Will the blockchain turn your washing machine into a philanthropist?

Clara Guibourg
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Talk about the kitchen of the future (Source: Getty)

The blockchain, the hyped technology that digital currencies like bitcoin build upon, is already changing the way banks work. Now it could be about to change how charities raise money.

The distributed ledger technology is set to revolutionise how we give money to our favourite charities, argues the Charities Aid Foundation in a new report with the snazzy title “Giving Unchained.

The report suggests blockchain could transform charities’ work by slashing transaction costs, ensuring that bigger sums reach the charitable causes.

Read more: Blythe Masters: "I never became enamoured with cryptocurrency"

Financial services have already been keeping a close eye on the lauded technology, with several major banks teaming up with blockchain startups - and experts suggesting that the tech could go mainstream as early as next year. Now it seems the charity sector could benefit hugely from this development.

More and more of us have “smart” household appliances. As these become connected through the blockchain, this will be able to generate money for the appliance’s owner, according to the Charities Aid Foundation, contributing processing power in exchange for money.

Rhodri Davies, author of the report, said that in future we may use our smart appliances to decide what charitable cause to support:

While a world in which washing machines may play a key role in charitable giving may seem like science fiction to some, many of these technologies already exist.

The answer to some of the biggest challenges charities face today – raising money, increasing transparency and trust and improving their effectiveness in supporting their beneficiaries – could lie in a technology which is likely to become increasingly mainstream in the not-too-distant future.

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