A year ago, Everscale community (formerly Free TON) criticised the scientific publication issued by a group of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which argued that blockchain technology can’t be considered as a robust solution for well-known issues in electoral systems.
To challenge this publication Everscale community launched a contest that aimed to create theoretical proofs of blockchain voting systems feasibility. The contest resulted in around 50 submissions, among which several winners were chosen.
As a consequence, Everscale Foundation started development of a robust voting system that will be deployed on the Everscale ecosystem. As a prerequisite Everscale Foundation has created TON Virtual Machine supplied with necessary for development cryptographical primitives that are fundamental for Zero-Knowledge proof (ZKP) protocol, including bindings for C++ and Rust programming languages.
Zero-knowledge proof implementation is vital because any voting/electoral system must provide confidentiality guarantees for voters during vote verification that is performed by authorities or organizers.
Being production-ready for fast and scalable applications that can be used in massive elections Everscale launched a new contest with a prize fund of 1 000 000 EVERs (more than $370 000 at the time of writing).
Participants will have to create a voting protocol using the recently developed VERGRTH16 instruction set and ensure its compatibility with Everscale protocols. The full list of requirements can be found in the contest description.
The main requirements are:
- The application to be deployed in the mainnet or in FLD-net
- The submission is to include formal protocol description and proofs
- The application is to utilise VERGRTH16 TVM instruction set
- The application must ensure the validity of ballot papers, guarantee vote confidentiality and eliminate the possibility of vote duplication
- A voter must be able to verify that his or her vote has been counted
- There must be voter, verifier, and ballot issuer roles in the electoral system
To find out the full list of requirements head to the contest description.
During submission assessment, the jury will assess every use case (e.g. voter registration, voting and counting process, etc.) The ultimate solution needs to comply with the architecture and competition requirements. Each member of the jury will score all the submissions on a scale of 1 to 10.
1st place 600 000 EVERs
2nd place 300 000 EVERs
3rd place 100 000 EVERs
Submissions are accepted until 14 Jan 2022.
The prize fund reflects the importance and challenge difficulty that developers will face. After all, a digital alternative to classic "paper" voting that is widely used does not yet exist. And this competition could be another step in creating a truly effective voting application that runs on an Everscale blockchain using modern cryptography techniques and is in demand among private and public organisations.