Blockchain technology has revolutionized many sectors since its inception. We often talk about its impact in the traditional finance industry, and the changes it brings to the field of art. But one subject remains little discussed: what impact can blockchain have on inclusiveness? How can this revolution be put at the service of the common good and the inclusion of different communities? This is what we will discuss in “Blockchain & inclusivity”. To begin, we are going to look at the link between new technologies and the LGBTQ+ community, through a series of interviews with big names in the blockchain universe. Today we will focus on the opinions of Caroline Pugliese and Christof Wittig. Let’s go !
We live in a world where, in at least 69 countries, same-sex relationships between adults are criminalized. It should be noted, however, that this number has decreased over time. New technologies play an important role in protecting people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community against violence and discrimination, as well as inaccess to care and financial services. being myself* concerned, I see the many positive changes that decentralized technologies can offer us as a community.
Over the past two years, the world has been confronted with the rise of COVID-19, which continues to plague today. According to a study published in July 2021, “ people with HIV are more likely to be admitted to hospital with severe coronavirus symptoms, and d‘in diedr”. According to UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS), the LGBTQ+ community is the most exposed to HIV. The risk of contracting HIV is 34 times higher for transgender women and 25 times higher for men in same-sex relationships. To deal with this phenomenon, the LGBT Foundation decided to transfer HIV testing to the blockchain. This “makes the whole process transparent and traceableand helps to curb the spread of HIV among vulnerable populations. As Erik Lamontagne, Senior Economist at UNAIDS, said: This technology allows us to evolve almost as quickly as epidemics. It’s fantastic ! This is an important opportunity. »
Even in developed countries, like the United States, LGBTQ+ people face financial hardship because of their sexual or gender identity. Cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance can improving financial accessibility and inclusion, especially for minorities. Blockchain technology makes it possible to distribute funding transparently. All of this can benefit the LGBTQ+ community.
Emerging technologies are becoming more democratic, and are no longer just an innovative niche industry, but our daily lives. To find out what representatives of the crypto and blockchain industry think about the impact of these technologies on the LGBTQ+ community, Cointelegraph reached out to a number of them to get their thoughts on the following questions: Can emerging technologies help improve the lives of members of the LGBTQIA+ community? And if yes, how ?
Caroline Pugliese from Rally:
Caroline is the Director of Creative Partnershipsand entertainment at Rally, an open network that enables creators to launch independent economies powered by the Ethereum blockchain.
Support the community withsocial tokens
The crypto universe offers some of the most positive technological advances and opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community that we have seen in the past few decades. The social tokens, in particular, are a growing field. They help support talent and small businesses in the community, and they provide a space dedicated to the actions undertaken, without the risk of being demonetized or blocked from different platforms. The privacy that blockchain provides and open access to many crypto platforms allows individuals to participate even if their community or geographic location is not LGBTQ+ friendly.
Create a safe space with DAOs
The emergence of DAOs ( decentralized autonomous organization) also holds great promise for emerging digital communities. They can be extremely specialized, addressing topics that allow people to come together around a cause and create opportunities in a fair and community. DAOs have the potential to allow members to have a safe space to communicate, participate in the governance of a project, and find ways to support both DAO members and the LGBTQ+ community in the whole world. At the same time, the emergence of NFTs and their ongoing royalties offers community talent, who previously could struggle to be offered equal opportunities for their creative work a way to be paid and recognized for their creations.
Hornet’s Christof Wittig:
Christof is the founder and CEO of Hornet, a “queer social network” with over 30 million users worldwide.
The negative points
Emerging technologies play a major role for the LGBTQ+ community, whether we like it or not.
On the negative side, 64% of adults residing in the United States who belong to the LGBTQ+ community reported having experienced online discrimination and harassment on one of the big five heteronormative social networks (namely Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok), according to GLAAD’s recently released Social Media Safety Index. It’s about highest percentage of positive responses among all minoritiesin the United States, and it is up from the 40% noted by a similar study conducted by Hornet and Kantar in 2018. We see day after day how technology magnifies all parts of our lives, including all the negative aspects , from LGBTQ+ discrimination in the United States to actions taken by the 71 countries that still criminalize being a member of the LGBTQ+ community today.
The positive points
On the positive side, we can use the power of new technologies to make them a force for good. Hornet’s social network is a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It fosters authentic social connections, even if members are quarantined due to the pandemic, don’t have access to support from a physical LGBTQ+ community, or can’t for other reasons easily connect with others in this community to find the love and belonging inherent in offline dating.
New technologies at the service of anonymity
Hornet is already using AI heavily to detect suspicious patterns to identifycatfish , spammers and abusers. We also seek to develop conceptsProof-of-Worksuch as the “Hornet Badge” for control identities. We cannot rely on government-issued IDs. These could prove dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands (including hacking, court order, negligence or abuse by companies that do not place the well-being of our community at the center of their activities).
In the long term, I believe blockchain, a decentralized technology, is a perfect fit for a decentralized community like ours. In the same way that a nation-state uses IDs, currency and budget, blockchain gives us the tools to ensure identity (pseudonymity), storage and transfer of values, as well as some form of funding or taxation to put resources at the service of projects of common interest . To that end, we have launched the LGBT Foundation, and we look forward to working with concerned members of the crypto and LGBTQ+ communities to develop the underlying infrastructure.
We have come to the end of this first part of our series. of items” Blockchain & inclusivity: Can new technologies help the LGBTQ+ community?». More talks from blockchain actors and actresses await you in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out and see you next week!
*This article was originally published on August 14, 2021 on Cointelegraph.
Quotes have been edited and condensed. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph and Cointribune.
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