A Brazilian research institute is building a voting platform on Blockchain, to gather the public to participate in government decisions and policy-making.

Blockchain is a digital platform that records transactions in real time and distributes the data across a network of computers. This feature has made it foolproof to hacks, as records once made, are immutable.

ITS Rio, a non-profit think tank, is currently building a voting system using Blockchain for the Brazilian government. The platform will gather digital signatures and link them directly to voters’ unique identification numbers. This will “allow them to formally express their support for social-driven draft bills” and at the same time prevent fraud, Ronaldo Lemos – Director of the Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro (ITS Rio) wrote in a blog post.

The application “will establish the identity of voters” based on a unique ID number provided by the government, and store the information on the Blockchain, Lemos notes.

The new approach will cut the inefficiency of gathering paper votes, and shift citizens’ trust to be based on a “distributed model”, he explains, to be based on “cryptographic proofs” rather than a manual tally of votes.

“Our current trust model is based on a centralized or a decentralized model. For example, if you would like to know how much Alice has in her bank account, you have to ask a financial institution, and trust what they tell you”, he says.

The tech will also slash time needed to gather citizens’ votes, speeding up the process of democracy in the country, and “establishing a new form of dialogue between citizens and representatives”, Lemos says,

“The simple possibility of introducing a new bill of law in Congress (or other State and City legislative houses) can lead to a new and promising relationship between social agendas and governments”, he adds.