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Sierra Leone Denies Blockchain Use In Recent Election

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West African country Sierra Leone's National Electoral Commission said that blockchain technology was never used in the recently concluded presidential election.

Citing its Chair Mohamed Conteh, the NEC said on Twitter that it has not used, and is not using blockchain technology in any part of the electoral process.

Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology that underlies Bitcoin and is touted to revolutionize business and services in future.

A Switzerland-based startup Agora had claimed that it employed blockchain to help track the Sierra Leone presidential poll held on March 7, apparently the first time in the world that the technology underlying cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin was used in an election.

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The NEC posted on Twitter that it uses an in-house database, originally developed for the 2012 election, to tally election results. The database was developed in C++ and runs on MS SQL - neither of which are open source applications.

French radio RFI reported that the NEC confirmed that Agora was only allowed to observe the polls, and unofficially. Further, the firm carried out tallying only in two districts and its results considerably differed from the official results, the report said.

Agora's CEO Leonardo Gammar attributed the difference to different standards used for spoiled or invalid ballots, RFI said citing an email response.

The firm also did not provide a blockchain explorer to make the workings of its system open ad transparent.

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