PWSH Blueprints

Blockchain for Humanity

Ava O'Reilly, Staff Writer

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Humanitarian efforts come into play across the world to help people in the most beneficial way possible. Over the past year, an idea sparked to life concerning how one resource could be used to deliver aid to people in need and help refugees through one database.  Blockchain could be that resource.

Satoshi Nakamoto invented the database known as blockchain that allows a decentralized platform for digital cash that runs primarily off the users. The system of using previous blocks to establish another transaction ensures a transparent information bank that is difficult to hack but promotes trust through the program. Blocks contain permanently stored data in a system similar to a file that eventually lines up into a connected sequence. Information entered into the system is irreversible and can solely be distributed terminating a risk of copying. The program comes from the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and is recognized for its use in Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies. Now how does a program that consists of transactions through cryptocurrencies come into play for helping people around the globe? As of today, around 30% of aid delivered to countries is never received due to corruption, but with blockchain technology the information stored in the program can help check if aid was successful in being delivered to the right location. The process of storing information that is not easily traceable and only can build upon itself acts as the base for a platform where people everywhere can begin to have their share in the technology for several uses. If humanitarian efforts in delivering care packages can become successful through blockchain then an even larger bridge could be crossed by storing personal identity information. Although, there would have to be absolute certainty that the data could not be put into the wrong hands, this could open a new door for people whose primary goal is to help other people. The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) has started analyzing the ways in which blockchain could manifest as a top tool for working towards a better tomorrow through partnership to benefit both people in need and the goals that blockchain aims to achieve. Groups everywhere are hoping to utilize the newly found benefits of using blockchain. In early 2017, the United Nation World Food Programme (WFP) launched a project known as ‘Building Blocks’. The Ethereum blockchain conducted the first test verifying if the network would actually record cash and food transactions. By the end of May, blockchain technology helped 10,000 Syrian refugees receive aid in one smooth, successful attempt. A humanitarian center in Europe referred to as Bitnation has even incorporated donations through Bitcoin. Crypto assistance is helping those in need one block at a time and could very well be the future of successful humanitarian efforts, especially during a crisis where fast response is key.

The possibilities for expanding ways to help humanity are endless distinctly with blockchain’s transparent, secure, user to user database. If there is a chance that the system could help pave a clear path to aiding humanity then we should see if blockchain could be the future of accomplishing a goal as simple as people helping people.

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Blockchain for Humanity