Blockchain technology is unsuitable for use in voting systems until they are verified as secure, a scientific report has warned.
The study, from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, concludes that internet-based voting systems are not ready for current use, although they “may seem promising” for use in the future.
“Insecure internet voting is possible now, but the risks currently associated with internet voting are more significant than the benefits,” the report reads. “Secure internet voting will likely not be feasible in the near future.
“While the notion f using a blockchain as an immutable ballot box may seem promising, blockchain technology does little to solve the fundamental security issues of elections and, indeed, blockchains introduce additional security vulnerabilities… Blockchains are decentralised, but elections are inherently centralised.”
There have been many reports of countries interested in using blockchain tech for voting systems, including Switzerland – where ‘crypto valley’ aka the city of Zug announced a trial test in June.
Once registered, users were also encouraged to weigh in on services that could make use of blockchain, including parking fees and libraries.
The report added: “It may be possible to employ blockchains within an election system by addressing the security issues associated with blockchains through the use of additional mechanisms (such as, for example, those provided by E2E-verifiability), but the credit for addressing such problems would lie with the additional mechanisms, not with the use of blockchains.”