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Blockchain technology for social and public good

DLT4EU is an accelerator programme that will identify and connect distributed ledger technology (DLT) initiatives and applications with leading public and private sector organisations for social and public good.

The DLT4EU project is led by a consortium of Metabolic (Netherlands), Ideas for Change (Barcelona) and Digital Catapult (United Kingdom). Successful applicants will develop practical solutions to challenge areas focused on promoting social good and an environmentally responsible European economy. The project will connect the expertise and resources of leading DLT and blockchain technology entrepreneurs and developers with challenges proposed by public and private sector organisations such as the Catalan Branch of the Spanish Red Cross, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the Amsterdam City Council and the City of Helsingborg, the United Nations Development Program (UDP) and AltFinLab.

Distributed ledger technology, the parent technology to blockchain and cryptocurrency, is a ground-breaking innovation that enables decentralised methods for sharing, storing and securing transactions; validating, managing, and tracking access to data; and widening participation within complex, multi-actor decision-making processes – all without intermediaries. While the benefits of DLT in the public and social sectors are becoming increasingly clear and small steps are being made, few applications have been fully implemented and scaled. Despite its potential to address challenges within public and social spheres, the current landscape of DLT applications within the European public sector is only just emerging. The private, for-profit nature of existing DLT use-cases, and the fast pace of DLT innovation, has often made it difficult to understand how the technology can be applied correctly within the social and public sectors.

DLT4EU focus areas:

The DLT4EU project will focus on two areas where distributed ledger technology and blockchain have the potential to promote social good and an environmentally-responsible European economy.

  • Circular economy: a new economic model for addressing human needs without undermining the functioning of the biosphere or crossing any planetary boundaries. The DLT4EU challenges will be focused on: supply chain and reverse supply chain traceability, ownership transfers in secondary markets, end of life compliance, and the management of urban green space and public infrastructure
  • Digital citizenship: broadly defined as the application of digital technologies to better facilitate and engage citizens in public decision-making, service improvement, and social impact initiatives. This can be at a local council/municipal, city or national-level. The DLT4EU challenges will be focused on: digital inclusion and accountability of aid, civic innovation, financial inclusion, personal data management, and community currency models

About the programme:

  • The DLT4EU finalists will begin the acceleration process in July and will work for six months as part of a new model called a Virtual Field Lab. At the end of the accelerator, venture teams will submit functional prototypes that help solve the chosen challenge – these proofs of concept (PoC) will then be assessed by an Evaluation Jury. The winners will be announced at a final event in Brussels in March 2021 and awarded follow-on funding to develop the PoC further
  • Digital Catapult has created the Virtual Field Lab, an innovative accelerator model to work as virtual collaborative centers for the practical exploration and development of distributed ledger technologies. Virtual Field Labs are specifically designed to stimulate experimentation, innovation, and adoption of distributed ledger technology within the public and social sector

To find out more about this project, please visit

Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union. Grant Agreement No. LC-01349961