Blockchains impact on human trafficking

  • Posted by: Zulu X
  • Category: Uses of Blockchain Technology
Blockchains impact on human trafficking

Series: Blockchain meet world

It is strange, but with a revolutionary technology like blockchain, people are more obsessed with its value than its capabilities. Governments seem to be more intrigued as how will this technology upset the apple cart, and can they tax each apple leaving the cart? It is easier to find a daily article marking bitcoins demise rather than its perceived path into the 4th industrial revolution. Strange indeed yet expected.

Some people want children, some people do not, but for the vast majority, once they have a child, that is the day they discover a new level of love for something else and a new-found respect for their parents. To lose a child or infant to human trafficking is simply unimaginable and inconsolable. To paint a picture, you are a new-found parent to a child between the ages of 0 and 3 years old. A human trafficker abducts your child from the hospital, playground or mall. You child is sold into slavery and onto another continent. If your child reaches adulthood and is able to escape, where do they go?  How will you know what they look like after years of hardship? It is difficult to accurately determine the worldwide amount of yearly kidnappings, but in the USA alone the number looks like nearly 500 000 children a year

Here are some human trafficking in stats to mull over:

  • 51% of identified victims of trafficking are women, 28% of children, and 21%, men
  • 72% of people exploited in the sex industry are women
  • 63% of identified traffickers were men and 37%, women
  • 43% of victims are trafficked domestically within national borders

(Estimates by The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC))

The thing is, DNA doesn’t change much, environmental factors can contribute some change but overall, DNA stays the same from death to birth – creating an accurate tracker. Society presently has the ability with relative ease to store digital copies of our DNA on a USB drive or the internet. The entire DNA sequence of a single human could be as much 200 gigabytes in a digitized format, but as humans differ so minutely, that you would only require approximately 100 megabytes of that DNA data to differentiate yourself from anyone else. The entire remaining portion of 199.9 gigabytes is the same as every person that has ever lived. That is akin to everyone having that same 200 movies except the 200th movie has a different last 10 minutes for each person on earth.

This helpful similarity means that only the differentiated 100 megabytes (approximately) need to be stored on the blockchain. Presently companies obtain samples and match against sets of differentiated DNA samples known as panels. These panels reflect what one sample DNA must have to exhibit similar outcomes as another sample data. This means that there is a panel for you or for blue eyes or for a rare genetic disorder. However, once a panel is known, companies can compare your DNA to several thousand to tens of thousands of panels in a very short space of time and for approximately $100, depending on region and laboratory. This is significant as the first Genome to be sequenced cost 2.7 billion USD. From here we can see that at birth, we can take a DNA sample, perhaps stem cells, ideally a cotton swab of the child’s mouth and create its digitized format for 100 USD. The data of a 100mb’s now needs to be stored, but where can we find an imputable, decentralized public ledger with data integrity for decades……welcome blockchain.

How could this be practically implemented today? Simply as an additional product offering by existing stem cell cryptogenic storage companies. The DNA of an individual is about as personal as one can get and privacy is paramount. I, alongside many others, might not want me or my child’s DNA as public information. Smart contracts work in a way that they make the data or panel available only upon a child’s disappearance. This is what the missing child’s picture on a “milk bottle” could look like in the 4th industrial revolution. It comes about not as a result of blockchain on its own, but as a result of advances in several fields working together to build a better society.


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