by Susan Basko, Esq.
BitVote is a new voting method and program invented by Aaron Bale and in development by some of the finest minds today. BitVote is an online voting system that promotes Distributed Democracy. Distributed Democracy harkens back to the days of direct democracy, which is decision making done by the people without representatives. In smaller organizations, this works. As a political unit becomes bigger, direct democracy has often been replaced by having elected representatives who then make it their daily work to know about the issues, attend meetings, and vote on the issues and laws. In the U.S., many people have found that representative democracy results in government that pleases no one and that spends too much money and confers little or no societal benefit on the average person. The widespread availability of the internet may make direct democracy possible once again. The townhall meetings of yore can take place on the internet, with those interested in a particular topic in attendance, though separated by thousands of miles.
BitVote works by giving a voter one voting unit per each minute of life the person lives after registering as a voter. That means each voter gets 1,440 votes per day. The votes are like currency, to be spent on whatever amounts on whichever topics are of interest to that voter. A voter may save up votes to make a big impact on an issue of great interest to that voter. BitVote is a way of giving value to a person's time and enthusiasm, rather than to one's money. BitVote makes issues less dichotomal by allowing voters, for example, to allocate 100 votes to one solution and 200 votes to another solution.
The BitVote system is envisaged to be fluid in function. If the people vote for the system to work in a certain way, and allocate money for this, then the system can be designed to reflect that functionality. The votes have the meaning assigned by the voters. For example, voters decide the process on how a certain solution or initiative will be funded or staffed.
BitVote is built on Ethereum, an open platform that works in units called contracts. The contracts can speak to each other. Vitalik Buterin is the founder, owner and lead developer of Ethereum. He is a winner of Theil Award that encourages computer program development. Ethereum recently issued its own currency or esoteric collateral, called Ether. Ether and BitVote are but two applications suited to the Ethereum platform. Over time, Ethereum and its uses will develop.
Aaron Bale came up with the idea for BitVote based on his own life experiences. Leah Pearl, who is a nursing school graduate, is the BitVote Communications Director.
I personally have been a sounding board for Aaron's ideas and a legal assist. I went from thinking that a voting system where each person gets 525,600 votes per year as a preposterous mess, to thinking of these votes as neat currency in a voting wallet, to be spent to create a better world. I like the idea that life is valued, and that each person's contribution is valued.
BitVote.GitHub.com - Vote with your Life.
What is BitVote?
BitVote is a universal voting ecosystem for the Internet era. For every minute of your lifetime, you'll automatically earn a "voting minute" that can be cast on any cause of your choice. Voting results are globally available in a transparent and decentralized legend, robustly resistant to manipulation or censorship and fully compatible with any preexisting social network or political system.
Remember how you felt when you first discovered the Internet? Remember how empowering and hope inspiring it used to be when we were growing up? How sharply does that contrast with the concerns people have now? Where's the Internet is going to be in five or ten years? Neutrality. Surveillance. Censorship. What if future generations don't have that same type of feeling we have? What if instead of inspiring and empowering them, the internet terrifies and debilitates them? I created BitVote on the hopes hope that we will be able to tip the scales back in our favor and give us a chance to systematically fix whatever it is that is causing this change.
Who is BitVote?
Aaron Bale (@arkbg1) founded BitVote in 2012 during the SOPA Blackout, with support and inspiration from Aaron Swartz (@aaronsw), Sven Swootleg (@joepie91) and Leah Chase (@leahxpearl). In 2014, BitVote began collaborating with Jasper den Ouden (@o-jasper), Stephan Tual (@stephantual), Joris (@mids106), Ethan Buchman (@ebuchman) and Vlad Zamfir (@vladzamfir) of Ethereum. The project has been developing for over two years through the teamwork of a network of programers, activists, lawyers, advocates, politicians, artists and normal citizens around the world. All the developers have one thing in common: a desire to have the voice of the people heard and heeded.