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Best of 2017: In ‘blockchain’ technology, a futuristic solution to conservation’s greatest challenges

© Gustav Gullstrand

Editor’s note: As the end of 2017 approaches, Human Nature is revisiting some of our favorite stories of the year. To support crucial conservation work like this, consider making a donation to Conservation International.

What if you could know exactly where the fish on your plate came from, through an app on your smartphone? What if you could instantaneously send money to an Ecuadorian farmer for protecting trees on her land?

Jennifer Morris, president of CI, discusses conservation uses for blockchain technology at the Blockchain 2017 Summit on Necker Island. (© David Paul Morris)

The ability to transfer and track items of value instantaneously is remarkable, but it faces steep hurdles to scale up: hacking, local corruption, and a patchwork of policies and technological platforms.

Now, a promising breakthrough could potentially revolutionize conservation in the process.

Find out more about blockchain and how it could affect conservation in this post from August.

Morgan Lynch is a staff writer for CI.

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Cover image: Forest trees in the morning light, Sweden. (© Gustav Gullstrand)