Social-good innovators bet on blockchains to solve big problems
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
With Bitcoin shrugging off a “civil war” to surge almost 400 percent in 12 months while giant cryptocurrency crowd-sales are creating instant millionaires almost daily, it’s tempting to think that blockchain technology’s only contribution to society is as a dubious get-rich-quick tool.
But this misses the great potential that blockchains and digital assets pose for social good. Undaunted by humanity’s past failures to resolve some of history’s thorniest problems, numerous blockchain and cryptocurrency projects — some led by large international agencies, others by tiny startups – hope to tackle issues like poverty and environmental degradation and spread democracy.
There is undoubtedly a heavy dose of idealistic utopianism around these efforts. And the tech is far from being sufficiently developed to operate at the global scale needed – it may never be. Yet there’s no end of outside-the-box ideas from people who foresee a better way of doing things. Just as important, these efforts are founded on something quite real: blockchain technology’s capacity to improve transparency and address the perennial problem of social mistrust.