Leveraging blockchain for social initiatives
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 449,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives.
The “why” behind the Accenture Blockchain Hackathon
From traceable supply chains to permanent identity for refugees, blockchain is pioneering transparent and secure business processes. Blockchain technology provides new infrastructure to build the next innovative applications beyond cryptocurrencies, driving profound, positive changes across business, communities, and society. With the industry gearing toward an exciting phase in the evolution of blockchain-based solutions, Accenture has consciously worked toward leveraging ‘Blockchain for good’. Regarded as one of the top 10 biggest blockchain companies, Accenture’s blockchain developers work at the heart of the blockchain technology landscape, working with multiple alliance partners – DAH, Ripple, R3, Microsoft, EEA, Hyperledger, etc. Accenture sought to solve various social issues using blockchain. It was looking to find solutions to real-life use cases covering topics like identity management, asset trading, social initiatives, and others.
The following themes were featured as part of the hackathon for which participants had to build blockchain solutions:
Blockchain for social initiatives
Participants were asked to create a blockchain app to generate tokens and distribute them to citizens. The app had to have smart contracts to control spending of tokens only for a specific purpose. For example, tokens created for educational grants couldn’t be spent to purchase food items. The app also had to allow for checking the number of tokens given to a particular individual so that an equal distribution is achieved and one person does not get excess tokens.
Blockchain for identity management
Participants had to create a blockchain app that could manage the digital identity of individuals. The app had to leverage the power of biometrics and be integrated with it. Once a user fills out basic details like name, age, address, etc., the registration would be viewed and approved by a government organization.
Blockchain for Know-Your-Customer
Since blockchain uses distributed ledger technology and provides an immutable audit history of any document, it can be used to simplify the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) processes. As KYC documents contain personally identifiable information and are usually “heavy” (scanned copies of physical documents), an app had to be developed such that only a document identifier could be stored on blockchain. The app had to allow uploading documents to an offline database. It could then be used to check the status of the customer’s KYC.
Blockchain for tracking lineage of products
As each block always refers to the previous block, Blockchain technology can be used to track the complete history of any asset that is present on blockchain. This track-and-trace feature of blockchain can be used to solve for inefficiencies in the supply chain, verify authenticity of products, and track the entire lifecycle of any product. Participants had to create a blockchain app that provides the entire history of an asset. The app had to allow a user to create digital assets on the blockchain, make changes to the asset, and return all transactions of that asset.
Blockchain for asset trading
Participants had to create an app that allowed the buying and selling of assets on blockchain. The app also had to show the complete history of ownership for any particular asset.
Blockchain for crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing is an innovative way of leveraging the power of community to solve complex challenges. Blockchain, with its decentralized mechanism, can be used to distribute incentives to the contributors in a trusted and transparent manner. The app had to gather inputs from multiple contributors, assign a quality score to each input, and automatically pay tokens to the contributors based on the quality score.
Blockchain for digital rights management
Participants had to create an app that ensured the provenance of copyright information and easy transfer/sharing of ownership of the digital asset between multiple parties.
Blockchain for smart wallets
Digital wallets are secure systems that store payment information and passwords of users for a range of payment methods and websites, and are designed to hold digital tokens (such as cryptocurrencies). With the use of Near Field Communication technology, digital wallets can be used to complete purchases even more easily and quickly. The app had to quickly validate the subscriber's identity registered with the operator/institute in their blockchain network.
The winning solutions
S.O.L.A.I.R.E is a blockchain-based P2P energy trading platform which uses a set of complex state-of-the-art algorithms to ensure cheap and renewable energy for everyone. It gives individuals a chance to become a renewable energy trader. Producers can connect their infrastructures with our local swarm electric grid and start trading the energy they produce. Renewable energy trading has never been this easy, becoming a trader is just a few clicks away. At the same time, the consumers can get cheap and clean electricity in just a few clicks.
Decentralized petition systems
The decentralized petition system allows a user to create petitions while securing the data of petition signers. This would help in getting the correct numbers for petitions, capture the sentiments of people rightly, and help authorities ethically utilize these petitions to address issues.
This solution brings transparency in donations NGOs make and the expenses they incur. A blockchain-driven democratized NGO can help NGOs manage spending requests for each social campaign while capturing essential details such as amount spent and reasons for spending.