The value of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology in areas such as Financial Services is now commonly understood with savings already being realised for document and transaction processing costs. It is true also that Blockchain has the potential to be a disruptive and transformative force for a far wider range of industries. Arguably no one is more aware of this breadth of opportunity than Professor Olinga Ta’eed, Director at the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance (CCEG), the not-for-profit think tank established in 2013. With over 35 Blockchain commissions across a variety of fields, Professor Ta’eed recognises the wide scope for the application of Blockchain and DLT. We sat down with him to discuss his work to date, as well as the future for Blockchain application.
We first touched on Olinga’s background working on the creation of benchmarking systems for social value within and across organisations, and the untapped potential of such a metric. Taking us back to 2011, Professor Ta’eed explained how he was commissioned by the then Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society think tank to develop what became the Social Earnings Ratio (S/E Ratio). Quickly gaining international acclaim, Professor Ta’eed told us of how by 2014 it had quickly become “the fastest adopted impact metric in the world”, feeding into both the Social Value Act and Modern Slavery Act. Turning its focus from organisations to products, processes and even people, the project organically grew into the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance which now has over 60,000+ members. For Professor Ta’eed, simply capturing social value was merely step one, its real potential lies in transacting it. Professor Ta’eed and his team thus set about combining both financial and non-financial value on blockchain, becoming adept practitioners in this nascent technology.
“there are only a handful of organisations like us who rise above the noise and smog and are stable, coherent and expert enough to steer the industry without a profit motive”
With a better understanding of CCEG’s work with Blockchain since those introductory steps into the field, we were then caught up to speed with their recent blockchain activity. With a number of coders, blockchain experts and academics working at CCEG’s Blockchain UN Lab, this was invariably one of the largest Blockchain teams in the world with a list of projects to boot. Professor Ta’eed informed us that blockchain solutions were being trialled for “birth-to-death tracking for the Leather and Textiles industry sector, token for Provenance, IoT and Ethical Leadership, a whole range of coins built on our technology from Edu Coin, City Coin, Women’s Coin, Islamic Coin” amongst others. Most prominently however, CCEG was soon to launch the first ICO in a UK regulatory Framework. Eponymously named Seratio Coin, the platform has been expertly designed with input from international lawyers and regulators to create an “interchangeable circular economy based on values.” Unlike Seratio Coin, there are also a huge amount of ICOs which according to Professor Ta’eed are nothing more than Ponzi Schemes. We discussed the need for guidance as organisations seek to navigate the risks and permutations of blockchain. The professor informed us of how he established the IoV (internet-of-value) Blockchain Alliance for Good stating that indeed “there are only a handful of organisations like us who rise above the noise and smog and are stable, coherent and expert enough to steer the industry without a profit motive”.
As our conversation came to a close we were eager to understand from CCEG’s perspective, where those looking to find value in blockchain should look. Professor Ta’eed called us to think outside the box, away from efficiency savings and lower transaction, stating that blockchain’s value can be found “at the crossroads between sectors of FinTech, HumTech, SocialTech, EduTech, GenderTech, FaithTech, EnviroTech, etc.”
You can find out more about Olinga and his work at the CCEG website here, as well as catching his discussion on Unlocking Blockchain’s Power for Transparency: Charity, Development and Trade at Blockchain Live.
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