Blockchain for Development – Hope or Hype?
IDS Rapid Response Briefing 17
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Blockchain technology has been heralded by many as the next big thing. The potential use of blockchains has attracted widespread attention from the media, the IMF, the UN, and the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor.
Some argue that within 20 years, blockchain will disrupt society more profoundly than the internet has disrupted communication and media. With the reported potential to replace powerful financial institutions with a new form of cheap and secure banking globally, could it also transform development? It has the potential to offer new ways to track aid and tackle corruption, facilitate smart-aid contracts and cut costs for international payments, but experience suggests it is through adding value to existing development processes that it could have the most benefit.