Since 2019, now we have supported UNICEF’s CryptoFund with recurring contributions, and we’re enthusiastic about our most recent donation too. At present, I want to share the story of our journey collectively, to acknowledge a few of the achievements of our partnership, and to talk a bit extra about what’s subsequent.
Why and the way we began
In a previous blog post, I defined how rising economies symbolize an enormous alternative for Ethereum, and talked in regards to the significance of asking ourselves “who would most profit from Ethereum?”
Individuals residing in rising economies symbolize billions of next-generation customers and builders of Ethereum. The following query ought to then be: “how can we attain the following billion?”
The Ethereum venture began with a small group of individuals on a shared mission, and in the present day the venture has attracted lots of of 1000’s of like-minded builders and researchers. This like-mindedness was the facility that aligned the group, however we must always admit that it additionally created pure boundaries to entry for individuals who weren’t linked with somebody in the neighborhood. Due to this, I used to be all the time conscious that the Ethereum group was missing the true range wanted to maximise the know-how’s actual potential, and to succeed in the following billion.
Across the finish of 2018, I used to be in search of alternatives to increase our attain after I met Chris Fabian from UNICEF Ventures (who now leads the Giga project, which we additionally assist). To be sincere, forward of our first assembly, I had doubts about whether or not EF would work nicely with a workforce from the United Nations. I felt they have been a really conventional, massive group with typical methods of doing issues. However Chris shared a few lists of targets that they needed to attain utilizing blockchain know-how, and that blew my thoughts.
He and his workforce understood the significance of public blockchains, in addition to the tradeoffs of assorted protocols. This was the second after I felt assured that there was a possibility for each teams to have an impactful partnership. UNICEF has a community, and sources that we didn’t have, with ongoing work in additional than 190 international locations, and collaboration with numerous stakeholders together with NGOs, companies, startups, and governments. They have been additionally searching for new methods to vary from the within, and to embrace innovation. That is how our collaboration began, and from there we started to assist the UNICEF CryptoFund, which was announced and launched at Devcon 5 in October of 2019.
Chris Fabian and I at Devcon 5, which coincided with Halloween. The UNICEF Ventures workforce spent a sleepless evening coordinating with the Headquarters for the launch of the CryptoFund.
It was pure for the EF to change into the founding donor to the UNICEF CryptoFund given our collaboration. The CryptoFund is the primary automobile in the whole UN ecosystem – and presumably the general public sector at giant – to obtain, maintain, and use crypto, and it makes investments in assist of know-how startups inside growing international locations which can be geared toward enhancing the lives of youngsters. These startups obtain tokens and use them with out changing to fiat currencies, inside the purpose of growing open-source, digital public items. To this point, 2,527 ETH and eight BTC have been contributed, and 18 investments have been made.
On the identical time, the CryptoFund is making an attempt to deal with a key problem for organizations like UNICEF – one among transparency and accountability. Historically, donors and different stakeholders don’t have entry to a real-time, tamper-proof view of how a charity spends its cash. Within the case of the CryptoFund, each transaction the CryptoFund makes is seen on its website with a corresponding hyperlink containing immutable transaction particulars on blockchain explorers.
Within the picture above, you possibly can see the EF’s most up-to-date donation – obtained first by UNICEF France after which transferred to the UNICEF Headquarters.
The CryptoFund web site is powered by Juniper, an open-source set of instruments developed by UNICEF Ventures to assist handle digital property. Any public sector group that desires to leverage tokens in a user-friendly, clear approach, can experiment with Juniper in the present day.
Lots of the 18 startups which have obtained a CryptoFund funding use blockchain-based know-how of their merchandise as nicely, and we are going to proceed to assist them by way of workshops, and by connecting them to fantastic abilities and tasks within the Ethereum ecosystem. You may learn extra about these startups growing open-source, digital public items here.
I can not emphasize sufficient how influential this venture has been — not just for the humanitarian sector and governments, however even to the world. It has raised consciousness and let the general public see how it’s attainable for a big, established and worldwide group to undertake public blockchains in environment friendly and clear methods. I’ve heard a lot constructive suggestions and really hope that different conventional organizations like UNICEF really feel extra assured making use of those public items too.
Whereas we proceed our assist for the CryptoFund and its portfolio corporations growing digital public items in rising economies, EF’s collaboration with UNICEF is evolving. By way of the brand new EF Fellowship Program, we’re supporting two thrilling developments. One EF Fellow – who represents a CryptoFund portfolio firm – is working with many nationwide and municipal governments in Latin America to make use of blockchain in digital identification and verifiable credentials. One other EF Fellow is exploring the intersection of web connectivity and blockchain, working with Giga, which is a joint initiative by UNICEF and the Worldwide Telecommunications Union (ITU) geared toward offering web to each college on the earth.
I’m excited to share extra about their work within the coming months and stay up for increasing our attain to the following billion by way of our continued partnership with UNICEF. Within the meantime, you could find them on Twitter: UNICEF Innovation (which manages the CryptoFund), UNICEF France (which was the primary nationwide committee to make use of crypto) , and Giga.
Lastly, I want to ship my deepest appreciation to Sunita Grote, who leads the UNICEF Enterprise Fund, Christina Rose Lomazzo, UNICEF’s blockchain lead (in addition to Mehran Hydary, Cecilia Chapiro, and others who have been a part of the journey collectively), and to Chris Fabian, for pushing the needle collectively for these vital steps.