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Sierra Leone: What We Got Wrong
Blockchain technology may have the potential to change in the world, but exaggerating its real-world accomplishments can only sow public distrust and set the industry back. The recent confusion and controversy over the role of Agora, a blockchain startup, in the Sierra Leone presidential election serve as a case in point. While an Agora executive has taken responsibility for media coverage that overstated its involvement, CoinDesk inadvertently contributed in our initial story, which revealed the news to the world for the first time on March 8. First, the facts: Agora acted as an international observer in the Sierra Leone election, and it was accredited for this role by the African nation's National Electoral Commission (NEC). Importantly, Agora did not do the official vote count; that was the NEC's job. Rather, it provided an independent count of ballots that the official results could be compared against, and only for the Western district of Sierra Leone, not the whole country. Agora...