WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT BLOCKCHAIN?
Blockchain – a decentralized ledger technology (DLT) that enables the exchange of value with greater trust and transparency – has potential to disrupt markets and create solutions for the world’s biggest challenges. While investment to date has focused on its applications for financial services, blockchain technology could transform norms and systems far beyond cash and currency. Most notably, blockchain is immutable (cannot be altered), distributed (visible by everyone and owned by no one), and, trusted (verified through the ledger).
So far, blockchain has been applied in three major ways:
TRANSFER OF VALUE
e.g., currency, shares, or diamonds
VALIDATION OF THE TRUTH
e.g., land registry or personal information
e.g., automatic execution of an exchange, such as for payment for results or performance
HOW CAN BLOCKCHAIN DRIVE SOCIAL IMPACT?
The challenges plaguing the world today – like inequality, climate change, and corruption – require a global agenda that is coordinated, innovative, and pioneering enough to drive large-scale systems-level solutions. Increasingly, blockchain is seen as a key tool to accelerate solutions to these challenges by promoting inclusion, equality, and sustainable growth.
For example, blockchain could...
- Improve financial services for the world's 2.7 billion poor
- Verify supply chains for industries such as the $2B diamond sector, reducing fraud, slavery, and conflict
- ...and more.
SO WHAT'S STOPPING US?
Blockchain Frontier Group and other key movers aim to tackle three key barriers preventing the scale of blockchain for good:
- Limited understanding of blockchain's applications, market size, value proposition, and use cases for social impact
- Nascent solutions, negative bitcoin reputation, and limited track record that scare risk-averse customers and prevent fragile markets from experimenting, adopting, and scaling
- A fragmented sector that lacks the right platforms to support investors in sourcing pipeline and potential customers (from governments to banks to farmers), to help them evaluate new technologies, and to share of cross-border and -sector opportunities