When Blockchain meets social innovation

Blockchain is a hot topic now, with its decentralization, open-source, and security characteristics, and many believe it could be the next trend that will reshape financial systems and alter global power structures. So what happens when blockchain meets social innovation and creates social impact?

When it comes to cryptocurrency that is developed on the blockchain, it is easy to understand that people can donate those currencies directly to charities and foundations, ensuring the purpose of the transfer is to benefit the community. And indeed, there are already websites that facilitate the donation of cryptocurrencies to good causes. As we can see that people were donating bitcoins to Ukraine during Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

Aside from cryptocurrency donations, some companies utilize blockchain technology in support of sustainability-focused startups and other sustainability initiatives. In July 2022, blockchain ecosystem Topl raised $15 million to help companies track and monetize social impact initiatives. They hope to decentralize and build community governance, launching new blockchain-powered products that can trace and register carbon credits.

Moreover, to further utilize blockchain’s attributes, there are ongoing pilots to take on real-life problems with blockchain solutions, that will improve social impact and governance in several different ways: Sovrin is developing a government-independent identity network to reduce fraud; The World Food Programme is fighting illegal fishing and human rights abuses in the tuna trade with supply chain integrity; ChromaWay is building a secure land management system for land registration in Andhra Pradesh; Smart Dubai will use smart contracts to verify court judgments and share documents in real-time to support their legal system with blockchain; The World Food Programme avoids banking fees by conducting payment reconciliation to aid vendors over the blockchain; The FDA is piloting systems to securely share information among health care providers and hospitals for public health; HorizonState, MiVote, Followmyvote, VoteWatcher, Netvote, and Voatz will make voting more convenient and secure for E-governance; The University of Nicosia built a blockchain library for student records; BitPesa makes it quick and cost-effective to transact with frontier markets; Everledger tracks and validates valuable assets like diamonds to ensure there are no human rights and labor abuses in the supply chain, and etc.

With its security features, blockchain enables us to control our own data and build a transparent bridge between the government and citizens. With its accountability characteristics, blockchain holds human rights violations and criminal behavior accountable by documenting and countering counterfeiters in the supply chain process. With its efficiency traits, blockchain improves operational efficiency and reduces the extra costs of middleman marketplaces.

Overall, blockchain can address many social problems, especially wicked social problems, and build upon the trust we have lost in history, whether it’s within the public sector or the private sector. Importantly, it also helps to nourish innovations that can improve people’s lives. Looking back at human history, perhaps this technology is the key to rebuilding our society.

Edit by SOCIAL INNOVATION INSIGHT

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Originally published at http://soinnoinsight.wordpress.com on August 17, 2022.

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