Yesterday saw a successful day in Zug — Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley”, as the city completed its first trial municipal vote using blockchain. The success was first reported by the Swiss News Agency.
Trial Municipal Vote Using Blockchain
The vote was held using a trial digital ID system; city authorities used this system since 2017 to issue digital identities to residents. Blockchain technology for governance has been a consideration in many jurisdictions for some time now.
A mobile app was used to place votes and also allowed for residents with digital IDs to give opinions on other city matters such as the inclusion “of fireworks at the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library or pay parking fees.”
An overall consensus on the use of the blockchain digital ID for future referendum voting was found as well, with the technology deemed as a massive success.
Though the digital ID system was successful, voter turnout was not. Head of communications for the city, Dieter Müller, was not too happy about the voter turnout stating that “The number of participants could have been higher,” and he hoped that more resident would have taken part; out of 240 total voters who registered, only 30 percent participated in the trial.
Despite this, “the premiere was a success,” and moving forward there will be an assessment of the exercise’s technical details in the coming months. Focus on privacy and voting secrecy will be at the forefront of concern along with considering other uses the city can use the blockchain ID system including tax-returns and parking fee systems. Making the app more user-friendly will also be a consideration, as some voters who did take part in the trial had difficulty with the process.
Zug “Crypto Valley”
Zug is a cryptocurrency and blockchain hotspot. It is a small but bustling city outside of Zurich. It implements a very business-friendly taxation scheme along with favorable laws for business and as a result houses tens-of-thousands of companies earning the name “Crypto-Valley”. Currently, home to over 200 blockchain companies, it also is the home of Ethereum’s foundation.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos.com/Tzido