Blockchain for Development
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Blockchain is said to disrupt and transform the world economy and society through its revolutionary way of creating a trustworthy distributed ledger without relying on a third party to provide this trust. Most research on blockchain is focussed on the west and on large corporations operating in finance, but blockchain offers possibilities beyond that, also in developing countries, where it can be used to leapfrog ICT development. These possibilities are even larger because blockchain can function to reduce fraud and corruption, which is more prevalent in developing countries. This thesis explores the possibilities of blockchain applications in developing countries by examining the case of Kenya. Even though Kenya is not as able as western countries to adopt blockchain, the aim of the Kenyan government to use digital innovations for development offers potential. Subsequently the possibilities of blockchain applications in financial services, trade & aid networks, property registration, elections, and identity management are explored, concluding with the potential of smart contracts in the more distant future. Blockchain applications in these sectors would be comparatively more secure, trustworthy, efficient and less prone to corruption and fraud. Crucial obstacles in blockchain adoption are the divide in access to and education in digital technologies, the perceived complexity of blockchain and the people in power benefiting from the corruption blockchain can prevent.