Petitions have been around for hundreds of years, but in today’s political climate, there’s a good chance you’ve seen more of them lately than in the past. Defined as a formal written request to a governmental authority or individual public office holder, petitions give the public a chance to influence government by collecting a large amount of support on a given issue. The idea is to gather as many signatures as possible in an effort to persuade political figures to take action according to the petition’s content.
In the case of online petitions, a monumental amount of data is gathered electronically, and used as a means to an end. For something as important as influencing government policy, the method in which the data is collected and stored has got to be held to the highest standards of security and transparency, right? Think again.
Online petitions come with their own risks. First, you have to consider what’s real and what’s fake. Then, comes the worry about data security, the chance for identity theft through phishing, and the risk of being scammed. If only there was a more secure and transparent way to use online petitions…
What About Blockchain?
One of the good things about increased political activism in 2018 is that technological advancements mean there are new avenues to explore that offer safer results and increased democracy. Take BlockChain, for example. It’s the buzz word heard all over the world, and for good reason! Virtually every industry is testing the waters of BlockChain technology – online petitioning is no exception.
Although it’s still new, the potential benefits of using BlockChain can’t be understated. Here are a few ways online petitioning can be drastically improved through the use of BlockChain technology:
BlockChain technology is decentralized, meaning the information is stored across a network of computers, instead of just one central location. Any time information is added, every computer, or “node,” is also updated. This makes hacking virtually impossible because a hacker would have to breach every computer in the network simultaneously in order to falsify records. With this level of security, online petitions would be able to offer participants unmatched peace of mind knowing that their personal information is safe.
Beyond security, transparency is arguably the next biggest benefit Blockchain has to offer. The information on the network is fully auditable, and only valid entries can be made. Plus, the network cannot be probed. This means the data stored on a BlockChain is not only safe but also fully transparent. For online petitioning, the need for checks and balances is eliminated. Everything is automatic, fully viewable, and impenetrable. How’s that for peace of mind?
When people feel they are able to trust that their identity is safe, that the data collected is for a legitimate purpose, and that there’s no middle man muddying the waters, their participation in online petitioning is bound to increase. And with increased awareness and activity comes an increase in democracy. That is a very good thing!
Take a look at how Brazil is utilizing the Ethereum BlockChain for petitioning by clicking here.
A decentralized and transparent platform like Ethereum provides the perfect solution for improving the problems present in the electoral system. Brazilian legislators plan on launching an app by which people submit personal information and details to sign or propose a petition. It would employ hashing – a one-way process combining the signatures of a specific petition, and transform them into a short ‘string of characters’. Once the transactions are sent to the Ethereum blockchain, they can’t be forged or falsified by any means. It is a win-win situation as signatures are verified by hashing and are collected via mobiles with just one click. Paixão added, “Anyone can audit the system. Each day, you can prove from cryptographic proof that a certain signature is already there.” (https://bitrazzi.com/petitions-brazil-can-soon-submitted-via-ethereum-blockchain/)
Since BlockChain is still new, there’s plenty more to learn about this revolutionary technology! With increased use will come new discoveries and new ways BlockChain can improve online petitioning, and countless other industries.
Let Us Hear From You!
Do you have something you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have your own BlockChain ideas or experiences? We’d love to hear from you!