China's giant e-commerce platform Alibaba recently announced that it will use blockchain technology to boost transparency in the country's philanthropy sector. Will the endorsement from one of the world's fastest-growing companies be enough to mainstream blockchain as a tool for open governance and development?
The emerging technology that runs on a distributed ledger has become increasingly associated with transparency, accountability and open governance because of its supposedly tamper-proof design.
In theory, blockchain is intended to provide near immutable records for any assets or payment flows. Those security components have made blockchain a potentially attractive technology for global development actors.
National governments have been experimenting with the potential use of blockchain to manage land registries.
Banks and e-commerce companies are experimenting with it to design “smart contracts” to execute transactions. And perhaps the most popular application of blockchain technology, the virtual currency bitcoin, has been drawing windfall investments.
Is blockchain all it’s cracked up to be? Watch the DevExplains video above for more on what exactly blockchain is, the technology behind it, how it can be used for global development efforts, as well as its potential drawbacks.
With potential to change the trajectory of crises, such as famines or the spread of diseases, the innovative use of data will drive a new era for global development. Throughout this Data Driven discussion, Devex and partners explore how the data revolution is changing our approach to achieving development outcomes and reshaping the future of our industry. Help us drive the conversation forward by tagging #DataDriven and @devex.
Naki is a former reporter for Devex Impact based in Washington, D.C., where he covered the intersection of business and international development. Prior to Devex he was a Latin America reporter for Energy Intelligence covering corporate investments and political risks in the region’s energy sector. His previous assignments abroad have posted him throughout Europe, South America and Australia.
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