Doug Galen is a lecturer in
management at Stanford GSB.
In recent years, the buzz around blockchain
— the distributed ledger technology
behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin
— has inspired a wave of investment,
entrepreneurship, and marketing schemes.
Proponents say the platform could disrupt
every industry and create a more secure,
transparent, and just global economy,
while skeptics tend to balk at such inflated
Missing from the discussion has been
a rigorous study of blockchain’s current
real-world applications. Is it actually a force
for good, or is it mostly hype?
That’s the question taken up in a new
study sponsored by the Center for Social
Innovation at Stanford Graduate School of
Business and conducted by lecturer Doug
Galen and a team of eight current and
former Stanford students. The group
analyzed 193 organizations, initiatives, and
projects that are seeking to use blockchain
to benefit the public. Their goal was to map
the field and see which efforts were the
Does the technology behind cryptocurrency
have a place in solving social ills?
BY DREW CALVERT
Illustration by Jun Cen