Blockchain Technologies

Explore the transformative potential of blockchain technology for the Sustainable Development Goals

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Blockchain
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Welcome to the UN Blockchain Group

Blockchain technologies introduce new systems of trust and exchange on which users can send value directly from one party to another without the need for intermediaries. Blockchain provides opportunities to create new ways of operating, creating transparency and improving accountability. For UN Entities, applications of blockchain technology include cash and remittance transfers, supply chain tracking, record keeping, digital identity, increasing transparency and many others.

A Practical Guide to Using Blockchain within the UN

Understand the Fundamentals of Blockchain

Tune in to learn how blockchain technologies work and how they could add value to the work of the UN System.

As we continue to face complex global challenges, collaboration and information sharing are more important than ever. By harnessing the power of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, we can revolutionize the way we collaborate, improving efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Here are just a few of the ways that blockchain technology can transform collaboration within our network:

  • Enhanced Data Security
  • Streamlined Processes
  • Improved Transparency:
  • Global Accessibility
  • Greater Innovation:

Applying Blockchain Technology

Explore how blockchain and distributed ledger technologies can transform the way we work together within the UN Innovation Network.

Innovation in

Blockchain

October 24, 2023
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UN Innovation Update 2023

The UN Innovation Update highlight how 40 UN Entities from across the system are leveraging innovative approaches in their work.

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January 3, 2023

Fintech Forward

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November 3, 2022

Venturing into Blockchain for Financial Inclusion

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October 7, 2022

Humanitarian Blockchain - Inventory & Recommendations

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September 22, 2022

The Future of Digital Cooperation

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January 3, 2023
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Fintech Forward

This 5-part series helps to better understand the impact of emerging technologies on financial systems and local economies around the world.

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November 3, 2022
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Venturing into Blockchain for Financial Inclusion

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September 22, 2022
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The Future of Digital Cooperation

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June 8, 2022
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[UN BeSci Week] Behavioural Design for Central Bank Digital Currency and Digital Payments

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May 31, 2022
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Learn & Earn - Language Learning in the Era of Web 3.0

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October 7, 2022
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Humanitarian Blockchain - Inventory & Recommendations

This report contains an inventory of Blockchain in the humanitarian sector and proposes Dos and Don’ts for anyone thinking about implementing the technology in the sector.

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October 7, 2022
October 7, 2022
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Humanitarian Blockchain - Inventory & Recommendations

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October 7, 2022
August 15, 2022
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UN Innovation Update - Best of 2020

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August 15, 2022
August 15, 2022
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UN Innovation Update (Q3 2020)

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August 15, 2022
August 15, 2022
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UN Innovation Update - COVID-19 Special Edition 2

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August 15, 2022
June 21, 2019

Blockchain for Remittances

UNCDF with technical assistance from Amarante Consulting is partnering with Laxmi Bank, a Class “A” commercial bank and its subsidiary microfinance institution to develop suitable savings and credit products that cater to migrant Nepalis and their beneficiary families back in Nepal. The end goals are: -To direct the flow of remittances into short or long-term savings instruments and/or credit products that help generate income and assets. -To explore credit products to support out-migration costs and meet short-term consumption needs such as payment of school fees. For that purpose, UNCDF and Laxmi Bank will explore the potential of blockchain to facilitate cross border settlements to drive down costs and artificial intelligence-driven credit scoring technologies to originate and gauge customer creditworthiness. Marketing exercises that are adapted to the local context will be deployed to create the link between remittances and access to finance. UNCDF and Laxmi bank will run a pilot in early 2019 for four months. The goal for the pilot is to enrol 400 savings and credit customers, at least 40% of whom are new customers for Laxmi Bank. Activity level in savings/credit accounts, end-use of credit and credit delinquencies are some of the other indicators that this pilot will aim to track. The emerging evidence from this pilot could inform potential course-corrections for a full scale-up in pilot corridors (Nepal-UAE and Nepal-Malaysia) as well as other geographies. The project’s objectives and tracking mechanisms aim to address four SDGs in particular namely poverty reduction (SDG 1), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), reduced inequalities (SDG 10) and partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).
January 15, 2020

Cotton Blockchain

The objective of this pilot is to enhance the traceability and due diligence in the cotton value chain through the implementation of blockchain technology, to support a circular economy approach. Working with a range of key industry players, UNECE will develop a blockchain solution for sourcing sustainable cotton. ---- Improving transparency and traceability has become a priority for the garment and footwear industry to increase its ability to manage its value chains more effectively; identify, mitigate and address labour and human rights and sustainability impacts; combat counterfeits; and manage reputational risks. Today, many companies have a limited view of the network of business partners within their value chain. Most can identify and track their immediate (Tier 1) suppliers, but information is often lost about the suppliers of their suppliers – a UNECE study demonstrates that only around 30% of fashion companies implement tracking and tracing in their supply chain – and most of these reach Tier 1 only. Nonetheless, the implementation of traceability in supply chains is a complex issue because it requires the collaboration of all stakeholders and the deployment of shared, reliable technical solutions. The global fragmentation of production is a key feature of the fashion industry which is further complicated by the prevalence of subcontracting and informal work, especially in lower supplier tiers. As a result, it has been difficult to provide consumers with information about product provenance Advanced technologies (distributed ledgers such as blockchains, AI, machine learning, Internet of Things) can enable fashion industry actors to improve supply chain transparency across a variety of ecosystems by making available all information about product origin in a transparent and trustworthy manner by assigning a digital identity to the product. Cotton is a key sector for the textile and garment industry because it is the world’s most widely-used natural fiber, with an approximate yearly global production of 20 million metric tonnes. It is a vital industry and a critical source of economic growth which contributes to the livelihoods of more than 350 million people, mainly smallholder farmers in developing countries. Nonetheless, cotton production has substantial environmental and social impacts which are increasingly interconnected and trickle down to negatively impact cotton producers. Many companies have already engaged with global cotton sustainability programmes and have started to shift from the use of conventionally-grown to organically-farmed cotton. In this context, and in connection with the UNECE project for advancing transparency and traceability of sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear sector, a first pilot will focus on a blockchain solution in cotton value chains. The pilot will be implemented in collaboration with experts from brands, manufacturers, raw material providers, standard-setting bodies and technology providers. It will cover all the production steps of the value chain along with relevant business data and sustainability data elements identified in a mapping conducted by UNECE and UN/CEFACT experts, and a selection of certificates linked to specific hotspots of the cotton value chain (i.e. certificate of origin, certificate of organic cotton, and certificate of zero discharge and hazardous chemicals substances), to ensure the traceability of a product type (i.e: a shirt/a suit, TBC) and assess the pilot’s scalability to other textile fibers.
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We encourage everyone interested in innovation - from all across the UN and beyond - to join the UN Innovation Network to collaborate, share experiences and innovate for the Sustainable Development Goals.

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