Thailand’s Nectec to Develop a Blockchain-Powered Voting Platform

Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Nectec) informed the public through a Bangkok Post report its plans of developing a voting platform that is powered by blockchain.

The head of the cybersecurity laboratory of Nectec, Chalee Vorakulpipat, describes the new voting platform and says that it is intended for “national, provincial, [and] community elections,” and can also be utilized for electing officers within a corporation. Primarily, the major goal of the blockchain-powered voting system is to “reduce fraud and maintain data integrity” by sending election results “directly from the voters to the election controller” through blockchain technology.

The new blockchain-based voting system will let users cast their votes through e-mail. Their identity can be verified by capturing a picture with a mobile camera. Meanwhile, Thailand citizens who are living abroad need to visit a Thai embassy or consulate to cast their votes and verify their identity. Although there are some limitations in the process, Nectec is positive that the voting platform will speed up the election process by eliminating the need to collect results from voting precincts and deliver them to a central area.

As the development of the new platform nears its completion, Nectec is open for individuals or institutions on a “smaller scale” to partner in testing the system before Nectec actually roll out the blockchain platform in a large political election.

Another hindrance that needs to be addressed is the lack of nationwide Internet access. Nectec said that 5G mobile networks must be in place before the new voting system can be implemented on a larger scale. Voters and participant must all have access to a reliable and cheap Internet connection and tools that can be used for identity verification.

Thailand is not the only country that has explored the blockchain technology to improve its voting system. In December 2017, the government of Moscow introduced an Ethereum-based platform that can assist in its “Active Citizen voting system.”