Tokyo-based Layer X Labs, Research and Development of Layer X company Limited, is developing a blockchain-based electronic voting system, a key cog of Tsukuba City’s “smart city” initiative, as per a press release on November 9.
The announcement follows the merger of the holding company of the Tsukuba City Council. Tsukuba was also one of the first local governments in Japan to digitize its operations. The council was formed to promote business between industry, government and academia.
With the new deal, Layer X Labs will strengthen efforts to realize electronic voting not only for transparency but also voter confidentiality and secure storage of voting materials.
Specifically, their solution will prevent the problems of double voting, violation of voter privacy, and transparency of vote counting, using their proprietary solution that leverages blockchain. Overall, this is part of a broader local government mission to further digitize.
Under Japan’s Electromagnetic Recording Voting Act, there are some elections that can be held electronically in local governments. However, the ideal way of voting at low prices and on a larger scale has not been formulated and implemented in densely populated countries although electronic voting is successful in some European countries such as Estonia.
Layer X will provide technology to solve problems in several areas including administration, transportation, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Layer X continues to advance its research efforts in providing anonymization technology and concealment of personal information through various means including utilizing blockchain technology.
Blockchain in Promoting Democracy
More countries are experimenting with blockchain solutions to make voting and the exercise of core democratic rights as transparent as possible. Efforts in Russia are already bearing fruit.
Although the last exercise was conducted on a smaller scale during the by-elections in the Kurskaya and Yaroslavskaya regions, it was successful. Russia has published the source code of its electronic voting platform on GitHub.
As reported, the United States Senate hinted at adopting blockchain for remote voting as a guard against the scourge of the Corona virus and to protect the deliberative process.