Spanish region of Catalan considers using blockchain for e-voting system
The people of Catalan, an area of Spain, have made their stance on independence clear. In late 2017, the region held a referendum, whereby Catalan residents were asked whether or not they wanted to remain part of Spain, or on the contrary, form an independent nation. The result? A majority of 90% voted in favor of independence. So how does this relate to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology? Well, it has just been reported that the region are toying with the idea of introducing an e-voting system that is fully backed by the blockchain protocol.
According to the reports, which were published by Spanish news platform La Vanguardia, the e-voting project will not only be suitable for Catalan residents currently located in the region, but for those also living overseas.
The region’s appetite for blockchain technology first came to light in July 2018, when Catalan officials indicated that they had begun their research into blockchain technology. Back then, officials stated that they believed the blockchain protocol could be a useful tool in bridging the gap between companies, citizens and the public sector.
Then just last month, once again Catalan continued to express its interest in the digital space. The Generalitat of Catalonia approved a preliminary bill that gave the region the green light to begin work on a blockchain-based electronic voting platform.
Does blockchain adoption need to be initiated at a community level?
It is important to note that while the people of Catalan voted vehemently in favor of independence, the Spanish government rejected the referendum in its entirety. The parliament of Spain not only argued that the vote was illegal, but they made the point that just 43% of potential voters actually took part.
Nevertheless, it has also been reported that that Carles Puigdemont, the region’s president, recently asked local residents to donate cryptocurrencies to help the Catalan cause. The publication, El Confidential, continued to add that Bitcoin was chosen with the view of hindering the donations from the eyes of the Spanish Federal Government. It is believed that the funds were to be utilized to assist Catalan residents that have since fled the region in fear of persecution from Spanish authorities.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that a small community has turned to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a means to break free of the status quo. In mid-2017, an ex-banker turned farmed in the small Russian village of Kolionovo launched a community based token called the Kolion.
The concept behind the project was to allow local residents to buy, sell and trade a range of goods, without needing to use traditional fiat currency. The move not only allows the agriculture sector in particular to streamline their payment process, but it also provides the opportunity to safeguard funds in a region that has little access to everyday banking.
If the project remains successful, we could potentially see more communities turn to the blockchain protocol as a way to separate themselves from national and corporate interference.