Blockchain technology, a novel way to ensure security, transparency, immutability and accountability all at once, has mostly seen implementation in developed countries till now. However, its inherent potential for cost-effectiveness and high speeds and efficiency make it a great choice to aid development in developing nations as well. Having said that, it’s not been easy to accommodate a new and unique technology in the emerging economies because of infrastructural as well as regulatory barriers. Many developing countries have high levels of corruption in the governance that can be tackled by the decentralized quality of blockchain tech. However, even these governments and legal systems often prove to be extremely resistant towards accepting a new technology that they have little control over and shifting from the status quo in general. Despite such barriers, blockchain technology is indeed being implemented in several developing countries. Here are a few examples of such applications:
Bangladesh: Although lack of clear regulatory directive, clarity in terms of how to use blockchain technology and trust in the new technology are impediments to the widespread adoption of this emerging form of technology, there are some areas that are seeing more and more applications of this technology at the corporate level. Some tech-based startups have begun attempts to raise funds/capital to develop blockchain in the country. More importantly, Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP is something that greatly benefits from the incorporation of blockchain technology. In Bangladesh, many companies already have ERPs in place and a substantial section of them are considering an upgradation to blockchain tech soon. Perhaps in the most heartening example of all, Swiss finance organization, has announced a collaboration with the Bangladesh Government (the Access Information Programme of the Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh) for the digitization of public records.
Philippines: Often touted as the “Crypto Valley Of Asia”, because the government-controlled Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has combined with Northern Star Gaming & Resorts Inc. to turn it into such. Phillippines has a large number of businesses employing blockchain tech for finance and more, and the CVA hub has been playing a crucial role in making them successes.
Brazil: Brazil is one of the few developing countries to be tapping into the benefits of blockchain to improve efficiency of their financial systems. A major example of Brazil embracing blockchain is the BCB or the Central Bank of Brazil is on its way to develop a blockchain-powered platform that enables regulatory authorities to share and exchange supervisory information amongst themselves.
Argentina: Another Latin American country closely associated with a culture of football, Argentina has also not shied away from implementing use of blockchain. Bitcoin as well as altcoins have garnered significant acceptability in the country and in June of this year, the government gave its official seal of approval to this already accepted practice. The Argentine Internet Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of the Federal Blockchain of Argentina to enhance public processes and introduce standardisation in private blockchain applications.
Zimbabwe: Being a country affected by cash shortages, this developing nation is considering a move to cryptocurrencies, powered by blockchain, as its newly appointed Finance Minister recently said. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe is also undertaking a study of the possible areas of implementation for blockchain technology, which will hopefully make it possible to have further applications in the future.
Therefore, while the picture of developing countries implementing blockchain may not be bright and sunny everywhere around the globe, with administrative, legal and logistical barriers, many of them are taking baby steps to embracing it. This leads us to conclude that it is only a matter of time before others follow suit as well.
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