The Blockchain Is Coming For Your Vote

harry potter

Can Argentinian Harry Potter save the world?

Democracy Earth Foundation just announced the 1.0 Alpha release  of its blockchain-based voting platform, Sovereign.  The founder, Santiago Siri, is a developer’s developer, with legions of fans around the world, including some 55,000 Twitter followers.  A TED talker who is being honored by the World Economic Forum this November, he is a Borges-quoting full stack developer and gamer who  can sometimes be heard in speeches and podcasts referencing John Lennon as he imagines the possibilities of a world with bitcoin blockchain technology at its disposal.

In his round glasses and shock of brown hair he often looks like Harry Potter but instead of Gryffindor colors, it is Argentina’s blue and white. The other day while planning a hackathon, I heard one of his colleagues, a French developer born in the 1990’s, quote Woody Guthrie that “Ze times, zey are a changing!” He also favors round glasses, with a similar shock of untamed brown hair to the founder, thus he is French Harry Potter.

I like hearing wisdom from the past echoing forward in the voices of the future, the accents of the world. I like it that the future is in the hands of such as Argentinian Harry Potter and French Harry Potter. They are good and amazingly capable hands (it doesn’t hurt that they *also* work with Venezuelan Harry Potter, and Brazilian Hermione, who are equally amazing).

Pardon my magical references, but the world of software startups is a crazy place where world-changing things happen in the hands of a surprisingly small number of people.

There is a reason foreign influences are working so hard to wage a war of disinformation and distrust of the media – hacking elections at the ballot box will soon be not worth the effort, blockchain technology will enable truly incorruptible elections, in which we each own our own vote, can delegate and revoke at will, and can verify it was counted.

Soon you will think no more of voting from your mobile phone instead of going to a polling station, than you think of sending an email instead of a letter.  In a short time, we will have a hard time explaining to new voters why we have for so long clung to the processes, expense and corruptibility of ‘point in time’ elections with physical ballot boxes. The technology is not yet widely deployed but it will be, and very quickly – we’re just entering the hockey stick part of the growth curve of Internet 2.0.

I am far from alone in the world when I say, it’s about time.

ballot box chains

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