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It was announced yesterday, Monday December 10, that The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) plans to invest in six blockchain projects. The investment is being done through UNICEF’s Innovation Fund, and the six projects exist in emerging markets. Each of the six blockchain projects will receive up to $100,000 USD.
The companies in question are Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar, and W3 Engineers. These companies were six of more than 100 applications across 50 counties and were selected as those most worthy of the funding.
UNICEF is a global charity aimed at protecting children’s rights and providing help and support to children in dangerous places. As such, the projects that UNICEF are funding (currently over 25 with the six new projects) are aimed at fixing global problems that affect children.
- Atix Labs (Argentina): A platform to allow access to funding for small to medium sizes businesses.
- Onesmart (Mexico): An application to provide transparency of funds for state-provided social services to children. The project is aimed at stopping misappropriation of funds.
- Prescrypto (Mexico): An Electronic prescription platform.
- Statwig (India): A supply chain management system to promote delivery of vaccines.
- Utopixar (Tunisia): A social collaboration tool.
- W3 Engineers (Bangladesh): an offline mobile networking platform without sim cards and internet connection, aimed at connecting refugee communities.
Chris Fabian, Principal Adviser, UNICEF Innovation said:
“Blockchain technology is still at an early stage — and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we see how, and where, we can use this technology to create a better world. That’s exactly the stage when UNICEF Innovation Fund invests: when our financing, technical support, and focus on vulnerable populations can help a technology grow and mature in the most fair and equitable way possible.”
This news is another great example of how blockchain technology has far-reaching applications. For a long time people have associated blockchain with finance, and while that is one aspect of blockchain’s abilities, it’s by no means where it ends. To see a major world charity invest in blockchain projects is a major step towards realizing blockchain’s full potential.
It is always good to see companies investing in innovative start-ups and watching ideas blossom from something small into a fully functioning application that, in this case, has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of children in dangerous areas.