WHY WE SHARE IT In 2018, the [...]
WHY WE SHARE IT Currently, the world's [...]
WHY WE SHARE IT Startups love it [...]
Without legal proof of your existence, you can’t do many things. You can’t vote, and you can’t drive. You can’t start a bank account or access government services. Good luck getting into a bar. According to the World Bank, more than a billion people have no way to prove their identity. The un-verified include refugees, trafficked children, the homeless, and other people who slip through society without developing many institutional affiliations. The problem feeds on itself: the longer a person goes without associations, the harder it is provide enough of a record to create them. But as bitcoin’s popularity swells, a small group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and social entrepreneurs is trying to put the cryptographic ledger that underpins the novel currency to work in service of the vulnerable. They see promise in using blockchain technology to create an immutable record, one that has the added side effect of making financial transactions cheaper and more efficient.
Those of us who have worked in the social sector remember a time when technology was to be avoided. It was expensive, top-down and would break. Leaders in the field regularly warned about broken water pumps, failed laptop distribution efforts, or the arrogant but well-intentioned technologist who would bring a technical solution into the field and stunningly fail, not having considered the cultural context or intermittent black outs.