Blockchain is not money for hackers. It is the technology behind Bitcoin, a decentralized currency whose critical innovation is the fact that anyone can verify any transaction ever made with each unit. Ultimately, this creates a massive, public, chain of data where everyone involved plays a small part. If you want to access a new bit of information, you need to reveal some of what you have. When you access a public bit, the network collects several copies of the same bit. All hosted by others like you. It makes sure all the bit’s copies are exactly the same. Otherwise, it is an unmistakable signal of tampering. There has never been such a secure logging system in history.
Because of the blockchain’s premise, it stands to reason that Tamara Giltsoff has big plans for Blockchain in international development. Head of Innovation at DfID, UK’s foreign aid agency, she shared some of her ideas on a Royal Society of Art gathering, as reported by Devex. Among the many ways Blockchain can work to make sure help is going where it should, Giltsoff suggests:
- Tracking the delivery of goods to the rightful, digitally-identified individual
- Traceability of raw materials, from certified sustainable or fair trade partners, for example
- A universal identity database where a person’s info and status can be verified by anyone, and modified by trusted agents
- Track funding allocations and the veracity of reporting by aid agencies at every scale