Blockchain is software made up of records of digital transactions that are grouped together into “blocks” of information and shared securely across computers on a shared network. When a new block is added, it is connected or “chained” to the previous block, making it difficult to change past information. Digital currencies (e.g bitcoin) are famous applications of blockchain technologies, nevertheless, these technologies have promises that go beyond currencies or financial transactions.
UNICEF Ventures explores technologies, such as blockchain, with the potential to impact children and young people globally, providing them with information, opportunity and choice. The team sees blockchain technology as having benefits in three main ways: 1) leveraging innovative financing models to distribute resources; 2) increasing the efficiency and transparency of internal processes, and; 3) incentivising and encouraging the creation of open-source digital public goods. The approach to achieving this is by researching and prototyping with both internal and external stakeholders.
To understand the technical, social, ethical, and legal challenges of utilising blockchain technologies in our complex and interconnected world — the team is exploring this space with open eyes on practical experimentations of cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and various types of tokens, as well as by supporting learning and training initiatives to build capacity.