Update on the partnership between EF and UNICEF

Since 2019, we’ve got supported UNICEF’s CryptoFund with recurring contributions, and we’re enthusiastic about our most up-to-date donation too. Today, I wish 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 publish, I defined how rising economies symbolize an enormous alternative for Ethereum, and talked in regards to the significance of asking ourselves “who would most benefit from Ethereum?”

People residing in rising economies symbolize billions of next-generation customers and builders of Ethereum. The subsequent query ought to then be: “how do we reach the next billion?”

The Ethereum venture began with a small group of people on a shared mission, and right now the venture has attracted a whole lot of 1000’s of like-minded builders and researchers. This like-mindedness was the facility that aligned the neighborhood, however we should always admit that it additionally created pure obstacles to entry for individuals who weren’t linked with somebody locally. Because of this, I used to be all the time conscious that the Ethereum neighborhood was missing the true range wanted to maximise the expertise’s actual potential, and to succeed in the following billion.

Around the tip 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 venture, which we additionally help). To be trustworthy, forward of our first assembly, I had doubts about whether or not EF would work effectively with a staff from the United Nations. I felt they had been a really conventional, massive group with standard methods of doing issues. But Chris shared a few lists of targets that they needed to attain utilizing blockchain expertise, and that blew my thoughts.

He and his staff understood the significance of public blockchains, in addition to the tradeoffs of varied protocols. This was the second once I felt assured that there was a possibility 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 international locations, and collaboration with numerous stakeholders together with NGOs, companies, startups, and governments. They had been additionally searching for new methods to vary from the within, and to embrace innovation. This 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 staff spent a sleepless evening coordinating with the Headquarters for the launch of the CryptoFund.

UNICEF 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 car in your complete UN ecosystem – and probably the general public sector at massive – to obtain, maintain, and use crypto, and it makes investments in help of expertise startups inside growing international locations which are aimed toward enhancing the lives of youngsters. These startups obtain tokens and use them with out changing to fiat currencies, throughout the purpose of growing open-source, digital public items. To date, 2,527 ETH and eight BTC have been contributed, and 18 investments have been made.

At the identical time, the CryptoFund is attempting to sort out a key problem for organizations like UNICEF – one in all transparency and accountability. Traditionally, donors and different stakeholders don’t have entry to a real-time, tamper-proof view of how a charity spends its cash. In 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.

In the picture above, you may see the EF’s most up-to-date donation – acquired 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 means, can experiment with Juniper right now.

Many of the 18 startups which have acquired a CryptoFund funding use blockchain-based expertise of their merchandise as effectively, and we are going to proceed to help them via workshops, and by connecting them to great skills and tasks within the Ethereum ecosystem. You can learn extra about these startups growing open-source, digital public items right 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 actually hope that different conventional organizations like UNICEF really feel extra assured making use of those public items too.

What’s subsequent?

While 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. Through 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. Another EF Fellow is exploring the intersection of web connectivity and blockchain, working with Giga, which is a joint initiative by UNICEF and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) aimed toward offering web to each college on the earth.

I’m excited to share extra about their work within the coming months and sit up for increasing our attain to the following billion via our continued partnership with UNICEF. In the meantime, yow will discover 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 wish to ship my deepest appreciation to Sunita Grote, who leads the UNICEF Venture Fund, Christina Rose Lomazzo, UNICEF’s blockchain lead (in addition to Mehran Hydary, Cecilia Chapiro, and others who had been a part of the journey collectively), and to Chris Fabian, for pushing the needle collectively for these necessary steps.

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