Blockchain: The Future of Donating
Technology has changed our world and soon, blockchain will change the way we donate.
From smartphones to smartwatches, self-driving vehicles to artificial intelligence, the digital revolution is well and truly upon us, and blockchain is the latest step. It is easy to see how technology has impacted the way we communicate, entertain and socialise. What is less noticeable is the world it has left behind, including the way we donate.
Currently, 5 billion people are left without access to justice. From refugees in Australia to protesters opposing brutal police in Nigeria, the world is experiencing an unprecedented level of demand for legal help. With technology evolving to make everything easier, it’s a wonder why the same hasn’t happened for the legal system.
Similarly, the charity sector remains marred by an overcrowded space of intermediaries, a lack of transparency regarding funds donated, and the heavy burden of administrative and record-keeping costs. While the technology we are accustomed to allows us to see exactly where our rideshare driver is or when our packages will arrive, we are afforded no such transparency when giving charitably.
But now, technology is poised to break down these barriers to justice and charity. At the forefront of the future of philanthropy is blockchain technology.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain technology enables the creation of an immutable, decentralized database called a ‘blockchain’. It stores a chronological series of data objects, with every new entry of information comprising a new ‘block’ added to the ‘chain’.
The decentralized architecture of blockchains is ideal for increasing trust and transparency in institutions. Unlike conventional databases which store data on servers, blockchains are stored on many, separate computers. When a new block is created, that data is uploaded and recorded by every computer which has access to the relevant blockchain. For each new entry, every participant in the blockchain must verify and accept the new block, thus ensuring the legitimacy and validity of the database. Moreover, in public blockchains, anyone can view new entries to the database, including what they are and who created them.
What impact will blockchain have on charity?
Blockchain has the potential to transform the way we do charity because it eliminates the need for intermediary organizations to assist with directing funds to the right places. While still charging administrative fees, Blockchain technology lowers overall costs through the creation of decentralised autonomous organizations, or DAOs.
DAOs are systems comprising a network of smart contracts, which run on blockchains, that are programmed to execute specified actions when triggered by certain parameters. They have the ability to perform tasks without constant human intervention or oversight, eliminating internal corruption and are thus perfect candidates for the fair governance of organizations by groups of individuals. More specifically, DAOs are ideal vehicles for modern philanthropic intermediaries. They can be programmed to automatically move funds from donors to those in need based on data inputs or votes, as well as to record and verify those transactions. With DAOs performing the traditional functions of charities, intermediaries are rendered obsolete, and those overhead costs are eliminated. Those in need will have access to more funds to pursue their justice objectives.
What is even more enticing about using blockchain technology is the transparency factor. When donors contribute to causes, they are able to observe how those funds are used. More importantly, donors can become more involved in the cause, empowering them with the ability to ensure that their donation has an impact.
Blockchain at Legaler Aid
Legaler Aid operates at the intersection of technology and the law. We are developing our own blockchain powered by Proof Of Justice to make giving more transparent and put philanthropy back in the hands of the people. Join our journey in ensuring the 5 billion people currently excluded from legal institutions obtain access to justice. We are actively seeking partnerships with legal clinics, universities and organizations to help make that a reality. If you would like to get in touch regarding potential collaboration, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.