When most men and women think about blockchain, they probably consider cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin along with Ethereum. They might consider how much money some people have made. However, blockchain is a lot more than just a way for tech-savvy individuals to get rich.
The Blockchain is essentially a technology which permits any stage constructed on it to be protected, incorruptible, and completely transparent. There is no demand for any intermediaries getting in the way, slowing down processes and potentially corrupting things.
While the technology remains in its infancy, blockchain is looking to be a very promising solution to a number of our planet’s most serious issues such as corruption, financial inequality and access to information. Even though there’s a long way to go before all of the kinks have been worked out, blockchain technology has made some developments towards a free and just world, even today in its first stages.
Let’s take a peek at a few of the incredible ways that technology is advancing global human rights and creating our planet a better place to call home.
1. Aid Refugees in Need
The global refugee crisis is one of, if not the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era. This complex issue takes an array of solutions to enhance the lives of those homeless. 1 such option was created utilizing blockchain and cryptocurrency to improve refugees’ lives. But how?
All funding received by the refugees from WFP were specifically used to purchase food items such as olive oil, broccoli and pasta, Alexandra Alden, a consultant for WFP, told Coinbase.
Since refugees are displaced, most of them don’t have access to a bank account of any kind to receive funds.
This amazing project was done on the Ethereum blockchain with the help of Parity Technologies, a startup led by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, along with blockchain big data firm Datarella.
2. Bridge Poverty
Sending money overseas can be very costly, and often the poorest get hit the hardest. Africa is currently the most costly continent to send money to.
Large intermediaries, such as banks and Western Union, take big cuts when sums of money are transferred, and it often takes a long time for the funds to clear. But because blockchain is decentralized, these problems are greatly reduced. This means businesses and families gain more economic freedom.
BitPesa is an online payment platform that leverages blockchain settlement to significantly lower the cost and increase the speed of business payments to, from, and within sub-Saharan Africa.
Just look at the 8th most popular cryptocurrency in the world, Stellar, whose website states:
Stellar has partners all over the world, from the Philippines to Nigeria.
Blockchain platforms like BitPesa and Stellar are utilizing this revolutionary technology to put the power in individuals’ hands, not large banks or intermediaries such as Western Union, that has the potential to transform millions of lives around the globe for the better.
3. Reduce Slavery
The seafood industry is notorious for human rights violations and illegal fishing. In Asia, the prawn industry has been caught using slave labour on their ships, forcing men to work for no cover under extremely harsh conditions. If they deny, they are brutally murdered.
Then large companies like Walmart, Costco, Tesco, and Aldi buy seafood from vendors that are committing these dreadful crimes, and unsuspecting clients wind up serving their own families food harvested by slaves, bettering the vicious cycle of violence.
The problem is it is rather tricky to understand where your food comes from and if it had been harvested ethically or not. That is where blockchain comes in. The Blockchain is an electronic ledger that is accessible by everybody. This means it could bring transparency to provide chains, allowing end buyers and consumers to confirm in which their food came from and how it got there, all on their telephones.
A UK-based company called Provenance is doing precisely this. Provenance is a stage that enables manufacturers to take measures toward greater transparency by tracing the origins and histories of merchandise.
The founder of Provenance Jessi Baker told the Guardian
We want to help support fish that’s caught sustainably and verify these claims down the chain to help push the marketplace for slavery-free fish. This pilot shows that complex, global supply chains can be made clear by using blockchain technology.
Even though blockchain technology can’t directly eradicate slavery from the fishing business, it gives the public access to data. This opens up the supply chain for anybody to scrutinize. Nobody wishes to knowingly buy prawns harvested by slave labour.
It’s not just the fishing sector that’s transforming because of the blockchain. Large companies with lengthy and complicated supply chains are taking note of just how useful blockchain could be.
BMW, for instance, has partnered with VeChain Thor in an effort to ensure the automobile manufacturing giant is not supporting child labour. About two-thirds of the planet’s supply of cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in which child labour laws are usually not correctly adhered to. By putting the distribution chain of cobalt on the blockchain, BMW will ensure they are just dialling their cobalt from certified producers.
As the public becomes more educated on what they are purchasing, firms that source their products will naturally rise to the very top, while people committing human rights violations are going to take a nose dive in earnings and finally fail.
4. Safeguard Land Rights
There’s a problem in Honduras where corrupt bureaucrats are stealing people’s property. They’re readily able to get this done by simply shifting ownership on the land titles which are all stored in a centralized database.
The blockchain firm Factom took notice and decided to do something about this injustice. They began collecting land titles in Honduras on a decentralized blockchain database. Without any intermediaries required, no tainted individuals could opt to alter any of the files.
As their website states:
We see that a future world in which corruption, fraud, and forgery are something of the past. We believe in maintaining private data private and procuring the world’s wealth because privacy and ownership of land are fundamental human rights.
Because of blockchain technologies, most landowners in Honduras are now able to be guarded against corruption and maintain their own sovereignty and dignity.
5. Eliminate Conflict Diamonds
Conflict diamonds also referred to as blood diamonds, is a phrase used for diamonds “mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity”, according to Wikipedia.
Back in 2000, African diamond-producing nations fulfilled in Kimberley, South Africa to talk about strategies to block the trade in conflict diamonds and ensure that diamond purchases weren’t financing violent rebel movements seeking to undermine legitimate authorities or their allies. To address this intricate problem, the Kimberley Process was created–a dedication to removing conflict diamonds from the worldwide supply chain–with blockchain, naturally!
The UN-mandated that diamond traders should adhere to with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which imposes requirements that must be verified on the blockchain. They need to commit to clear practices as well as the exchange of data. All this information is publicly available on the blockchain, which means providers can be certified conflict-free.
Utilizing blockchain technology can help to eradicate 99.8% of the worldwide trade of conflict diamonds.
Over certifying diamonds really are conflict-free, blockchain may also prove that the diamonds are real, not synthetic. The world’s biggest diamond producer, De Beers, revealed they’re conducting a pilot scheme to track their gems from mine to merchant for all these reasons. No one wants to purchase a ring to symbolize their eternal love and bond with their partner, find out it’s fake or worse, funded terrorism and war.
With blockchain tracking their diamonds each step along the way, De Beers can finally ensure their jewels are real and ethical.
6. Shield Against Voter Fraud
Modern voting methods are very out of date, still relying on paper ballots. There’s been a reluctance to move it online from fear of security breaches.
However moving the voting system onto the blockchain may be the perfect solution as it’s encrypted, decentralized, and incorruptible. Blockchain would shield against voter fraud since the network cannot be influenced or corrupted by one party as it doesn’t exist within one single location. Officials can count votes with absolute certainty, realizing that tampering is impossible.
Horizon State is a company working to bring blockchain to the voting populace. They have established a secure digital ballot box that voters may use to throw their votes right from their computer or phone without any manipulation, recording errors, or tampering, guaranteed.
This is set for a worldwide gamechanger and will shortly be adopted by political parties, multinational enterprises, global NGOs and communities in developing nations.
Another company working on attracting the voting system to the electronic era is Votem. Much like Horizon State, Votem has created a mobile voting platform which will make it possible for citizens around the world to safely and transparently vote from their cellular devices.
They’re already carrying out their assignment–in fact, Votem eased the most significant vote using blockchain technology to date. They motivated the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s ‘Fan Vote‘ a year ago, where 1,880,525 individuals All Around the U.S. engaged. Votem is currently working on enlarging their trusted blockchain voting solution to more critical elections globally.
Even the authorities of Moscow has taken note of blockchain technology. They recently announced they have developed a pilot system for monitoring votes through blockchain, to be able to reduce the risk of fraud if people are voting on town management issues.
This is great news for all voting citizens around the world, as we’re moving towards a system that will better ensure our voices are heard. Blockchain technology is helping redesign democracy in the 21st century.