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Blockchain's True Value Shown in Sierra Leone’s Blockchain-Powered Elections

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 15:40
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Darryn Pollock
Beating corruption and manipulation in areas that need it most is where Blockchain can really shine
Blockchain's True Value Shown in Sierra Leone’s Blockchain-Powered Elections
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While the world continues to implement Blockchain technology in seemingly endless facets of society, there are a few instances where its usage is desperately needed. Blockchain technology is being heralded as the tool to revolutionize everything from banking to economics, but politics is where it could really shine.

There is no doubting that corruption and manipulation are rife in political realms, and in countries where there are many impoverished and disadvantaged citizens, the corruption is usually at its highest.

Recently, in the poverty-stricken country of Sierra Leone, there was some positive news emanating around the use of Blockchain technology as elections in the country had a boost with the help of this distributed ledger.

Welcomed transparency

Presidential elections are underway in Sierra Leone as president Ernest Bai Koroma leaves office after serving two five-year terms.

In Sierra Leone Western District, votes cast were manually recorded by Agora, a Swiss foundation offering digital voting solutions, using a permissioned Blockchain.

The idea was simple: just like Blockchain technology helps ensure transparency with cryptocurrency transactions using public ledgers, by recording each vote on Blockchain, Agora ensured transparency with votes cast in the district.

While everyone can view entries on permissioned Blockchains, entries can only be validated by authorized persons.

Proper use case

With so many uses for Blockchain being spouted and developed through ICOs and the likes, it is difficult to envisage a use that can truly help make the world a better place, and not be one that is simply aimed at being a money grab.

Blockchain elections have been mulled over and discussed at length, but as with a lot of Blockchain applications, they have lacked the ability to be executed successfully and to full effect.

Now, by Sierra Leone opening the door to this possibility, suddenly, Blockchain can have life-changing ramifications. The power of the technology exists in its transparency, decentralized nature and anonymity, and, when it comes to elections, all of those facets are key.

Making the world better

Elections have been fraught with corruption and manipulation for ages, especially in African countries were dictatorships spring up easily, and the will of the people is brushed aside.

However, the use of Blockchain technology can easily ensure that the people’s will is available for all to see - immutable, unhackable and transparent.

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About the author

Darryn Pollock is an award winning  journalist from Durban, South Africa. He picked up Vodacom’s Regional Sports Journalist Award in 2017 while expanding his Blockchain and cryptocurrency reach.  He is a contributor to Forbes, Cointelegraph, Binary District, and of course, U.Today. Darryn’s belief is that Blockchain technology will be the driving force of the next technological wave and it is the obligation of journalists and writers to tell its emerging story with integrity and pride.