Blockchain technology, with its immense potential, has been mostly utilized in the developed countries of the world. But its massive potential and positive impact on humanity will be felt more in underdeveloped and developing countries.
One of the major problems plaguing developing countries is corruption. Most of these nations are ruled by corrupt government officials who lunge at every opportunity to steal funds which were meant to contribute to economic development. A lot of them have high inflation rates with very low reserves, and they resort to international financial organizations (mostly the World Bank) for humanitarian aid in times of need.
The most alarming aspect of this legacy governmental corruption is that these aids and grants are embezzled by unscrupulous agents in the government. Corrupted government officials even go as far as branding these funds as ‘national cake’ purpose – funds which are meant to be directed towards the collective development of the nation and enabling economic growth. However, with the adoption of blockchain technology by these countries, the problem of corruption can be effectively tackled.
Blockchain features such as improved security, transparency, immutability (that is, once transactions are stored on the blockchain, they cannot be altered), and its decentralized nature make it a valuable tool in the fight against corruption.
Blockchain technology has the potential to positively impact developing and underdeveloped countries in more ways than can be imagined.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on two key areas in which blockchain technology has been positively impacting these countries.
Access to banking services
This statistic may come as a surprise to you but more than 2 billion people in the world (28% of the world’s population) do not have bank accounts. This is largely due to the fact that they have no access to banking services.
The current limitations faced by banks and financial institutions when it comes to the unbanked can be solved using blockchain technology. Issues such as identity verification that is essential to KYC (Know Your Customer) implementation can be solved using blockchain technology, as every user is assigned a unique digital identity on the blockchain network.
Also, unlike traditional banks, no physical presence is needed. This means people in the most remote areas can have access to quality banking services on the blockchain network.
Companies taking the lead in the provisioning of banking services to the unbanked through the implementation of blockchain technology include Everex, OmiseGo, Humaniq, and a host of other blockchain startups.
Access to affordable, reliable energy
Inability to provide the people with reliable and affordable energy has been a great limitation to the growth of developing economies. Thankfully, one of the industries which have harnessed the immense potential of blockchain technology is the energy sector.
Blockchain solutions are now available to provide clean and affordable energy but also to make it easily accessible especially to people in underdeveloped nations. Blockchain technology can be utilized to trade clean energy with your neighbor without having to go through utility companies. This would effectively reduce the cost of energy and enable easier access to energy supply, since every building on the blockchain would be interconnected through a peer-to-peer network (using an energy grid).
Blockchain startups that are leading the charge in providing underdeveloped countries with reliable and affordable energy include Sun Exchange and WePower. Sun Exchange gives its users the opportunity to earn bitcoins by providing energy to developing countries. Through their platform, users can buy a fraction of a solar panel that will be installed in a school or hospital in Africa in exchange for a monthly lease rent.
This would make electricity more affordable and accessible in communities where solar panels are installed, while allowing users owning solar cells to make a profit.
Blockchain is indeed the best tool to revolutionize developing countries, and its impact will be felt across almost every industry. However, local governments, businesses, and NGOs must make efforts to adopt blockchain technology solutions and educate people on the benefits of embracing this groundbreaking innovation.