Can blockchain alleviate world poverty?

Can blockchain curb poverty? It’s a bold, yet legitimate question some have tried to answer. I’m next in line.

Guaranteeing property ownership

It could protect the rights of the owner in the case of theft, and enable dispute resolution. Furthermore, such a framework could correct transfer of ownership after sale, and prevent fraud due to the irreversible nature of ‘blocks’.

Registering property ownership such as land titles on the blockchain has several advantages, such as reducing manual errors while improving security processes for transferring documents, mortgages or contracts.

Empowering the unbanked

Transactions are often conducted under the table, leaving behind no track record. This can be a problem in developing countries where it’s difficult to prove financial asset ownership.

Blockchain’s cryptography is about digital transfer of ownerships in a way that’s transparent and public. Public ledgers of ownership and transfers potentially wouldn’t be denied in the court of public law, regardless of how corrupt the government may be. Smartphones would be a logical way to propagate cryptocurrencies, as their adoption has skyrocketed in recent years. Worldwide smartphone ownership is currently estimated at 30%, and is expected to reach 37% by 2020.

Fighting migrant abuse and human trafficking

According to a 2013 report from Unicef, more than 200 million children under the age of five worldwide lack any kind of registration at birth, which exposes them to economic hardship and exploitation. Based on estimates, 21 million men, women and children are bought and sold across international borders every year and are exploited into forced labour.

A digital identify framework backed by a blockchain could alleviate the sufferance of such populations by guaranteeing identity verification in a trusted and accurate manner. It’s early in the game for blockchain, yet there’s hope it can be used for good.

This article was originally published on BankNXT.

Founder of Nuadox | Tech & Innovation Commentator | Digital Strategist | MTL | More about me>