Blockchain ‘Is Not Going to Solve Everything’ in the Charity Sector, Says Expert

A charity technology expert has said that the blockchain ‘is not going to solve everything’ on its own in the charity sector regarding public trust and confidence, despite its potential uses.

Karl Hoods, who previously worked as the chief information officer at Save the Children, was speaking at the Charity Technology Breakfast Briefing in London earlier this week. He explained that Save the Children had identified the ways in which the blockchain could be used to improve services.

He said that the technology could be a useful tool when it comes to moving donations from the U.K. to someone else in another country without the worry of paying fees to convert currencies, reports Civil Society.

Hoods explained by saying:

The ultimate aim was to see how we could improve the donation process which currently involves moving funds from a donor, through our network, to Save the Children U.K., to Save the Children International, out to a country office and down to a beneficiary. That is an awful lot of steps with money being transferred from one member country to another, FX rates in changing that into U.S. Dollars and then changing back out in the country.

However, he said that people shouldn’t invest in the technology just because of the ‘hype around it,’ and that it’s not the answer that will solve everything in the charity sector, adding:

Blockchain isn’t the solution on its own. It’s going to come down to policy and lots of other factors.

When the technology will become widely used within the charity industry varies for some people. Some are of the opinion that it will be in two years while others think it will be at least 10 years. The blockchain, however, does have the potential to change the way the charity sector works, which in turn will help to boost public trust and confidence.

In 2015, a report from the U.K. Charity Commission found that public trust and confidence in charities in England and Wales had dropped from 6.7 out of 10 in 2014 to 5.7 the following year. At the time, it was reported that this was due to distrust in how charities are spending donations, a lack of knowledge about where those donations go, and critical media coverage of charity practices. Notably, while it still remains below the 2014 percentage, a 2017 study from the Commission found that public trust and confidence in charities remained steady with a rating of six out of 10.

It goes without saying that the blockchain could potentially solve the issues within the charity sector if the roadblocks were taken care of.

Image from Shutterstock.

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