Horizon State Review

Horizon State Review

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Horizon State is a tamperproof blockchain voting system.

Problem Statement

Voter fraud is a major issue in every country around the world. The systems in place for voting are outdated resulting in a timely and costly voting process. The current voting mechanisms for capturing a large audience of votes also makes it difficult for any voter to see how their vote counts.

In voting, one must also trust their votes are anonymized, however this is not always the case. Fear can lead to a decision and subsequently outcome that is not the voter’s own. All of these issues lead to a less accurate consensus, decrease in faith in the voting process, as well as a lower participation rate.

Solution

Horizon State wants to address voter fraud, cost, speed, lack of transparency, and lack of faith within the voting process with the facilitation of the Horizon State Platform.

The Horizon State platform is an accessible, unhackable, and unalterable ballot box where user’s votes are counted real time and transparently yet anonymously.

How

The Horizon State platform is a front end platform that connects a user of the platform to a blockchain protocol. Currently, that platform is Ethereum. The user will vote on the Horizon State platform through their mobile device — and whichever outcome the voter decides on will be inscribed into the Ethereum blockchain. The user’s vote is anonymized because the transaction is privatized through the use of zero knowledge proofs otherwise known in the crypto community as zk-snarks. As a result of the transaction being private, only the voter knows who he or she voted for because only they can identify themselves as the sender. Therefore the user can see their vote has gone through and has been counted.

Benefits

Tamperproof — Because Ethereum is a decentralized network, it is mathematically nearly impossible to hack the network and therefore decision made by the voter. In addition, what is inscribed on the Ethereum network is essentially unalterable as well.

Traceable — There will be a voter identification process while signing up for the platform which will ensure that each voter is entitled to one and only one vote. Part of this process will include tying a phone number to your identity.

Participation Rate — Because the voting takes place on a mobile device, voting is more accessible. In India, smartphones are more accessible than restrooms. The participation rate will be higher, resulting in an outcome closer to the collective sentiment of all those capable of voting.

Cost — The cost a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain is significantly less expensive than the current methods of electronic ballots. In addition, because the platform is digital, those hosting the vote will not have to pay for the logistics in coordinating the setup of physical voting locations and staffing those locations. The cost will also be reduced on the voters end because they will be able to vote from anywhere.

Time — The amount of time it takes to tally a vote in the current process is cumbersome; votes are not counted in real time. In addition, having physical booths requires only one person to use a booth at a time to maintain privacy. This results in lines at the voting sites, some of which can be very long and take much time away from the voters. With Horizon State, the voter will be able to vote on their phone which cost less than traveling to a physical location.

Analytics — Because the data is on a public blockchain (though the voters are anonymized), it will be easy to generate analytics increasing the transparency to cost, timing to the improved voting process and predictive analytics to be used in future votes.

Customizable — Because the voting mechanism is software enabled, it is relatively easy to tailor parts of the platform for certain voting processes. In one case, Horizon State can be customized for an entire election in Indonesia, while in another case it can be used by shareholders of an American corporation.

Token Economics

The tokens are utilized as follows.

Horizon State will quote the total amount in fiat it will cost its client to purchase the tokens to host a vote on their platform. Horizon State will then purchase the tokens market rate (market buy) in order to use these tokens on the Horizon State platform. The amount of tokens will then be divided by the total number of votes that can take place during that voting stage. Once the vote is conducted, any tokens not used as a result of not achieving 100% participation will be owned by the entity that wanted to host the vote for them to sell at market rate or hold onto for another vote. Because the tokens are burned as the platform hosts votes, the token holders are rewarded for holding them. Additionally, because tokens are divisible and have a decimal place up to 8, it will take many years for the tokens to fully be erased.

Why Horizon State

Surely anyone can create the platform that Horizon State is creating, however not only is Horizon State a first mover in the voting on the blockchain space, they are tied to an organization named MiVote which are helping pedal the platform forward. They already have created their minimum viable product (MVP) and have already hosted a vote using the platform in Australia. Their connections are far reaching, as they are in discussions with 23 countries, 7 parliaments, and numerous multinational charitable organizations. Even if another organization would enter the space, Horizon State has progressed the farthest, and it will be difficult to dethrone them with all the progress they have made.

Drawbacks

Horizon State is currently built on the Ethereum protocol. Ethereum’s blockchain handles a throughput of 15 transactions per second. If the Ethereum network gets clogged with pending transactions, then the votes will not be in near-real-time and the cost of the transactions can go back to that of the current voting mechanisms. Horizon State acknowledges this as a shortfall of the platform, and if Ethereum cannot solve its transaction limitations with the proposed sharding method, it is ready to switch to another protocol that will.

As the cryptocurrency community matures, the space will be introduced to more dark pool trading. In the future, it is possible that Horizon State tokens will be traded in dark pools. Because the token economics assume that all tokens will be traded on exchanges through order books in order to benefit the holder, holders of the token may not experience benefits as much if people trade in dark pools. However, the team has acknowledged they want to support their investors as their investors have supported them — and will pursue an outcome that is most beneficial to them. That would imply when they quote their adopters and users of the platform, they will still market purchase them through exchanges rather than dark pools.