Elections are very important for the functioning of a democratic society, and they are difficult to organize because of their scope, size, and importance. History is full of mistakes when it comes to elections, such as that case with the confusing ballot design creating obscurity in the accuracy of the votes.
Keeping things simple and secure is no easy task and with the coronavirus pandemic going on in the world, traditional elections are quickly becoming an impossible burden on society.
Do you risk exposing the entire nation to a new wave of coronavirus infections, or do you let the country fail in its democratic principles? It’s not an easy choice to make, but fortunately, governments around the world may not need to make this choice at all.
Decentralized voting has been a core principle of many blockchain projects but now seems to be the time to take the same technology and apply it to an age-old tradition.
Waves Enterprise has made a public beta voting platform that can serve as the starting point for these transformative times. According to the company, there are many problems that exist in current systems and methodologies for voting of any kind.
- Centralized voting methods cannot provide a trusted environment between the participants. Voters cannot be protected from falsification or hacker attacks.
- Common corporate voting problems are low turnout caused by a limited voting period and a limited location.
- 80% of votes are implemented according to a scheme in which it is difficult to track data.
Decentralized voting in companies
Looking at the data provided by Waves, approximately 170 public and non-public companies held meetings using electronic voting in the third quarter of 2019.
8 out of 13 blue-chip index companies of the Moscow Exchange and 37 out of 82 broad-market index companies held a digital meeting.
These bits of information reveal that companies are already moving in a direction that will allow shareholders to vote regardless of time and location. However, most of the systems are centralized and few people have full control over the results, which is a vulnerable point in the system.
This is where blockchain technology comes in to ensure that votes cannot be eliminated or changed once they are submitted. The vote count is done automatically, eliminating a lot of administrative costs that would prevent large-scale digital voting events.
Waves Enterprise estimates that the Russian blockchain-voting solutions market is worth 200m Rubles per year, i.e. $2,882,000 USD. This is only a drop in the estimated value of the global market at $100m USD per year.
How possible are decentralized elections?
To get a better understanding of the value of decentralized voting systems we reached out to the chief product officer at Waves Enterprise, Artem Kalikhov.
“We are sure that blockchain technology can help governments in organizing a transparent voting process and increase the turnout of voters. The principles of the decentralized system will ensure the participants’ confidence in the results.
But there are a lot of security issues usually related to elections encryption protocol, portal solutions, citizen identification, along with legal compliance issues. Currently, none of the voting systems already used in elections all over the world can be called flawless.
Voting systems are evolving step by step. For example, our company has developed a next-level voting platform, providing fully decentralized and secure protocol based on convenient encryption algorithms and containerized smart-contracts.”
At the moment, the beta version of the software is available for free.
We had a look at the application and believe it is very elegantly designed, however, we have no idea what is exactly happening in the background. Our main idea was to create a small voting poll for our readers here, but it seems that the system is designed to work with admins and known email addresses at the moment.
Edit: After consulting with Waves Enterprise representatives, it was explained that known voters are an integral part of security in the smart contract, and at the current moment, having flexible authentication of voters is a technical challenge. Maybe in the future having authenticated voting events will become easier, once identity management blockchains become the norm.
There is no way for us to be able to share the voting event with you and enable you to sign up by yourself. It seems that this part of the process must be done manually by the voting organizers. This current version seems to be very effective for company voting, where the contact information is readily available through human resource departments.
However, it seems impractical for elections and arbitrary voting events. Especially for governmental elections, the voting system is simply one part (a very important one at that) of the equation. As Mr Kalikhov mentioned above, security, ease of use, citizen verification, encryption methods still remain as difficult challenges ahead.
Cardano Price Analysis: 17 May
At a time when other altcoins were stumbling, Cardano [ADA] witnessed significant growth. Although the price of the digital asset mirrored the correction in the Bitcoin market, the overall market still seemed to hold on to a high value.
At the time of press, ADA had lost 12% of its value since the peak and was currently being traded at $2.14 with a market capitalization of $69.31 billion.
Cardano hourly chart
The above chart of Cardano shows the drops seen by the markets recently. Although the price dropped from a peak of $2.47, it has now managed to hold on to $2.13. Though the overall market looked strong, short-term indicators predicted a correction.
As the price traded right above the support at $2.10, a fall could push it under the level and close to the next immediate support at $2.02.
ADA market unlike many other altcoins markets was showing reduced volatility. Convergence of Bollinger bands was indicative of this trend. The signal line was moving lower, tracing the movement of the candlesticks.
As the price remained above the current support for a long time, there were chances that the price would breach support. The relative strength index was noting that selling pressure which was maintained close to 50 was now heading towards the oversold zone. The rise in selling pressure could push the price lower; however, Chaikin money flow suggested that the money that was leaving the market was now coming back in.
Take profit: $2.01
Stop level: $2.16
Risk to Reward: 1.04
The current Cardano market was suggesting that the consolidating price might be looking to correct again. The indicators were suggesting a rise in selling pressure, which could result in another fall. However, the buying pressure could result in a trend reversal as the CMF highlighted money entering the ADA market.
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Creating NFT artwork with my kids
One of the hottest trending topics which fascinated my kid is crypto. Quite honestly, he felt that Dogecoin is the coolest currency and he even asked me to help him purchase some of it with his savings.
We’ve all heard of the term “Digital Natives” and I’m sure some of us here are “Digital Natives”. This refers to the generation that grew up with technology. Technology is here to stay, and I don’t think it’s going to a standstill. As many of us are still grappling with how this whole crypto and blockchain technology works, fueled with the whole speculation in the cryptocurrency market, this is definitely an area of fascination and fear.
While this is not an article explaining the technology, I wanted to approach this from the angle of exposing kids to technology and the other applications of this technology. There’s been too much hype around the speculation of cryptocurrencies which is just one part of the story.
Blockchain technology is something that will be here to stay. The benefits that the technology brings, especially with the ability to create a unique identity for digital assets, opens up endless possibilities for creators such as artists to “mint” original pieces which cannot be replicated.
While I feel that this technology is in its early days and will evolve to something more efficient, there is already wide adoption of blockchain technology in our lives today.
It really started with my 11-year-old boy, Isaac taking an interest in Dogecoin. He’s been reading it on Reddit a lot and is fascinated with the whole Elon Musk sending Dogecoin to the moon. While I’m glad he’s fascinated with how these things work, there is a lot of fluff in this whole proposition which I don’t entirely agree with. The other worrying thing is that he is starting to develop his values around investments and the value of money. Having him exposed to just a single facet of the technology would set that foundation wrong.
Having an interest in any given topic is priceless, and I didn’t want to let this slip. I did let him invest a small part of his savings in Dogecoin. $15 of it to be exact. That story was a good one. He was making over a dollar at one time, before losing about 40% of it on paper. Throughout the whole episode, I checked in with him on how he felt, and he was able to make a decision to hold on to it believing that it was still a good decision to invest. It did recover, and he sold everything making a handsome profit of 40 cents. He later kicked himself when it sent up further and he could have made a lot more. He’s now staying on the sideline and refusing to put any money into it, but I know he’s researching the next thing he should be investing in.
The thing about Blockchain, and Cryptocurrencies, it can get very energy hungry. To put it in context, Bitcoin uses more energy than Argentina and that puts the technology in the top 30 energy users worldwide according to a report by BBC.
Using blockchain technology, unique identities for digital assets such as artwork can be created and stored on the blockchain. This is referred to as NFT. This allows content creators to create their masterpieces without the issue of them being replicated. A good recent example of such an artwork changing hands is that of Mr. Vignesh Sundaresan (Metakovanby) purchasing artwork by digital artist Beeple at a Christie’s auction on March 11. He paid US69 mil for it, which was unthinkable even today.
Riding on the interest of my younger 7-year-old daughter’s in art, I suggested to the kids that we should create our own NFT Artwork and sell it online. This is a perfect example for us in how we can explore the technology together, create an art piece, and put it up for sale.
I also wanted them to think about the good that we can do along with the power to create. So, I asked them if they would give some of the proceeds away to a charity, and they immediately said “YES!”.
Out came the iPad, and we started drawing. It’s a simple illustration of a cute little Mochi. Yes, it’s very elementary, but it was fun creating it!
I did a quick search online, and realized that there aren’t any “NFT Mochi”, but I could be wrong. As far as research goes, this is actually the first NFT Mochi illustration that’s minted!
I also took the opportunity to show them the cost of minting which essentially is the “gas” money that goes to processing the transaction on the Ethereum blockchain network. This fluctuates a lot and depending on the load and if you’re going to pay more to expedite the processing, it can range from a couple of tens of dollars to over a hundred dollars just to mint this NFT artwork.
This allowed me to explain to the kids how the technology works in kids language, and also how the energy impact the technology has.
We had a lot of fun in this process of being an NFT Artist. It was super cool, and I think we might do this again.
Our artwork, “World’s First NFT Mochi” is on sale, do check it out and if you are feeling the “work” that we’ve put in, do put in a bid to buy it! (That would be another story for me and my kids!)
Hope you’ve found this sharing useful. Do share your thoughts and comments with me.
Legacy Records, The First Record Label Paying Music Artists In Crypto
From painters to digital artists to musicians, crypto continues to find integration across artistic mediums. Music continues to be a field that is ripe for revitalization, from a business standpoint. Accordingly, a number of different musicians have been releasing songs and albums as NFTs. Now, we have what’s being reported as the first official record label looking to get involved. The label looks to have artists join the ranks of other musicians getting involved in crypto.
In a press release issued to start this week, Legacy Records CEO Keishia McLeod said it came down to “either get involved or get left behind”. McLeod cited unique income stream opportunities for artists and closed by saying that “this is the future, not a trend”. McLeod has stated previously her intent to drive the label to be at the forefront of leveraging emerging technology in music.
There are two major buckets contributing to Legacy’s approach. The first is the most notable, as the label will become the first to offer artists an opportunity to receive their advance and royalty payments in the form of crypto. The second is to engage artists with NFTs, allowing fans to participate in auctions for unique content. The label’s specific plans around NFTs, and number of artists seeking to get paid in crypto, have not yet been disclosed.
As the crypto market grows, both artists and businesses are getting involved | Source: CRYPTOCAP-TOTAL on TradingView.com
Legacy Music’s Broader Business Growth
Las Vegas-based Legacy Records, not to be confused with Sony’s Legacy Recordings, will look to take advantage of the potential press buzz from the announcement. However, in tandem with the release, the label also announced a to-be-name music distributor who has also agreed to pay Legacy Records artists in bitcoin. The label also merged with New Jersey entertainment lawyer Navarro Gray’s ‘The Gray Firm’, to provide legal guidance around digital execution.
McLeod has noted previously that the label has desired being a mainstay in revolutionizing the way music artists do business. In a January interview with the LA Tribune, McLeod cited Netflix’s impact on the film industry, adding that “we haven’t seen that yet in this industry, but it’s coming. We’re going to be a large part of making that happen”.
Related Reading | Reviewing Topps MLB’s First Swing At NFT Tech
Music Artists Emerging Into Crypto
Legacy’s roster has the potential to join a growing list of music artists that continue to engage with crypto and NFTs. Last month, we wrote about long-time hip-hop artist Eminem partnering with Nifty Gateway to release original instrumental beats. Saturday Night Live promptly had a sketch explaining the digital collectibles parodying Eminem’s “Without Me”.
Other musicians engaging with NFTs include DJ Premier, 3LAU, The Weeknd, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, and more.
Each week, our team recaps the week’s NFT action with ‘NFTs In A Nutshell‘ – covering everything NFT, from sport, music, and more.
Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com
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