Blockchain technology has undoubtedly entered the humanitarian sector, and it is evolving every day to revolutionize the entire arena of developmental aid. Before further advancements, let us understand a few key points.
What is Blockchain? Let us see how it works.
If put in the simplest of terms, Blockchain is like a database, completely decentralized in nature, that does the job of recording transactions shared across a niche-like network of multiple participants. The famous digital currency called Bitcoin was the first currency to be exchanged using Blockchain technology.
The Blockchain keeps data of the ever-growing record of transactions done by participants within a shared peer-to-peer network. These participants also own their copy of the ledger, which is essentially open to the public domain, maintained cryptographically through verified and rightful digital signatures. Whatever is stored in Blockchain can refer to anything from monetary payments to personal data or even intellectual property.
Coming to how the technology works, it accumulates data into ‘blocks,’ which are time-stamped. These are then stored into a chain of transactions, linked through what is known as ‘headers.’ All previous transactions in a said network can be viewed—making the entire system verifiable and fit for audit. All the peers in a network verify the blocks’ validity, proving the transaction’s validity, making it tamper-proof, as more participants are added to that network. In other words, it is like finding someone’s address from the directory, which is very much public, but not being able to access the interiors of that house since that is what is private and secured.
Benefits of introducing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for relief work
- It is a distributed peer-to-peer system, free from third-party interference.
- Lower transaction costs since a banking organization do not monitor it.
- Faster transaction times
- Almost instantaneous transactions using ‘smart contracts
- Transparent and accountable transactions since blockchain provides an unaltered public ledger.
- Precise usage information and traceability
- Data security through encryption
For a better understanding of the advantages of cryptocurrency, you can click here and explore further.
These are the fundamental benefits of applying for distress relief yet.
Use of decentralized distress relief using Blockchain Technology
Applying Blockchain Technology to the humanitarian sector has manifold benefits, some of which we will discuss now in a bit more detail. It also addresses existing challenges and creates new opportunities.
Tracking of supply train and maintaining transparency
The origins, use, and destination of humanitarian aid packages can be monitored through Blockchain and traced whenever required.
Humanitarian financing for effective management
Blockchain traces aid distribution and enables smoother coordination amongst relief workers, thus stressing transparency and effective financial management, especially in these cases.
Payments and other data of benefactors can be stored on the blockchain with ensured security of all personal information.
The best platform which ensures rapid circulation of funds and low-cost transaction fares is provided by Blockchain networks.
Identification, documentation, and control
Individuals can prove their identity through the distributed public ledger put forward by a Blockchain network, enabling them to control all their funds themselves.
Blockchain technology to the aid sector, these simple points suggest that it can bring substantial effects in humanitarian work by providing a decentralized, more transparent, and efficient form of information and data management as far as relief activities are concerned. Instances of decentralized distress relief using Bitcoin had previously been in the news, sporadically. Recent cases of people with crypto-wallets donating BTCs, or other currencies on humanitarian grounds for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have also done the rounds. However, it has not been a chosen medium for major humanitarian work.
Unreliable and unwanted information is not a bother through Blockchain-powered data sharing. While certain information is public, personal data is not shared but instead highly secured from the marketplace.
Hence, it is clear that the innovation of Blockchain for humanitarian aid is an essential area of discussion. Still, it shouldn’t be confused to be a separate humanitarian innovation in itself. It can be successful in offering new insights into the entire challenge of distress relief aid and other fundamental issues about this particular arena.
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