Can blockchain technology help prevent sexual assault?

16 Dec, 2018
by David Robb
Can blockchain technology help prevent sexual assault?

A number of new blockchain projects are aimed at helping to prevent sexual assault. A startup in San Francisco called Callisto is one of the most advanced projects in this field so far, as reported by TheNextWeb.

The decentralized nature of blockchain systems is something that can be a huge benefit for victims, or potential victims, of sexual violence or harassment, due to the anonymity as well as financial independence that it provides. One survivor recently made use of the Seeds crypto project in order to take positive action, and discussed the ways that blockchain can contribute to the #MeToo movement.

Read more: Survivor of sexual assault uses crypto-payment processor Seeds to crowdfund $500

Launched in 2015, Callisto is another project making use of the blockchain, specifically to tackle the problem of abuse and sexual assault on university campuses. The team's whitepaper explains how game theory can be applied to this type of situation: "there is a first-mover disadvantage with high consequences for a victim when accusing a perpetrator. That disadvantage comes from the disclosure and resulting exposure of the victim, opening the victim up to consequences (countermoves in game theory) of retaliation, disbelief by authorities, reputation damage, and stigma."

Callisto's system is intended to disincentivize retaliation by alleged perpetrators, as well as reduce disbelief, and it can also protect the privacy of accusers. The system has already been implemented on a number of campuses, and it has led to incidents being reported up to three times faster.

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