Russia’s Blockchain Voting System Malfunctions Soon After Going Live

With a global implementation of Blockchain in various fields, it is also gaining popularity in political applications. Russia is the use case of this technological application. Earlier this month, Russia allowed its citizens to vote by using blockchain.

Soon after the launch of the blockchain-enabled voting system, it crashed. The voting held at Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. The remote web portal that was handling the voting crashed when the traffic increased beyond the limits.

According to the reports, the constitutional amendments were disturbed as it was the first time the officials were using blockchain for presidential elections. Although the government is using blockchain for many other solutions such as remote plenary, this initiative was a failure.

The official website to vote using blockchain technology was developed by the Moscow Department Of Information Technologies. The blockchain platform developed by Bitfury is known as Exonum. It was used to make constitutional changes in Russia.

The online voting was set to made available from June 25 to June 30. However, offline voting was held on July 1. Central Election Commission member Anton Lopatin explained that the citizens of Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod immediately joined the website to vote. It crashed due to the peak load on the official voting website.

Otkritiye Media had another report on the Russian voting. According to the media report, there were only 494 residents from Moscow who voted for the election. Russian news agencies also reported that the results mismatched in some regions.

Troitsky Administrative Okrug, for instance, had 7,300 people who registered to vote online. But when the locals tried to vote to their respective choice, there were only 2,358 residents eligible to give their vote. This was a technical malfunction according to the election commission officials.

A local journalist, Pavel Lobkov managed to deceive the voting system by successfully filing his vote twice on the same day. First, he voted offline at a local polling station and an hour later he was again able to vote through the online voting website. This can be a quite intolerable flaw in a voting system.

The website was restored soon after the crash but the head of Public Headquarters for Monitoring and Observation of All-Russian Voting in Moscow, Ilya Massukh was dissatisfied with the voting platform. There should have been a solution to handle the peak number of voters at the start and end of online voting, the head said.

Why Blockchain And Remote Voting Is Needed?

To curb the virus outburst, it is essential to keep people distant. But since voting cannot wait there has to be a system that allows the residents to vote online. There are some pros and cons of online voting. Hackers can hack the votes and there can be an unwanted consequence of online voting.

But if the blockchain technology is used for online voting, there are absolutely no chances of tempering with the submitted votes. It is impossible to hack a vote in a blockchain system because the blockchain doesn’t have a single server. It can provide transparency and security that is needed in any election.

There is also a possibility to anonymize and encrypt the votes at a certain level. Since every vote will be masked the election can take place safely and no one can change the votes. The blockchain technology ensures there are no inconsistencies in the election whatsoever.

Putin’s Term And The Constitutional Amendments

The constitutional amendments have already allowed Putin to serve for 12 more years. That is until 2036. But if Russian people are against this amendment and vote against it, he can only serve the country for two years. It means he will have to leave his presidential designation in 2024.

Although he has been issued many deadlines to adopt the crypto framework in Russia. But still, the Russian President has failed to introduce crypto legislation in the country. Russia is still at the top in cryptocurrency exchanges among every other country in the world.

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