Sierra Leone is first country in the world to use blockchain technology to vote

March 15, 2018 at 07:39 am | Tech & Innovation

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Contributor

March 15, 2018 at 07:39 am | Tech & Innovation

Sierra Leone has made history as the first country in the world to utilize blockchain technology during its March 7 general election.

The country’s National Electoral Commission allowed the use of the technology provided by Swiss blockchain startup company Agora to verify votes in the capital Freetown, reports bitcoin news site CoinDesk.

The technology tracked all the results in real time and then relayed the data to the electoral commission and other agents of the political parties for verification.

“Voters complete their votes on paper ballots and then our team with impartial observers register them on the blockchain,” Agora’s COO, Jaron Lukasiewicz told CoinDesk.

For the CEO Leonardo Gammar, who was in Sierra Leone to manage the operation, “It has been incredible to play a role in helping Sierra Leone’s citizens exercise their democratic rights, and to help their country maintain a transparent democracy.”

He added that the election is the “beginning of a much larger blockchain voting movement.”

READ ALSO: 16-year-old Ghanaian is cashing in big on bitcoin as Africa’s youngest entrepreneur

Agora said it will launch a more decentralized version of its technology as it is in talks with other countries who want to utilize blockchain to curb elections fraud and increase transparency.

Sierra Leone will on March 27 hold a run-off vote to choose the country’s next president after none of the frontrunners was able to secure an absolute majority in the first round.

The contest will be between opposition leader Julius Maada Bio who won the first round and Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC).

Blockchain technology has gained roots in the continent as several entrepreneurs are cashing in on bitcoin and other cryptocurrency trading.

This secured technology, which is resistant to modification of data, is managed by a peer-to-peer network and is suitable for the recording of events, medical records, and management activities including identity management, transaction processing, voting among others.

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