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Blockchain wins big in Switzerland and Hong Kong

Blockchain’s claim to fame is Bitcoin. While it may be its most well-known application, interest in the technology continues to grow as countries like Switzerland and Hong Kong come on board.

Beyond Bitcoin

Blockchain offers a wide range of applications across industries, and its immutable and decentralized nature that makes it virtually robust offers a major advantage in processing a significant amount of data during nationwide elections. In fact, Swiss tax haven Zug is currently working on using blockchain to log votes. The municipality of Zug does not just want to become a blockchain capital; it is also one of the first administrations to show interest in ushering in blockchain-based voting.

The municipality completed its first trial, where people voted using their smartphones and the city’s new electronic ID system. The trial was completed last June 25.

“The premiere was a success,” Zug’s communications chief Dieter Müller quoted the Swiss news agency as saying. There were not that many participants, but the participants found the whole process easy. The technical analysis of how the trial went will be next as this is the most common problem with electronic voting. The holy grail for electronic voting will be a system that allows for auditing, while preserving the anonymity of individuals. Some believe that blockchain may just be the right answer.

Hong Kong wants to become an international blockchain hub

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said in their annual report that they plan to keep a close eye on cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). The watchdog also noted that the new technology comes with risks, so they plan to intervene if necessary. While the SFC has taken steps to create more defined policies against ICOs and local cryptos — warning people of the potential risks — Hong Kong has also continued to nurture blockchain-based financial, cross-border initiatives. In fact, the region has steadily built a reputation as an international blockchain hub.

As an autonomous territory of China, Hong Kong operates with a separate political system that also extends to the local economy. This means that the city does not approach crypto in the same way as China. Several crypto-related companies moved to the region after the Chinese crackdown. It was around the same time in September 2017 that Hong Kong expressed its support for blockchain. It has a relatively friendlier position towards the technology compared to China.

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