Central American Country to Leverage Bitcoin for Elections
While Bitcoin's fundamental design centers on a proof-of-work system with the aim of revolutionizing electronic payment systems, an unexpected application emerged during Guatemala's 2023 presidential election.
Bernardo Arévalo, the newly elected president, found himself embroiled in allegations of election improprieties, prompting his opponent to call for a recount of votes.
In this contentious scenario, the Simple Proof web tool played a pivotal role by revealing that the voting process had been accurately timestamped at the close of polls on election day.
This innovative utilization of technology helped verify the authenticity of recorded votes by confirming their respective timestamps.
The controversy surrounding the election stemmed from Arevalo’s unexpected victory on August 29, 2023. Despite official confirmation by the country’s authorities, legal challenges arose due to his win over a formidable candidate who enjoyed the support of Guatemala’s conservative elite, as reported by The Associated Press.
In Satoshi Nakamoto’s seminal document, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” timestamping plays a vital role in creating an immutable hash-based proof of work.
This mechanism ensures the security of the blockchain by making it virtually impossible to alter timestamps without redoing the entire proof of work chain. Timestamp servers are instrumental in preventing double spending and upholding the network’s integrity.
This noteworthy development occurred amidst a broader trend in Central America, exemplified by El Salvador, which continues to embrace and strengthen the Bitcoin ecosystem. El Salvador made history in September 2021 by officially adopting BTC as legal tender, becoming the world’s first country to take this step.