The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) of Thailand has developed a blockchain-based solution that is expected to digitalize the voting process in the country, as a report released earlier today by local media house Bangkok Post states.
According to further insight by coindesk.com, NECTEC is an agency that operates under the Ministry of Science and Technology in the country. It was put in place to promote the development of computing, electronics, IT and telecommunications.
NECTEC has now announced that it has completed the development of the blockchain-based voting system and is now available to accept trial partners for the project. Chalee Vorakulpipat, head of the cybersecurity laboratory at NECTEC commented that “Nectec developed blockchain technology for e-voting that can be applied to national, provincial or community elections, as well as business votes such as the board of directors. The goal is to reduce fraud and maintain data integrity.”
The agency is currently looking to test the blockchain-based system on a smaller scale and is eyeing elections such as those in the universities, provinces, and communities. The report pointed out that “before the election, an election controller can identify voter qualifications, while candidates can register in the system, through which the election controller can check their eligibility. “
NECTEC further explained that the voters don’t have to know about the technology, all they have to do is vote through an email and click to vote electronically, similar to online surveys carried out using Google Docs, and must be verified by a mobile camera. Once the voting process is completed, then the results will be calculated faster as data is sent directly to the election controller and the candidates are able to check their votes.
To carry out large-scale voting such as the general elections, the agency will have to be given more time due to the fact that every vote will be given an affordable mobile internet connection and identity verification, Vorakulpipat stated.
Thailand’s plans for blockchain application
Thailand has continued to accept the technology as it is recognized globally that it could change the way things are done. NECTEC is of the view that blockchain will do away with the need to collect data from election points and deliver to a central location. This will ensure that a huge cost is saved from labor and prevent fraud as data is transmitted directly from the voters to the election controller.
Back in December, Thailand’s Revenue Department announced that it was looking to implement blockchain to prevent fraudulent VAT refund claims in the country. They are also looking to take advantage of other emerging technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and Big Data to prevent tax evasion and fraud.
Asian countries jumping on the bandwagon
Thailand isn’t alone in its confidence for the new technology. Back in November of last year, South Korea revealed that it was about to test a blockchain system with the aim of improving the reliability and security of online voting.
Before that, the municipal government of the Japanese city of Tsukuba in August tested a blockchain system that makes it possible for residents to cast their votes on the development programs to be carried out in the region.