UVI: A Blockchain Political Platform (Part 5)

Blockchain and Politics – 2

A 2018 Wired story about Democracy.Earth: “At the center of the project is the creation of what [Santiago Siri] calls “political cryptocurrency”— blockchain-generated tokens that users of Democracy.Earth’s software can spend as votes … Siri dreams of a new kind of social media platform on which we spend “vote tokens” that can do anything, from electing politicians and passing referendums to enacting the bylaws of a social club or establishing the business plan of a corporation. It’s democracy by click…In this perfect world, Siri argues, the supposedly unhackable and absolutely transparent blockchain will ensure that no centralized election authority is required to tabulate a vote, and no corrupt politician or gridlocked legislature can interfere with the popular mandate. But coming up with a superior form of voting technology is just the beginning; the larger, far more revolutionary goal is to devise a decentralized decision-making process that eliminates the necessity for any kind of central government at all.”

Andrey Sergeenkov on the idea of a DePa (Decentralised Party): “A DePa would essentially function like a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) as the entirety of the protocol relies on predefined rules set in codes and launched as smart contracts. Therefore, the protocol responds to the activities of users or verified party members based on its underlying code. And so, all operations are fully automated and devoid of the influence of third parties or central authorities. Whenever sets of conditions are met, the DePa executes actions that are in turn recorded on the blockchain and open for verification by any member of the party. In essence, DePa is a party that reflects the views of all its constituent members and not just the selfish interest of the few. To ensure that the activities of each party member conform with the unified goals of the decentralized party, the protocol will incentivize positive contributions by distributing its native token as rewards. It is important to mention that the ultimate goal of the protocol is to achieve consensus and at the same time preserve the individuality of each member. The token accrued by each member would also determine the individual’s voting power.”

Comistar writes about tokenising political parties: “While the politics and the social system is a wide topic and blockchain technology can’t fix it all, it could definitely be useful, at least in theory, when it comes to funding and the governance of the political parties. Could we create more transparency in the shady funding shenanigans of the politics? How about the inclusion of the voters?.. The party token could have voting rights. What if the people who own the token could, to limited capacity, of course, have some sort of voting rights on the (important) decisions which the party does? For example, let’s say the party has an important political decision to make and to do that they have to get an opinion of the token holders as well (via token sale agreement or any other type of document highlighting the responsibilities of the party).”

Marta Poblet, et al: “Oracles were trusted sources of knowledge for public deliberation in classical Athens. Very much like expert and technical knowledge, divine advice was embedded in the deliberation and decision-making process of the democratic Assembly. While the idea of religious divination is completely out of place in our contemporary democracies, oracles made a technological comeback with modern computer science and cryptography and, more recently, the emergence of the blockchain as a “trust machine.””

In summary, while the ideas have been discussed, there has been no successful implementation of a blockchain based political party (or platform). The only example of a digital-centric party coming to power has been Italy’s Five Star Movement, but that experiment eventually failed.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.