Practical Blockchain Applications For International Development

  • By Kenneth Evans
  • 10-07-2018
  • Blockchain
blockchain development
Virtually all emerging and underdeveloped economies or governments are key players in the provision of public goods such as education, security, health, and justice, to mention a few. Note that the provision of these goods doesn't mean that the government forks out these goods themselves. At times, the role of supplying the necessities is outsourced to private organizations including for-profit and not-for-profit partnerships. 
The recent findings were done by blockchain (unpacking the disruptive potentials of blockchain technology for human development) prove that it applies to the design and new implementation of the network's technologies in the global south. Although the local regulations are far behind when compared to the current advances in technologies. Besides, it has served as a virgin land for new technologies to take over presently. 
Government Service
government services
Fundamentally, blockchain has reached a milestone in providing services to governments. Some of such services include the general handling and management of public documents (which is a tough task for people in many developing countries to carry out). Often, services rendered by top blockchain development companies could also be used to support the general supply of virtually all public goods both to stakeholders and residents (notably, those that require individual identification and demand private interaction).
There is an underlying connection between blockchain and E-government, which is presently being explored by a selected group of startups including:
Procivis is a Swiss startup, which will be launching shortly blockchain based app store which functions in delivering selected government services to the general public. It will also provide identity services to customers. 
Of late, the Ukrainian government entered an agreement with BitFury to support and ensure that services provided to the citizens are of standard.
Blockchain technology is likewise gaining ground in Dubai and is presently planning to be fully established in Blockchain City in the year 2020 as part of its currently happening Smart Dubai Initiative. 
Quite some blockchain platforms are now providing support for areas that were not covered before but is now working in countries like Estonia and the Philippines, to name a few. 
Health is the key goal for Hyperledger, an inter-niche collaboration space to designs open protocols and sets standards for distributed ledger technology. 
The major targets of Hyperledger are the health sector; the Hyperledger has an inter-industry coaction platform to design protocols and standards spread out ledger technologies.
The blockchain technology startups have been unable to penetrate into the education sector when compared with other sectors.
Most of the examples below present how blockchain technologies could be compatible with a broad range of various smart government initiatives. 
Land Tenure
The first area blockchain technology explored was land titles. This occurred in developing countries and included planning as well as potential deployment. The government of Honduras signed an agreement with Factom in 2015, Factom is originally designed for the US and works with blockchains to handle the registration of land titles and handle the management of corruption or fraud. This came to be when a local foundation promoting libertarian values approached the startup and proactively developed the bridge connecting the tech company and government. A confidential agreement was reached. Nevertheless, months later, the project was put on hold for unclear reasons. 
This initiative was also set up in countries like Georgia and Ghana, last year. As for the nation of Georgia, Hernando de Soto the world-renown economist is a member of the advisory board of BitFury, an initiative designed by the blockchain technology.
As for Ghana, she is possibly seen as a domestic and not a profit startup. One of the users of Bitcoin's blockchain in the management of land title and land settlement dispute is BitLand. Bitland is nearly working alongside locally based institutions with the aim of issuing land titles and volunteering to try out the current advances in technologies (to tackle matters that have been lingering for years. Another company in Ghana presently working on the same line of action is BenBen. 
As the initiative in Ghana appears to have petered-out, another country; Sweden now moves ahead with its land title project. Hence, they are moving farther past the proof-of-concept phase. In any case, blockchain applications in developing countries typically encounter complex challenges. 
Identification of Services
blockchain services
Quite some startups are already working and compatible with blockchain identity services. For instance:
Namecoin developed significant technology for potentially and personal identity authenticity, promoting freedom of speech and forestall surveillance.
OneID84 works to provide multiple-factor authentication and single sign-on services, among others.
This appears to be one of the significant promising fields for the successful application of blockchain technologies as shown by the increasing figure of startups properly working in this area of interest. Blockchain technology-derived identity can be trusted to work appropriately in managing national and electoral IDs, birth and wedding certificates, passports, e-resident plans, and so on.
Nevertheless, some professional analyst in technologies argue that the existing digital ID technologies are working correctly and are preferably scalable when compared to those using blockchain platforms. The scalable restriction of blockchain technology may preclude massive deployments in populated countries like China and India. 
Freedom of Speech
Publism and FlorinCoin are startups that promote freedom of speech in different manners. FlorinCorin has developed a distributed ledger application (Dapp) popularly called Alexandria that looks into the decentralization of repository information and knowledge directly handled by end users. One of the key functions of this is the preservation of censored digital subjects that normally vanish from the internet. 
The same startup used for land titles in Georgia is currently being used by the US National Democratic Institution (NDI) after reaching an agreement with BitFury. They use this initiative to pursue anti-corruption with a platform tagged blockchain Trust Accelerator. This application was designed and launched in June 2016 with the aim of improving transparency in the government. 
Electoral Process
Blockchain technologies have also contributed to the electoral process at various level. One of the applications designed for this process is called "follow my vote" a startup that makes use of distributed ledgers to handle voting and forestall identity theft and fraud. One of the key advantages of this platform is that it verifies voters who are voting by choice by using individual keys. Ukraine is an example of the countries that have explored this area. The country makes use of E-vox and Thereum-based distributed ledger for domestic elections 
Deployment of blockchain technology in under developing nations isn't presenting any major interruption on a prolonged basis. Most are driven by supply, work as a single initiative (not connected to ongoing platforms). The role played by domestic institutions is only passive with little-prolonged ownership. Domestic political and economic challenges are yet to be formidable and will continue except blockchain technology initiatives take up a more comprehensive approach. 

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Kenneth Evans

Kenneth Evans is a Content Marketing Strategist for Top App Development Companies, a research platform for top app development companies in the world. He has been contributing to various blogging platforms and Forums.