Don’t get lost in the technobabble – blockchain is a confusing technology with a simple purpose: enabling groups that don’t trust each other to trade things or validate information without an all-powerful middleman. In a world where trust in institutions, including government, is declining, blockchain provides a useful way to create new systems to empower groups to work together and define what truth is. The blockchain is not synonymous with cryptocurrency, but it is related to cryptocurrency in the same way that the first application of the internet was email.
Chris Doten is a Senior Manager for NDI's Information and Communication Technologies team. Chris works to apply innovative, appropriate technologies to NDI's programming with civil society organizations, legislatures and political parties around the world.