Merging Blockchain Technology with Public Welfare: A first attempt of social significance.
Blockchain is potentially a globally disruptive technology but how will it affect our day to day lives?
How can blockchain technology transition from its technical, conceptual phase to a phase of real world application and adoption?
The process of applying blockchain technology to our everyday lives is something that can and should be constructively debated and discussed by the NULS community. The NULS ‘Enterprise on the Blockchain’ discussion group propose and discuss a new and specific topic each week. On April 19th, the community conducted an online discussion on “How the blockchain can be applied to the public welfare sector”. Some of the main points from the discussion are below:
* Why we need off chain collections and the convenience of online payments (for example, WeChat payment);
* How to apply blockchain technology to real life scenarios in the public domain;
* How to implement real-time records of bookkeeping and accounting for public welfare institutions without information being tampered with;
* Whether or not smart contracts can serve the public good;
Reponses to the issues:
Mr. Zhang is a member of the Xiangzhou District Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which is located in Zhuhai City (formally registered on May 5, 2009). The society was founded by Mr. Li Yingbing in 2009. The aims of the society are to rescue stray cats and dogs, as well as promote a healthy diet for the animals, improve their well-being and train them properly. The association, which currently has 20 volunteers, refuses to abandon the concept of public welfare. Mr Zhang now manages the financial operations at their website http://www.zhsaa.org/portal.php.
Mr Zhang said in the response that processing donations via blockchain technology is fully transparent so the financial record cannot be tampered with whilst collecting money, accounting or crediting. At the same time, he said he hopes to change how their society operates by running it like a blockchain community. He hopes this might increase the influence of the society as well as attract newcomers to the public welfare space.
We can take away two main points from Mr Zhang’s statement. Firstly, that there exist transparency issues with accounting and secondly, that there is currently a problem of building and maintaining a public welfare community. Following our discussion on the issue at NULS, we proposed a solution based on blockchain technology.
So how can blockchain technology be used to achieve transparency in accounting so it’s both traceable and immutable?
1)The construction of a charity information system on the blockchain. Any key data or information on the chain can be easily extracted and recorded so all donations and transactions on chain can be traced.
Note: The contents of the homepage module include: extra animal information, public welfare project information, activity information, etc.
Can we make a game of out cats and dogs on the blockchain?
We used our imaginations to think about how we can put the most useful information on the blockchain. As it is essentially just code on the blockchain, we can give the cats and dogs various attributes in the form of pictures. We want to make interacting with the blockchain fun! Games are something definitely worth exploring.
Charities and public welfare organizations should not stop at just donations. Merging blockchain, charities and games together will make the blockchain environment more interactive and entertaining. We can include all the relevant animal rescue information provided by the various organizations in the games using blockchain, which should make the idea of public welfare and charity more interesting to people. We designed a simple game template, as shown in the picture below:
In this way, when information on a particular animal is opened on chain, we can find out who was involved in the rescue of the animals and which volunteer services the volunteers provided. Every donation corresponds to a different act of public service so the use of donations is clear as day. This means that the affectionate volunteers who participated in the charitable work and gave donations can establish more meaningful relationships with the rescued animals and feel more mentally satisfied with their actions.
Using the blockchain approach, we can extract the most meaningful and useful information, and also ensure that the data is both transparent and immutable.
2) Using the Token, recording donation information, making payments and keeping account information open and transparent but immutable.
Using the charity information system running on the blockchain, we can set up a pool of public welfare funds which publicly and actively records an amount in tokens equal to the amount in the fund. All the funds are transferred to a public collection account, where upon the system automatically distributes the tokens to whoever transferred the donation with a proof of fund transfer certificate. The information related to every token distribution on the blockchain is in real-time, transparent and immutable. The number of tokens distributed at any time is equal to the amount in the public collection account at any time.
3) Using token records, setting up a funds tracking system to track moving capital, keeping information public.
The token removal mechanism: The amount in the charity fund pool is calculated based on the number of tokens distributed from donations from users. The only information the fund pool contains is the amount in the fund, the number of tokens distributed and the user’s information. When money from the fund is spent, the system locates the user who spent it which then removes the equal number of tokens from their account. All information from the user’s activity is public on the blockchain and is linked to the back-end operating system so the information displayed on the front-end is clear and easy to enquire about.
4) Front-end implementation using the WeChat mini-app
Using the WeChat mini-app, the front-end can be linked to the blockchain at the back-end. The charity organization’s collection account is accessible via a QR code. When someone wants to make a donation, they must scan the QR code and input their login details for the app to confirm the payment. After the funds are paid, an equal number of tokens are automatically distributed to the collection account on the app. If there are any outstanding expenses then the corresponding token is deducted from that account. The information about the token deduction from the donor’s account is ‘pushed’ to the corresponding WeChat account after the donation. At the same time any other relevant information associated with the event in question such as participants, venues, start-times, notes or photos are pushed to the donor’s account. All this is achieved with full transparency on the blockchain.
The flow of tokens and funds: Scan QR code -> WeChat mini-app login -> Token distribution
5) Cost estimates
Based on the requirements of the above blockchain platform, we have come up with human and hardware cost estimates for your reference. The NULS Foundation will also help develop quality DAPP’s by providing both financial and technical support.
Note: The actual cost depends on the actual size and location of the project.
The operation of the public welfare community after implementing workload smart contracts
Public welfare is about more than just a donation!
The incentive mechanism: Using smart contracts to earn tokens based on workload. In order to incentivize and encourage volunteers to complete public welfare work, a public welfare organization will publish a ‘workload subscription’ on the system. Upon completing a charitable task, the volunteer can earn tokens. The standard exchange rate will be a workload of 1 hour to earn 50 tokens. Once the volunteer reaches a workload of 40 hours, the tokens will be distributed to their account. At the same time their donations will go into the public welfare fund pool.
Community cohesion and spreading the word: the blockchain can be used as a tool for cohesion by building emotional connections and relationships between animals and people. In a previous article we discussed how the chain of volunteers and stray animals in-need could be could be publicly displayed on the blockchain. The public record of public welfare work carries with it a powerful message that could touch the hearts of many people. This is just the start of the story as it has the potential for great social influence. By using interactive games and other charity style methods, and combining it with blockchain, we can increase the outreach of public welfare organizations and in turn expand the volunteering and donation community too.
Information of all the public welfare activities will be actively publicized during a community project. This will give everyone in the community a clear idea of how the project is going. The publication of this information will give more volunteers an incentive to participate in more public welfare work.
Usage of the tokens in circulation on the system
The token generated by the system is only a record of the flow of funds and proof of rights on the system. Donors have the right to know where and how their donated money is being used.
Tokens in circulation do not have any value and cannot be used to make actual payments.
Community operation and maintenance
For each project, the community will appoint someone to be in charge who will actively keep the organization updated, organize online and offline activities and form a community committee. After the creation of the committee, it is important that members are appointed relevant supervision responsibilities to actively monitor all fund-related activity of the public welfare organization.
Many thanks to all the community members who contributed to this project.