The blockchain is a disruptive technology. It has the potential to change many aspects of our future lives. Even if governments or corporations would try to stop it, it is impossible to completely eliminate due to the decentralized nature of the technology. It also has the capacity to completely transform politics and democracy as we know it today.
According to the Harvard Business Review,
“With blockchain, we can imagine a world in which contracts are embedded in digital code and stored in transparent, shared databases, where they are protected from deletion, tampering, and revision. In this world every agreement, every process, every task, and every payment would have a digital record and signature that could be identified, validated, stored, and shared. Intermediaries like lawyers, brokers, and bankers might no longer be necessary. Individuals, organizations, machines, and algorithms would freely transact and interact with one another with little friction. This is the immense potential of blockchain.”
A blockchain is a decentralized ledger on which transactions of value or data are processed and stored. Data on the blockchain can never be erased or manipulated. Since it is decentralized it is practically impossible to hack.
This innovative technology, which was introduced to the mass public in 2008 when Bitcoin was created, has the potential to revolutionize the way we do politics as a society. It can change the way we vote and maybe even remove the need for politicians.
With recent scandals and rumors surrounding political campaigns and vote manipulation, blockchain technology is more relevant than ever.
As Ben Dickson explained to VentureBeat , “because of the distributed ledger structure of blockchain, votes could be stored in many independent nodes (i.e. different locations), which would make modifying or tampering with votes “theoretically impossible.” In blockchain voting, each voter could be assigned a wallet (a sort of user identifier or credential), and a coin (that is, a chance to cast a vote), the results of which would be stored in various nodes. Platforms like Follow My Vote (a blockchain venture which allows for secure, anonymous voting, monitored in real time), and Blockchain Technologies Corporation (which combines blockchain voting with paper ballots) are leading the way in the United States.”
Direct Democracy on the Blockchain
As Sue Brideshead explains in Vice, politicians “evolved out of necessity”, it was impossible for every citizen to travel to their parliament every time they needed to vote. Mrs. Brideshead argues that, today, it might be possible to vote on legislation and issues directly on our smartphones via secured mobile apps.
Legislation would be created and initiated directly by citizens via petitions that would be built as smart contracts directly on the blockchain. These legislation propositions would then be reviewed and perfected by an elected representative. Then the legislation would be voted on and is the majority agrees, it is adopted.
The question now is not if the blockchain technology can change politics, it is whether governments will let some of their power go to the people. It will surely take time, but in decades, we might see a real democracy where everyone has an equal opportunity to decide the faith of their nation.