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Sheila Warren: Using blockchain to stop corruption and improve school meals

The World Economic Forum does far more than organise its annual Davos meetup. The not-for-profit basis calls itself “the international organization for public-private cooperation”. As such, it investigates and promotes methods to make the world a greater place, together with within the area of blockchain.

Sheila Warren is the WEF’s Head of Blockchain, Digital Currency and Data Policy. She talked to CoinGeek about her view of the prospects for the blockchain economic system fixing a few of the issues of ‘surveillance capitalism’, by letting people personal their very own knowledge.

She admitted that she doesn’t see any revolution taking place within the quick time period: “am I optimistic about it? No, I would not say I’m optimistic about it. I’ll just answer that question bluntly. However, that does not mean I don’t think it is very much worth paying attention to and even fighting for.”

It’s partly that, by way of contacts with huge corporations and governments, Sheila has turn into conscious of “the sheer volume and flow of that data”. But people have to take accountability too: “I don’t necessarily feel like the vast majority of people really care. And the reason I feel that way is because I think we’ve all seen how quickly people are willing to sign away their rights.”

But Sheila is in the end optimistic about new knowledge practices that blockchain will permit, and has “a short to medium term pessimism”. In the long term, she believes a brand new technology is coming that may “really take advantage of the elements of the blockchain …to do this in a different and better way.”

But WEF isn’t ready for that day to arrive. Sheila’s group is accountable for a number of blockchain area trials, comparable to one in Colombia known as the Transparency Project, which labored with the federal government’s Inspector General’s workplace to arrange a blockchain procurement course of for the awarding of contracts to present school meals throughout the nation.

Blockchain would assist make sure that the bidding course of was adopted appropriately, with a mechanism to time-stamp bids, for example, in order that they couldn’t be modified retrospectively – which had been an issue prior to now: “there’d be almost a mock proposal, if you will, like a straw man submitted that would then get changed out with corrupt actors, with different motivations for that. So the idea here is the immutability of the record provided an opportunity to basically ensure that there wasn’t that kind of change happening downstream, or if there was some sort of change of the record, you could see that. It would be recorded in a way that was very easy to spot.”

The intention was to preserve the know-how within the background so far as potential, which Sheila believes is a basic precept in encouraging mass adoption: “we’ll have arrived when it’s invisible and you don’t need an understanding of blockchain to use most systems.”

“Our goal really is to normalise this technology and take away any fear around it and get people to understand that really it’s like any other technology. It’s got significant benefits, new benefits. It also has some challenges – and those are being addressed. But our hope is that over time, people will stop talking about blockchain, they’ll just be using it without even knowing it.”

Sheila Warren was a speaker on the Asia Blockchain Summit 2020:

Hear the entire of Sheila Warren’s interview on this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:

You may also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

And you possibly can learn a transcript of the interview right here. 

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