A decentralised app (dApp) developed at the University of Malta has enabled students in the Masters in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) to vote for their student representatives, for the first time ever, using blockchain.
“At this time especially, given the current situation, it was important to have a remote voting mechanism in place that enables trust and transparency thanks to the Blockchain-based solution. A main challenge to achieve this is onboarding users in a trusted manner – and digital identity platforms such as that provided by Vodafone provide a solution”, said Dr Joshua Ellul, Director of the UM’s Centre for Distributed Ledger Technologies.
This app was enabled using a Decentralised Digital Identity (DDI) platform, which uses blockchain, provided by Vodafone Group. The platform gives each trusted user stronger privacy because they retain full control of their personal data rather than that data potentially being controlled by a centralised authority.
Blockchain enables for many different types of applications and services to be decentralised, enabling the removal of central service providers. Indeed, it's not necessarily the case that all service providers should be removed. However, the technology allows for us to question which ones should be removed and provides a solution to enable transparency, verifiability and guarantees in digital services provided.
Through this voting procedure transparency, verifiability and guarantees with respect to the voting outcome was provided to each voter whilst voters identities could be kept anonymous.
The University of Malta team included: the Director of the Centre for Distributed Ledger Technologies, Dr Joshua Ellul; Prof. Saviour Zammit who chairs the Centre for Distributed Ledger Technologies; Prof. Gordon Pace, a Professor within the Department of Computer Science at the Faculty of ICT; and Shaun Azzopardi - soon to be Dr Azzopardi after completing his PhD within the Department of Computer Science; as well as all the Masters students reading the Blockchain and DLT programme who helped test the platform.
The Masters in Blockchain and DLT is multidisciplinary, in that it allows for students to gain an understanding of the various areas surrounding blockchain, cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and other DLTs, whilst also allows for the students to dig deeper into their area of specialisation. The Masters has three main streams targeted for ICT/computer science, law, business and finance students and professionals.