Can blockchain save globalization?
Does blockchain technology have the power to transform opponents of globalization into adherents? Hernando de Soto, president of the Institute of Liberty and Democracy and author of The Mystery of Capital, thinks it might.
Last November we wrote about how the Republic of Georgia is working with de Soto to use blockchain technology to store real estate information. By holding onto land title data, de Soto contends that blockchain safeguards property and voting rights among citizenry and provides the underpinnings for social programs and CSR financing. With real estate, blockchain stores the data securely, enables registrars to make real-time audits and reduces the costs and barriers to property registration.
Taken a step further, de Soto notes how property rights can translate into greater accessibility to the fruits of a global economy. For de Soto, backlash against globalization is less to do with the unequal distribution of wealth than an uneven level of participation in economic activity. He points out that in jurisdictions where property rights have been a given for over a century, there are bureaucratic institutions that document those rights and legal infrastructure that protects them. Individuals in those places can fully embrace the benefits of global trade. Where those frameworks are fragmented or missing, however, those individuals face significant barriers to participation in the local economy, let alone in extraterritorial markets.
Blockchain, de Soto states, can democratize the law by providing a transparent, secure and decentralized online ledger. At ILD, he worked with IT firms to locate, capture and publicize ledgers using a blockchain-enabled paradigm. By forging what de Soto calls a knowledge chain, the technology could provide the impetus for land owners around the world to exercise their entrepreneurial talents and legal rights in a global landscape.
Heading image source: Bitcoin Magazine