Students from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) held a student council election here using blockchain technology, which is said to be the first of its kind to be used in the polling process, an official said Thursday. Students from Webops and Blockchain Club of the Center for Innovation (CFI), IIT-Madras, developed the software to run the election through the blockchain technology.
A blockchain is an immutable, distributed digital ledger. The transactions or records on the ledger that are stored separately are called a “block,” and the information in a block is usually linked to the information in a previous block. Over time, this forms a chain of transactions, to which the word blockchain refers.
This technology can also be used by governments to improve both efficiency and traceability in the process. In May, the Brazilian government unveiled a blockchain network in an effort to fight corruption in public spending by efficiently tracking them. Brazil’s Blockchain network is still under development but will be used by a number of government agencies
In view of the conduct of the elections, the India Book of Records has offered IIT-Madras students the record of ‘Blockchain Software for Students Body Election’.
“This student-led project has the transformative potential to positively disrupt the way elections are held. By leveraging the inherent trust and immutability that blockchain technologies provide, this work demonstrates their impact on election conduct.. .” said IIT-Madras, Faculty Leader, Webops and Blockchain Club, Professor Prabhu Rajagopal.
According to the officials, some of the key benefits of using blockchain technology for elections are significant cost savings, a tamper-evident process that is verifiable, and an innate confidence in the electoral process.