Japanese ‘Smart City’ May Look to Use Blokchain Voting Solution

Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture. Source: Adobe/KW4NG

The Japanese blockchain firm LayerX has said it is “working with local governments” on possible blockchain voting solutions – as the country continues to look for IT-powered ways to reduce face-to-face contact in administrative processes as a coronavirus pandemic-mitigating measure.

Per a press release, LayerX stated that it had joined the Tsukuba Smart City Council, where it would be “proactively providing technology to the local government” and would help introduce “electronic voting systems that strike a balance between transparency and confidentiality.”

The council is the brainchild of the Ibaraki Prefectural Government and is chaired by the governor of Ibaraki.

The city of Tsukuba has become a hub of science-related progress in the area, and some of the Smart City Council’s innovations include buses fitted with AI and facial recognition technology.

A number of academic institutions and industry groups are also involved in the project.

LayerX stated that Japanese law already allows for the use of electronic voting in exceptional circumstances.

It added that it has “developed an electronic voting protocol that provides both transparency for the ballot-counting process and also preserves voter confidentiality, using unique innovation that make use of blockchain technology.”

This, the company said, would help it roll out electronic voting for local government bodies – possibly across the country.

However, blockchain industry players still do not agree on the viability of blockchain-powered voting. Nevertheless, it is gaining traction in some nations, including Russia – where it will be used at a number of testbed sites in next year’s legislative general elections.

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