Immediately stakeholders in the U.S. hear of “blockchain,” cryptocurrencies is what comes in mind, and with an excellent reason. This remarkable technology offers the support necessary for the decentralized, anonymized tracking and transaction of digital currencies around the world. Nevertheless, as many industries are discovering, blockchain technology also allows for many other uses and applications as well.
One important use of blockchain technology may be outside the mainstream business world: Some of the world’s most needy nations may profit from the incorporation of blockchain technology in several ways.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, a central African country wasted by an overwhelming and long-drawn-out war that has led to millions of deaths, is regularly among the poorest nations in the world. Currently, a report from Bitcoin News highlights a project slated for launch later this year that could help to protect children there from forced labor. This project will offer global industrialists of high-tech devices like smartphones with a guarantee that cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries was not mined by children. D.R. Congo has a significant problem with informal mining sites, many of which include child workers.
This country holds half of the cobalt reserves around the world, and this could reveal to be beneficial to the struggling economy in the years to come, especially as electric cars are likely to become popular. Truly, in the year 2016, Congo mined 54% of the 123,000 tons of cobalt generated around the world.
Basic Necessities That Blockchain Can Make Accessible
The hyperinflation in Venezuela has encouraged dramatic shortages of basic necessities and food and bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could help ease the strain. Given its global usage and the relative ease of cross-border payments and transfers, cryptocurrency has been a possible alternative to an increasingly problematic local fiat money for many citizens.
Haiti, still spinning from hurricane and earthquake damage caused over the last decade, and with a gross national Income per capita of just $810, according to the most recent census, also stands to benefit from blockchain. The Haitian government has suggested that blockchain technology could be used to record and register property transactions, voting, intellectual property and other aspects of bureaucracy.
Paul Domjan, global head of research, analytics and data at investment bank Exotix, says developing nations are the most promising beneficiaries of blockchain tech. He argues that, because “frontier markets in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia lag far behind [in the area of ownership recording], with average performance less than half that of the best-performing economies,” they are primed for the benefits of blockchain.
Amnesty International researcher Mark Dummett has pronounced cautious support for the integration of blockchain into efforts to address these and other problems afflicting developing nations, saying that “you have to be wary of technological solutions to problems that are also political and economic, but blockchain may help. We’re not against it.”
Aside the applications listed above, supporters of blockchain believe that it could improve the delivery of government services in these nations, help to offer identity services and even help to enhance freedom of speech and anti-corruption activities as well. All of these ideas are promising on paper, but as of yet major project implementation has yet to take shape, though several companies and projects have discussed plans and potential applications.
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