In 2015, about 10.7 percent of the world population lived on less than $1.90 a day. Enough to exist but barely enough to live. The percentage has reduced, but it is still a significant amount when you take into consideration the fact that it still constitutes more than 750 million people. Many solutions have been tried and tested over the years, but they have hardly scratched the surface. Now blockchain stands poised to succeed where every other solution had failed.
A move towards adoption
A few years ago Forbes featured an article with William Blair Partner Brian Singer on how cryptocurrency will end world Poverty. According to Brian, the growing access to the internet through affordable devices could enable particularly those from emerging economies to use a cheaper, if not a transparent means of recording transactions.
Many in the financial world, scoffed at this very notion. Of course, cryptocurrencies and blockchain had yet to reach the same level of importance they enjoy now. But situations change in the end.
The value of cryptocurrencies has increased ten times in value, despite current its current predicament. The recent years have witnessed widespread adoption and successful case studies on its practicality. The increasing amount of blockchain projects by interest groups and governments is definitely a positive sign which indicates that it is possible to transform monumental ideas into reality.
Financial inclusion is considered a key factor in the reduction of poverty. It basically means the formal access to regular financial systems, especially and specifically banking. As of now, over 2 billion adults remain unbanked. In emerging economies like Africa, mobile money has taken the place of most financial services.
Blockchain technology helps to overcome limitations in the banking’s sector, chief among them being the presence of a physical branch. It is well known that no physical branch is needed for blockchain to function as it operates on a distributed network, hence negating the need for a complex and expensive infrastructure to run.
This, in turn, saves up on the costs that banks pass on to users through fees and other hidden charges when performing transactions.
Transparency means less corruption
Blockchain can be a useful weapon in reducing corruption. The reason being that automation and digitization will minimize corruption as most robust systems would have a secure system which keeps track of digital footprints of all transactions, though it will still be subject to manipulation when held privately.
Nevertheless, the nature of blockchain provides a superb form of transparency. Blockchain is built to be tamper-proof. The introduction of smart contracts also makes blockchain technology even more reliable. Payments aren’t the only transaction that is meant to be kept in the transparent ledger.
Land grabbing is an existential threat for those who live below the poverty line as corruption allows unscrupulous groups to take advantage of paper documentation through fraudulent and manipulative practices an example being of small-scale farmers being driven out of their agricultural lands. It isn’t rare for some groups to acquire lands through rigged titles or falsified documents. A number of these lands are now converted in favor of urban development. With the help of blockchain, ownership would be impossible to manipulate as records may not be changed retroactively and any attempts at tampering will be seen by everyone on the network.
Moving towards the end of poverty
Blockchain is truly shaping up to be the technology that could be the vehicle for social change. However, it’s still a bit of a stretch to claim that blockchain will be the end of poverty. Besides, poverty is a multifaceted problem that needs a holistic solution. What’s exciting about blockchain is that it can influence several of the factors causing poverty.
Theoretically at least, an affordable, fast, and transparent means of transacting holds much promise to benefit the poor. The technology has also developed significantly beyond the payments advantage that Brian Singer initially pointed out in the aforementioned interview. The introduction of smart contracts has made blockchain platforms more comprehensive and versatile to deliver financial services.
However, as with most efforts with the best intentions, we have to witness more widespread adoption and successful case studies before a definitive verdict can be given. The increasing amount of blockchain projects by groups and governments is definitely a positive sign on the way to transform grand ideas into reality.
World Blockchain Summit Nairobi is that right platform to transform such ideas, where it aims to connect blockchain leaders with key technology players with governments looking to harness the limitless potential of blockchain.
To know more about the event visit: https//nairobi.worldblockcahinsummit.com