Ensuring labor rights for workers is a problem that people have been facing for hundreds of years. People have attempted to implement several solutions to the problem ranging from labor unions to passing laws related to work conditions.
Though these solutions have been able to make some headway, none of them have completely solved the problem of ensuring that every individual is getting their labor rights. Thankfully, new technology has presented itself as a possible solution to the problem.
Blockchain is an exciting new form of database technology that has the power to ensure that workers are receiving their labor rights in interesting and innovative ways.
What Is Blockchain?
To understand how blockchain technology can assist in labor rights, it’s first important to understand blockchain itself. Blockchain is a type of database that stores digital information and is distributed to a number of people. Its most popular use is as a way of recording cryptocurrency transactions that are open to the public at large to see.
What makes blockchain as a database distinct is the way that the data is structured. Data is structured into blocks of information and these blocks are structured in chronological order, with each new block added being linked to the block before it. Blockchain also includes several safeguards — such as proof-of-work — that make it difficult for individuals to tamper with it.
Though the concepts behind blockchain — such as data processing — can seem complex, some key ideas to understand are that it is a database that keeps exact records and is extremely difficult to change or tamper with.
How Blockchain Can Ensure That Workers Receive Labor Rights
Though it may not seem obvious at first glance, blockchain can actually assist labor rights in many profound ways. Increased awareness about how blockchain can help bolster labor rights can help transform this solution from a theory into a reality.
Keeping Track of Transaction Records
When it comes to labor rights, an important aspect of the concept is ensuring that laborers are receiving fair wages that are paid on time. Unfortunately, this can be very difficult to keep track of — and in some instances — employers can falsify records to make seem like they are paying workers when in actuality, they are not.
Blockchain offers itself as a perfect solution to this problem. Through the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency transactions, a permanent record can be kept of transactions. This means that employers would not be able to falsify records of payment even if they tried. In theory, this should reduce accounting fraud.
Keeping Employers Accountable
In addition to keeping accurate records of transactions, blockchain technology can also be used to keep more employers accountable in an easier, more streamlined fashion. Whereas before one might even have to look through physical documents to make sure that employers were acting in compliance with the law, blockchain’s distributed nature means that more people can have access to check the data themselves.
Decreasing the Number of Parties Necessary
Another keyway that blockchain technology can assist in labor rights is by decreasing the number of entities that are needed in any transaction. Whereas typical transactions require a trusted third party — such as a government entity — to facilitate transactions, blockchain does not. Blockchain was built with the idea of an open-source community in mind, and the safeguards within the system itself make it unnecessary for any third parties to be involved in transactions.
Taking Advantage of the Benefits of Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology has the power to create positive change in several disparate areas of society. Though it is most commonly associated with cryptocurrency markets — which some view as a controversial subject — it can be incredibly useful when utilized in new and innovative ways.
When it comes to labor rights, blockchain technology has the power to increase the protection of workers and ensure that their rights aren’t being violated. The more normalized the discourse around blockchain becomes, the greater the chance of it being implemented as an effective solution to the problem of ensuring labor rights.