Secretly, Sierra Leone Holds A Presidential Election Powered By Blockchain

As the presidential election took place in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, what happened behind the scenes was remarkable.

After the heated campaign between sixteen candidates, voters were finally ready to cast their votes. As they stood eagerly on the lines waiting to cast their votes, Agora, a blockchain startup in the country was using the technology to track their votes. The startup used its distributed ledger to provide insights into the process in the clearest way possible. Using a private permissioned blockchain, Agora was able to oversee the national election as it happened. The information collected by the blockchain was subsequently relayed to those who were entrusted with verifying the election.

Although this process marked a milestone in emerging technologies, it is just a preview of what Agora has in store. The startup plans to launch another version that will be more decentralized than the current technology. The startup announced that it is already engaged in discussions with other countries that may be interested in using the technology to oversee elections.

Jaron Lukasiewicz, Agora’s COO said in a statement to news agencies that the blockchain technology allows absolute transparency during elections.

In his words:

“No one would have expected that Sierra Leone, would be the first country to champion such transparency in voting technology.” With a software like this, the country can minimize the chances of hosting highly contentious elections.

Although the use of blockchain for a national election is commendable, the technology still has a long way to go. Agora still hasn’t made provisions for automatically collecting votes. The votes are collected in ballot papers and imputed into the software by individuals. This still gives room for fraud in the election. However, the future implementation of this technology will be much more different. When the hurdles are fixed, the technology will be an indispensable tool during elections in countries around the world.

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