Blockchain's claim to fame is Bitcoin. While it may be its most well-known application, the interest over the technology continues to expand as countries like Switzerland and Hong Kong are getting on board.
Blockchain offers a multitude of applications across industries, and its immutable and decentralized nature that make it virtually robust poses great advantage in handling a significant amount of data during nationwide elections. In fact, the Swiss tax haven of Zug is currently working on using blockchain to log votes. The Zug municipality is not just keen to become a blockchain capital; it is also among the first administrations to express interest to usher in blockchain-based voting.
The municipality completed its first trial, which involved people voting via their smartphones and the town's new electronic ID system. The trial was completed last June 25.
“The premiere was a success,” Fortune quoted Zug communications chief Dieter Müller told the Swiss News Agency. There were not as many participants but those who took part found the entire process easy. Technical analysis of how the trial went will come next as this is the most common issue with electronic voting. The Holy Grail for electronic voting will be a system to allow auditing but will still preserve the anonymity of individuals. Some believe that blockchain might just be the right answer.
Hong Kong wants to be international blockchain hub
Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said in their annual report that they intend to watch cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) closely. The watchdog also noted that the new technology brings in risks so they plan to intervene if necessary. While the SFC has taken steps to create more defined policies against ICOs and local cryptos – warning people about the possible risks – Hong Kong has also continued on nurturing financial, cross-border initiatives based on blockchain. In fact, the region has been steadily gaining reputation as an international blockchain hub.
As an autonomous territory of China, Hong Kong operates with a separate political system that also extends to its local economy. This means the city does not approach crypto in the same way that China does. Several crypto-related businesses moved to the region after the Chinese crackdown. It was around the same time in September 2017 that Hong Kong expressed support for blockchain. It has a relatively friendlier position towards the technology when compared to China.