Experts Address COMELEC Concerns on Blockchain Use in Automated Elections

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  • BayaniChain proposed the Tokenized Electoral Framework Protocol, which involves sending data through local, municipal, provincial, and national nodes with third-party validators.
  • While there are concerns about bad actors manipulating the system, the blockchain process will only be in the background, making it accessible for all generations.

In the first part of the event recap, Paul Soliman, the CEO of BayaniChain, and Kenneth Stern, the General Manager of Binance in the Philippines, discussed the advantages of using blockchain technology, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies.

(Read Part 1 Here: [Event Recap Part 1] Advantages of Blockchain in Automated Elections | BitPinas)

Writer’s Note: During the Q&A portion for Soliman and Stern, the moderator, columnist and lawyer Al Vitangcol III, repeatedly reminded the audience that they are not in the position as COMELEC Commissioners to decide and confirm if the blockchain technology will be used in the 2025 Senatorial Elections. The matters discussed during the summit are just recommendations, and it aims to educate and give ideas to the stakeholders.

How Will Blockchain be Integrated into the Philippine’s Automated Election System?

Soliman of BayaniChain hinted that the plan is to have a hybrid blockchain model that can keep private information yet be audited by posting two different transactions to a public and private ledger.

The Tokenized Electoral Framework Protocol proposed by the BayaniChain chief is:

  1. The voter will cast the ballot to the VCM.
  2. The VCM will produce the printed election receipt and the election NFT with unique codes.
  3. The VCM will then send the data to the:
    • Local Nodes with 3rd Party Nodes as Validators, then to the
    • Municipal Nodes with 3rd Party Nodes as Validators, then to the
    • Provincial Nodes with 3rd Party Nodes as Validators, then to the
    • National Nodes with 3rd Party Nodes as Validators.

Soliman presented a diagram to further illustrate the role of the public blockchain and private chain in the protocol:

Blockchain Automated Elections COMELEC Paul Soliman

Public and Private Blockchain: The Balance of Scalability and Transparency

The reason why we need a public and private blockchain is because you cannot store a large amount of data in a private chain. We use the private chain to solve scalability issues, we dictate how fast a blockchain should transact. While we use the public chain to have a comparison you put in the private chain, Soliman explained.

Other Concerns in Blockchain Integration to the Elections

During the Q&A portion, when a stakeholder asked Soliman if the Philippines is ready for this type of initiative, he confidently answered that it is time for the country to go big in terms of technology.

However, Stern admitted that despite the advantages of using blockchain, it is still hard to eliminate bad actors that will try hard to manipulate the system. So he assured that at least, the blockchain makes it almost impossible to satisfy the bad actors’ personal gains, as the data in the block will be read as corrupted once tampered with.

Adoption and Accessibility for All Generations

But how will the older, less techy generations adopt this innovation? Vitangcol clarified that the use of blockchain is merely in the background process of the elections. The ballot is still there, along with the marker and the shading process, but the vote counting machines will be integrated with the blockchain.

“We’re very happy that use cases for blockchain are now available at the national level. At least the government is aware of it, and, in a way, they want to enable it. We believe that without technology, we cannot really augment what we have right now,” Soliman concluded.

This article is published on BitPinas: Blockchain Integration in Automated Elections: A New Era for Philippine Democracy? COMELEC Raises Concerns

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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