KEY POINTS

  • António Guterres calls for the UN to "embrace blockchain"
  • An additional $3.3 million will go to support Sustainable Development Goals
  • Blockchain helps sustainable development through financial inclusion, provision of government services, donation, identification, environmental management

Blockchain technology nowadays is viewed as more than just a connection to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and is appreciated for what processes it can improve in modern society. China, in October, has already announced its stance in the development of the technology, with President Xi Jin Ping urging Chinese companies to "seize the opportunity" of the distributed ledger. António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, has the same message for the intergovernmental organization: "embrace blockchain."

The UN budget that Guterres presented to the national committee includes an additional $3.3 million, which is a 10 percent increase from last year, that will go to support the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and other "technical cooperation projects."

"For the United Nations to deliver better on our mandate in the digital age, we need to embrace technologies like blockchain that can help accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals," said Guterres in a statement provided to Forbes.

According to an Emerging Technologies whitepaper from the UN, blockchain will support sustainable development through better identification, which also coincides with accessing governmental services. Personal identification that is running on the blockchain network enhances security since data can't easily be corrupted, and this could channel other pertinent information like biometrics so care and other services could be provided to the individual.

The paper also noted improvements on how blockchain can help in managing the environment, citing Australia and the Netherlands as countries that have already utilized a blockchain-based system for specific environmental purposes.

The paper also didn't fail to include the benefit of financial inclusion, which is one of the primary purposes of most cryptocurrencies, including Facebook's Libra, where blockchain can make the transfer of value easier, especially to the largely unbanked marginalized group.

Making use of cryptocurrencies to facilitate donations is also something that the organization has highlighted and has recently started. Back in October, UNICEF, a UN organization, welcomed cryptocurrencies as a form of contributions for their UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. The fund accepts Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) and will have three beneficiaries in the UNICEF Innovation Fund and a project from the GIGA initiative.