Building Blocks with blockchain

With blockchain’s potential to embed trust into digital and physical asset transactions, Robbie Epsom asks what role it could play in achieving the UN sustainable development goals

Blockchain has been touted by some as a ground-breaking new technology, on a par with the internet, that will revolutionise the financial system, remove the need for centralised institutions (such as banks and regulators), save the environment, the rainforest, the healthcare system and even free speech.

These might sound like unrealistic, far-reaching claims. However, with a quick internet search one can find numerous studies, or real-world projects, attesting to the progress being made in each of these areas. Granted, some have had more success than others, but the ambitions are there.


Road to renewables

Blockchain is essentially the algorithm that underpins bitcoin. At its core, blockchain is a decentralised network of digital records or ‘ledgers’ linked to a particular asset, whether that be a bitcoin, a food product or even a written blog. Blockchain keeps track of every transaction made and its accuracy is guaranteed through the combined independent verification of the entire network.

Information on the history of ownership, financial data and any other important information is assigned to a unique signature known as a ‘hash’. If someone alters that information, that unique code no longer works, ensuring authenticity.

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a universal call ...

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