Since 2019, we have now supported UNICEF’s CryptoFund with recurring contributions, and we’re enthusiastic about our most up-to-date donation too. Right this moment, 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 earlier weblog submit, I defined how rising economies signify an enormous alternative for Ethereum, and talked concerning the significance of asking ourselves “who would most profit from Ethereum?”
Folks dwelling in rising economies signify billions of next-generation customers and builders of Ethereum. The subsequent query ought to then be: “how can we attain the subsequent billion?”
The Ethereum mission began with a small group of individuals on a shared mission, and at the moment the mission has attracted tons of of hundreds of like-minded builders and researchers. This like-mindedness was the facility that aligned the group, however we should always admit that it additionally created pure limitations to entry for individuals who weren’t related with somebody in the neighborhood. Due to this, I used to be at all times conscious that the Ethereum group was missing the true range wanted to maximise the know-how’s actual potential, and to achieve the subsequent billion.
Across the finish of 2018, I used to be in search of alternatives to develop our attain once I met Chris Fabian from UNICEF Ventures (who now leads the Giga mission, which we additionally help). To be sincere, forward of our first assembly, I had doubts about whether or not EF would work properly with a group from the United Nations. I felt they have been a really conventional, massive group with standard methods of doing issues. However Chris shared a few lists of targets that they needed to realize utilizing blockchain know-how, and that blew my thoughts.
He and his group understood the significance of public blockchains, in addition to the tradeoffs of assorted protocols. This was the second once I felt assured that there was a chance for each teams to have an impactful partnership. UNICEF has a community, and assets that we didn’t have, with ongoing work in additional than 190 nations, and collaboration with numerous stakeholders together with NGOs, companies, startups, and governments. They have been additionally in search of new methods to vary from the within, and to embrace innovation. That is how our collaboration began, and from there we started to help the UNICEF CryptoFund, which was introduced and launched at Devcon 5 in October of 2019.
Chris Fabian and I at Devcon 5, which coincided with Halloween. The UNICEF Ventures group spent a sleepless night time coordinating with the Headquarters for the launch of the CryptoFund.
It was pure for the EF to turn out to be the founding donor to the UNICEF CryptoFund given our collaboration. The CryptoFund is the primary automobile in the whole UN ecosystem – and probably the general public sector at giant – to obtain, maintain, and use crypto, and it makes investments in help of know-how startups inside growing nations which can be aimed toward enhancing the lives of kids. These startups obtain tokens and use them with out changing to fiat currencies, inside the aim of growing open-source, digital public items. Up to now, 2,527 ETH and eight BTC have been contributed, and 18 investments have been made.
On the identical time, the CryptoFund is attempting to deal with a key problem for organizations like UNICEF – considered one of 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 web site 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 belongings. Any public sector group that wishes to leverage tokens in a user-friendly, clear manner, can experiment with Juniper at the moment.
Most of the 18 startups which have obtained a CryptoFund funding use blockchain-based know-how of their merchandise as properly, and we’ll proceed to help them via workshops, and by connecting them to great skills and tasks within the Ethereum ecosystem. You’ll be able to learn extra about these startups growing open-source, digital public items right here.
I can not emphasize sufficient how influential this mission 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 optimistic 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 help for the CryptoFund and its portfolio firms growing digital public items in rising economies, EF’s collaboration with UNICEF is evolving. By 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 id 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) aimed toward offering web to each college on this planet.
I’m excited to share extra about their work within the coming months and look ahead to increasing our attain to the subsequent billion via 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 essential steps.