Moscow's Blockchain Voting Platform Adds Service for High-Rise Neighbors

Moscow is extending its use of a blockchain-based voting platform to the city block level.

Announced today, the municipal government of Russia's national capital has launched Digital Home, a service allows neighbors in high rises to electronically vote and communicate on issues like whether to replace the building entrance door or hire a new management company.

The service uses Active Citizen, an electronic voting platform that runs on a private version of ethereum.

Each year, Moscow residents hold five thousand to seven thousand face-to-face meetings on such matters, according to a press release issued Wednesday, but such gatherings are getting harder to arrange in a busy urban environment.

"We believe it's essential to build a convenient environment to allow neighbors to influence the neighborhood they are living in," said Andrey Belozerov, an advisor to the chief information officer of Moscow. "The pace of life in [big cities] imposes its conditions and it is rather difficult to find a suitable time for everyone and schedule a meeting between neighbors offline."

Active Citizen launched in 2014 and has amassed more than 2 million users. In that time, it has facilitated 3,510 polls where users voted on subjects like the name for a new metro train and the color of seats in a new sports arena.

Late last year, it began using blockchain technology to make results publicly auditable and assuage concerns about the city's vote counting.

"Once the vote is placed, it will be listed in a ledger consisting of all votes [that have] taken place across a peer-to-peer network," according to the city's public statement. "It will guarantee that the data will not be lost or altered by someone after the vote was casted so there is no chance for fraud or third-party interference."

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