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HomeNewsGuatemala's Election Integrity: How Blockchain Technology Protected the Truth

Guatemala’s Election Integrity: How Blockchain Technology Protected the Truth

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Simple Proof, a revolutionary system, safeguarded the integrity of Guatemala’s 2023 presidential election results, ensuring transparency and preventing tampering

In the age of AI-generated disinformation and election interference, Rafael Cordón, a Guatemalan tech CEO and engineer, has developed a groundbreaking technology to protect the truth. Simple Proof, an immutable record-keeping system, uses the Bitcoin blockchain to safeguard data, ensuring the integrity of election results.

Who is Rafael Cordón?

Cordón, a native Guatemalan, studied mechanical engineering and later earned a master’s degree in engineering management at Duke University. After working in Accenture’s IT department and consulting for bigger financial institutions, he felt the urge to start his own project. In 2017, he rediscovered Bitcoin and quickly fell down the proverbial Bitcoin rabbit hole. Over the subsequent years, he continued to develop Simple Proof while founding and serving as the CTO for IBEX, a startup Bitcoin payment company based in Guatemala.

What is Simple Proof?

Simple Proof uses OpenTimestamps, an open-source protocol created by Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd in 2016. OpenTimestamps enables cryptographic timestamping, which is more trustworthy than human timestamping, as it relies on cryptographic algorithms to verify information. Here’s how it works: a digital fingerprint of a document is included through Merkle trees into a specific place inside a Bitcoin transaction called the OP_RETURN function. The OP_RETURN is where you write arbitrary text into a Bitcoin transaction. It’s like the ‘memo’ space on a check. This arbitrary text in our case is the proof of the document.

Guatemalan Elections: Decentralized

Like Bitcoin, Guatemalan elections are decentralized. The process by which votes are collected and counted in Guatemalan elections is explained in the documentary Immutable Democracy, which tells the story of how Simple Proof was implemented in the 2023 Guatemalan presidential election. More than 100,000 volunteers and 100,000 observers from different political parties and civil society watch over the creation and collection of over 150,000 Documents Number 4. The volunteer citizens who comprise the Vote Reception Boards watch as voters submit ballots at voting tables. At each table, the volunteers count the votes and transcribe the results onto their Documents Number 4.

TL;DR:

Simple Proof, a revolutionary system, safeguarded the integrity of Guatemala’s 2023 presidential election results, ensuring transparency and preventing tampering. Rafael Cordón, a Guatemalan tech CEO and engineer, developed Simple Proof, an immutable record-keeping system that uses the Bitcoin blockchain to safeguard data. The system ensures the integrity of election results, preventing tampering and ensuring transparency.

Source: Coindesk

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