Blockchain 2.0: How it could overhaul the fabric of democracy and identity

Colm Gorey at SiliconRepublic: “…not all blockchain technologies need to be about making money. A recent report issued by the European Commission discussed the possible ways it could change people’s lives….
While many democratic nations still prefer a traditional paper ballot system to an electronic voting system over fears that digital votes could be tampered with, new technologies are starting to change that opinion.
One suggestion is blockchain enabled e-voting (BEV), which would take control from a central authority and put it back in the hands of the voter.
As a person’s vote would be timestamped with details of their last vote thanks to the encrypted algorithm, an illegitimate one would be spotted more easily by a digital system, or even those within digital-savvy communities.
Despite still being a fledgling technology, BEV has already begun working on the local scale of politics within Europe, such as the internal elections of political parties in Denmark.
But perhaps at this early stage, its actual use in governmental elections at a national level will remain limited, depending on “the extent to which it can reflect the values and structure of society, politics and democracy”, according to the EU….blockchain has also been offered as an answer to sustaining the public service, particularly with transparency of where people’s taxes are going.
One governmental concept could allow blockchain to form the basis for a secure method of distributing social welfare or other state payments, without the need for divisions running expensive and time-consuming fraud investigations.
Irish start-up Aid:Tech is one noticeable example that is working with Serbia to do just that, along with its efforts to use blockchain to create a transparent system for aid to be evenly distributed in countries such as Syria.
Bank of Ireland’s innovation manager, Stephen Moran, is certainly of the opinion that blockchain in the area of identity offers greater revolutionary change than BEV.
“By identity, that can cover everything from educational records, but can also cover the idea of a national identity card,” he said in conversation with….
But perhaps the wildest idea within blockchain – and one that is somewhat connected to governance – is that, through an amalgamation of smart contracts, it could effectively run itself as an artificially intelligent being.
Known as decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), these are, in effect, entities that can run a business or any operation autonomously, allocating tasks or distributing micropayments instantly to users….
An example similar to the DAO already exists, in a crowdsourced blockchain online organisation run entirely on the open source platform Ethereum.
Last year, through the sheer will of its users, it was able to crowdfund the largest sum ever – $100m – through smart contracts alone.
If it appears confusing and unyielding, then you are not alone.
However, as was simply summed up by writer Leda Glyptis, blockchain is a force to be reckoned with, but it will be so subtle that you won’t even notice….(More)”.