Image: Voting in Sierra Leone using Blockchain

Sierra Leone Secretly Holds First Blockchain-Powered Presidential Vote

This is significant. If countries can securely, and maybe more importantly credibly, hold elections on a blockchain then outcomes will be less prone to be contested. This is as much a socio-political challenge as it is a technical one. 

Behind the scenes of Sierra Leone’s presidential election Wednesday, a second, perhaps larger milestone was quietly achieved.

As voters lined up to cast votes in what had been a heated campaign between 16 candidates, unbeknownst to them, blockchain voting startup Agora was helping keep track of it all, and through its proprietary distributed ledger, providing unprecedented insight into the process.

In what, by all accounts, appears to be a world’s first for the emerging technology, Agora used a private, permissioned blockchain – one inspired by the technology that backs bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – to oversee the results of a national election in real time. It then relayed the data to individuals entrusted to oversee and verify the nation’s democratic process.

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