4 Months Ago

A project to use Blockchain technology in the city of Naples, in Italy, has been under development since April 2018 and is nearing completion.

The details can be found in a Facebook post published by one of the members of the ‘Votazioni Napoli Blockchain’ team.

According to the post, the project aimed at creating an electronic voting system in symbiosis with blockchain technology, which, interestingly, excluded the option of online voting to try and prevent rigged votes.

In Virginia, in the USA, a company called FollowMyVote is looking to offer a Blockchain-powered voting package. Adam Ernest, CEO of FollowMyVote said, “There is a common misconception that voting cannot be done online in a secure way. However, the introduction of Blockchain technology is changing the conversation,” FollowMyVote has a system ensuring each vote is recorded only once, and this is permanently recorded onto a Blockchain. Another company working on creating a platform that uses Blockchain technology to replace and/or enhance the current voting methods used today is BitCongress. Both FollowMyVote and BitCongress were cited and written about in a paper produced by Royal Holloway College, part of the University of London, where it looked at the pros and cons of digital voting.

Utah County, in the USA, has confirmed that it will be offering a Blockchain-powered mobile option for those serving in the military, and away on active duty, enabling them to vote in Utah County’s upcoming elections. This initiative follows on from West Virginia and Colorado, both of which had also already introduced voting based on Blockchain technology.

Finding alternative ways to encourage people, especially the young, to vote in certain countries such as the UK and Hungary, is a challenge given their apathetic voting as shown below.  

Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/2117/young-people-who-have-voted-in-a-political-election/

On the other side of the world, a company called Infoaddicts, headed up by Dan Crane, has been using Blockchain technology for elections. It has also been using the technology for community engagement (with a housing association that was being redeveloped in New Zealand), and with a trade association in Australia to elect committee members and pass resolutions. However, it is the work that Infoaddicts has been doing in the corporate sector which is most interesting as, in August 2019, a large publicly quoted company (yet to be disclosed, for confidentiality reasons) is going to run its proxy voting for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on a Blockchain-powered platform.

If we see more successful case studies of Blockchain technology being used at a corporate or government level, whether it be local or national, there could be a very rapid adoption by other significant institutions.

As the world increasingly becomes more digital, one cannot help feeling that there will be greater demand to be able to vote electronically using mobile devices. If this is the case, then holding votes in a secure and transparent database is surely going to be the default choice - hence the use of Blockchain technology!


Information Security
Information Technology
“Fake News” is a rising problem and, given the huge quantity data being posted on the internet on an hourly basis, organisations are turning to technology solutions as simple human monitoring is not able to cope.

Video footage is dominating the content on the internet, with more videos being posted in 30 days on the internet than the major US television channels have created in the last 30 years! Video content looks set to grow as, by 2021, every second, 17,000 hours of video content will be streamed across the internet, according to Cisco.

There are various initiatives that have been launched. The Wall Street Journal has a project to root out “deep fake news” ahead of the 2020 Presidential elections. The Washington Post in the USA has developed a “visual explainer of manipulated video” to highlight some of the recent fake news stories, including Mark Zuckerberg, Trump and Nancey Pelosi (speaker of the United States House of Representatives). The most recent project trying to address “fake news” is by The New York Times, and it is using Blockchain technology, creating a website called “News Provenance”. The aim is to see if it is possible, using a Blockchain-powered platform, to identify what is fake and what is real media news.

It is hoped that Blockchain technology, which holds data using military-grade cryptography and gives access to the data in a very transparent way, will enable there to be more trust and engagement between citizens and governments, shareholders and companies, and society as a whole. This will hopefully lead to fake news being less prevalent.

Information Security

8 Months Ago

In the USA, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has released guidance on the issuing of Digital Assets and the way these assets are treated.

The inference is that if certain Digital Assets comply with its direction, then no action will be taken by the SEC, but each company that has, or intends, to create a Digital Asset will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

The guidance, which is called ‘Framework for Investment Contract Analysis of Digital Assets’ attempts to clarify whether a Digital Asset will be treated by the SEC as a security, and therefore will be subject to federal securities laws. The guidelines explain how the Howey Test may be used in connection to Digital Assets, and in particular to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The SEC outlines some examples, which create the impression that many ICOs launched previously may have breached SEC regulations, as they did not register with the SEC.

Some ICOs may have sold tokens that could be classified, under existing federal legislation, as an investment contract.

However, Bitcoin is not in the SEC’s spotlight, as it has been created in a decentralised manner. Which may help explain why Bitcoin has performed so well this week.

Information Security
Digital Assets

10 Months Ago

One of the most successful ICOs last year, that within six months of doing an ICO was valued at over $1billion, is to fight the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) as to whether it’s token Kin is not a security.

The SEC believes that Kik has broken US security laws by issuing security. The firm argues that the tokens issued aren’t security tokens but a utility token as it has hundreds of thousands of people have been using Kin as a currency to buy goods and services. The firm plans to formally challenge the SEC’s position. This video is the companies vision for Kin (watch here). To see Kik’s CEO version of why he thinks the SEC has got is wrong read here.

This challenge is important as it will help to clarify and help determine what influence the SEC has and what is and what is not a security token.

Information Security