2019 Blockchain for Social Impact

2019 Blockchain for Social Impact

Doug J. Galen, Asset Abdualiyev, William Chong, Sneha Iyer, Rosanna Kim, Jay Ma, Darsh Mann, Elani Owen, Junhyung (Edward) Park, Gailyn Portelance, Olivia Seideman, Natalya Thakur, University of Oregon Blockchain Club
Stanford GSB Center for Social Innovation. September

Over the last five years, the promise of blockchain technology has swept the social impact world, with many innovators experimenting to find use cases for this uniquely secure technology. This has resulted in hundreds of new organizations, ventures, and initiatives (referred to collectively as “organizations” in this report) focused on blockchain.

To understand the ways in which blockchain can most effectively be used for social impact, our team conducted phone interviews with people in upper-level management positions (often CEOs and founders) at 110 organizations. These interviews were augmented through digital surveys. For this report, we focused on organizations in the following key sectors:

  • Agriculture and land rights
  • Climate and the environment
  • Digital identity
  • Financial inclusion
  • Governance and democracy
  • Health

In the following report, we share our conclusions from these interviews, including observations about trends that we discovered among our sample of organizations, as well as specific use cases in different sectors. In all cases, we are reporting on conversations held with a subset of organizations operating in the blockchain space and not extrapolating more broadly to the broader industry or sector.