The Russian government has announced its plans to move forward with a pilot test on implementing Blockchain technology for improving the efficiency and transparency of local voting systems.

The development is part of the government’s ‘Active Citizen’ program, which was announced earlier this year in August. The initiative is technology-based, and geared toward increasing the involvement and influence of Moscow’s citizens in government decisions.

The ‘Active Citizen’ project presents an ideal testing ground for the government to experiment with the various use cases of blockchain technology. The project allows citizens to weigh in on issues by voting in polls related to the functioning of Moscow city and its regional government.

While criticism abounds in regards to the seemingly trivial issues on which citizens’ opinions are being sought thus far (choosing new names for parks, etc.), the government is pushing on with the project and as per the most recent public announcement, will be testing the usage of DLT in making the voting system more transparent and efficient:

“The introduction of this technology will make the voting in the [Active Citizen initiative] even more open: it will be difficult to say that the administration incorrectly interprets the answers, changes the results of the voting when the citizens themselves can verify this information.”

The Moscow government has also made the code behind the pilot project open-source on GitHub.

In addition to improving the voting system, the e-government project is also exploring the usage of DLT in establishing a new land registry system, in collaboration with the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography.

While the Russian government has adopted a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies, blockchain tech is another matter altogether. In addition to the government’s interest in the technology, the application of DLT is also being tested in various industries, most notably in the banking sector where Russia’s Sberbank recently became the first bank in the country to carry out a payment transaction using blockchain.