South Korea plans to develop a blockchain voting system, with trials starting next month in the private sector. The Ministry of Science and ICT, and the National Election Commission (NEC) said they will develop a blockchain-based online voting system by December.
The NEC ran an online voting system, dubbed K-voting, back in 2013, which has since been used by 5.64 million people but trust in the voting system remains low due to hacking and fraud concerns.
The latest system to be developed will apply blockchain in voter authentication and result saving, which will increase transparency and security, the government said. Voting will be conducted via mobile and personal computers. Data will be saved on a distributed network and all voters will be able to view voting results as they progress.
The system will be used in surveys conducted by Seoul National University’s Blockchain Society and Korea Internet & Security Agency, the country’s internet content watchdog, starting next month. The NEC will then decide whether the system can be used for online voting after the trials.
It will later add artificial intelligence, big data, and IoT technology to further upgrade voting systems, the NEC said. Last month, Seoul, the country’s capital, announced that it will create a 100 billion won blockchain fund that will go into promising start-ups in the sector.
In February, the country announced that it would not ban cryptocurrency trading and will increase transparency of transactions. This is despite government’s initial concerns about the risks of cryptocurrency and blockchain. The South Korean government has since raided and arrested executives of some cryptocurrency exchanges suspected for fraud.