This little county in Africa holds worlds first Blockchain-powered election!

in news •  9 months ago

Cue March 2018, which will go down as a landmark occasion when Sierra Leone held its first presidential election using a blockchain startup company called Agora.

The use of this kind of technology is truly a day of reckoning as it brings in a whole new stance to how elections can be carried out without the threat of fraud.

Information on blockchain exists within a database that is always being updated, and since blockchain is decentralized the information isn’t stored in a single location but rather across an entire network of nodes, who each have the exact same information.

The great thing about using blockchain technology is the fact that, to the voter's eyes it was still the same as any other of the previous elections that took place. The citizens went to the polling stations and provided the necessary documentation, and they were able to cast their votes out of 16 candidates.


When all the votes were cast, the COO of the Swiss startup Agora released a statement about how it was able to manually record the votes on its own blockchain. However, the main difference between a blockchain of this caliber and one of a cryptocurrency is that only persons who have the intended rights to validate transactions can do so. Also, once all the votes were verified by the authorized parties it meant that anyone could see the results. When we relate back to Sierra Leone and the authorized people involved in the election, the people involved were the University of Freiburg, EPFL, and Agora, as well as The Red Cross.

Could we see blockchain technology revolutionize election voting in areas where there are corruption and violence? Who knows, but Sierra Leone has an unfortunate history of violence when it comes to elections as well as government corruption, so maybe blockchain is a step in the right direction to help the country elect genuine winners. Blockchain technology will certainly make election voting a lot fairer, and Sierra Leone is the perfect testing ground for this sort of scenario.


Chief Operating Officer of Agora.

“A country like Sierra Leone can ultimately minimize a lot of the fall-out of a highly contentious election by using software like this,”

Even though the votes were still carried out on paper, Agora has plans to eventually phase out paper ballots which would mean people would have to cast a vote through the likes of software on mobile phones or computers. Not only will this make voting easier and fairer, but it will also reduce the risk of corruption during elections.


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It is really a big wow! And Sierra Leonne to start with this. I know it will go well. We are on innovative era and it is time for change and to improve the way of electing in countries. But with the help of Blockchain, it is really a big big step!


Indeed! It's exciting to see how it will develop overtime!


Sierra Leone is way ahead of developed nations in terms of transparency now. There are no excuses anymore, they are terrified.

This is very crucial tech. to deal with corrupt government. This made me think about supporting a blockchain election in my country too(Philippines). To make sure there's no corruption and cheat election.


Yes, I do think it is a better system once we have a vetting system in place to prevent citizens from having multiple accounts/ votes. Many elections all around the globe are obviously a cheat. This way it takes the trust out of government and/or officials and leave it to an opensource ledger.

No more questioning as to whether this or that region really did tally that many votes.
Also will prevent counting more votes then there are voters! ha!


I am interested as to what you and other people think of your current leader? Would he win in a transparent Blockchain based election? After this news, any government that doesn't offer a free and transparent election based on the Blockchain is obviously corrupt, what have they get to hide?


He would definitely not win. haha'~ But with all of the selected candidates being so terrible. I don't think it would really impact much. Unless it was truly open to anyone, (Much like what Iceland did, Where anyone can run for any office.)


Wow ok, I thought he had a fair amount of support at home. Abroad he has a lot of admirers but I guess they don't have to live under his rule. Perhaps Iceland is pioneering decentralised politics?


You can talk with me about this sometime. My team can provide e.g. the software for that.

Insane... hopefully this is a foot through the door kinda deal and the small country sets an example for all the large ones


Right, Baby steps.. .
Gotta start somewhere. ^.^

It is so brave for their gov to take the first step!


Hopefully more govs will follow them too , and help eliminate corruption and fraud!!

This is fantastic news. I had a very interesting talk with one of the founders of a similar startup recently on the use cases of blockchain in political climates such as these. I genuinely see a future where the risks of violence at polling stations will be reduced as people probably won't have to go to polling stations anymore.

For now, though, it would be interesting to learn how Agora mitigates the risk of a vote being changed on account of the validation channels. For example, the votes are collected and ready to be validated. What are the risks of the votes being changed prior to validation?

Great read.


Interesting, Yes I'm also curious as to how Agora does this and medicates its risk of fraud.
As with any system, there's always an exploit. But I think its definitely a step in the right direction!

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Great news. Transparency is the key to fair elections, and blockchain technology undoubtedly has great potential as a tool that can facilitate in a big way.

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Block chain is changing the world, nobody can stop progress ! This shows that bill gates is an idiot.

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Cool Post. Since you got the bitcoin tag do you have a prediction for Bitcoin over the next few days? Also followed you for future posts :)


I dont think it will make much moves really over the next week. It will go up and down within 9-10k. but nothing significant really.

Steems trijectory on the otherhand i'm waiting to go down a bit more. I hope. lolz.
Buy the dip!

Blockchain, helping shape democracy since march 2018 😀



Damn!! I always knew this would be an awesome application for blockchain. It’s a shame I’m too lazy/ignorant to have pulled it off myself!


Right! Its been talked about for sometime now but it's nice to see it actually play out in action.
It's perfect for a heavily corrupt political climate such as minor countries in Africa.


i am attempting to pioneer a blockchain application that has yet to be implemented. thankfully I have the Steemit community to help, because I am also 'too lazy and ignorant to pull it off myself!'

I am proposing a blockchain app that allows neighborhoods to allocate municipal bonds in the form of crypto to each resident in the community, who then create and vote on proposals for neighborhood improvement projects (the winning proposal would then use the crypto to execute the project, sort of like GoFundMe). I would love your input and feedback since I have no idea what I am doing but I believe blockchain will be the future of community building.


Hey, that's actually a good idea!

I think it would be easiest if it were positioned in a way where it doesn't seem like a foreign tech such as crypto. Something branded in a way where it seems to fit in with other tools the local gov already uses. Also, an influencer in local gov on your side would do wonders for it. After you have the kincks worked out with devs, thats where i'd start.


thank you very much. Figuring out who can mentor/ get us connected will be the key indeed.

I hope to post the updated version within the next couple weeks, where I address the community's feedback.


Sounds like a very cool concept. I'm a decent programmer, but sadly I know absolutely nothing about programming dapps. I've also been notoriously lazy about working on any significant projects away from the office. I'm going to follow you since I'd definitely like to see how this progresses though!

The power of block chain not only allows you to vote anonymously, but also instantaneously. Image if day to day decisions of governments are made by every day citizens by voting in real time through block chain. This is truly revolutionary.


Big Gov will really hate it!
But the people will love its transparency!

good info

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How do we get the US to do this?!


Install an AI president! hahaha'~

Actually, it wouldn't be very hard really. Other than convincing people its a safer, faster and more efficient system of election.

The whitehouse already accepts petitions viva interwebs. Which not long ago people would gawk at the thought of. I think we could ease into it. ;)

I am from the Philippines and as a young citizen I hope in the future our country will experience election using blockchain..It will really help the country elect genuine winners without fraud.


Yes, I think it would do wonders for most elections.

Our recent election here in the US was (and typicall has been in the past) a joke.

I'm a bit sceptical, what's to stop them from entering the wrong votes into the block-chain?


Yeah thats a valid point. I guess it would comedown to being vetted first if its for an official election or major service. What blockchain would do best is recording everything. Who vets the voters would have to be another tool. They used paper on this one. Which would only work if there were one station and somesort of list I'd imagine.


If all participants were already vetted before voting, then it would be much more secure and harder to trick. Even more then our current system.


Let's hope that this brings us one step closer to eliminating voting fraud.

Follow me for latest news!! thanks

Yes it has to start somewhere where it's needed the most


I concur'~

Its a start. It will grow in time. ^.^

Nice post, nice to meet you @millz


Indeed, as you.


Wow. This is great! Hope the best person wins!

Brilliant and kudos to Agora! This voting procedure should go viral and then the corrupt politicians will have to come up with a new way to cheat their way into office. Ya, not gonna happen! 😉.

This is really great news. I have been thinking about how the same can be introduced to my own country, Zimbabwe. How long is this process? Can Agora help us set up and call for a similar system? @millz, I would really like to learn more about this as I believe our people here are ready to welcome such a change. This post will be my first Resteem, thank you for sharing.

When I seen this story the other day I thought to myself there really is no legitimate excuse for any of the developed governments not to do the same. Refusing to hold elections on the Blockchain has nothing to do with there not being the means or infrastructure to do so and absolutely the fact that our neo-feudal overlords are terrified of the results that a non-fixed election would make clear to us.

Sierra Leone is heading into the future as the developed nations stagnate.

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We see so mamy articles on steemit and the internet about how blockchain technology is going to affect many different domains. It's amazing to see these visions being realised amd in Sierra Leone! Elections are possibly the most important domain where a transparent system is absolutely necessary and I'm excited for the rest of the world to catch up soon.


Right. It's exciting to see practical action being taken!! ^.^

This is awesome!!! I had to stop the shameless self promotion of my new crypto currency based hip hop track to thank you for this post. I actually mention how fair transparent polling is one of the aspects of the blockchain most people just don't get and really focus on the tech. if you're interested.

It will be very interesting to see if this company and blockchain applied to elections cam scale, remain unbiased, amd ensure security to prevent fraud. That being said, the idea of an honest and fair election could scare people making adoption difficult.


Indeed, People are very used to the status quo. and who knows. maybe something honest would happen in politics for once.. (Scarry thought). haha'~

  1. Let's make honesty less scary!
  2. How many levels of threading does a steemit conversation support?

Nice work sir

hard to imagine that..

see what happen with me
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Sorry Yash, I'm not sure how to help you with that unfortunately.. :/