Blockchain diplomacy was very fashionable to use at the peak of the blockchain hype.
Blockchain technology is a decentralised and secure way to store, verify, and transfer data without intermediaries. The main uses of blockchain are to improve accountability, transparency, and trust. A few years ago, at its peak, blockchain was seen as a solution to many problems. At that time, the term blockchain diplomacy was coined to describe the potential uses of blockchain to increase trust and authenticity.
One of the uses of blockchain technology is to track and verify the authenticity of diplomatic documents and agreements, ensuring they have not been tampered with or altered. This was one of the possible uses of blockchain that should have been realised in diplomatic practice. One example is from 2019, when the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) used blockchain technology to help coordinate relief efforts in the wake of a devastating cyclone in Mozambique. The OCHA used a blockchain-based platform to store and track data on relief efforts, ensuring that all parties had access to the same information and allowing the coordination of resources to be more efficient. The platform also allowed humanitarian organisations to securely transact with each other, streamlining aid delivery.
However, blockchain has not been mainstreamed, neither in the humanitarian field nor in diplomacy. The current ‘blockchain winter’ also impacts the usage of blockchain in diplomacy. It remains to be seen if blockchain diplomacy will gain momentum in the future.