A blockchain-powered voting app has been launched to gauge public opinion on the prospect of Scottish independence.
The project has been developed by Australia-based ClearPoll, which offers ‘decentralised social public opinion polls’ in collaboration with the YesDayScotland media portal.
The free-to-download app will host the polling option until 30th October 2018, with participation available only to those living in Scotland. The app will ask users to vote on if they “want Scotland to become an independent country.”
Four years on from the 2014 independence referendum, which resulted in a 55-45 ‘No‘ vote, the app aims to gauge public support for a potential IndyRef2 in the coming years.
Gauging Public Opinion
YesDayScotland said the vote will provide an “impartial view on the current climate in Scottish politics”. ClearPoll describes its platform as a means by which to end “manipulated, fabricated and censored public opinion data.”
“Every vote and every poll is stored securely on our custom blockchain, meaning nobody can hack or manipulate the data,” the company claims.
“Public access to the chain will be possible, enabling anyone to check the results on the blockchain vs in the app, to verify. This proves that the ClearPoll app does not alter results in any way. Links will be provided to explore the blockchain to see votes and poll results happening in real time.”
Users will be able to cast their vote in the ClearPoll App or on desktop by accessing the ‘Sponsored Polls’ section. The vote will run from the 23rd October until the 30th.
In the run-up to the opening of the vote, ClearPoll noted an increase in users signing up for the service, and it is hoped that as many people as possible will have their say.
YesDayScotland founder Nicholas Russell said: “Scotland now has an unprecedented opportunity to familiarise with Blockchain-powered polling. It’s great to see the support for this project by MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, who is Scotland’s Westminster Blockchain Leader. The one week poll is open to anyone in Scotland, with a smartphone.”
Blockchain’s Future Role
Distributed ledger technology could come to play a significant role in Scotland in the future; providing a means by which Scottish citizens can exercise their democratic rights through secure and transparent means.
The digital and secure nature of blockchain platforms combined with verified participant identities, YesDayScotland hopes, will “widen the democratic process for many.” Additionally, it suggests that voters will not be impeded by “location, mobility or accessibility issues.”
An internet connection and verification process would be all that is required to participate.
The Scottish Government has been exploring the potential use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT( in collaboration with Edinburgh-based Wallet.Services. A report published in June 2018 highlighted an “overwhelming international consensus” of DLT’s role in underpinning future digital government.
The report found that support for the use of DLT in Scottish digital public services is “significant”, as well as identifying both the social benefits and economic impact.