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Switzerland tests blockchain-based voting system

Two Swiss cantons will invite residents to participate in the country’s first municipal blockchain vote, but, as it is only a test, the results will be non-binding for city officials.

Participants will be asked whether they approve of fireworks at the annual Lakeside Festival, and if they believe digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library or pay parking fees. Lastly, voters will also respond yes or no to the use of a blockchain-based identification system in future referendums.

The two cantons experimenting with blockchain voting are Zug and Schaffhausen. In Zug, the blockchain-based eID system has been tested since late last year, while Schaffhausen, whose eID is not blockchain-based, began a trial in December, giving residents access via their smartphones to local tax, employment, road traffic, child protection and planning and other departments. Businesses will also be able to use the eID service.

The Swiss government is looking to boost electronic voting in the country, with the aim of launching it in two thirds of the its cantons by the end of next year.

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