5 Social Impact Companies Making a Difference Through Blockchain

Michael Pisa, a fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., warns to be cautious about considering blockchain a “silver bullet” to the world’s problems. “This imbalance has led to unrealistic expectations about what blockchain solutions can do, how easy they will be to implement, and how quickly they can scale, if at all. The result has been a widening gap between expectations and reality that has naturally led to growing skepticism.” 

This being said, beyond the hype there is serious potential. These 5 companies are leading the way in ensuring that blockchain is used as a powerful force for good.

Poseidon – When it comes to stopping climate change, we are running out of time – but with Poseidon you, the consumer, are in charge. Our blockchain-based platform makes any purchase climate positive, for a cleaner planet and a clearer conscience. Carbon credits (certificates of sustainability that incentivize carbon emission reduction by creating a market for carbon offsets) are usually only sold in massive quantities to companies — but now blockchain-based “micro-transactions” make the same system possible for individuals.

ixo aims to be the new operating system for the Impact Economy. Using blockchain and Web3 standards, ixo enables anyone to collect, measure, evaluate, value, and tokenize verified impact data. “ixo” is an invented word (neoligism) and not an acronym. Using of the ixo Protocol, anyone can create, verify, share and trade high-definition, trusted impact data. Tokenized impact data can be used to create a range of innovative impact financing mechanisms. Since 2015, UNICEF Innovation Fund and Innovation Edge (backed by Omidyar Network and UBS Optimus Foundation) have provided seed investments to develop an application of ixo through a project called Amply, a platform for early childhood development,  using the ixo protocol to track attendance at pre-schools in South Africa, for a national government subsidy scheme.

The Distributed Giving Project was started by Sasha Shtern, who wanted a way to give directly to homeless teens, rather than have them wait in line for food at a shelter they might not be able to get to, but realized there’s a belief that when given money those who are homeless will spend it on things other than food and necessities. A small pilot incentivized members of the Denver Rescue Mission’s recovery program to continue in the program by giving them $10 of Bitcoin every other day and found a food mart that would accept Bitcoin.

Flux is using blockchain technology to collect data on agriculture and the environment. The Flux system collects data from crowdsourced sensors and also has a token that creates a peer-to-peer marketplace between farmers and consumers. The company plans to launch later this month.

CA Technologies which has collaborated with the UN on a number of fronts including climate change, corporate sustainability, and women’s empowerment is a founding member of The Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development. This commission was established by the Global Partnerships Forum, PVBLIC Foundation, and The Fund for Philanthropy to develop a framework by which the UN and its specialized agencies, member states, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and financial institutions could collaborate with the private sector on emerging solutions to some of the most pressing problems in our world. The Commission will focus on blockchain applications that align with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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