Tokyo-based Layer X Labs, the Research and Development wing of Layer X company Limited, is developing a blockchain-based electronic voting system, a crucial cog of Tsukuba City’s “smart city” initiative, as per a press release on Nov 9.
Layer X Labs Developing an Electronic Voting System
The announcement follows the parent company’s joining of the Tsukuba Smart City Council. Tsukuba is also one of the first local governments in Japan to digitize its operation. The council was formed to promote business between industries, government, and academia.
With the new deal, Layer X Labs will consequently strengthen efforts to realize electronic voting for not only transparency but voter confidentiality and secure storage of voting materials.
Specifically, their solution will prevent problems of double voting, infringement of voter privacy, and transparency on ballot counting, using their proprietary solution that leverage the blockchain. Altogether, this forms a wider part of the local government’s mission of further digitization.
Under Japan’s Electromagnetic Recording Voting Law, there some elections that can be carried out electronically in local governments. However, an ideal means of voting cheaply and on a larger scale has not been formulated and implemented in the populous country despite success in electronic voting in some European countries like Estonia.
Layer X will provide technology to solve issues in several fields including administration, transportation, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Their electronic voting efforts are timely.
Layer X continues to advance its research effort in providing anonymization and personal information concealment technologies through various means including leveraging blockchain technology.
Privacy—among other rights ought to be upheld especially in smart cities where Layer X will provide the requisite technology for Tsukuba local government.
Blockchain in Promoting Democracy
More countries are experimenting with blockchain solutions to make voting and exercising of core democratic rights as transparent as possible. Already, efforts in Russia are bearing fruit.
Even though the last exercise was done at a smaller scale during a by-election in Kurskaya and Yaroslavskaya areas, it was successful. Russia has already published the source code of its electronic voting platform in GitHub.
As BTCManager reported, the United States Senate hinted at adopting blockchain for remote voting as a guard against the Coronavirus scourge and to protect the deliberative process.