There has always been a theme in the blockchain community around the technology’s potential to help the world’s most disadvantaged people. Even the sector’s most basic implementations are poised to have a significant impact on populations that have been chronically underserved by their governments and the private sector. But when it comes to true impact work, whether social, environmental, health, or otherwise, complex problems require complex solutions.
Today, I’m proud to announce the of launch of ixo, a protocol to optimize global impact. ixo has an unprecedented vision to use blockchain to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the ambition to turn our aspirations into real world impact.
There are millions of impact projects happening at this very moment, all over the world — projects looking to increase access to healthcare, support the fight against climate change, and provide children with basic education. Each of these projects holds valuable insights that are crucial to helping us improve the way we create sustainable change.
But these insights are simply not available in a way that is reliable, detailed, or accessible to those who need it — as trusted data. Either data isn’t collected, it lives in a private database, or it’s public but cannot be guaranteed to be valid. Even the data that is available lacks the granularity required to make informed decisions. This is what ixo plans to disrupt.
The ixo protocol enables the creation of verified impact claims. Through an application they’ve built on the protocol, an organization can create an impact claim, detailing the impact work it has achieved. When the claim is verified by an evaluator or a data-based oracle, it becomes a critical source of data stored in the Global Impact Ledger. This decentralized data store will enable funders, organizations, researchers, and individuals to identify gaps in services, spot and scale effective programs, and fundamentally ensure the projects they are undertaking maximize their respective impact.
The ixo protocol combines several key blockchain technologies including Ethereum, Sovrin, and BigChain DB. By combining public and public-permissioned networks, we can ensure the most effective system, while protecting the integrity and privacy of the data. Our API layer enables any application developer, funder, or organization to easily build a custom application tailored to the specific needs of the impact work they are undertaking.
But as we know, success is not just about the quality of the technology. The ability to implement the technology in developing countries is one of the most challenging aspects of success. That’s why we’ve been testing our first proof of concept for the past year in one of the very locations we expect it will have its greatest impact — South Africa.
It’s well proven that education in the first five years of life is critical for setting the foundation of a child’s development. In South Africa, the most disadvantaged children are funded by government subsidies to attend pre-school, but the process of accessing that funding is a bureaucratic paper-based nightmare for teachers.
With the support of Innovation Edge and UNICEF, Amply has developed a mobile application on the ixo protocol that allows teachers to collect attendance data, and create a verified impact claim that proves the impact of teaching children was delivered. The app saves more than 4,000 man hours of work every month. In the future, that verification could be achieved through a data source, like the fingerprint of each child, entered into the teacher’s mobile phone each morning, increasing efficiency and eliminating corruption. Data about the work can inform us which areas have poor attendance rates, helping determine which schools, or even classrooms need more intervention.
Early childhood education is just one example of where the ixo protocol can optimize impact on the ground. We already envision projects related to vaccination campaigns, agriculture, and fighting climate change. At a more complex level, the verified impact claims can be leveraged to secure “pay for success” funding that is popular among impact investors and social impact bonds.
We’ve assembled an incredible team of founders and advisors - people who work in blockchain because of its incredible potential to change the world for the better. Decentralized technology’s greatest technical minds, impact workers with decades of implementation experience in the field, and entrepreneurs who know how to combine the two to change the face of sustainable development.
At ixo, we know we can’t solve all of humanity’s problems ourselves. We believe the solutions to the global challenges we face will come from the communities who live through those challenges every day. Our goal is to create the best protocol upon which anyone can provide the greatest impact, wherever their passions lie.
There’s an African proverb that says, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. And that’s how we see it at ixo — we’re all part of a global impact community. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be looking for you to join our community and share your feedback on our vision, our tech, and our future. You can join the movement through our website, ixo.foundation, our telegram, our github, and our social media pages. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how you see the ixo protocol supporting your impact projects.