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Meet the man with a radical plan for blockchain voting

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: WAX ON: Here's Why Blockchain Voting Is Critical

Meet Santiago Siri, the Man With a Radical Plan for Blockchain Voting

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In the recent European Parliament election, the influence of populism was once again evident. It remains a worrying force, just as it has been in a slew of other elections in the last several years, and is a major threat to the functioning of liberal democracies around the world.

While many in the U. In our ongoing video and podcast series How to Fix Democracy , addressing the threat of populism has been a frequent topic.

This is no accident. The elites are globalist and often institutional, and populism is what it is today because it seeks to be the opposite. As a result, populism is particularly adverse to liberal democracy, which rests on the pillars of institutionalism especially a separation of powers supported by the rule of law , representative democracy, and pluralism.

Whether this populist moment is a temporary reaction against governments deemed increasingly out-of-touch or a more serious threat to the foundations of liberal democracy is yet to be seen. But while liberals and populists battle it out at the ballot box, ambitious thinkers in the technology sector are rethinking how we conduct that most essential act of democratic participation: voting. The relationship between Silicon Valley and populism is complicated to say the least.

Populism has zeroed in on how frustrated people are with their representation in government and has funneled that anger into election results that have consequences for years to follow. But what if people voted much more often and fluctuated at will between direct and representative democracy? That is the idea behind liquid democracy.

This concept is developing on both sides of the Atlantic. Both of these groups are trying to bring democracy into the digital age. Since we are already accustomed to offering our opinions daily on social media in a largely commercial way, these organizations ask: Why not create a system that enables more frequent and direct democratic participation? One way in which liquid democracy can take on the root causes of this populist moment is by transforming the political process.

The loyalty they generate amongst their supporters with this message has proven stubborn, even when benefits do not materialize. Liquid Democracy e. Liquid democracy can also be far more revolutionary for democracy. While Liquid Democracy e. The key to democracy. This is not the time or place or author to explain everything there is to know about blockchain, but for the sake of understanding liquid democracy it is important to know that blockchain is a secure, public, and distributed ledger.

Blockchain is the key innovation behind Bitcoin, for which it publicly and securely records ownership and transactions. One of the essential aspects of a functioning democracy is the ability to hold elections that are secure, transparent, and anonymous. Blockchain could theoretically do for voting what it does for Bitcoin transactions. And just as Bitcoin needs no central bank, there would be no need for a central board of elections.

Take it from the experts at democracy. But in some ways, liquid democracy is more in tune with populism than a safeguard against it. It would increase our participation in direct democracy, and the use of blockchain is in many ways inherently anti-institutional. Reading democracy. And so, in the idea of liquid democracy there are aspects of a representative democracy that help minority interests organize their voting power.

The representative aspects of liquid democracy are crucial to creating a fair and just new democratic system. In liquid democracy, representative democracy takes the form of what democracy. Just as minority opposition blocs work in many European parliamentary systems, delegations would help smaller groups with common interests organize their voting power to gain more influence.

A person can transfer their vote on something they do not understand well—like financial regulation—to a trusted expert who does, while voting directly themselves on other issues, like universal healthcare.

In a notable liquid democracy experiment conducted years ago at Google , [vi] employees were asked to vote for food options for an event. Employees delegated, that is to say they transferred their votes to others, when those people advertised their specific food expertise or special interest in certain kinds of food.

A vegan employee was given votes from others to be able to cast multiple votes for certain vegan options. This transferring of votes is crucial to liquid democracy, since, as democracy. There is promise in the idea of liquid democracy, but also many questions about whether it can deliver.

It is too early to see if liquid democracy can do enough to incentivize and enable delegation forming at the scale of, say, a U. But, theoretically, the low barrier to entry for political participation through blockchain voting systems could enable people to organize and transfer votes to like-minded people or groups across great physical distances with ease. But even if delegations help mitigate the mob-rule potential of liquid democracy, there are concerns about the security of a blockchain voting system.

Cyber-security experts argue that blockchain is not as secure as proponents say, and that its use in elections would be disastrous. Apart from security vulnerabilities in the devices people would use to vote, blockchain may also make elections more susceptible to vote buying and voter coercion by commodifying votes in digital tokens. If in a generation we all find ourselves collecting paychecks in Bitcoin and conducting elections with, say, Votecoin, it is likely that banks and government will be unrecognizable.

And that might be a good thing. But it could also be the result of the crumbling of the liberal world order as our election systems start to look more and more like a Facebook news feed.

And hopefully, ideas like liquid democracy could be a vaccine that can immunize democracy against further deterioration. The Social Smart Contract. Caught in the Middle of the Trade War. Skip to main content. What populism is In our ongoing video and podcast series How to Fix Democracy , addressing the threat of populism has been a frequent topic. Techno-Pop…ulism The relationship between Silicon Valley and populism is complicated to say the least.

Liquid democracy according to democracy. Voting Bloc-chain Liquid democracy can also be far more revolutionary for democracy. Democracy in flux If in a generation we all find ourselves collecting paychecks in Bitcoin and conducting elections with, say, Votecoin, it is likely that banks and government will be unrecognizable.

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The conversation has already covered a dizzying amount of ground. But he finally boils it all down to one short sentence.

In the recent European Parliament election, the influence of populism was once again evident. It remains a worrying force, just as it has been in a slew of other elections in the last several years, and is a major threat to the functioning of liberal democracies around the world. While many in the U. In our ongoing video and podcast series How to Fix Democracy , addressing the threat of populism has been a frequent topic.

Meet Santiago Siri, the Man With a Radical Plan for Blockchain Voting

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Meet the Man With a Radical Plan for Blockchain Voting

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Meet the Man With a Radical Plan for Blockchain Voting

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Gossip Press brings you Meet Santiago Siri, the Man With a Radical Plan for Blockchain VotingA new movement says that crypto-voting can purify.

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