On May 6, it was reported that the Russian capital city of Moscow was developing a blockchain-based voting system for student council elections at universities. The system will be put into use late next month, and the methodologies developed may afterward be applied to Moscow's upcoming mayoral election.
A number of local government organizations are involved in the pilot project, including the Moscow City Election Commission and the city's Department of Information Technology. Artem Kostyrko, who is the deputy director of the Department of Information Technology, said that they would deliver technical specifications for the project to the election commission sometime in the middle of the month for them to approve. Not only will the commission need to approve the specifications but a companion piece of legislation must also be approved by the city before the project is launched.
In February of this year, the Moscow City Council put forth a bill that would allow the blockchain-based voting system to be used. Then, late last month, Russia's Duma passed legislation that would let Moscow using the voting system during the next set of local elections, which are scheduled for early September. The system's distributed ledger technology is what will protect the system against fraud and abuse.
United Russia, which is currently the ruling party in Russia, already uses a blockchain-based voting system for its internal primaries. The system was launched this past March.
At the moment, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries are mostly unregulated in Russia. But this is expected to change very soon. Vladimir Putin, who is the president of the country, has said that he wants to see the government institute regulations of both industries. He has further set a deadline of July 1 of this year for it to happen.
Russia is not the only country currently implementing blockchain-based systems. Last week, the government of Singapore announced a new blockchain-based system called OpenCerts. Beginning this year, this system will provide university students at 18 academic institutions across the country with digital certificates that are registered on a blockchain.