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Chemonics News

News: At the Cutting Edge of Blockchain

| 2 Minute Read

Director Joshua Leland presents on applying digital distributed ledger technologies to development efforts at the D.C. Blockchain Summit, which takes place March 15 to 16.

On March 15 and 16, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, along with Georgetown University’s Center for Financial Markets and Policy, hosts the D.C. Blockchain Summit. Taking place in Washington, D.C., the summit brings together government leaders, organizations, and innovators to discuss the blockchain technology and its applications across many contexts.

Blockchain is rapidly emerging as one of the most important technological innovations of the 21st century. Best known as the technology underlying the digital currency bitcoin, blockchain is a digital distributed ledger that enables users to transfer digital assets cheaply, safely, and transparently without having to rely on an intermediary, such as a bank, to verify or execute transactions. Chemonics is proud to be a panel sponsor at the D.C. Blockchain Summit, where we share our experience exploring blockchain technology applications in the realm of international development. At 2:30 p.m. on March 16, Joshua Leland, director of the Blockchain for Development Solutions Lab, joins a panel discussion on this topic.

The panel, “Blockchain: Opportunities for Economic Development and Social Inclusion,” explores ways to leverage the technology to improve financial, health, and educational outcomes in developing and advanced economies. Joining Mr. Leland are Alan Cohn of Steptoe & Johnson and Neeraj Kulshrestha of Bombay Stock Exchange; the panel will be moderated by Loretta Joseph of the Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association. In the session, Mr. Leland will discuss pilot activities under development that Chemonics’ Blockchain for Development Solutions Lab is leading in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The lab aims to build, test, and scale applications of blockchain technology in development. Working with our partner, BanQu, we are applying blockchain technology in a variety of ways — to increase efficiency and visibility in global supply chains, streamline back-office business processes, and promote financial inclusion through digital economic identity. The lab will lead efforts to use this new technology to support meaningful information and communication technologies for development efforts around the world.

“We are in the early phases of this technology, but the potential for blockchain technology to reduce corruption and waste, increase transparency and accountability, and empower people at all income levels to engage in new and more efficient modes of commerce is significant,” Mr. Leland explained. “At Chemonics, we hope our investments in this space can help drive solutions that positively impact lives across the developing world.”

Are you attending the D.C. Blockchain Summit? We hope to see you there! Follow all the action on social media using #DCBlockchain.