Is Blockchain Simply Hype or Are There Lessons to be Learned?

I came across a very interesting blog post late last week. The article appears on MERLTech and is by John Burg, Policy, Planning and Learning Fellow at USAID; Christine Murphy, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Capacity-Building Specialist at Social Solutions International, Inc; and Jean Paul Pétraud, Monitoring and Evaluation Fellow at USAID.  The authors state that they researched over 40 blockchain use cases and to their surprise, they found nothing beyond “a proliferation of press releases, white papers, and persuasively written articles.” They go on to say, “However, we found no documentation or evidence of the results blockchain was purported to have achieved in these claims. We also did not find lessons learned or practical insights, as are available for other technologies in development. We fared no better when we reached out directly to several blockchain firms, via email, phone, and in person. Not one was willing to share data on program results, MERL processes, or adaptive management for potential scale-up. Despite all the hype about how blockchain will bring unheralded transparency to processes and operations in low-trust environments, the industry is itself opaque. From this, we determined the lack of evidence supporting value claims of blockchain in the international development space is a critical gap for potential adopters.… continue reading
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