Blockchain for Social Good ...


Bitcoin and blockchain technology have been getting much attention creating a humongous hype across the globe. With bitcoin's success, now every industry is interested in researching how to use blockchain technology as a solution for their industry. Blockchain-based technology has brought in a paradigm shift in the use of digitizing businesses. The demand for blockchain technology has increased not only in the financial sectors but also in the industries like health, education, agriculture, supply chain, and innovative firms to create a social impact in society. Therefore, blockchain technology can also help in the humanitarian effort by creating a distributed, shared, and immutable ledger among the members that are accessible with permission, and provides greater transparency, instant traceability, greater security, and automation of all the data. 

The distribution of humanitarian aid to persons in need is one of the most promising applications of blockchain. In Nepal, there are some issues with current humanitarian aid distributions. It is more labor-intensive, has higher transfer and overhead costs, and is subject to corruption due to its lack of transparency. So, with the use of blockchain technology in humanitarian aid distribution, it can bring about a change and create a positive impact for the social good in Nepal. 

There are several cases of how blockchain technology has improved the social good and allowed corporations and the government to help tackle global challenges.

Some of them are:

Rahat: Developed by a Nepali eSatya (a blockchain initiative by Rumsan Group of Companies), Rahat platform is an open-source, blockchain-based humanitarian aid distribution management system. Rahat’s main goal is to make the aid distribution process for vulnerable communities simple, efficient and transparent. Rahat is inspired by the idea of bringing in quick relief with minimum overhead costs to counter the plight of countries like Nepal. Rahat hopes to plug leakages in aid distribution, involve local communities to build financial resilience, and tap into support for unbanked populations efficiently as it uses mobile-based blockchain tokens to manage and monitor the flow of aid transactions.

Rahat has recently received an equity-free investment of $100,000 through the UNICEF Innovation Fund. 

“With UNICEF’s investment, we look at scaling and refining our prototype into a much more robust platform; launching a managed solution to onboard local partners and aid agencies; and building Rahat as an open-source solution. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded innovators who believe in the power of blockchain technology for social impact,” - Rumee Singh, Co-founder of Rahat.  

Plastic Banks: It operates in four countries: Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It uses the IBM Blockchain technology and turns the plastic waste into valuable currency by collecting and trading it for essential products. They are helping to transform people's lives in areas of high poverty and high plastic pollution.

"We use blockchain to solve global problems, providing financial inclusion for the world's poor and enabling transparent social plastic recycling systems."– Shaun Frankson, Co-founder, and CTO, Plastic Bank

Disaster in Texas: In Texas, thousands of people and companies suffered a lot after Hurricane Harvey. But the use of Blockchain technology helped the government agencies, private insurers, community partners, and others coordinate their efforts better so that all disaster victims can recover faster.

"It's incumbent on the government to harness the power, the technology and innovation of the private sector in ways that help people."- Joe Straus, former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. 

"People need to talk less about what Blockchain technology is and more about what it can do for people. That's when the power of it comes out and is understood."- Chelsey Delaney IBM's Design Lead for Blockchain Services.

Blockchain technology offers a lot of potential in the field of charity. From the above-mentioned cases, we can say that blockchain technology for social good can completely transform the interactions between donors, beneficiaries, and nonprofit organizations. The blockchain minimizes the danger of fraud and can significantly change how we handle environmental and social issues.