UNICEF Crypto fund is looking forward to work with the blockchain and cryptocurrency companies that are in the nascent stage to leverage the blockchain technology and overcome the humanitarian challenges, especially in this pandemic. In the past few years, UNICEF is giving funds to many startups that have a great idea of using open source technology to develop innovative solutions. These solutions will make the world the best place for everyone to live in. UNICEF is trying to accelerate this process.
Cecilia Chapiro, who is working as the investment advisor for UNICEF ventures, stated that the innovation fund was announced in 2016 to support the latest technologies that are being developed by the countries in the developing phase. UNICEF has invested in 50 startups in 35 countries. They only invest in the technologies that can serve billions of people, exclusively the children globally.
According to this person, blockchain is found to be the most useful technology that would make a huge impact across the globe. They have invested around USD 1, 00,000 on this technology this year as a fund to six different startups, of which three are working on blockchain.
The cryptocurrency fund launched by UNICEF would give ample support to the Ethereum Foundation that was started in 2019. This fund is similar to that of the innovation fund. The only difference between both is that the former fund would be used for investing only in cryptocurrency. The companies who want the fund must have a one-year experience to reap the non-financial benefits. They only shortlist the companies, which have ideas that can be turned into solutions and serve many people. The support would be given to get investors by talking to them as part of the one-year program.
The most significant crypto investment that is made by UNICEF to date is 125 ETH, which would go up to USD 28,600. It invested this amount in eight different companies that focused on using open source technologies. There is another announcement made by UNICEF that it would release another USD 1, 00,000 in USD dollars for the blockchain startups to use the open-source technology optimally to fight the challenges faced by the world, especially the pandemic situation.
The crypto venture launched by the investment advisor stated that the fund would be utilized rigorously for the startups working on blockchain. They invested in three companies a few years ago and a few more in the last few weeks. The crypto fund available with UNICEF could fund six to eight more companies working on the blockchain projects. UNICEF supports the startups that have the prototype for blockchain to transform the countries where there is a dire need for this technology. The startup company called StaTwig who is based out in India, made use of blockchain to track the supply chain of rice that is distributed by the government of India to the people belonging to the low-income areas. There is a public distribution system (PDS ) utilized to distribute rice to the people below the poverty line. There is a massive demand for the pubic distribution system in this pandemic. The PDS is found to be highly effective and is addressing many problems. There is transparency maintained to ensure enough rice bags in every warehouse to meet the demand.
UNICEF invested in the startup company in Mexico to distribute the blockchain-based government assets and came up with 1000 blockchain IDs to allocate them to children. The blockchain-based citizen ID will make the government assets transparent, secure, and digital.
Brain Behlendor, one of the Hyperledger Foundation directors, is essential to get the open-source license to convert a tool to the one that can benefit people. The blockchain startups that are funded by UNICEF are based out of Europe, the US, and Asia. The UNICEF wants to invest in minorities, and companies run by women. The pandemic has created no issue for UNICEF to invest in startups. There is a one week workshop conducted to companies that receive funds; however, due to pandemic these workshops were made virtual.