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Recently a staff memo exposed that the U.S. Congress is looking forward to blockchain technology as a medium for the Senate to organise remote voting in the mid of the coronavirus pandemic.  The report also include that blockchain might be deployed with end-to-end encrypted or E2EE, applications to provide voting.  The memo was created just after the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ Roundtable on Continuity of Senate Operations and Remote Voting in Times of Crisis event. This discussion made round as the Senate is preparing to reunite this week. 

Senate considers DLT-based voting contingency

The document includes information that Congress two chambers have already met in person to organise business that include committee hearings, floor deliberation and voting, focusing that even chamber has not any contingency plans to permit those functions to work remotely.  The Staff memo declares that with an encrypted distributed ledger, blockchain can transmit a vote securely as well as verify the correct code – nowhere it is mentioned that characteristics have been used for the ability of blockchain-based voting systems. 

Blockchain can serve a secure and transparent environment for transactions and a tamper-free electronic record of all the votes- mentioned in the memo. It also reduces the chances of incorrect vote tallies. Congress also noted that blockchain-like systems are already deployed in the context of voting- mentioning Estonia’s 2019 parliamentary elections that witnessed 44% of votes cast online. 

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Senate concerned about security vulnerabilities

The report also focuses on the concerns related to a 51% attack on the blockchain used to host Senate ballots, focusing that any remote blockchain voting system would have to set up accurately to eliminate any threat of 51% attack.  The Senate also focuses on anxieties concerning possible vulnerabilities for cryptographic flaws and software bugs.

The memo has increased discussions surrounded the efficiency of blockchain-based solutions to goverb challenges that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin being provided by Congress members to consider blockchain-based stimulus distributions. 

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