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Venezuelans Use Blockchain Tech in Unofficial Anti-Maduro Referendum

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Millions of Venezuelans have reportedly taken to a blockchain-powered platform and the crypto community’s favorite chat app to vote in an unofficial referendum.

Nicolás Maduro. Source: Twitter

The poll was orchestrated by Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó, a politician who has been championed by the United States. Guaidó boycotted recent parliamentary elections claiming widescale fraud. The elections were heavily criticized by Western governments and saw the ruling Nicolás Maduro regime finally take control of the National Assembly, claiming almost 70% of the vote.

But with voter turnout in the official polls hitting a new low of 31%, the USA and its allies have put their faith in Guaidó, with many in the West calling him the nation’s “President-Elect,” refereeing to contested presidential elections in 2018.

And at the weekend, Guaidó urged his supporters – and those of other opposition parties – to head to the American Voatz platform, which makes use of blockchain technology for democracy-related activities, to cast their votes in a referendum. Citizens were asked to say whether or not Maduro’s presidency should be terminated, and if they wanted to restore relations with the international community.

The platform has previously been used by local government authorities in West Virginia, Colorado and Utah for local government-related functions.

Parallel polls were also carried out on Telegram, a chat app that many in the crypto community favor.

Per media outlet ABC, some 6.5 million people cast their votes in the polls, although Guaidó is still yet to reveal exactly how citizens voted. At least half of the voters made use of the tech-powered solutions online, with the remainder voting in special booths installed around the nation.

Guaidó stated,

“Today there was a big winner: Venezuela and its freedom. Today we have to be proud to be Venezuelans, to [vote] in such a difficult moment and tell the world that we want freedom.”

The move comes less than a month after another American blockchain player, the stablecoin issuer Circle, expressed its support for Guaidó , also referring to him as Venezuela’s “president-elect” – and pledging support via a USD Coin (USDC)-powered fund.
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