UN Calls Cryptocurrencies “New Frontier” in Digital Finance

The UN has hailed cryptocurrency and blockchain use cases in a new report.

The United Nations (UN) has expressed interest in the crypto world, calling virtual currencies the “new frontier” in digital finance and hailing the numerous use cases for their supporting technology, blockchain.

In a 2018 year-end report titled “Frontier technologies for sustainable development,” the international organization said:

“Cryptocurrencies represent a new frontier in digital finance and their popularity is growing. The decentralized networks for cryptocurrencies, bitcoin being a well-known example, can keep track of digital transactions. They enable value to be exchanged and can give rise to new business models which would otherwise require significant regulatory and institutional commitments.”

The UN further noted that both blockchain technology and digital assets have the potential to trigger the next revolution in business models by increasing efficiency in systems, reducing bureaucracy, and improving productivity. The report went on to discuss the use cases of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

“Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have many use cases. For instance, there is a value token known as climatecoin that is going to serve as the basis for the creation of a global market for carbon emissions. It allows the exchange of carbon credits through a peer-to-peer network and enables a direct connection to the Internet of Things. Users can use this system to calculate their carbon emissions and buy carbon credits to offset them.”

In contrast, traditional systems rely on a complex reporting structure, the UN noted. Backed by central authorities, they make the finance field prone to bias, while blockchain technology “presents the possibility that trust in institutions backed by government can be replaced by trust in computer code.”

This is not the first time the UN has shown interest in crypto and blockchain. The benefits of the technology featured on the agenda of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in September 2018. Earlier that year, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) revealed its partnership with IOTA to “explore how IOTA’s innovative technology – which provides an open-source distributed ledger for data management – can increase the efficiency of UNOPS operations.” According to a 2017 report from the Association for Financial Professionals, the UNOPS is exploring Ripple’s cross-border payment solutions.

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