What does Blockchain have to do with democracy in Russia

O slowly slowly rose she up… and moved towards democracy. 

Russia’s long way to the world’s trust is taking a new turn. The «what is going on up there?!» land has been gradually adopting Western habits since the latest Middle Ages, and in today’s world, the most important improvement for Russia has to be the rights, or, to be more precise, the people’s opinion on the country’s internal policy. 

Moscow, the biggest Russian city with the largest population (12 million residents), has launched a platform giving people the opportunity to participate in the urban development, be actually heard and counted. A program named Active Citizen allows residents to cast votes for measures ranging from the housing relocation to voting in which they get to put their condominium on the list of buildings to be reconstructed to the color of the new seats in a sports arena. 

So, what would that mean and what does it have to do with Blockchain?

The project aims to make the democracy see-through. It's added a private version of the Ethereum blockchain to its architecture. Active Citizen allows anyone to audit the open-source results, and the platform’s been downloaded by more than 100 node operators since its December launch. Obviously, that would help gain the trust of Moskovits and state governments around the world. 

"The idea is to put all the votes to the blockchain to make it open so everybody can connect to our blockchain network, and check the voting process, and so on and so-forth» — says Andrey Belozerov, the strategy and innovations advisor to the city’s CIO. The platform has reached a peak transaction volume of about 1,000 transactions per minute. It remains unclear whether the blockchain is able to handle the volume of the citizens since there’s, obviously, a lot. Though increased adoption of the platform will make the perfect stress-test. If it works properly with their loads, they will «switch off the previous model of Active Citizen and go natively to a blockchain,» added Belozerov. 

In order to prove the system’s trustworthiness, Moscow commissioned an accounting firm PwC to conduct an independent audit of the code. There aren’t any reasons for concern in polls that have less than 300,000 votes. According to the Mayor of Moscow's official website, the most popular polls are getting between 137,000 and 220,000 participants currently. PwC also simulated external cyber attacks and was unable to replace the votes of an electronic referendum or gain unauthorized access to the results, Belozerov said. 

These news plant a seed of hope in the Russian citizens’ minds, and the innovative technology will spread broader and broader, hopefully decreasing the tension between Russia’s leadership and the people. Conscious and concerned citizens would not curb their enthusiasm if the technology made the upcoming presidential elections in March 2018 clear and transparent.

#russia #startups #democracy #activecitizen #audit