World’s First Blockchain Voting Held in Thailand

The Thai Democrat Party leveraged its primary election using Zcoin, making it the first political party in the world to conduct a blockchain-powered e-voting system.

Thailand’s main opposition group, the Democratic Party, became the first political party in the world to use blockchain technology in a primary election. More than 120,000 voters participated in a live e-voting system. It saw former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva gain 67,505 votes to win his party nomination.

The election was held from November 1-9 and was leveraged using Zcoin’s blockchain. The party decided to use ZCoin’s public blockchain to add more transparency as it had no administrator.

Zcoin said in its online post:

“The vote was concluded with a total of 127,479 votes that came from all over Thailand and to the best of our knowledge this is the world’s first application of blockchain technology in a political election of this scale with other earlier votes on the blockchain being small-scale test runs or with limited take-up rate – if they happened at all.”

It explained that the stakeholders decided to utilize blockchain’s unique features to capitalize on its transparency and ensure the votes are not tampered with. With Zcoin’s blockchain, the need for an administrator is eliminated as most e-voting systems are controlled by one. The Democratic Party does not want one person managing and controlling the database of the election, the company said.

“The election mechanism, along with the source code to enable the elections was agreed upon by all the candidates and vetted by their IT advisors and subsequently approved by the Thai Election Commission,” it added.

In a separate email, Zcoin lead developer and founder Poramin Insom said he was very proud of the role his blockchain contributed in making Thailand's first large-scale e-vote a reality that saw greater voter participation and transparency.

“The unique circumstances of this election made Zcoin’s blockchain a good fit to record votes and sets the stage for future deployment of e-voting systems in the country,” said Insom.

In August, the Japanese city of Tsukuba pilot-tested a blockchain e-voting with positive results. However, Mayor Tatsuo Igarashi said it would still require additional time until a blockchain-enabled voting system gains wider acceptance.

The Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture trialed the technology in preparation for a plan to deploy blockchain technology in the city’s voting procedures by the end of this year.

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