Sun. Mar 7th, 2021
Free TON, Essay contest

The Free TON community has announced a new creative contest. Its organizers propose to start the year by opposing the conservative approach in science to the opportunities and prospects of blockchain technologies.

This idea was inspired by controversial statements made by the authors of a scientific article entitled “Going from Bad to Worse: From Internet Voting to Blockchain Voting.” 

The authors of the article — representatives of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argue that the transition of the electoral system to blockchain technology is fraught with numerous inevitable problems. They conclude that there is no viable alternative to paper voting in the foreseeable future.

The organizers of the contest offer to enter into a polemic with the authors of the article and prove the opposite.

Contest Requirements

Although the contest is creative, the requirements for the work are quite serious:

First, participants must write an analytical essay and reasonably refute statements such as: 

  • “Blockchain technology does not solve the fundamental security problems suffered by all electronic voting systems.” 
  • “Electronic, online, and blockchain-based voting systems are more vulnerable to serious failures than available paper-ballot-based alternatives.”
  • “Adding new technologies to systems may create new potential for attacks.”

Secondly, the contest work should contain a description of the voting mechanism based on the blockchain.

The solution should be more efficient than a paper voting mechanism.

Also, the authors should suggest methods to prevent attacks, including system ones.

Additional points will be awarded to entries for the development of an election system based on blockchain technologies, where the basic requirements will be implemented:

  • secret ballot;
  • voter privacy;
  • validity of the ballot.

Works in PDF format are accepted for the contest until January 15. This will be followed by a 20-day voting cycle. According to the results, the awards will be distributed as follows:

1st place20 000 TON Crystals
2nd place15 000 TON Crystals
3rd place10 000 TON Crystals
4th place7 000 TON Crystals
5th place6 000 TON Crystals
6th-20th places2 500 TON Crystals

The best answer will be handed over to the authors of the article at Harvard and MIT. Also, the Free TON community is ready to provide researchers from these educational institutions with a platform for further discussion.

Promotion Of Advanced Technological Solutions

Despite the conclusions of critics, the issue of holding elections based on blockchain technology is regularly raised around the world. For example, in Latin America, where the electoral system is simply drowned in paper media, they are currently looking for an alternative to traditional voting. 

The relevance of blockchain technologies for the electoral system is growing as the current system causes more and more complaints. Against this background, supporters of the existing “paper” voting mechanisms are reluctant to give up their positions. This competition is a unique opportunity to establish a dialogue between the academic community and the progressive environment of blockchain developers and users.

The high level of requirements for the work implies that the participants will seriously approach the analysis of the article and develop options for solving the assigned tasks. For its part, the community has the right to count on the appropriate quality of judging. Whether the participants and the organizers themselves will reach the expected level is a separate intrigue. We will keep an eye on the progress and results of the contest.

The community has voted to extend the application deadline to January 27, 2021 (23:59 UTC).

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