Russian opposition voices dissent with blockchain vote

A Russian citizen holding their passport in one hand and a smartphone displaying the Russia2024 app in the other, with a backdrop of the Kremlin and a large, looming shadow of Vladimir Putin cast over the scene.

Within the wake of Vladimir Putin’s landslide victory in Russia’s latest presidential election, which many have labeled as preordained and missing legitimacy, exiled opposition chief Mark Feygin is spearheading an initiative to allow Russians to anonymously register a “protest vote” in opposition to Putin utilizing blockchain expertise.

The referendum organized by domestically wished man Feygin, whereas missing authorized authority in Russia, goals to bolster efforts to problem Putin’s presidency and supply Russians with a method to precise dissent in a rustic the place the implications of opposition may be extreme. That is particularly pertinent following the latest dying of opposition chief Alexei Navalny whereas imprisoned in an Arctic penal colony.

The vote shall be performed utilizing the Russia2024 app, powered by Rarimo’s Freedom Instrument, which makes use of the Arbitrum blockchain and zero-knowledge cryptography to make sure voters’ identities stay untraceable. Solely Russian passport holders, estimated at round 34.6 million, shall be eligible to take part.

To forged their vote, customers might want to obtain the Russia2024 app and confirm their citizenship by scanning their passports, which include a biometric chip used to verify the voter’s identification and facilitate an nameless vote. The app’s backers are assured within the safety of the voting course of and imagine that voters needn’t concern repercussions.

Voting within the shadow of the Ukraine warfare

Freedom Instrument co-founder Lasha Antadze, who holds passports from Ukraine and Georgia and has beforehand collaborated with the Ukrainian authorities on digitizing state property privatization, emphasised the decentralized nature of the voting system, stating that it’s designed to be proof against assaults, blocking, or elimination.

Whereas the Russia2024 app was initially faraway from the Apple app retailer, it’s anticipated to be reinstated and is at the moment accessible on Google’s app retailer.

The referendum comes at a time when Putin’s victory is predicted to supply him with the means to proceed Russia’s warfare in opposition to Ukraine. Antadze confused that the expertise behind the app is open-source and has obtained contributions from nameless cryptography professors inside Russia, describing it as a type of “wartime protection expertise.”

Past the Russian context, Antadze believes that this expertise has the potential to ensure authenticity and considerably cut back the price of election-related voting workouts in different nations as nicely:

We’re handing out the open-source expertise to everybody. It’s not solely Ukrainians or Georgians constructing. […] We bought quite a lot of contributions by means of nameless letters from cryptography professors inside Russia. It’s a type of wartime protection expertise.

The report follows a late 2023 investigation suggesting that the FTX crypto change hack might have ties to Russia.

The put up Russian opposition voices dissent with blockchain vote appeared first on ReadWrite.

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