Steemit’s Potential to Help Realize the UN Goal of Eliminating Global Poverty

Steemit is a young social media network built upon blockchain technology which has the potential to help the world realize the top United Nations Sustainable Development goal.

Even in its infancy, Steemit is already empowering people all over the world to monetize their creative abilities, such as writing, art, photography, music, and video.  Imagine getting paid to post content and comment on your Facebook and Instagram posts.  That’s the power of Steemit.

But will Steemit just fade away into oblivion like many other promising startups? Should we invest more into the platform or just take our profits while we can?

Just what is the potential of Steemit?

Stephen Kendal recently released an interview with Titus Frost  in which he predicted the Steemit blockchain platform could grow into a “$500 Billion or more social media powerhouse.”

This may be sound generous, but blockchain technology will revolutionize life as we know it.  Let me show you 3 reasons why I think Steemit is just getting started and why Kendal could easily be correct.

First, blockchain will soon be a routine part of our lives.

Beyond what we experience here on Steemit, blockchain technology is being developed or discussed for revolutionizing digital rights, contracts, and patents; electronic voting in both government and corporate settings; and supply chains for commodities and other trade interests.

Businesses worldwide are starting to take cryptocurrencies. People will need them, and they can earn them- lots of them- on Steemit.

Central Banks around the world also realize the old centralized way of doing business will be replaced by a decentralized system, and they are preparing for this transition.

Second, the UN is on a mission to end global poverty.

The number 1 UN Sustainable Development goal is to end global poverty.

From the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:

“Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.”

Could this be possible? The details of this ambitious plan at first glance seem improbable:

1a. “By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.”

A more recent report by the UN says that more than 700 million people continue to live on less than $1.90 per day.

1b. “By 2030, reduce at least by half of the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.”

The UN is advocating something called “Universal Basic Income (UBI)” or “Global Basic Income (GBI)”. This is an idea in which each and every citizen of a nation is given a basic sum of money sufficient to live above the national poverty line.

Where will this money come from? Thin air? Why not? Blockchain-enabled cryptocurrency is built upon trust, which is what most currencies are based upon anyway.

1c. “Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.”

1d. “By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.”

Blockchain-enabled cryptocurrencies seem to be a great fit for enabling this to happen.

Third, blockchain infrastructure is being built all over the world.

1. In July 2016, the UN declared internet access a basic human right.

These rights are to be extended to everyone on the planet, which has a current population of some 7.4 billion people. Moreover, the UN projects worldwide population to grow steadily until around 2050, reaching a peak estimated between 8.5-9.5 billion people, depending on who you ask.

2. Access to Blockchain Technology

As indicated by point 1d above, many people around the world still don’t have access to the tools needed to participate in a world of cryptocurrency.

The fact is, people from all over the world are still in need of this technology.  Even in America where I live, although it looks like nearly every teenager and adult has some sort of computer device, there’s a huge potential for participatory growth.

I’m amazed at the number of primary (high school) and secondary (college) students who have to rely on computers at school because they either have no computer at home, no cell phone, or no data.

But there are efforts to build this critical piece of blockchain infrastructure.

Former president Obama had a plan where he gave away free cell phones to targeted groups, and now President Trump recently announced a plan to invest in high-speed internet access to rural Americans.

3. Security

The decentralized characteristic which is attractive to so many users also makes it vulnerable to corruption. An in-depth analysis by the European Parliamentary Research Service titled, “How Blockchain Technology Could Change our Lives,” warns that blockchain “platforms could evolve into oligarchies by autonomous organizations.” Further, it would be difficult for law enforcement officials to track the unlawful actions of these organizations.

Of course this entails the development of security measures that do not currently exist. All of this has to be figured out, indicating that the world is not yet ready to jump headfirst into blockchain.

However, if organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), UN, Central Banks, and international corporations are taking cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology seriously, shouldn’t we all?

An alternative version of this article appears on Steemit.

 

 

 

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