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In the podcast hosted by Charlie, Carlos Carlino discusses the innovative use of Bitcoin for election auditing in Guatemala. Carlos, born and raised in Guatemala, explains how the country implemented a system to timestamp election results using the Open Timestamps protocol to combat election fraud. This initiative, conducted by the Guatemalan startup Simple Proof, ensured that election documents were time-stamped immediately upon generation, significantly reducing the window for potential manipulation from days to mere minutes.

Carlos recounts his experience as an election auditor and the challenges faced during the 2019 elections, where website crashes and accusations of fraud were rampant. He emphasizes the importance of this technology in providing immutable proof of election results, thereby enhancing trust and transparency. The 2023 elections saw this system successfully deployed, with over 150,000 documents timestamped on the Bitcoin blockchain, marking Guatemala as the first country to use Bitcoin for election integrity.

Carlos highlights the potential for broader applications of this technology, advocating for its adoption in other public registries and elections worldwide. He calls on local authorities and Bitcoin enthusiasts to consider implementing similar solutions to safeguard democratic processes and ensure the reliability of digital records.

Follow our guest on Twitter: @carlostoriello

Follow our host: @cbspears

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00:00 – Intro

03:00 – Overview of Guatemala’s Voting System

04:50 – Proof of Work in Paper-based Voting

06:00 – Timestamping Election Results

07:08 – The 2019 Election Issues in Guatemala

08:20 – Open Timestamps Protocol

09:00 – Timestamping in 2023 Election

10:00 – How Timestamping Works

11:00 – Verifying Election Documents

16:00 – Comparison of Timestamp Data from Bitcoin

24:00 – Addressing Accusations of Election Fraud

27:00 – The Role of Bitcoin in Protecting Election Integrity

29:00 – Future Plans and Expanding the Use of Timestamping

33:00 – Challenges of Using Bitcoin for Public Registries

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