For fast, secure, large scale voting made possible through the use of
blockchain technology
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What is Blockchain?


Blockchain is the technology that powers Bitcoin, a novel cryptocurrency introduced in 2008. It is a database that cannot have its history altered. Anyone can add to the database but once changes are made to it, a record of the change is stored forever. This is enforced by the distributed model of blockchain, where consensus must be made across a network to confirm that the database remains accurate. Similarly to Bitcoin, PopulaVote is modeled after a permissionless distributed database.

Why Blockchain?


+ Immutable
One of the main tenets of blockchain is its ability to resist changes to historical record. It is easy to add but impossible to reverse. Using cryptographic technology, each piece of data added to the chain is marked in a way that makes it dependent on the previous data on the chain. Any change to the past data will invalidate the current data. Originally designed for secure financial transactions, blockchain has shown its use to store other forms of data, such as polling and voting data. PopulaVote utilizes this feature to create a method of gathering opinions stored directly on the blockchain that are resistant to change by anyone (including us).
+ Permissionless
Public blockchains, like Bitcoin, are considered permission-less as they do not require trust of the operators to operate without malicious intent in order for the blockchain to work correctly. Each person can verify that the data stored on the blockchain is correct. The operators of the network cannot modify the data it receives before posting it on the blockchain. Each person using PopulaVote will have confidence knowing that once they let their voice known, it cannot be modified even by those who created the initial poll. PopulaVote does not utilize permissioned blockchains (private) as they do not provide the same security as public blockchains.
+ Secure
Blockchain technology was built from the ground up using state of the art cryptographic technology. It utilizes public/private key pairs along with Elliptical curve key signing to assure that only the person who has access to the private key can post data representing that person. This type of technology is highly resistant to brute force hacking. PopulaVote makes sure that your private key never leaves your private device.
+ Private
How do we know who sends what to who? Blockchain uses something called a digital identity pseudonyms that can be linked to a person’s real world identity. This is a set of random numbers and letters that is unique to each person. Traditionally, a person can send money to another person by using his/her pseudonym and have no clue as to what his/her real world identity is. It remains private. PopulaVote builds on this to make sure that your opinion is unlinked to your real world identity when submitting to polls. It is only known to the survey operators.
+ Accessible
Blockchain is available to any person that has access to the internet. Anyone can post data to the blockchain as long as they follow the rules. No one can block a valid post to the blockchain. This gives blockchain technology the attribute of being censorship resistant. PopulaVote makes it easy for people to vote in elections where otherwise it would be difficult, such as when someone has a broken leg, lives in a rural area, or is sick. PopulaVote wants to make waiting in line to cast your vote a thing of the past.
+ Unique Identity
Blockchain technology gives users a pseudonym represented by a set of randomly arranged letters and numbers. These pseudonyms are typically generated by a random seed. PopulaVote generates these pseudonyms in a deterministic manner instead based on user supplied identity information. There is no need to remember complicated passwords anymore. The pseudonym created by PopulaVote is uniquely you.
+ Auditable
One of the unexpected hallmarks of blockchain is its ease at which the data placed on it can be tracked and confirmed. Public blockchains provide anyone with unrestricted views of the data present on the blockchain for auditing and verifying where the data is coming from. While this data is unrestricted and anyone can see the flow of data, PopulaVote will encrypt sensitive data so that only authorized parties can view them. If a bad actor tried to post data, the source of the data can be determined very quickly.
+ User Control
All data that is posted to the blockchain is controlled by only the user. No one else can send data for the user. You are the only one with the private key that can sign the data that will be sent. This is in contrast to many platforms that gather personal data and move them around to various third parties. The only place that user data will go is to ones authorized by the user.

How is this better than SurveyMonkey?


+ Real People
PopulaVote will have features to prevent spam, bots and duplicate users from filling out surveys using built-in identity checks. Our goal is for one opinion to represent one person. Our tools will give survey providers the ability to target people in specific regions for their opinions and provide them with the confidence that there are five people filling out five surveys, and not one person filling out five surveys.
+ User Data Custody
On SurveyMonkey, all your data is stored by them when you upload it. It becomes a part of their privately controlled database. It can be changed and even removed. Because blockchain is immutable, data cannot be removed by PopulaVote so your voice cannot be scrubbed and it is always visible.
+ Polling Auditable
If SurveyMonkey’s servers go down due to power failure or hacking and their databases become corrupt or wiped, how would we be able to trust the consistency of the data as to whether it represents the same data as before? Blockchain is a distributed database that will still report verifiable data, as in source of the data, even if one operator has a corrupted database. Since the database is replicated across the world, it is unlikely that all operators will fail at the same time.
+ Open Source Tools
For maximum transparency, PopulaVote is committing itself to open sourcing its tools that are used for creating polls and ballots. This will allow for greater visibility of vulnerabilities in the architecture of the system to further increase its security.
+ People Are Motivated to Participate
PopulaVote will support paying users for their opinion in cryptocurrency. Since you choose your audience, the chance of low effort opinions is low. To help save on your budget, PopulaVote will also support probabilistic rewards, where only a select random few earn rewards for filling out the survey.
+ No Central Failure Point
How will someone fill a survey out if SurveyMonkey is down? What if there is a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS)? Unfortunately, it would not be feasible to use the service in these two circumstances. Companies looking at reporting data would too be left in the dark. Due to the decentralized nature of public blockchains, PopulaVote will be resistant to this. Access reporting data whether or not this website is down.
+ Robust Against Hacking
If a hacker, inside or outside, were to hack SurveyMonkey with malicious intent, it could cause chaos for the company and all companies and people that utilize its website. Data could be changed and become unreliable and untrustworthy. PopulaVote is built against this as we have no access to modify the blockchain itself. We only provide the means to do so. If a hacker were to hack our site, he/she would be disappointed to find we have no ability to update the information on the blockchain on behalf of the user. This is especially important in elections where the user needs to have assurance that his/her vote cannot be changed without his/her consent.
+ No Central Authority
We do not control the blockchain that the data is posted to. No one controls it. Everyone contributes to it. This provides people with the comfort that their opinion will be free from manipulation, free from corruption. No government can order us to remove data for censorship as we did not create it nor do we control or store it.
+ Designed for Elections
PopulaVote will support the use of general polling for market research, opinion polls, consumer sentiment and others. PopulaVote is also designed to support the much stricter requirements of government election polling through the use of secure ballots. We want to give the public trust that its vote does matter and will be counted. In the case of a close election, PopulaVote makes it quick and easy to perform a recount in a matter of minutes instead of days. Voters will have a paper trail in the form of a blockchain verified receipt number that can be referenced at any time in the future. PopulaVote will also support ranked choice voting to take advantage of new election voting initatives.
PopulaVote is a service of Above The Median, LLC.

Above The Median, LLC is an American based technology company that develops products and services that utilize new technologies.

Copyright(c) 2019 Above The Median, LLC
SurveyMonkey is a trademark for SurveyMonkey.com