If you’ve been in or around the blockchain and cryptocurrency landscape for any amount of time, you know the line of questioning that usually starts with, “Oh yeah, you mean Bitcoin?” and then travels the tired path of:
“What does it do?” “What’s it good for?” “Isn’t that just for drugs and crime and stuff?”
In 2020, it is tiring, and a completely dismissive disservice to blockchain when this happens, but it’s what one should expect, I suppose, when we’ve left most of the public-facing blockchain ambassadorship responsibilities to crypto enthusiasts. Many of them mean well. However, when so many of them show super high levels of enthusiasm to retweet gimmicks and cheap “I’ll get you rich if you follow me!” videos – just for the chance to “win” what amounts to $1.50 in unheard of crypto coins – we can’t be surprised that the rest of the public has its suspicions.
I’ve riffed on blockchain’s true capabilities once in the past with Misha Lederman, back before he was the Director of Communications & Marketing at Klever.io (TronWallet). Even years ago, he explained that his love of blockchain really stemmed from its potential to level the global economic playing field – not just in wealth for wealth’s sake – but because its instantaneous access to funds could (and would) be such a game-changer for people in third-world areas.
So, fast forward to today, when I came across an article tucked way in the back on page 101 (out of 104) of September’s Fast Company. In an issue dedicated – according to its cover – to “the most creative people in business,” I find “Unlocking innovation to disrupt global hunger“. The piece highlights Building Blocks, an idea rocket-boosted into fruition through the U.N. World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator. (This isn’t nearly the first time Fast Company has covered Blockchain and hunger.)
To quickly sum up the program, Building Blocks uses blockchain – and all of its secure benefits – to get cash to hungry people. According to the article, it has helped more than 300,000 people to date after helping 100,000 in its first year.
I write this in the United States on a day where, just one day prior, we listened to the top person of the United States Postal Service having to answer questions from lawmakers on why delivery of vital goods and services, including prescription medicines and paychecks, have been delayed.
I think back to Misha’s vision of economic equality. I think of all the good things projects like Building Blocks are already accomplishing.
And it makes me beyond excited for what’s to come.