The arrival of the Blockchain promises to radically change the way we share, circulate and distribute the things that we value. However, the possible benefits for the not-for-profit sector have only begun to be understood, and much research and innovation is presently limited to the financial and tech industries. Ox-Chain is a major EPSRC research project which explores how Blockchain technologies can be used to reshape value in the context of international development and the work of Oxfam. To do this, the project is exploring three central themes: The Future of Giving; New Forms of Civic Value Exchange, and Blockchain in International Development.

Ox-Chain is a collaborative research project between the Northumbria University, Lancaster University, the University of Edinburgh, and research partners Oxfam, Volunteer Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland, and WHALE Arts. By bringing together experts in digital design, cryptography, business and international development we will design a Blockchain for Oxfam. More broadly, drawing on the expertise and practices of our research partners, we will explore the reconfiguration of economic, social and cultural life in the context of international development which may be made possible by digital, peer-to-peer value exchange.

Project Details

September 2016 – August 2019
EPSRC (EP/N028198/1)
Funded value:
Project website
  • Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh (Principal Investigator)
  • Kate Symons, University of Edinburgh (Research Assistant)
  • Nigel Davies, University of Lancaster (Co-Investigator)
  • Ralucca Bunduchi, University of Edinburgh (Co-Investigator)
  • Aggelos Kiayias, University of Edinburgh (Co-Investigator)