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Japanese blockchain firm LayerX recently announced a new partnership with GovTech digital identity solution provider xID. Together, the companies are teaming up to build a blockchain-based voting system in the city of Kaga, Japan. LayerX said it will be developing the electronic voting project in an effort to promote safe and secure elections for the city, stating that the cost and stability of current electronic voting systems in the region needed to be addressed.
The city of Kaga is in the midst of a digital shift and is aiming to increase convenience for many administrative services given its declining and aging population. So far, Kaga City has supported digitization since 2018 through initiatives like its ‘Blockchain City’ announcement, the implementation of Robotic Process Automation for city hall operations and more. Using blockchain technology to introduce a digital voting system is Kaga City’s newest endeavor toward building a more secure administrative system.
Currently, Japan has allowed the use of digital touchscreen voting devices at polling locations for local elections. However, logistical challenges prevented further implementation of digital voting methods.
“Voting over the internet presents more challenges, such as preventing double voting, technical hurdles to keep ballots secret and the cost of voting devices,” stated within the company announcement. “LayerX researched and developed an electronic voting protocol that balances the transparency of the voting process and the confidentiality of voting records.”
Tokyo-based company LayerX aims to promote the digital transformation of various industries in the financial field, mainly aiming to implement blockchain technology in the space. The firm hopes to change the way credit and evaluation are done, eliminate friction in business and production pipelines, and overall improve productivity in Japan.
To successfully develop and implement an electronic voting system in Kaga, LayerX is leveraging technology from xID. xID is a Japanese GovTech company that aims to promote digitization with low credit costs, centering on their “xID” digital ID application and API using zero-trust principles. The company collaborates with partners like the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan, SCALA, Trust Bank and more to create new business and government infrastructures that promote security and privacy.
LayerX has researched and developed an electronic voting protocol that ensures transparency in the voting process and the confidentiality of voting content. The firm will utilize xID’s digital identity solutions, which can verify the identity of a voter while ensuring that only one ballot is issued per person.
In addition, the new electronic voting system will allow voters to check their own voting results, providing the cryptographic ability to verify that the recording and aggregation processes for a particular vote were performed correctly on the blockchain network.
LayerX’s effort to implement a digital voting system is not an unfounded one. In Northern Europe, such as in Estonia, electronic voting has become a norm after launching an internet voting system to hold both nationwide and parliamentary elections starting in 2005 and 2007, respectively. As observed in Estonia, digital voting provides benefits for people living far away from polling stations, allowing voters to vote at their own pace, along with the ability to update their vote after casting it. This has already saved 11,000 working days for election workers. Based on this data, the use of the new system in Kaga will provide the same security and convenience benefits for the city.
The successful implementation of a digital voting system will open the door for other options in blockchain technology that can be used to solve other problems in Kaga, as well as in cities around the world.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Serena He is a Tech Innovation Fellow from the University of Southern California who is interested in AI and the intersection of design and technology. She enjoys covering news across the digital identity and tech space.
Contact Serena He at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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