Ever wondered what is blockchain, exactly? Blockchain is most of the time associated with bitcoin and the cryptocurrency it enables. However, blockchain is far more than a cryptocurrency enabler (it has been used for medical records, copyright protection and voting records). In its core, blockchain is made up of blocks of transactions. Once the said transactions are finished, the blocks are being added to the chain. Each block is secured using cryptography. While blockchain is a large industry being dominated by men, it can be possibly used as a tool for gender equity and inclusion as a whole.
And how is that even possible? It’s like social media being connected to a magnitude of women raising their voices against sexual harassment and assault, blockchain can also connect women altogether for global movement toward economic empowerment of women, by women, because it enable women across the world to connect securely. For instance, through digitalized identification, property records, contracts and, of course, financial transactions, women in developed countries can use their opportunities to support their sisters in developing countries.
Now, why do women (and men) need blockchain? Women in developing countries are not the sole beneficiaries of blockchain, men as well. In the U.S, there is an approximate of 25% women who survive domestic violence throughout their lifetime, and 99% survivors who have experienced all sorts of financial abuse. With those experiences, it makes it harder for them to break free from their abusers, as we all know, financial abuse takes many forms: signing documents without their consent or worst, without understanding; running up a credit in the survivor’s name or controlling access to cash and credit. Regardless of what form it may be, all financial abuse has the same goal: to keep the survivors stuck.
It is here where women can benefit the use of blockchain. Through it, they can disintermediate their abusers in providing a secure ID, access to legal contracts, and secure transactions. Perhaps through blockchain, we could finally eradicate, or at least substantially lessen all sorts of financial abuse and help women break free with their credit and keep their economic futures intact.