Blockchain technology has evolved at an incredible rate and has made huge strides in terms of its impact in the public, commercial, and social sectors. It is now at the point where we can see increased use of blockchain for social impact, and not just in powering cryptocurrencies. Different sectors of society are becoming more educated about blockchain technology, and more are willing to implement these decentralised platforms into their operational models.
Leveraging blockchain for social impact is a logical step into a bright future as various industries are increasingly adopting the technology. It has moved beyond shopping, trading, or gambling at the best crypto casino and is now used for digital identities, government accountability, humanitarian aid, and philanthropy, among others.
With our world and society experiencing such turbulent and uncertain times, blockchain technology offers efficiency and accountability in a highly secure environment. Read on as we explore what blockchain for social impact promises and how we can maximise the use of this powerful technology.
Blockchain For Social Impact Outlook
Blockchain technology has steadily impacted society through a variety of sectors. It has created opportunities for society to embrace the benefits of using decentralised platforms. One of the main ways technology has infiltrated our daily life is through the financial sector.
Financial services providers across the globe are unable to reach more than two billion underprivileged people around the world who do not have a bank account. Cryptocurrencies have changed the perception of finance as decentralised platforms enable people without bank accounts to transact easily and securely.
Transactions are facilitated through payment and loan systems, digital wallets, and decentralised ATM facilities. This is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, as blockchain technology can reach more people who don’t bank within the realms of traditional systems.
Simple Implementation For Developing Countries
Developing countries may be in a better position to fully embrace blockchain and all the benefits that the technology has to offer. This is because they do not have as much infrastructure and systems. Instead, brand-new systems can be built around the blockchain and set up to work independently.
Drifting Away From Centralized Government Systems
Large parts of society are ready to embrace a decentralised system that doesn’t place as much control in the hands of the government and centralised institutions. The social impact of a decentralised system is significant as people can control their own information.
The power of safeguarding their information can eliminate the growing number of identity thefts that usually have devastating consequences for the affected individuals. Moreover, society will be able to reveal their information as they please and won’t be compelled to disclose anything they don’t want to.
Greater Financial Transparency
Financial systems based on blockchain technology offer greater transactional transparency. Anyone on a decentralised platform can trace and verify transactions as they happen. There is no more guessing what happens behind closed doors once the money is deposited into a bank account.
This is particularly helpful for charitable organisations that operate in developing countries, for example. These organisations typically rely on foreign aid, which people can sometimes be reluctant to donate if they cannot establish how the money is being used. In this case, trust is elevated in terms of transparent fund appropriation, working in favour of blockchain for social impact.
Blockchain Voting In Elections
Although there are mixed feelings about using blockchain technology for election voting, it has been done. For example, the state of Utah made history in the November 2020 presidential elections when a resident cast the first presidential vote on the Voatz blockchain-based voting app.
The argument for voting this way says that using a decentralised platform can enable election officials to obtain accurate results and eliminate the possibility of vote rigging. Voter intimidation, closed polling stations, and fake ballots will no longer contribute to manipulated election results as blockchain technology provides transparency and flexibility.
Voters can cast their ballots in the privacy of their homes without fear of intimidation. Additionally, the technology works on a decentralised ledger system that records all votes anonymously and securely. Proof of work would prevent any vote manipulation, resulting in fairer election outcomes across the globe.
Greater Security Of Personal Information
Another area where blockchain for social impact comes into play is that people worldwide will have exclusive control over their personal information. People will have the power to safeguard their information privately and securely on decentralised platforms.
Moreover, they can use discretion when sharing this information with financial institutions, authorities, or health professionals.
Verifiable Supply Chains
Businesses employing shared-value models in their operations will benefit from blockchain technology integrations. This will be enabled through the supply-chain processes, with measures such as tamper-proof verifications on questionable or lessor transparent supply chains. Additionally, these integrations can work to collect data about delivery times and conditions.
As an example, businesses can use blockchain technology to track food on their entire journey from a farm to a supermarket shelf. This is extremely helpful as suppliers can easily identify sources of food contamination and isolate specific batches. It can also help to trace any specific producer within the supply chain.
When it comes to the consumers of these goods, they can discover the true source of the products they purchase.
A Decentralised Computing Power
Blockchain technology is rapidly working towards the concept of decentralised supercomputers. The manifestation of this ground-breaking concept will enable entrepreneurs in third-world countries to rent greater processing power to maximise their business potential across the globe. Golem is one such example of the concept in action.
Business owners or entrepreneurs from developing countries can work or compete internationally without incurring costly expenses on computer hardware. Essentially, more businesses across the globe will be able to work on an even keel and create a more competitive business environment across all sectors.
Social Impact Investment
Blockchain technology is highly beneficial in terms of social impact investments. With this implementation on a decentralised platform, a wider audience can access private assets like solar farms and wind turbines, as they will be listed for public ownership. The concept would operate similarly to crowdfunding but integrate smart contracts into the equation.
This would ensure that all shareholders’ profits are paid out securely and automatically. Consequently, this would eliminate the need for financial and legal intermediaries that usually involve time-consuming and costly processes. Blockchain technology would also enable greater data collection techniques that accurately measure and evaluate all investment outcomes.
In terms of blockchain for social impact, the efficient delivery of renewable energy would be an area the technology can facilitate. Through localised peer-to-peer exchanges, renewable energy can be distributed.
For example, some energy companies that have embraced blockchain technology have employed blockchain-based solar power exchanges. This allows solar panel owners to trade off their surplus solar energy with neighbouring apartment blocks or individual neighbours. It removes the regulation and control from utility companies, with prices varying depending on demand.
This model serves as an example of the unrivalled potential of blockchain technology in the renewable energy sector and could reinvigorate energy economies across the globe.
Some governments worldwide have started trials of blockchain technology integration in their systems and protocols. These trials are meant to ascertain the level of efficiency the technology can deliver to the operational requirements of a government.
Overall, there is hope that implementing decentralised platforms will help to mould an accountable government structure. After all, the technology has shown promise in reducing corruption, fraudulent and wasteful expenditure and offers cost-effective solutions that eliminate the need for data in hardcopy formats such as paper.
The efficiency of a government’s operations can further be enhanced through the accuracy of blockchain technology’s decentralised ledger. This is particularly useful in terms of the disbursement of student loans, tracking the benefits payments of qualifying lower-income people, record keeping of land property deeds, and a detailed record of transfers of titles and deeds of all types of property.
Efficient Healthcare Processes
The healthcare system will become much more efficient with effective blockchain technology integration. Using a decentralised platform, there will be no need for a paper trail of health and patient records. These will be stored digitally with very little chance of that information being leaked or hacked.
This information is available instantly and will reduce the time-consuming effort required with paperwork. Moreover, when medical information is stored in a decentralised platform, healthcare professionals can quickly access important data points to deliver faster treatment.
Collect Large Amounts Of Information
While the digital space has grown exponentially, the ability to collect large amounts of data has not kept up with the pace. Organisations can gather and process information across many sectors and industries by employing blockchain technology. By using decentralised platforms, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and social services can develop a system of tokenised incentives that can be traded amongst each other to collect anonymous private data of clients.
This would make for more efficient operations with greater accuracy and less duplication. Additionally, a combination of smart contracts can help to facilitate incentivised behaviour change, social marketing, and nudge campaigns.
International Standard Of Identification
With the use of blockchain for social impact, a decentralised platform can contribute towards an international form of identification that helps to verify volunteers who work across borders for international charities.
While traditional verification methods typically cause long delays, Emergency Aid management protocols can be streamlined as verified work records are available. This means that volunteers can be cleared in large numbers and quickly assist in disaster relief programs that require urgent intervention.
More Control For Artists and Musicians
Artists and musicians will benefit immensely from blockchain technology, which will help them to protect their rights and facilitate equitable distribution of earnings.
By embracing a decentralised platform, there will be no ability for music piracy, and the industry could move towards a distributed music platform. This would enable music to be stored on the platform and allow users to buy intellectual property directly from the artist. Revenue streams would flow directly to the artist, which could be done through cryptocurrencies.
Simplified Blockchain Governance
While the blockchain technology ecosystem has evolved immeasurably, blockchains have maintained a rigid design element. For the technology to enjoy a greater social impact, developers are working tirelessly to create a secure identity solution that will make protocol changes easier. This will be done effortlessly without compromising the technology’s high level of security.
With these new processes, developers can identify inherent errors and bugs in the governance model. They can then work to develop and improve current protocols within the ecosystem and fix mistakes soon after they arise. This will ensure that the blockchain remains sustainable and continues its fantastic growth trajectory.
Sharing of economies can be realised through blockchain technology through peer-to-peer engagement. This is possible when smart contracts are integrated to infuse peer-to-peer sharing with immutable conditions determined by the owner.
This economy-sharing model can manifest through conditions such as speed limits imposed on electric cars that are leased or remotely programmed time limits for holiday homes that are rented.
The Bottom Line
Blockchain technology, in its various applications, has the potential to create a powerful social impact across the world. Many individuals, companies, and organisations are steadily implementing the technology into their existing operational framework with outstanding results.
With the world going through such uncertain times, it is reassuring to know that the incredible advancement of blockchain technology gives us a bright new opportunity to embrace.