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Welcome to the Giving Thought Podcast, a bi-weekly exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society from the Charities Aid Foundation’s in-house think-tank, Giving Thought.

In each episode your host Rhodri Davies (formerly with co-host Adam Pickering) explores a big issue, theme or trend and analyses what it means for philanthropy and civil society around the world.

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Jul 3, 2018

In this episode (number 29), I chat to Ben Joakim and Paul Currion from Disberse - a fintech startup applying blockchain technology to the international development and aid sector. We had a wide-ranging chat about the challenges they have found in getting beyond the hype surrounding blockchain, and the genuine opportunities they believe the technology has to offer. Including:

-Why blockchain? What can you do with a blockchain in an aid context that you can't do with another, simpler technology?

-The last mile problem: how do you get money and goods to where they are actually needed when using blockchain, assuming that people and communities on the ground are not themselves using the technology?

-Regulation: how are governments and regulators approaching blockchain technology? What challenges does this present for those trying to use it in a civil society context?

-Cryptocurrency: Why have Disberse chosen not to work with existing cryptocurrencies? What are the opportunities and pitfalls of doing so?

-State of blockchain for good: How much of what has been said about blockchain tech's potential in the civil society space is merely hype, and how much reflects true potential to do this differently or better? And where do things go next?


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