Blockchain is a foundational emerging technology, which enables the transfer of a range of assets among parties securely and inexpensively without third party intermediation. As blockchain applications and platforms, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, become more widely known, there is increasing enthusiasm about the blockchain opportunity for the Earth. For example, how blockchain can be applied to address pressing environmental challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity.
If harnessed in the right way, blockchain has significant potential to enable a shift to cleaner, and more resource-preserving, decentralized solutions, unlocking natural capital and empowering communities. Such groundbreaking opportunities are particularly important for the environment, where global commons and non-financial value challenges are currently so prevalent.
“Responsible blockchain” approaches will need to be developed to realise these opportunities. For example, to manage security risks and adoption challenges, including blockchain’s own energy use. Supporting public-private collaborations and platforms will also need to be built. If we get all of that that, right, however, we live in exciting times: it is now possible to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems with emerging technologies, such as blockchain. It is time to put blockchain to work for people and the planet.