New technologies such as blockchain (as used in e.g. Bitcoin) are here to disrupt all industries, and are now aiming at development cooperation. Before Christmas, the Danish development agency Danida even launched ‘Hack the Future of Development Aid’, a report exploring the potential of blockchain technology to disrupt foreign aid.
In a new article for OpenDemocracy researchers Adam Moe Fejerskov and Tobias Hagmann critically confront the potential for hacking development. They bring three pieces of advice to the table for those wanting to disrupt aid through blockchain: Know what you want to disrupt; disrupt all the way down and understand that code will always need context.
Blockchain proponents see the end of conventional development aid on the horizon. Yet the authors argue that the endeavour to ‘hack’ development with cryptocurrency and other new technologies is neither simple nor straightforward.