With increasing frequency we find examples of Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAO) that support worthy causes and purpose led projects. The latest example is the support that the Chainlink Community Grant is extending to the UNICEF Innovation Fund and the UNICEF Crypto Fund; I have quoted part of the press release from the Chainlink Blog below, and I will comment on some of the terms used that highlight the way that blockchain technology can be used as a force for good to bring much needed change to business interactions.
"As part of our Social Impact Initiative centered around our mission of creating a more economically fair world using smart contracts, we actively support projects that share this goal of applying cryptographically enforced systems in a manner that is driven less by vague brand promises and more by the value that institutions and individuals actually provide. As part of furthering this initiative, we’re excited to award a grant to support the UNICEF Innovation Fund, a pooled fund designed to finance startups building early stage, open-source technology that address key global challenges; and the UNICEF CryptoFund, a new financial vehicle allowing UNICEF to receive, hold, and disburse cryptocurrency. The Chainlink Community Grant will go towards supporting the startups building blockchain-based solutions that UNICEF works with by offering funding, mentorship, and access to our expertise.
Some of the specific objectives of the Chainlink’s grant to support the UNICEF Innovation Fund and CryptoFund are:
- Finance early-stage, free, and open-source blockchain-enabled software, specifically designed to benefit emerging markets by fostering technological leaps that lead to major advancements in overall quality of life.
- Provide domain-specific expertise and additional resources to support blockchain-focused startups working with UNICEF’s CryptoFund.
- Accelerate blockchain as a force for good by expanding the capabilities of startups building solutions for populations where innovative applications are most needed.
Launched in 2016, UNICEF’s Innovation Fund enables UNICEF to learn from and shape markets of emerging technology by investing in and supporting companies in spaces such as blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Together, the CryptoFund and Innovation Fund provide both fiat and cryptocurrency investments to early-stage startups.
By contributing to the UNICEF CryptoFund, Chainlink will be able to further support early-stage companies who are scaling their operations and increase the amount of people who can benefit from social good projects. Some of the initiatives the CryptoFund supports with its funding include applying AI analytics to public services in Argentina, making sensitive clinical data portable and private in Mexico, using an interactive voice response platform in Cambodia to educate people about Covid-19, and improving food and vaccine distribution in India."
First of all, it's important to understand that this grant comes from a decentralized organisation, like Chainlink; this means that proposals are put forward to the community, which votes on them. Just like last week's announcement by Cardano, which I have reported in a separate article on this circle, these decision are consciously taken by the majority of token holders, and reflect the will of the community.
The blog refers to "open-source projects": this is another building block of blockchain technology, which is licence free and available for everyone to see and contribute to. This means that these projects are built not with the intention to benefit the many, and not to enrich the few.
The blog further refers to "startups building solutions for populations where innovative applications are most needed"; this is a trend that is fast developing in countries that do not have strong and robust infrastructure and legacy systems like in the industrialized world. Adoption and innovation is being sperheaded in the blockchain industry in countries where innovation and technology is seen as the only way of accessing services previously unavailable and closing the gap with richer, more established economies. As we have seen with the recent Cardano Africa day, new users from countries not previously known for technical innovation are now entering the blockchain arena and probably will help to shape this space and keep it on purpose.
I am truly humbled to see initiative for goods like these make a real difference on the ground where is most needed. We don't need more charity, we just need to extend a helping hand to help other people achieve the standards that we take for granted.
Come and join me in the Crypto Investor Circle where we can keep the discussion going. If you are interested in Crypto, you may also want to join me and Duncan in the GeniusU Crypto Hour, every Friday at 8am London time.