Brazil turns to Ethereum blockchain for political expression, petitions

Brazil’s current methodology of dealing with petitions is rather unusable owing to which the government is looking towards Ethereum blockchain for a solution.

Brazil has a constitutional method that enables its citizens to be heard – popular petitions. For petitions to be heard within the country’s legislature, there are significant hurdles lying in wait for activists who wish to use them. If a petition manages to garner signatures from at least 1 per cent of the electorate, the petition must be heard in the country’s congress. However, the 1 per cent signatures are not easy to garner.

There is no platform to securely collect the signatures of one percent of voters. Further, in case the petition does manage to garner the minimum required signatures verification of those signatures is next to impossible. These are the hurdle that activists to face for their petitions.

The government seeks to remove these two hurdles and come up with a platform that can securely collect the signatures of one percent of voters. Ethereum blockchain comes to the rescue here and according to those in authoritative positions in the country, it can serve as an ideal solution to the problems associated with popular petitions. The blockchain will allow people to instantly verify that their signature is attached to a specific petition.

Currently a setup is being put into place that involves a cell phone app that Brazilians can use to register their details with. They can use the app to create a petition, sign a petition, and to keep track of how many people have attached their name to a particular petition. As the names are put through hashing and become part of the Ethereum blockchain, there’s no way for someone to alter the data. Privacy is fully protected as a person can verify that they signed a petition, but they cannot see who else has signed it through the app. The result is cryptographic proof that a person’s signature is embedded within the petition’s hash.

Overall, this is a tremendous use for blockchain technology. Allowing people to create and sign petitions using an app hugely reduces the cost in both time and money for gathering signatures. The only downside is that the ease of use could lead to some frivolous petitions being launched, but whoever said democracy was easy?

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