United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) releases Blockchain Paper on Social Finance

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A recent working paper has just been released by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), coined How Can Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology Play a Role in Building Social and Solidarity Finance?.

The paper written by Brett Scott, explores the potential of distributed ledgers to help create a global world order fairer and more sustainable than the current one, and wonders  how Blockchain technology can be harnessed for community empowerment and solidarity-based finance.

The UNRISD is an autonomous research institute within the U.N. system that undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues.

Scott, is an independent researcher and consultant on alternative finance and financial reform and also the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money.

“This paper sketches out the contours of some key issues that social and solidarityfinance practitioners should consider when thinking about cryptocurrency technology. It is intended to provide a primer on the basics of Bitcoin, and to flag up existent narratives on the technology’s potentials and limits.

First, it considers claims made by Bitcoin proponents concerning the positive role Bitcoin can play as a tool of financial inclusion, or as a tool to build new systems of property rights in countries with unstable governance. It also considers technical and political critiques of these claims. Second, the paper looks at the attempts to design new cryptocurrencies—such as Faircoin—based on explicitly cooperative and social justice principles,” writes Scott.

Thirdly he adds that the the paper considers the emergent wave of “blockchain 2.0” innovation, in whichthe underlying “blockchain” technology of Bitcoin is expanded into realms like share issuance and micro-insurance.

The original Bitcoin community made much out of the “trustless” nature of the technology (Miscione and Kavanagh 2015)—the fact that it does not rely on trusted central intermediaries—but newer groups are expanding the vision into one of trust-enabling decentralized cooperatives, or “distributed collaborative organizations”.

Read paper in Full here. 

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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