Projectskeyboard_arrow_rightBlockchange: Blockchain Technology for Social Change

Blockchange: Blockchain Technology for Social Change

How can we use blockchain technology for social good?

Project Websitelink
    Governance Area
  • Municipal Governance National Governance Regional Governance
  • Institution Type
  • Academic Nonprofit International Organization
  • Innovative Capability
  • Expert Networks
  • Product Category
  • Case Studies


In 2008, an unknown source calling itself Satoshi Nakamoto released a paper named Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System which introduced Blockchain. Blockchain is a novel technology that uses a distributed ledger to record transactions and ensure compliance. Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger technologies (DLTs) rely on an ability to act as a vast, transparent, and secure public database.

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) have disruptive potential beyond innovation in products, services, revenue streams and operating systems within industry. By providing transparency and accountability in new and distributed ways, DLTs have the potential to positively empower underserved populations in myriad ways, including providing a means for establishing a trusted digital identity.




The Rockefeller Foundation
Raul Zambrano


Blockchange will seek to test the hypothesis that by applying blockchain attributes to identity management, a trusted digital ID can be created that can benefit, for instance:

  • The estimated 1.1 billion people who are unable to prove their identity to the satisfaction of authorities and other organizations – often excluding them from property ownership, free movement, and social protection as a result;
  • The 1.3 million refugees that are trying to relocate around the world but can’t be identified; and
  • All the women and girls, who disproportionately struggle to obtain IDs, often the result of barriers related to: freedom of travel, distance, financial costs, time constraints, illiteracy, lack of information and awareness, and lack of support from family members.

To become smarter about the application of blockchain technologies for identity, Blockchange will initially seek to:

  • Map, and provide a taxonomy of blockchain technologies that seeks to provide identity;
  • Develop a primer on the potential and challenges of blockchain technologies across the identity life-cycle (such as creation; verification; authentication; and authorization);
  • Map the actual use of identity provided through blockchain technologies for a variety of social good purposes through case studies; and
  • Co-develop a set of (evidence-based) design principles that can guide the further development and use of blockchain for social change.


Stefaan Verhulst

Andrew Young

Hannah Pierce