How Cryptocurrency Can Help Disaster Relief
Each year, places all over the globe are victimized by an enemy as old as time: Natural Disasters. These disasters stemming from hurricanes, landslides, or earthquakes are impossible to both predict and to also prevent, which makes them impossible to defend. However, despite it being impossible to both predict and prevent; it is not impossible to prepare. Preparing how to survive a natural disaster can be incredibly difficult, which makes, preparing for the aftermath of a Natural Disaster so incredibly important. The most difficult factor in disaster relief is having the proper funding and supplies needed in which to overcome the disaster, but often, these disasters occur in places that do not have the necessary funding or supplies, which makes our disaster relief efforts both, far more difficult, and also, far more crucial. The most challenging issue stems from transferring our funding to the people in need as well as being able to properly allocate our funding to produce the proper amount of supplies and resources based on need and budget, but due to recent technological advancements like Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, we can help streamline this process and the way disaster relief programs are executed all over the world.
What is the Difference Between Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrencies?
Before we get started on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies can help transform our relief efforts all over the globe, it is important to understand the difference between these two things as they often get lumped together. Blockchain is a trusted decentralized ledger system across a network of users which allows the users to seamlessly and securely transfer funds amongst themselves and each transaction creates a “block” of information. These transactions that make the so-called blocks are comprised of transactions using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. A cryptocurrency is a decentralized form of money that can be transferred instantly and safely between users and avoids bank regulations and time constraints. So essentially cryptocurrency is a part of blockchain technology and the emergence of them both could and should change the way we execute our disaster relief programs.
How Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrencies Can Help Disaster Relief
The current disaster relief system is need of some drastic improvements stemming from the fact that they are not using the advanced technology that is at their disposal. The programs are government funded and government run, and because of that bureaucracy, they have been very disorganized, and very inefficient. However, they can change those old ways and take a giant leap forward, by using blockchain technology and setting up a relief budget consisting of cryptocurrencies. If our relief programs were able to use this new technology, many of the largest issues facing our past relief efforts would go away. They would disappear because blockchain technology possesses the most advanced ledger system in the world today as well as permits the instantaneous transactions of funds and those are both crucial in the disaster relief effort.
Organizational Improvements With Crypto
As we touched on earlier, blockchain is a network comprised of blocks and the blocks are created whenever a transaction occurs. The network is a system comprised of receipts and whenever one is made it can always be tracked and followed and for that reason, it would be extremely beneficial towards our disaster relief efforts. Being able to track the donations as well as the funding for a group that is recovering from a disaster is nearly impossible, so by having this system in place, both the donors, as well as the recipients, will have a clear documented ledger for every donation that comes in. This could significantly help the recovery process because it will help the relief effort budget and divvy up the money in order to buy the right amount of supplies for each and every unique situation.
Efficiency Upgrades & RFID
Not only is blockchain technology the most advanced and organized ledger system today, but it is also the most efficient way to transfer funds between two parties. Crypto is efficient during an emergency due to the decentralized nature of the information. By using blockchain technology (instead of the current bureaucratic system) we not only can make sure the people in need receive the aid we are providing, but we can make sure they receive it as fast as they need it! With the availability of RFID, cryptocurrency transactions with RFID are even more convenient because there is little need for bulky computers at the transaction point. Cryptocurrency can often go hand-in-hand with RFID technology. There are some great examples of RFID helping disaster relief efforts. RFID chips, though mostly used for events, can be leveraged during an emergency to allocate funds or store important information.
Often times, Natural Disasters come out of nowhere, which leaves the area and the people that get affected by the disaster stranded without aid, waiting for the current system to mobilize, but with blockchain, there are no hold ups or delays. Our relief organizations can send the relief funding right away and getting a kick-start on the recovery process is enormous to the success of the operation.
Better Disaster Relief and Aid
Our disaster relief system will never be perfect because each natural disaster is a different beast, however, it can improve to become more seamless and less chaotic. The struggles with funding and properly allocating those funds, so that the recipients get their hands on the supplies that they need the most in order to survive can be helped drastically by using the blockchain network. The blockchain network gives, both our relief organizations and more importantly, the people in need of relief, the best possible chance to succeed because of its extremely organized ledger system as well as its instantaneous transactional capability.
Don’t forget about personal preparations!
Cryptocurrencies will also help out individuals with disaster preparation. One of the easiest ways to leverage cryptocurrency to help disaster relief is to purchase goods and services that will help you get ready for any type of disaster. The process is easy and most coin trading platforms will let their customers exchange coin for dollars. Here are some of the things to consider:
- Long-term dry goods
- Water tablets
- Survival tools
- Self-defense items
- Check out this guide to stocking a survival shelter for more information!
People forget that goods are not the only item that needs to be purchased. In the event of a disaster, it is also important to have the necessary survival skills that could save your life or the lives of others. Cryptocurrencies can be used to pay for the classes and training programs that teach you skills such as hunting and foraging, first aid, and self-defense.
In addition to self-defense, it is important to understand your geographical region and outdoor survival items necessary to survive. Mike Liera of The Arena Gym in San Diego added “In a disaster situation, it is critical not to make yourself a target for others. Learning even the basics of self-defense by training in jiu-jitsu, boxing, or MMA can give you the confidence and know-how to protect yourself and others.”
The bottom line here is that crypto can help individuals and organizations prepare, organize, execute, and track information. Hopefully, we see some major changes happen in the next few years!