Blockchain Government

A blog by Grant Stephens

So the recent government elections here in South Africa got me thinking- there must be a better way. Keeping a government accountable should not only happen every 4/5 years. The technology exists to make this process nearly instant. Not only that, but there exists a space where you may not agree with a certain party on all issues and this should be expressed.

The following is based on something called the DAO, but modified for governments. Imagine that every citizen of a country (of voting age) has a token. This token is essentially your vote, but it is transferrable at any time. For the most part you are quite liberal and transfer your token to your favourite liberal party. Now your party has your token, plus all the other tokens of other people that agree with their principles.

Now comes the time for a decision to be made in parliament. All the options are laid forth and the parties put their tokens towards the decision that they agree with. The decision with the most tokens wins, simple.

Now lets assume that for the most part you agree with your chosen party on all the issues being voted upon so you are happy with them controlling your token, but then, along comes an issue that is very close to your heart and you do not agree with them. Now you have immediate action, you can move your token to another party, or simple use your token to vote a different way on sed decision.

There is also no need for a parliament. In order to bring a certain issue up to be voted upon a certain number of tokens is needed. The proposal/decision is then published and after a specified amount of time a decision is reached based on the token allocations.

The strength of the system lies in the block chain. Each token is anonymous, except parties/curators. This is to ensure that everybody can see which way a party/public figure has voted in the past and ensures accountability. The parties/curators are the miners- this means that they verify the transactions on the chain, with no party being able hold a majority in terms of verification, thus ensuring a fair system. Mining will not work like a crypto-currency where it is CPU or GPU intensive and will merely act as a verification process.

With all the transactions being verified on the chain there is total transparency as to which party has hhow many tokens at any one point and how they voted with those tokens.

Finally a word on practical matters. Ideally your token should be linked to your fingerprint or some other physical feature that cannot be replicated. In theory this means that you could control your token using a fingerprint enabled smart phone. In practice however I think that a number of token terminals will be needed in the country where you can log in and control your token. These essentially serve as continous voting booths.

Naturally this is very much like a direct democracy, but I think that due to the continous nature of the system and the near instant feedback weather or not your party agrees with the decision you have made make for a more accountable and fast moving government.

Be Governing (Accountably)