Key findings of report by Asheem Singh:
- “Like the internet before it, blockchain has the potential to revolutionise the charity sector. It offers huge but as yet untapped benefits to charities – from ensuring the right recipients receive what they are due, to modernising charitable giving and offering donors real-time visibility of where their funds are being spent and what impact it’s having.
- Despite the potential benefits, the charity sector is currently behind the curve on blockchain technology. There are currently too few examples of blockchain use in the charity sector. The sector urgently needs to engage with the technology, given that it is revolutionising sectors – like banking – that charities already rely on.
- Blockchain is no silver bullet for all of the problems facing the charity sector. True, blockchain offers new perspectives on the challenges facing the sector, from transparency and efficiency to governance and accountability. But it does not hold all the answers. For example, although the technology can improve the efficiency and transparency of payment-byresults, it does nothing to address the wellknown issues with that model.
- Blockchain cannot replace the key role of ‘charity leader’, who has to define what is “right” and where money should be spent. Day to day, charity leaders are responsible for making tough decisions about resource allocation. They often possess knowledge that donors do not. Remove charities as the intermediaries between donor and recipient – which blockchain threatens – and the issues around securing core cost funding would only be exacerbated.
- The technology also presents new pitfalls that need to be considered before charities jump on the bandwagon. Most notably, initiatives that have sought to bridge the charity sector with blockchain have been vulnerable to hackers. Charities should be well aware of the challenges of new technologies and make sure they are working with technologists to overcome them.
- On its current trajectory, the future of charitable action is developing without the input of charities. Technologists are leading the conversation, yet they do not have the in depth understanding of the problems facing the charity sector or those they help. Some even see charities as the problem to be solved….(More)”.