Blockchain applications and the Sustainable Development Goals

This paper aims to assess the potential of blockchain applications in the financial, business, public and climate change sectors to contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Around two third of SDGs are found to be strongly connected with blockchain applications, especially the SDGs 8, 9, 10 and 16. This can be explained by the fact that blockchain applications, which decentralise processes, could improve the efficiency of data management, facilitate peer-to-peer models and foster innovation. The technology could also boost economic growth, improve the transparency and accountability of organisations and empower small economic actors. Through these attributes, blockchain is likely to transform the way economy functions and contribute to the creation of sustainable societies. However, the adoption of the technology depends on its ability to overcome technical, regulatory and social challenges. This study ends with a discussion regarding the need to steer the development of blockchain towards sustainability within a digital governance framework.