Why the Blockchain is the Holy Grail of Indigenous Communities
All the excitement about blockchain comes for many reasons. It features trackable and irreversible transactions, allowing all participant to agree without argument.
If talking specifically about smart contracts, they don’t require any third-party, are self-executing and self-enforcing. In other words, they act as impartial judge without requiring any intervention.
With those features, many would think of it as an ideal tool for an utopian society.
A perfect fit
After consulting with leaders of indigenous communities, we found out that they were plague will all of those issues. We decided to use our 4 years of expertise in blockchain tackle all of those problems at once. The result is IDGO project.
1. Poverty: Indigenous communities account for approximately 370 million peoples, 5% of the world population, but 15% of the extreme poor. It’s a major issue and traditional activities of indigenous peoples have less and less value because of the competition from modernization. Basically, the current realistic solutions takes their cultural heritage apart and force them to blend with the masses. That’s tragic and blockchain can help to stop the bleeding. See solutions
Why focus indigenous communities and not focus on poverty itself?
The causes of poverty always vary and a solution for a group might be useless for another. We found out a common solution for indigenous communities: tourism. Most indigenous communities reside on isolated, beautiful land: perfect gateways. Moreover, their unique culture is an attraction in itself. We want to leverage something they already own or can easily develop for the benefit of the whole community. This will be used to fuel the communty’s identity, social finance and infrastructure.
2. Pollution: Indigenous rarely have the infrastructure to recycle and take care of trash. Moreover, tourists and industries bring much garbage with them and leave it in the indigenous communities. This is the main concern of our first participating indigenous community.
This is also a serious problem regarding the tourism potential.
If we take France as example, the country took countless measure to reduce the sources of pollution of all kind and increase the beauty of the land for tourists.
Among those measures, there is public servant cleaning the streets in Paris, limitation on the height of buildings — reducing visual pollution, underground cabling — leaving even France’s country side free of electricity poles and strict regulations so that all regions keep their traditional architecture and colors.
Those measures not only added to the beauty of the country, they greatly encouraged the safekeeping of the culture and identity of every single region in France. The cultural heritage ‘patrimoine’ was not only safer, it flourished.
It is not for no reason that France is the most visited country in the world.
Indigenous communities hold just as much potential than the most picturesque village of France.
They have the land, it simply needs to be cleaned.
They have the architecture, it simply need to be restored.
They have the culture and identity, it simply need to be protected and promoted. See solutions
3. Identity: Robbing the indigenous of their identity, this is what most nations have been doing in the past, and some are still doing today.
We use identity so much that we often don’t realize how important it is. Identification is essential to confirm a person, his competence, his certification, his credit rating, his criminal history, etc. Providing identification to indigenous is still very difficult and expensive.
They rarely have government office close by and they don’t have access to most of the services related to identity. This is a serious bottleneck for finance, for promoting one’s products and for establishing contracts between individual. With a decentralized blockchain owned by the community, this can be turned into an advantage. See solutions
4. Governance: Relying on a faraway government only lead to frustration for indigenous communities. Even the most benevolent governments cannot understand the problems of remote communities.
Indigenous communities have a trump card that can be used with blockchain: their leaders. In isolated communities, leaders are people that are known by everyone. They earn the respect of their comrades and elders.
They earn the admiration of the younger generations. Because of their devotion to their community, they can fully leverage the blockchain to promote self-governance. See solutions
IDGO didn’t focus on a single app to solve a specific issue. This strategy would greatly hinder the originality and innovation that indigenous peoples themselves can bring. Rather, we decided to create a blockchain platform that can be implemented in each community and will be owned by each community. This platform includes many tools as described below, but more importantly, it can be developed much further with the input of indigenous communities.
1. Digital Identity: This was the first solution developed in IDGO. We so far created the indigenous ID card and the tourist passport. The digital identity is the based on which everything can be developed for indigenous communities: voting system, finance, governance, contract, etc.
The tourist passport allows tourists or individuals to promote their favorite communities. All profit from the tourist passport will belong the community issuing it. This income will belong to the whole community and therefore will be used for the needs of the many rather than the wants of the few.
2. Community token: This is the mean by which the indigenous community can develop their own financial system. As the name imply, each community have their own and unique token. Because it is managed by the indigenous community, only their members or their approved partners/tourists can use the token. This allow them to transact directly P2P and open up for countless financial application otherwise inaccessible.
3. Social finance: Our blockchain platform will allow many financial applications at zero entry cost. Among them, we are working on a decentralized credit system. This will allow members to loan their extra token within a pool to those in need to borrow.
This will greatly simplify the microfinance within the community while increasing the accessibility for loan. Moreover, the loans within community where members all know each other will be a safeguard against any abuse or scam. This is only an example of financial service possible with the blockchain. We will work continuously with the communities to develop more applications fitting every community.
4. Governance: With the integration of all previous solutions, the indigenous community can gain much independence for their daily activities. Furthermore, all extra revenue from tourists with the adoption of IDGO with be available to the community as a whole. With the strong leadership of indigenous community, the main concern of the community will be the first to receive more financial support to be solved. For this reason, we expect the implantation of IDGO on Orchid Island to be a help for their major trash issue.
As explained above, there are many solutions available on blockchain to face environmental and social issues. The frenzy of ICO in 2017 imply too many “one to solve them all” type of solution.
Even if the blockchain brings many possibilities before unavailable, it is not a magical wand to solve everything. We still have to see a massive implantation of blockchain technology that really solve a major social issue.
IDGO project focus on getting every single advantage out of the blockchain technology available to a group of people. With this in mind, we focus on one indigenous community at a time.
We will improve our whole platform solution until it becomes optimal. When this is done, our company won’t need to push the project forward. At this point, the project partners will be numerous, and the massive implantation would happen by itself.
For more information or to participate in IDGO project: