Applying Blockchain Technology for Social Impact

RightsViews article by Amanda Graham
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In a new RightsViews article, graduate student Amanda Graham examines the potential of blockchain, a digital distributed platform used for tracking and validating transactions, to overcome problems of accountability surrounding a number of human rights issues. 

Blockchain technology can record transactions of anything of value and can be leveraged beyond money to increase accountability surrounding contemporary social issues including, but not limited to, land rights, precious metal extraction, human trafficking, sustainable fishing, human rights activism, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

"By linking the power of humans and technology on a decentralized network, trusted information has the potential to change the world," writes Graham.

Graham's article follows on the Institute for the Study of Human Rights first installment in their technology and human rights speaker series that featured Brian Behlendorf (pictured), executive director of the open source blockchain collaborative Hyperledger Project. Behlendorf spoke on possible applications and inherent limitations of blockchain in current social impact projects.

Amanda Graham is an M.A. candidate in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University. Her research focuses on the nexus of blockchain technology and the protection of human rights in supply chains.

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