The UNICEF Venture Fund is awarding up to $100,000 to blockchain startups, including India’s GovBlocks, in its latest funding round. According to an announcement from UNICEF, the UNICEF Venture Fund is investing in seven blockchain startups in six countries, including Kenya, Argentina, India, Mexico, Rwanda and Nepal, to help the masses around the world who still lack access to financial services.
Seven companies selected from 450 applications in 77 countries will receive up to $100,000 in seed funding, and five out of seven companies will choose to receive a portion of their Ether investment. All five of the initiatives are female-led. According to the latest figures from the World Bank, an estimated 1.7 billion people worldwide are “unbanked” and unable to access basic financial services such as bank accounts.
Collaborating with institutions including Xcapit in Argentina, GovBlocks in India, BX Smart Labs in Mexico, Leaf Global Fintech in Rwanda, Rumsan in Nepal, and Grassroots Economics and KotaniPay in Kenya are working to ensure mass access to the financial system. The emerging initiatives are working on blockchain-enabled solutions from providing access to payments and remittances to greater financial inclusion to communities. These initiatives mean decentralized decision-making tools with currency, loans and investment opportunities for underserved communities.
Since 2016, the UNICEF Venture Fund has invested in projects around the world to support innovative solutions to local and global challenges. UNICEF’s CryptoFund (Bitcoin and Ether’pool fund, part of UNICEF’s Innovation Fund) also provides UNICEF with the opportunity to buy and distribute cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain brings financial inclusion
Cecilia Chapiro, investment leader at UNICEF’s Innovation Fund and CryptoFund, said in an interview with Forkast.News that emerging technologies like blockchain can provide solutions that can improve children’s lives and help foster financial inclusion in developing countries.
“COVID-19 has affected children and their communities, and many around the world will continue to see their lives significantly disrupted,” said Sunita Grote, UNICEF Ventures Leader. We can see how important inclusive and cost-effective digital solutions are, including those that provide open access to financial systems and services. As we strive to rebuild better, we want systems to be transparent, efficient and decentralized. And we need to leverage and support innovators and problem solvers to ensure they contain traditionally underserved areas.”
One of the startups, India-based GovBlocks, is creating a protocol for decentralized governance that enables blockchain-based voting for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and decentralized applications (DApps).
Protocols and property economies created on blockchain platforms like Ethereum, Polygon, and many other ecosystems often require the community to vote in critical decision-making – whether it’s upgrading the technology or making financial decisions for the protocol, Ish Goel, co-founder of GovBlocks there, said in an interview with Forkast. There are many decisions that the community as a whole must make together, he told .News. “GovBlocks is a protocol that helps different teams make these decisions in a very pragmatic on-chain voting mechanism.
UNICEF’s Chapiro says more people need to be interested in technology. “There is a lot of [blockchain] technology potential to be used in the social sector, but what we need is more discovery, more people really want to take this journey and want to explore and prove the potential of these technologies for social media. effect.”