Blockchain. Blockchain. Blockchain. Everywhere you go in the world of technology and investing there is someone talking about this transformational technology and its ability to reinvent the world of commerce, government and some of the most basic assumptions about society.
While it’s easy to get turned off by all the hype, the bottom line is that blockchain has the potential to not just transform industry, but also to make a dramatic and positive social impact.
It’s become almost cliché in the world of technology to say that something will “change the world“ and that phrase is used far too often. The potential of Blockchain (and in particular Ethereum) to address some of the world’s most pressing problems is inspiring.
It’s easy to get lost in all of the hyperbole, but a quick look at four key areas makes very clear how blockchain can make the world a better place.
If you were one of the 143 million people who are victims of the Equifax data breach you are well aware of how frail our current system of authenticating identity is. In theory, Blockchain — combined with cryptography — will allow individuals to control their own identity and authenticate it using whatever information they want to reveal at whatever time they want to reveal it. This approach would disrupt incompetent government agencies and incompetent companies who currently are in the business of charging us fees to prove who we are.
2. Financial inclusion
Over 2 billion people in the world have no access to a bank account. This leaves them vulnerable to economic exploitation from predatory lenders, loan sharks and others who take advantage of the fact that they can’t prove who they are and thus make loans to them on unfair terms. Blockchain creates the possibility of total transparency in lending to any person, anywhere.
3. Supply chains
More and more, people care about where and how products are made. Blockchain has the potential to verify claims about where products came from, what materials were used in their manufacturing, who made them and how. In the case of our food supply, Blockchain can play a powerful role in keeping us safe, preventing food-borne illnesses and outbreaks.
Read more at: Blockchain and Social Impact – Breathe Publication