Humanitarian crypto coin
Cryptocurrency ecosystem has been crazy during the last couple of months. Double digits returns and record breaking ICOs are preparing the world to enter into a new kind of economy. The economy where the underlying technology will bring us new kind of organizations where trust is not assumed but rather explicit. A decentralized economy where the shared ledger transparency will bring equal rights and overview to each and every one of the involved stakeholders.
And surely there a lot of interesting companies that are being built on top of the blockchain such as access to the decentralized computing power (The Golem Project) or the decentralized cloud storage (Storj). However, what strikes me the most while being part of this vibrant ecosystem is how one of the biggest use cases of blockchain is lying around and not being utilized by helping people who need it the most. People who are in distress and those who are suffering due to the circumstances that are out of their reach. I am talking about the people who are in the unenviable parts of their life and who are in a need for a humanitarian aid.
Transparency in humanitarian organizations
Secretary-general of the UN, Ban Ki-moon stated that the corruption prevented 30% of the humanitarian funds to reach their final destination. Just to put that in perspective the amount of funds that the UN donates each year is $12.2bn. We are taking about massive amounts of money and supplies that are lost while traversing trough the non-transparent supply chain.
Transparent flow of the tangible or non-tangible goods would not only decrease international disputes but also prevent funding withdrawals from governments, institutions and individuals who are eager to help but are having difficulties to make such decisions due to the shady processes and non-transparent nature of the current organizational structure of humanitarian organizations.
I believe that we are in a similar moment in history compared to the time when Henry Dunant founded the Red Cross. Due to the dissatisfaction of the state where the international humanitarian aid was at the time, he envisioned a new kind of organization founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.
Similarly, today any moment we can expect a new form of non-profit humanitarian institution which will put emphasis on human life trough organizational and procedural transparency. Moreover, this organization will be based on the blockchain.
To fund this project and to make it a reality it would be the best to release a proprietary crypto token which will make it possible to have a fully transparent organization with donation tracking overview for both donors and recipients. I can also envision the organization where you will be able to attribute your tokens to the geographical or thematic cause such as gender or race inequality and track how are those being spent.
The main goal would be to create a new kind of decentralized transparent humanitarian organization. This is a huge goal and there are many huge challenges lying ahead and it is also impossible to expect that the humanitarian system moves to the new paradigm in one go: the solution is to expand and learn continuously until the blockchain powered humanitarian help stretches throughout the entire system.
First step that I see is the creation of the platform where all of the funds and expenditures are visible to the every stakeholder. To a certain extent there should also be a customization option on the donor’s side where they are able to allocate their funds to the cause that they believe in.
Alongside monetary part a large part of donations consists of so-called “GIKs” (Gifts in kind). These gifts are distinguished from money and usually consist of:
- Building materials
To prevent corruption and to have a real-time overview where GIKs are located, their identifiers can be put on the blockchain and their path and state can be tracked as they are moving from different stakeholders starting from the donor and up to the recipient. A system where by use of public and private cryptography keys we can equip all the people involved in the supply chain to successfully track and mange the state and location of GIKs.
Emergency ICO or EICO is something that should be launched as soon as some mid to large catastrophe happens. With EICO aim is to be able to prompt the quick reaction from the people and organizations that are willing to help. Having consequent EICOs will also allow us to learn and potentially find new blockchain use-cases as well as raise population awareness trough media organizations.
I am not presenting a solution to the every problem that humanitarian community is facing. Nevertheless, the blockchain revolution is introducing a new humanitarian paradigm that is touching most of them. We are talking about very difficult problems that are creating difficulties for people to support the cause they believe in or to provide the help to those who need it.
I am also sure that the path ahead is full of uncertainties but at least what can be done at this moment is to start and continue learning along the way.