Category Archives: charity

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NGO in Tanzania Registers First Babies on Blockchain

A Dutch-based NGO working in Africa has teamed up with AID:Tech on a women’s aid project in Tanzania by using blockchain tech to assist pregnant women.

AID:Tech is an award-winning company that focuses on the delivery of digital entitlements, including welfare, aid, remittance and donations using blockchain and digital identity. The company was the first in the world to successfully deliver international aid to Syrian Refugees in Lebanon using blockchain technology, according to Wikipedia. The Dutch NGO, PharmAccess, works on projects in Africa and uses blockchain to make aid delivery more efficient.

The AID:Tech platform describes itself as a company which offers digital identity, represented by a blockchain wallet address. Each identity profile is unique and documents every transaction associated with it. Each digital identity can also be used to receive, send and hold digital entitlements. Each profile is both an identity solution and a built-in tool for managing social and financial entitlements.

The Tanzanian project’s main focus is not simply targeted at pregnant mothers, as it also ensures that beneficiaries receive supplies and services including pharmaceutical necessities. The blockchain program being used by the team ensures that individual women can be tracked for receipt of benefits, vitamins, doctor appointments and medication through AID:Tech’s digital ID system. This ensures that funds arrive at the nominated source correctly and that post-natal treatment is being properly delivered.

Postnatal treatment is clearly not the only thing that the program can deliver, as this month, using the new digital system, the births of three babies were recorded on the blockchain, reportedly the technology’s first of its kind.

Charities are currently receiving poor press because of recent developments, particularly reporting that sexual predators are working for international aid organizations where they can abuse children, young girls and women from vulnerable communities. Little appears to be done despite reassurances from the UN that charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children will take immediate action.

Another problem has been aid actually reaching its designated beneficiaries or donations being carelessly monitored and utilized. CEO of AID:Tech Joseph Thompson was reportedly inspired to launch this latest fundraiser due to a charity in the past losing his donation, which ended up not reaching those it was targeted for. A more successful project in 2015 saw it successfully deliver 500 food vouchers to a Lebanese camp for Syrian Refugees.

Such programs can go a long way to restoring much of the trust that has been lost in charitable organizations over recent years, also reminding the public that new technologies will be the key to making NGOs and private charity activities far more transparent and trustworthy.

 

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Blood, Lambos, Earn Kevin Abosh $1M from Crypto Art

An artist’s desire to experiment with conceptual cryptocurrency art connected to elements of his physical body, including his own blood and luxury icon Lamborghinis, have made Kevin Abosch over USD 1 million.

Kevin Abosch is a conceptual artist and photographer that lives in New York and has been experimenting with cryptocurrency art. One of his artworks, Forever Rose, is considered the most valuable virtual artwork in history and the most expensive piece of art ever stored on a blockchain.

In January, he created 10 million IAMA Coin tokens using the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol, and had the desire to not just let these tokens be pieces of digital art, but to somehow connect them to his physical body. He accomplished this by drawing six vials of blood, and then stamping 100 blockchain addresses where the IAMA Coins reside onto 100 separate pieces of paper using his blood.

There is a notion in the cryptocurrency world that profits from Bitcoin’s colossal rise are being used to buy Lamborghinis, the popular and extremely expensive Italian sports car, and Kevin Abosch made a piece of art based on this. He created an ERC-20 token named YLAMBO, short for Yellow Lamborghini, and turned its blockchain address into a glowing yellow neon sculpture. The sculpture was purchased by Michael Jackson – former Skype COO and not the deceased singer – for USD 400,000.

The most expensive piece of cryptocurrency art that Kevin Abosch has created has no physical presence, but a digital ERC-20 token named Forever Rose. The Forever Rose token was purchased by 10 collectors who spent USD 100,000 of cryptocurrency each. Payments were made via IAMA Coins and GTO Coins on the GIFTO platform, which is a decentralized exchange of virtual gifts. Each collector received a tenth of the Forever Rose. All the money collected from the sale of Forever Rose was donated to CoderDojo, which teaches children programming for free.

His next project is tokenizing Manhattan; he has created a token for every street on the island and printed ERC-20 contract addresses on a 6-foot high map. Collectors will be able to send a few dollars of Ethereum to each address in order to purchase the associated token.

Abosch’s Yellow Lambo sculpture and a picture of an IAMA Coin address stamped with his blood can be viewed in this New York Times article. He is planning on continuing his experimentation with cryptocurrency art.

 

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Charities Must Embrace Blockchain to Make Genuine Impact, Report Says

A report conducted by independent think tank Charity Futures concluded that charities have yet to engage with blockchain with the kind of urgency required to keep up with technological advances, writes Live Bitcoin News.

The study, ‘Nothing to Lose (But Your Chains)’, was clear in pointing out that the charity sector had as yet failed to tap significantly into available blockchain technologies.

Asheem Singh, former interim chief executive of the charity’s lead body Acevo, who commissioned the report, said that blockchain held great potential for charity organizations. “Blockchain could herald the sort of seismic changes in the charity sector as the digital revolution before it,” he wrote.

The report suggests that there is one area of significance where blockchain could make the most impact should it be employed. Foreign aid was singled out, noting that aid distributed by the UK government currently stands at 0.7% of GDP, which in 2016 was GBP 12.7 billion. International aid has been susceptible to corruption and bureaucracy in many receiving countries, which are exactly the kinds of problems that blockchain’s accountability can address.

Many charity organizations are dragging their heels regarding the new technology according to the report. “Despite the potential benefits, the charity sector is currently behind the curve on blockchain technology,” the study said.

The report recommends the use of DLT by creating a transparent, end-to-end supply chain for each project. This means that all those involved – government departments, NGOs, funders, charities, local offices, delivery partners, and the individuals receiving the benefit have access up to the moment information regarding the funds or supplies donated.

Some charities and NGOs are getting it right, however. Along with IBM, both the UN and the World Food Programme (WFP) are now proactively using blockchain to record transactions.

As previously covered by Bitcoin News, WFP has been employing the blockchain in a number of its projects and making a significant impact in the field as a result. In just one of its recent programs, the organization has distributed cryptocurrency-based food vouchers to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees living in Jordan, bypassing bureaucracy and getting aid to where it’s needed.

Singh feels that it is time charities came together with those actually creating the technology, in order to fully draw on its potential across the whole sector.

“It may be time for the sector to convene a high-level task force that brings together charity leaders and technologists… to articulate the contribution blockchain can and should make to the charity sector and the problems it is trying to address.”

 

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Refugee Charity Receives Huge Crypto Donation

The New York-based charity Give Directly has announced that it has received a donation of USD 1 million from startup OmiseGo and Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

Give Directly uses publicly available data on poverty to enroll recipients, region by region, using GPS technology in order to establish genuine cases of extreme poverty. Once no irregularities are discovered, a payment is sent using SMS of around USD 1,000, or the nearest equivalent to a year’s living costs, via local money agents in the recipient’s town or village. Safeguards have been put in place to ensure that electronic funds have been received correctly. The current focus of the charity is the refugee crisis in Uganda.

The charity has been appealing for support since 2013 and to date has received donations totalling over USD 200 million. Companies such as Google, eBay, and Facebook are just some of the charity’s donors. Give Directly now plans to align itself to the crypto industry and seek its support, encouraging both high profile figures and the general public to engage in its charity raising projects. The most simple way to donate is by using the charity’s crypto wallet.

Jun Hasegawa, CEO of Omise, OmiseGo’s parent company, recently reflected on just how much the crypto economy had grown over the course of a year, often “bringing a great deal of wealth to many people and organizations” and suggested that “extravagant generosity” was the way to go for the future rather than harboring newly found wealth.

There’s been a significant rise in recent years in charities which are now supported by cryptocurrency donations. Some of these have joined a growing establishment of charities accepting Bitcoin donations such as: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, WikiLeaks, Antiwar.com, Watsi, Water Project, Code to Inspire, Bitgive and Epic Change.

Charities trialling Bitcoin donations are on the rise. More familiar High Street names include such well-known organizations as the Red Cross and Save the Children.

 

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UK Charity Uses Blockchain in Effort to Restore Donator Faith

English Heritage, a UK charity that provides the country with access to over 400 historical sites, buildings, monuments and places, has recently announced that it will be partnering with Blockchain charity platform, Giftcoin.

The charity utilizes donations to maintain historical assets such as Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall.

The partnership comes at a time when the charity sector has experienced a steady decline in public trust. While technological innovations have been boosting capital in practically every other industry, the charity sector has fallen behind. Millennials especially just don’t seem to have confidence in an industry that has had scathing media coverage of improper practice, damaging commercial partnerships and a lack of transparency when it comes down to seeing how donations are distributed.

Open and honest via the blockchain

Those few points are just the tip of the iceberg, and yet again blockchain technology finds itself in the position of providing a solution.

The charity received roughly GBP 2.5 million in donations in 2015/2016 and is setting out to be self-funded by 2023. On their website, they carefully lay out how they intend to distribute present and future funds and now with Giftcoin, English Heritage can communicate openly with donors, showing them exactly where the money goes and how the funds will be spent.

English Heritage isn’t the only charity to be working with Giftcoin, a technology that makes it possible for any user to browse through the ledger that is owned and maintained by all the users of the system.

Being paired with the Giftcoin platform or another charity-focused blockchain solution or cryptocurrency means that a charity can give their donors confidence in knowing that funds donated will be used for the exact reasons that the charity has stated.

Luke Purser, development director at English Heritage, said in an interview with CityWire.co.uk:

“English Heritage cares for the places where England’s stories were forged and where they can be retold. To do this, we often use the latest technologies and so we’re pleased to see the new initiative from Giftcoin, which will help charities communicate to donors how and where their funds are being used. We hope this will be a great new way to raise more funds to support our important work.”

The reason blockchain technologies will be a staple in the future of charitable efforts is because it repairs a lost trust between donors and charities, especially the faith of the millennial generation.

Altruism is alive and well but donors want to be sure that their donations will not be used to cover overheads like staff wages, office rentals and printing leaflets. They want to see that the funds will be used as they are advertised to be.

One of the most treasured charities in the UK, English Heritage has taken the bold step forward into a blockchain future and it could prove to be a wholly positive move for the charity sector.

 

 

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