Applications and Use Cases

New Report Examines Social Impact of Blockchain for Sustainable Development Goals


September 22, 2021

A new report from the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) examines the social impact of blockchain as well as the launch of a social impact framework development.

"Blockchain for Social Impact," from INATBA's Social Impact Working Group, provides insights into the role of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for blockchain-based social impact. The group focuses on leveraging its members' expertise to understand and highlight the potential for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to tack social and environmental issues. These include climate change, poverty, inequality, food waste, corruption and other areas.

INATBA has more than 170 members dedicated to promoting global adoption of blockchain and DLT by facilitating conversations between industry stakeholders and policymakers. The report was co-authored by Joerg Walden and Maroye Marinkovic of iPoint-systems, a software provider and founding member of INATBA.

Based on a survey of around 70 projects conducted by the social impact group, the report tries to better understand the challenges, objectives and potential impact of blockchain and other DLTs for social impact projects. The report found that sustainable development goals played a role in the progression of several projects and that most projects measured their impact on those goals. It also found that a majority of respondents reported facing challenges around standardization and interoperability as well as access to funding.

Survey respondents ultimately shared a need for a global audit or standard for the blockchain community to facilitate more meaningful evaluation of progress toward social impact. As a result, INATBA will launch a workstream dedicated to the development of a framework based on insights from its own members along with academics, project developers and social impact specialists.

“As the report conducted by the SIWG shows, blockchain for social impact offers numerous exciting applications that have the possibility to make a meaningful difference in society," said Mark Taverner, executive director of INATBA. "INATBA is proud to lead the development of a framework to measure impact for these projects, helping contribute toward a more interoperable and impactful ecosystem.”

“In order to secure a more sustainable world for future generations we need a massive change in mindset and transparency," said Walden, CEO of iPoint and co-chair of the INATBA social impact working group. "These changes can only be realized with strong global partnerships and cooperation, and a full trust in data. The same is true for blockchain and DLT – which are clearly collaborative technologies. This report shows that we need the collaboration, full support, and openness of all actors if we are to realize SDGs with the help of powerful tools and technologies such as DLT.”




Edited by Luke Bellos

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