Blockchain was created in 2008 to aid in the transaction of bitcoin. Blockchain is a method of digital record keeping that has no centralized system. It relies on many seperate computers to act as nodes to oversee records. When a transaction is made the node responsible creates a unique hash. The hash is based on the information transferred, the previous transaction, and the address of each computer involved. Each time a transaction is made each node must determine if the hash looks correct. All the nodes vote, and if a majority of the nodes approve, the hash is kept. This voting system ensures one computer cannot change data; this prevents fraud and the human error that traditional record keeping is susceptible to. Once a large blockchain network is created, it is also exceptionally hard to hack. Without a central controller or location, hackers would have to take over a majority of the nodes in the system before they could take control of the chain. Blockchain created secure and efficient cryptocurrency trading and companies have begun exploring other possible uses. In the future blockchain will be used in almost every industry.
Virtually every business and industry includes record keeping in some form. Sectors that depend on contracts such as insurance or real estate to intellectual property can be improved by blockchain. Block chain will ensure that agreements are kept and constraints remain unchanged, as well as providing consistent records accessible by all businesses on the chain. Additionally, transactions can be done automatically, eliminating many responsibilities of bankers and brokers. Blockchain will also improve security of information. Once this technology is implemented, each person will have a digital profile containing all of their personal information. Blockchain will ensure that each person has control over their information and how it is used. This will prevent identity theft and other issues like social media companies selling information. However, blockchain will fundamentally change our way of life and it will take humans a while to accept this change. If blockchain is not implemented correctly, its benefits will be limited. It is essential that large blockchain networks are created quickly, because without many nodes the chain’s security is at risk. Also, as businesses adapt to the use of blockchain, those who do not, will fall behind blockchain’s efficient and uniform record keeping. However, voting presents the most important and immediate problem blockchain could address.
Four years ago, the credibility of our elections was threatened; Russia attempted to hack our voting system and change the outcome. They came close before, and are likely to try again in this year’s election. Free elections are the basis of democracy in America, and if their integrity is in question, so is the integrity of the country. However, voter fraud is not a new problem; Jim Crow laws, and political machines were problems more than 100 years ago. The problem of voter fraud is more important today than ever, and affects all parties and people. Within the next three to five years blockchain could solve these concerns.
Politicians have debated many possible poll reforms including requiring identification, using an electronic system, punch cards, or a paper only system. But, each of these proposals has their own logistical issues. In February 2020, the Iowa was delayed by technical issues, and immediately the results were questioned, with some calling the caucus rigged. These new electronics systems also bring other problems: a federal probe in 2017 found 95,000 voters in Texas alone that were not legal citizens. A voting system using blockchain would solve these problems, as well as prevent a Russian hack. If the system was nationwide, it would be much too vast to be taken control of by an outside attack. Each voter would create a unique hash containing their vote, identity, and time and place or vote. This would prevent voter fraud, and not allow a non US resident to vote. By creating an electronic nationwide system, people could vote from their homes or on any device with an internet connection. This accessibility would massively improve voter turnout, especially with younger generations that historically have had low participation. It would also assist the elderly and disabled that are homebound, and lower class people that do not have the time or means to go to a polling place. Blockchain will also improve the credibility and practicality of voting. The blockchain network would not be controlled by a person, and would prevent human error and corruption. It will be able to transfer results without human influence, and will prevent delays seen in the past. In other words, the use of blockchain would ensure our voting system is nonpartisan, available to all, and most importantly secure.
Voting security today is more important than ever. In 2016, President Trump did not win a majority of the popular vote; Clinton earned a mere three million votes more. Politicians were quick to latch onto suspicions of voter fraud before any concrete evidence was released. As politics grow more and more polarized, every vote grows more important. States have experimented with different methods of voting, but all have their drawbacks. By adopting a nationwide blockchain system, voting would become more efficient and secure than ever before, and erase any concerns about the legitimacy of our elections.

Author's Bio: 

I am a computer science professor. Being a tech enthusiast I keep close tabs on trends and will be glad to share and discuss the latest wrapups in the field with the community.