announcements only.
With the introduction of the new system, every Muscovite can become a part of the Active Citizen blockchain simply by downloading the manual and installing the software.
Essentially, every citizen will become a node on a peer-to-peer network and will be able to record and store the database of votes. Muscovites will also be able to count the votes up and verify the authenticity of results in realtime.
By using blockchain, every vote in Active Citizen will become a smart contract which is publicly viewable and transparent. Once the vote is placed, it will be listed in a ledger consisting of all votes placed across a peer-to-peer network. This will guarantee that the data is not lost or altered, eliminating opportunities for fraud or third-party interference.
Moscow CIO Artem Ermolaev explains the importance of blockchain in e-voting: “We are excited to improve credibility and transparency of e-voting system in Moscow by introducing blockchain. We believe that blockhain will increase trust between the citizens and the government. We aim to hit 2-million users in the near future who are ready to influence the city life.”
Taking into account the challenges of implementation of blockchain on such scale, Moscow authorities have opted to launch blockchain while preserving the existing architecture of Active Citizen platform. At this stage the votes are recorded from the app and website to the server, and simultaneously to the standard relational database and the blockchain network.
While piloting the project with massive amounts of data authorities aim to test several aspects: failure reliability; resilience to updates; speed of data processing; and correct synchronisation of nodes.
Active Citizen is a non-political e-voting system that lets Muscovites decide on a wide range of city issues. Among other things, they have chosen new public transport routes and introduced speed limits in the city center. Active Citizen polls have also influences the construction and further expansion of bike lanes, expansion of pedestrian zones, free WiFi availability in metro and parks, dance courses and music bands playing in the parks. Citizens have also voted for the name for the new high-tech subway train, as well as logo and name for Zaryadye park.