The Republic of Sierra Leone was the first country in the world to successfully implement and conduct presidential elections using the blockchain technology.
The Swiss startup Agora, which provided the elections with an additional layer of honesty in the counting of votes, was the technical provider of this action. Startup was engaged in the development of private blockchain for more than two years. Such blockchain allows you to distribute access rights between the participants, for example, to assign unit validators and decision makers.
So, the Red Cross, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and the University of Freiburg were responsible for entering data in the register node in Sierra Leone. The main feature in this case is that any person can monitor the data entry in the blockchain in real time.
It is assumed that such a method of conducting elections will significantly reduce the risks of vote fraud and will speed up the process of disclosure of results. Of course, entering the data to blockchain had to be done manually by the employees of Agora at this stage, however, even given that the election results came out 2 hours earlier than the promulgation of the electoral commission. In the future the approach can be modernized and automate the process of filling the register with the votes.
“A country like Sierra Leone can ultimately minimize a lot of the fall-out of a highly contentious election by using software like this.”— the COO of Agora, Jaron Lukasiewicz, said.
According to Lukasiewicz, the elections in Sierra Leone are only the first step on the way to increasing the popularity of holding elections through blockchain. Agora is already negotiating with a number of other states, so that one can expect an increase in the amount of elections held using blockchain in other countries in the nearest future.