When Mckinsey & Company explored Gen Z, they found their behaviour was anchored to truth and freedom. Gen Z value the freedom to express one’s individuality and avoid labels, the freedom to mobilise themselves to fight for their beliefs, the freedom to be idealistic.
“This generation feels comfortable not having only one way to be itself. Its search for authenticity generates greater freedom of expression and greater openness to understanding different kinds of people.”
The desire for freedom is represented concisely within self-sovereign identity. Catalysed by Christopher Allen, blockchain and decentralized identity architect, self-sovereign identity is an individual’s autonomy to govern their own identity. With the user’s consent, self-sovereign identity is interoperable across multiple locations with the user central to its administration. This concept fits nicely into the mould of blockchain’s decentralised, user-power nature.
Blockchain’s premise lies within making a secure payment with minimal risk — but its functionality continues to travel far beyond this. Its security, independence and freedom puts the power into the user’s hands. Although not adopted nor accepted by everyone, the sense of autonomy provided by blockchain is captivating individuals to discover that their ideals of complete freedom and their desire to fight against the status quo are fulfilled via blockchain and crypto.
Self-sovereign identity empowers individuals and makes a bold statement. It is a form of social impact, a method of disrupting the norm and a way of empowering individuals. The blockchain technology it uses is not just a money-maker, it is a way of making a change. Now with its ability to make a meaningful difference, blockchain has begun intertwining with NGOs and non-profits — those at the forefront of making meaningful change.
So now that blockchain has begun placing its finger on every part of life, how exactly is it emerging as a change-maker? Below we explore its impact on humans, endangered species and the environment.
Blockchain and the Refugee Crisis
More than a decade on since the start of the Syrian refugee crisis, the world still faces an emergency of catastrophic proportions. The numbers below speak for themselves.
Refugees face language and culture barriers, have limited access to housing, education, community support, healthcare, welfare and employment. They often have no experience managing a budget and often find their qualifications are not recognised in their new home. These, of course, are just a few barriers refugees face.
So how can blockchain help?
Unique Digital Identities (UDIDs) give migrants an identity that cannot be hacked or stolen. It uses a series of biometric data points as an electronic identity solution, allowing resources for refugees to be efficiently distributed and the security of funds for receivers improved. It can regain legal identities that were lost when they fled their homes which are independent of a refugee’s place of birth — much like having a self-sovereign identity.
In a Jordanian refugee camp six and a half miles from the Syrian border,refugees pay for their groceries by scanning their iris, confirming their identity on a UN database and querying a family account kept on a variant of the Ethereum blockchain by the World Food Programme (WFP). A wallet is never opened, cash never transfers hands and paper vouchers are never distributed — and if they are not used, they cannot be lost or stolen. WFP has shifted from directly delivering food to distributing money-for-food aid to over 100,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Joshua Murchie, the co-founder of Little Phil, a micro-philanthropy fundraising platform for charities, believes that iris scanning can be improved using blockchain technology: “The immutable and transparent nature of blockchain would give organisations a way to make sure that people aren’t cheating the system and doubling up on benefits; without having to share data.”
Murchie also advocates for the use of UDIDs to decentralise education and assimilation programmes. Migrants would record their attendance using their UDID and their education records would be stored on the blockchain, creating a globally accessible footprint that cannot be deleted or destroyed by any government.
Such integration of blockchain can pave a way for migrants to overcome the innumerable challenges they face, and help in the short-and-long-term to make resettlement smooth, painless and sustainable.
Murchie shares a detailed insight into how blockchain can help the refugee crisis here. Take a read but discovering more of what Little Phil is highly recommended. The article is just a taste of what Little Phil is doing to leverage social sharing and apply technology to enable transparency, efficiency and accountability not otherwise possible. Little Phil is short for Little Philanthropist.
Blockchain and the LGBT Community
As such, The LGBT Foundation, a charity delivering advice, support and information services to the LGBT community, has launched the LGBT Token scheme. The programme uses blockchain to “create a digital system that makes the community’s economic power more visible.” The digital tokens, which use Ethereum, gives greater economic clout to its members — without jeopardizing their privacy. The scheme is also used to fundraise for LGBT causes through the sale of additional tokens each year.
The LGBT Token also facilitates HIV self-tests. These are available to some of the world’s most at-risk populations who have insufficient access to testing. In a marriage of tech and healthcare, ordering the tests online via blockchain facilitates a transparent and traceable process where consumers can be assured of end-to-end supply chain traceability.
Such initiatives create a unified and visible network, helping the LGBT community to stabilise, grow and support those marginalised or lacking support due to their sexuality.
Find out more about the token here
Blockchain and the Environment
It is no hot take to blame carbon emissions for the current global warming crisis. In March 2017, as a means of tracking carbon assets in China, IBM launched the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain in conjunction with Energy-Blockchain Labs.
This is part of carbon asset development, also known as CER (Carbon Emission Reduction) quota issuing, which issues carbon credits that allow the owner to emit a specified amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. Carbon asset development incentivises a reduction in emissions due to the financial cost of emitting too much carbon.
Blockchain’s immutable nature creates credibility for CER quotas. The distributed nature of the ledger also increases audit ability, transparency and seamless collaboration between different stakeholders involved in the development and use of green assets.
Cao Yin, Chief Strategy Officer of Energy-Blockchain Labs, commented:
“It is estimated that the platform will significantly shorten the carbon assets development cycle and reduce the cost of carbon assets development by 20 to 30 per cent, enabling cost-effective development of a large number of carbon assets. Blockchain technology is expected to become an important means for effective control of carbon emissions, which is of great significance to China, the world’s largest source of carbon emissions.”
Blockchain and Endangered Species
Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa has jumped on board non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Called ‘Wildcards’, these unique digital artworks allow users to pay monthly to support an animal protected by the reserve — much like adopting an animal with a monthly subscription — but now in the crypto space. This simple, direct and pure method of receiving donations summed up to a $45,000 donation to Wild Tomorrow — a non-profit fighting for the protection of wildlife and wild places in Southern Africa.
As a result of corruption and the vast area of land that often needs to be covered, poaching is a difficult problem to counteract. The Newton Project,which seeks to replace centralized intermediaries with trustless markets, launched its ‘NewDrones’ that help fight animal poaching with the help of blockchain-based monitoring devices.
The Newton Project expanded on the project: “NewDrone footage will be uploaded to the NewChain for a hack-proof, indelible record of potential poaching. Using NewAI, this data can be analysed and anything suspicious is sent to local authorities.”
“Our solution reduces costs and manpower, making policing cheaper, easier, and more transparent.”
Blockchain has now become more than just a way of taking control of your own money. It has become a method of making a meaningful change, creating social impact and revolutionising the world in a very 21st century way. Significant change is now being made via a technology designed to bring power to its users. So how can you get involved, take control and make a difference using the power of blockchain?
Sinofy Group is gearing up to bring some of the best minds in the industry to share, educate and discuss current and future developments in the blockchain industries.
From October 11–15, Synopsis 2021 will explore the growing importance of the digital economy, focusing on its major pillars: DeFi, NFTs, Blockchain, Crypto and more. With 50,000 participants, 100+ international partners and 60+ speakers, the summit gears up to be an incredible opportunity to discover insights from world-leading experts. The event also offers more than just engaging discussions. Synopsis 2021 offers the opportunity to connect with these experts through contests, quizzes, Q&As, giveaways and more.
Uniting the crypto community, the summit will bring together those most passionate about the crypto industry. Expect to expand your network, deepen your connections, discover new opportunities and learn something new.
Ready to take part in Synopsis Chapter 2021?
Discover Synopsis 2021 here: https://events.sinofy.group/synopsis/
Check out the LinkedIn page for updates: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/76097190/