For most people, the mere mention of blockchain brings to mind the image of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that enjoyed a stint as a darling of new-age investors looking to make big returns in no time. However, experts say that blockchain as a technology can have several applications across industries.

In a move to harness this technology to increase efficiency and transparency, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) is trying to use blockchain in the e-voting process for listed companies. In a statement released on Thursday, NSE said it is conducting tests to use the technology for e-voting on Elemential Labs’ platform, that enables developers to build and manage blockchain applications at scale.

The pilot involves setting up a blockchain to connect the regulator with the company and the Register and Transfer Agent (RTA) during the voting process. Remember, blockchain is essentially like a shared and continually reconciled and updated database which isn’t stored in any single location but is hosted by millions of computers simultaneously; making it harder to hack or manipulate.

The voting rights will be tokenised (the process of substituting a sensitive data element with a non-sensitive equivalent), thus making them easy to transfer and proxy. The test will be evaluated on the auditability of the actions on the chain as well as the ease of conducting the process using blockchain.

Sankarson Banerjee, CTO projects at NSE said, “The immutable nature of blockchain will ensure that every action taken by a network participant is transparent to the regulator. Additionally, the smart contract framework enables synchronization of the vote count process between the company and the regulator in real time. These features will take us closer to an environment of improved corporate governance and compliance.”

Speaking about the pilot, Raunaq Vaisoha, CEO Elemential Lab said, “This brings us a step closer to highly transparent and clear corporate governance; an operating standard that most companies aspire to.”

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