BLOCKCHAIN AND BITCOIN: Blockchain technology developed bitcoin which now enables users to store computer code and “smart contracts”. With this innovative virtual platform, other applications of cryptocurrency such as DeFi (Decentralized finance) are also performing well in the market. They use blockchain-based smart contracts to implement their financial functions.
There were over 5,000 cryptocurrencies, with a total value of over $1.4 trillion of the market capitalization during the mid-week of June 2021, as stated by CoinMarketCap. Along with this, the top DeFi tokens were at a value of $51 billion of the market cap during the same period. In an annual meeting of the UN Commission of science and technology for development (CSTD), higher attention was paid to the importance of blockchain in the real economy, focusing on the trade areas, supply chains, and logistics. With relevance to the annual meeting discussion of CSTD, a report was published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on how to operate blockchain for sustainable development.
THE BASICS: WHAT ARE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)
These are a set of 17 global objectives centering around sustainability and development around areas such as education, poverty, climatic change, land and water, infrastructure, equality, and consumption with a target date to achieve all by 2030 (Agenda 2030). During a general assembly meeting by the UN in 2015, these strategic objectives were carefully selected for a worldwide impact on the future of humanity.
The United Nations has been exploring the impact and role of blockchain applications in achieving sustainable development goals along with the agency, international telecommunications union (ITU). There are several ways through which blockchain applications can contribute to sustainable development goals (SDGs). Some of them include – Providing food vouchers in refugee camps, enhancing gland registries and properties, improving access to national identification, Working upon energy consumption, climate changes, and so on.
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BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)
1. SDG1 – IDENTITY DOCUMENTATION
Poor people from major countries do not have access to official identity documentation. The ministry of digital economy and society of Thailand in 2019 launched a digital ID project in order to formulate a nationwide digital identification platform. The project aimed to utilize blockchain-based timestamping in order to affirm and establish the digital identities of people.
2. SDG2 – FOOD TRANSPORTATION
The second goal deals with deploying a private blockchain between the participants of supply chains for authorization. The supply chain digitization initiative, zero hunger blocks for transport, was launched by WFP with an aim to increase the working of food transportation between the Djibouti port to the destination warehouses through the Ethiopian supply chain corridor.
3. SDG3 – HEALTH AND WELL BEING
The electronic technology software production company (SOFTEL) is collaborating with the healthcare system of Cuba in order to manage and transmit medical information from different firms in the country through blockchain technology.
4. SDG4 – EDUCATION
The objective strives to develop a wave of creation for individuals in order to possess and share their official records. Blockchain-based credentials are used for academic certifications, civic records, and workforce development.
5. SDG5 – EQUALITY
An application was developed through the blockchain technology named VipiCash which allows a secure form of money transfer among women, so they can have access and control over their own money.
6. SDG6 – WATER AND SANITATION
A multinational firm named ARUP is working to develop a blockchain-based proof-of-concept along with the Australian government of the State of New South Wales to work on the water trading system, making it more trustworthy and transparent.
7. SDG7 – ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Rossetti of the Russian Federation, a power company developed a project named, Energy accounting using blockchain to increase energy efficiency and ensure transparency between power companies and consumers.
8. SDG8- ECONOMIC GROWTH
Federal tax service of the Russian Federation launched a blockchain platform called MasterChain2 which provides interest-free loans to SMEs and transfers digital values and information between participants, through blockchain transparency. Several other goals utilize blockchain technology to advance themselves and provide more value to the citizens.