Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Blockchain & the SDGs: How Decentralisation Can Make a Difference

Blockchain's use beyond speculative finance is emerging and maturing. In a collaboration with PositiveBlockchain, we analyse this potential for social good, guided by the UN’s SDGs. Twenty-five external experts lend their insights into current and potential applications. What role can and does blockchain play in achieving the SDGs?

Blue book cover, titled "Blockchain & the SDGs: How Decentralisation Can Make a Difference" with Rubik's cube covered in SDG images and the dGen and PositiveBlockchain logos over blue background with same title and a blue and red blob.

To learn more about blockchain for social good, download the full report.

Blockchain is promising for innovative, decentralised solutions. Its impact on social sectors is particularly interesting, if understudied. In many ways, the trust and governance solutions can transform how we, as humans, relate to and help each other.

Impact on the financial sector is already fairly clear. Yet, its potential and current use extend beyond that. We collected insights from several experts to understand blockchain’s possible impact on many issues. These ranged from carbon footprint tracking to improving humanitarian aid delivery systems.

If you are interested in our reports, sign up for our newsletter or reach out to us for future collaboration at

Pale blue Rubik's cube with one layer turning over a blue background.

How can blockchain make identity services more accessible?

If you want to learn more about decentralised IDs current and potential use, download the full report.

Nearly one billion people cannot prove their identity, blocking them from essential services. Digital solutions bring new options, whether updating government-issued identities or enabling more secure stop-gap solutions.

And, with the advent of DLT, a new form of identity is emerging — Decentralised Identity. This establishes a trust framework, with IDs that are self-owned, independent, and enable data exchange. The improved trust allows more organisations to take part in these schemes.

These digital and decentralised options can provide: 

  • Faster access to resources
  • Increased security
  • Reduced privacy concerns.

Yet, to fulfil their potential, greater usability and government collaborations are necessary. Read what our experts, Balázs Némethi from the Decentralized Identity Foundation & Taqanu and Sandeep Bajjuri of Affinidi, have to say about these solutions.

Pale red Rubik's cube with one layer turning over red background.

What can blockchain do for financial inclusion?

To learn more about how blockchain is changing financial inclusion, download the full report.

Access to financial services is still an issue for many. For this reason, fundamental rights and opportunities to tackle poverty are limited. Unfortunately, this affects the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world the most.

Digital finance can boost a more equitable growth. But, blockchain offers the possibility to even further disrupt the current financial systems. Blockchain has the potential to:

  • Make the humanitarian sector more transparent and decentralised, with more direct aid
  • Improve financial inclusion of the un- and under-banked
  • Reduce remittance costs
  • Empower communities with more control over monetary systems
  • Support the development of digital UBI solutions.

To make these possibilities a reality, they must be developed with the input of individuals affected by those issues. Nonetheless, the impact of more inclusive financial systems are far-reaching. This is a rich area of work, and must continue to remain at the forefront of development. 

Learn more from our experts, Will Le of Celo and Sandra Uwantege Hart from Emerging Impact.

Pale yellow Rubik's cube with one layer turning over yellow background.

What does transparency and traceability mean for supply chains?

To learn more about how emerging technologies can support supply chains and the people involved in them, download the full report.

Supply chains are increasingly complex. This feeds into issues around food safety, ethical labour practices, sustainability, and counterfeit markets. 

Blockchain is particularly suited to aid the sector thanks to the improved trust and transparency it offers. In fact, when integrated with other technologies, it can support establishing much more transparent supply chains.

It can contribute to:

  • Improved transparency and traceability up- and down-stream
  • Secure second-hand markets for buyers and producers
  • Combatting conditions that lend to modern slavery and increase workers’ rights.

However, specific issues and target beneficiaries should define the different methodology to apply.

Learn more about blockchain for these uses from experts like Nathan Williams of Minespider, Peter Johnson of Ayadee Foundation & Corp, Anca Petre of 23 Consulting, and more.

Pale green Rubik's cube with one layer turning over green background.

How can climate change initiatives benefit from blockchain?

To read more about blockchain and climate action, download the full report.

Climate change and environmental protection are some of the greatest priorities of our age.

Many criticise blockchain, and specifically cryptocurrencies, for high energy consumption. But, on the other hand, governance innovations also make this technology highly interesting for climate action.

To tackle these issues and preserve our environmental wealth, blockchain-based solutions can namely:

  • Support the tracking and reporting of carbon emissions
  • Improve the carbon asset transaction system
  • Facilitate trade of renewable energies while enhancing financial flows
  • Enable more equitable governance standards for carbon emmissions.

Further, the high digitisation of the cryptocurrency sector make it well suited to drive the transition first to renewable energy systems, as a more reactive space. Many are already pushing to fully decarbonise blockchain as a blueprint for other industries to follow suit.

Therefore, with greater international collaborations, globally coordinated regulations and incentives, and smart standards, blockchain and other innovative technologies might become our door to a more sustainable future.

Hear about the potentials of this technology from Tom Baumann of Climate Chain Coalitioon and Miroslav Polzer of Climate Chain Coalition and IAAI.