- In a recently released draft of a new paper, a team of MIT scientists found that blockchain voting is insecure and prone to error.
- Pete Martin, the CEO of a blockchain-based mobile voting company called Votem, has some thoughts.
- He suggested that the concerns in the paper focus on ideal circumstances, not the real world.
As long as researchers have warned of the dangers of blockchain voting, blockchain voting companies have worked to ensure that blockchain voting is actually secure.
Back in February MIT researchers published a paper claim that blockchain voting app Voatz inadvertently allowed “different types of opponents to change, stop, or expose a user’s voice”. The CEO of Voatz replied to the paper by saying it was “full of holes”.
MIT scientists released one this week new design of a paper with an even broader scope claiming that blockchain is voting tech prone to “national” errors. Pete Martin, CEO of pollAccording to the paper that offers mobile voting on blockchain technology, the paper does not hold up.
On the latest episode of the Decrypt daily Podcast, Martin said host Matthew Aaron that the MIT scientists who co-authored the draft are concentrating too much on the “ideal world of voting”.
“As an academic, you can talk about all sorts of problems with any kind of system, any kind of process,” he said. “But there is a real world out there.”
Martin, whose Linkedin page describes him as a “blockchain and mobile voting revolutionary,” targeted some of the paper’s claims, which he is reviewing for concerns about election secrecy, software independence, voters’ ability to control voters to become, and voidable, and test.
Regarding voting secrecy, Martin said: “To be fair, [neither] We and none of the other providers of blockchain voting use blockchain as the only security technology to prevent attacks by nation states. “He argued that when combined with other security measures, blockchain could provide a secure voting system.
As a check, Martin said: “[The researchers] believe that a hand-marked paper ballot is the most elector-verifiable type of ballot paper. The problem is that there is a concept in voting called the custody chain. “But he said,” As soon as you put it in the mail, as soon as you drop it in a pullbox, you’ve lost the custody chain. ”
He continued, “And so the vast majority of the ballots that went through the system in 2020 had no real end-to-end voter verifiability. And blockchain offers that capability. “
The West Virginia state government, which Voatz had installed for some voters in its 2018 midterm elections, dropped the app according to MIT’s February report. Voatz later filed an amicus letter with the US Supreme Court arguing that unauthorized security research – such as that being carried out by MIT researchers – should be conducted classified as computer fraud.
In contrast to Voatz, Votem has not yet touched the world of politics. On the app’s website, private elections and online fan voting are listed among the potential use cases and votes are selected on a smaller scale.