Blockchain For Social Impact: Use Cases That Change Lives For The Better
When it comes to blockchain technology, many people usually tend to relate it solely with digital assets acting as store of value or as a means to pay for computational cost. However, those are just expressions of a technology that has multiple use cases and can definitely generate social impact. If you are wondering how blockchain technology can actually contribute to actually help people in many different ways, you will find some useful information and use cases below.
1 – Digital Identities
As we’ve previously analyzed when discussing self sovereign identities, having control of our identities and how that information is used will be of utmost importance to protect our privacy. Moreover, solving the digital identities problem is especially important as it sets the foundations to enable financial inclusion through blockchain technology.
On RSK, the smart contract platform on top of Bitcoin, RIF Directory is working to solve the digital identities puzzle. The main idea of RIF Directory is to avoid having silos of information centralized in a few hands by decentralizing these silos and making them user-centric where individuals will be able to control and move the information from one place to another.
By using people´s data inputs, RIF Directory will be able to provide access to credit lines and financial services to the unbanked. The project for digital identities known as DIDI will enable users to keep their data protected. WeTrust is another interesting example for digital identities and financial inclusion.
2 – Financial Inclusion
Once you have the identity problem solved, you are in a position to enable financial inclusion to millions of people. Currently, there are millions of unbanked who could drastically benefit from blockchain technology by reducing intermediations costs on remittance services and cross-border payments. Bitpesa is a great example of this concept in practice. DeFi is also a key ingredient of the recipe as it has the key features to enable a wide range of people (both technical and non-technical) to access financial products. Once the trust framework is generated, many actors from developing economies will probably explore DeFi options not only for financial inclusion but also for earning mechanisms without intermediation costs. RSK has vastly contributed to the DeFi ecosystem development with some interesting use cases.
3 – Renewable Energies
Credit restrictions have been a recurrent problem for green energy producers. Additionally, a considerable percentage of world´s population, still have little or no access to electricity. Through solar-powered microgrids, blockchain technology can enable both funding and access to local electricity grids. Green-energy producers could sell their surplus energy to other users within the micro-grid through a native token. This process would not only mitigate typical inefficiencies of traditional power grids and reduce costs for end-consumers but also enable access to electricity to millions. LO3, Vlux and SolShare are interesting examples of micro-grids. Power Ledger and Grid Singularity are also interesting examples of how blockchain has been explored for the macro scope.
4 – Health Services & Donations
According to a WEF post from September 2019, half of the world’s population has limited or no access to essential health services. Blockchain can contribute by reducing costs through disintermediation, rewarding citizens for leading a healthy life and by empowering users to monetize their data and save on health costs.
Blockchain technology can also provide scientists a direct way to stimulate research via funding through digital assets and validation and review by peers. Curecoin & Scientific Coin are some examples on this line.
When it comes to donations, Humaniq, Rootproject, Givetrack, Circles of Angels and Blockchain For Humanity are good examples of how blockchain technology can be used to help raise funds and provide further traceability.
The WFP Blockchain for Zero Hunger project is great example of how to combine biometrics and blockchain technology to help those in need. Unicef is also exploring many potential use cases through the Unicef´s Innovation Fund which has invested on different blockchain projects on emerging markets and is also using gamers´ computing power to mine crypto and raise funds.
For further information on how blockchain technology can be used for social impact, we invite you to visit the Blockchain for Social Impact Report from the University of Stanford as well as these interesting articles from Consensys and Forbes. Stay tuned for more upcoming exciting integrations!