The World Economic Forum calls blockchain the key to sustainable digital finance


The World Economic Forum (WEF) believes that blockchain is a core element of sustainable digital finance – a new paradigm that combines emerging technologies with environmentally conscious business models.

In a new report published on Wednesday, UBS manager Karin Oertli named blockchain technology, along with artificial intelligence, mobile platforms and the Internet of Things, as the cornerstone of digital finance. Combined with environmental, social and governance frameworks, these technologies could help governments and companies achieve their lofty goals for sustainable development.

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Oertli writes:

“We believe that sustainable digital finance will play an essential role in efficiently channeling this capital to fuel innovation, growth and job creation, while supporting the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”

Oertli’s comments are in line with previous research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in which blockchain was touted as a “digital enabler for sustainable finance” and carbon reduction. The OECD said:

“The core properties of blockchain and other DLT can enable deeper technological integration, standardization and the possibility of new business models.”

Although annual carbon dioxide emissions continue to increase worldwide, Western countries appear to have reduced their carbon footprint from peak levels. CO2 emissions in Europe rose in the early 1990s before falling over the next decade. The United States peaked in 2007 just before the global financial crisis.


The narrative about the sustainable development of blockchain is a clear departure from conventional criticism of Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the first blockchain protocol to use its share of heat for its resource-saving proof-of-work consensus.