World Economic Forum: Potential of Blockchain Technology “Too Great to Ignore”

World Economic Forum: Potential of Blockchain Technology “Too Great to Ignore”

The World Economic Forum, the Swiss non-profit foundation that is best known for its organisation of the annual conference of the same name in Davos, has published its latest commentary on the social impact of blockchain technologies, arguing that it is now simply “too great to ignore.”

The piece, written by Carlos Santiso of the Inter-American Development Bank, refers to applications in “identity management, property registration and diamond trafficking” as examples of fields in which distributed ledger technology (DLT) now offers the ability to “root out corruption …in a world scarred by recurrent corruption scandals.”

“Not a Magic Wand”

At the same time, Santiso argues that, whilst DLT cannot be viewed as a magic wand for solving the world’s problems nor seen as a substitute for good government and strong institutions – a point which some may contest – it can nonetheless help to nudge governance in the right direction. 

By referring to upcoming implementations of Blockchain technology in Georgia and the Ukraine for managing land registry deeds, as well as Mexico which is trial-running applications for transparency in public contracts, the article lays out a number of examples of where DLT may bring value to public institutions. 

With corruption thought to contribute anything up to an additional 25% in the costs of public contracts within developing countries, the implication is that the Blockchain technology will bring just as much value to the public sphere and charities as it will to the private domain. 

The author notes, however, that the technology is still in its infant stages and that the promise of blockchain technologies cannot yet be taken for granted. The original, full piece can be viewed here