Blockchain for Social Good

November 08, 2019 12:00 AM
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Blockchain technology is transforming the way people power their efforts. It is well-known through its popular cryptocurrency application called Bitcoin. This article elaborates the use of blockchain in solving real-world problems.

Understanding Blockchain

The blockchain is a decentralized, publicly accessible, shared and secured ledger that records immutable transactions. In the words of Kalus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, blockchain is defined as "a shared, programmable, cryptographically secure, and therefore trusted ledger which no single user controls and which can be inspected by anyone". The ledger is ever-growing and time-stamped that are grouped in blocks and maintained by distinct participants.

Blockchain technology establishes trust among its stakeholders with the help of three key elements: 

  • Identity

  • Ownership

  • Verification. 

The technology embeds digital signatures to solve identity problem, cryptographic hashing for ownership, and publicly transparent transactions for verification issues.

Blockchain technology to tackle global issues

The disruptive nature and characteristics of Blockchain has the potential to solve the most complex challenges on the planet. Since its emergence, the technology is presumed to be of use only in finance, but now it is applications are being studied for use in the impact space.

Agriculture

The investments in Blockchain for agriculture is rising even though most of the projects in this space are in an early stage. The inclusion of Blockchain into agriculture has the capability to impact the lives of all those who are involved in agriculture, from the farmer right up to the consumer. It has the potential to improve standards of agriculture practices and can enhance traceability, transparency, and efficiency across the supply chain in this sector.

Governance

Not only can innovation of government applications using blockchain technology enhance standards in the implementation of policies and distribution of government schemes to the public, but it can also build trust and transparency in the execution of government projects and increase inclusion to reach a large number of citizens.

Digital Identity

The World Bank reveals that there are 1.5 billion people in the world, who are unable to prove their identity. Blockchain technology helps to build and deploy digital identity solutions that reduce fraud, increase transparency, and increase efficiency. This can help governments, NGOs and nonprofits in aiding the underserved sections of the population.

Health

Blockchain initiatives in the healthcare sector can impact many areas. The primary application of Blockchain in this sector can be with regards to digital health records exchange and pharmaceutical supply chain management. The characteristics of Blockchain solutions that make it secure, decentralized, and efficient, can propel healthcare services into newer avenues.

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