Authorities of the Swiss city of Zug announced on Monday that the country’s first local blockchain-based pilot vote was successfully completed.
The City of Zug, Switzerland, is a model city when it comes to the support of blockchain-based initiatives. The city announced the launch of a blockchain-based voting system that used its digital ID (eID) in November last year, a system that will allow the voters to use their smartphones to vote.
In June, we reported that the city authorities had opened the pilot voting exercise, which runs from June 25th to July 2nd.
Speaking to Swiss News Agency, Zug’s head of communications, Dieter Muller, said that “the premiere was a success”. The official also clarified that the city authorities will now embark on examining the results in the next couple of days.
The focus of the vote’s evaluation will be the protection of privacy and voting secrecy, as well as the ensuring that the voting results can be verifiable, unchangeable and clear.
The small-scale vote involved only 72 out of the 240 citizens with access to the online voting system, who participated in the non-binding trial vote. Muller commented on the exercise:
The number of participants could have been higher.
The pilot involved a questionnaire which asked the voters their opinion on both minor and major municipal aspects.
Cointelegraph reports that almost all participants found it easy to vote digitally. Only three people indicated otherwise in their questionnaire.
Some 22 respondents would use the digital identity to complete their tax returns or to take part in regular surveys in the future. A further 19 indicated that they would like to pay parking fees using their digital ID, and another three said they would theoretically use it to borrow books from the library.
These are all examples of other applications or services which could potentially be handled using digital identity in the future.
Switzerland has been referred to as the “Crypto Nation” due to its favorable tax laws and relatively friendly regulation for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). At the end of June, the Financial Director of Zug called on the Swiss Bankers Association to creating a working group to help blockchain-related companies open bank accounts.
Zug and other cities and regions in Switzerland, are keen to establish themselves as blockchain centers. Zug is ahead of the pack with its digital identity system, which is touted as making it easier for residents to access the majority of municipal services . Zug’s municipality already allows Bitcoin payments for services.
The majority of major cities in the world are also showing interest in blockchain. For instance, Moscow’s Municipal Government is currently finalizing a blockchain-based system that will allow Moscow residents to vote and communicate on various municipal issues.