The international organization for the protection of children’s rights, UNICEF, announced that it will invest Ethereum (ETH), in seven blockchain startups from six countries.
In Latin America, Argentina and Mexico were the chosen ones. In Africa, Kenya and Rwanda; and in Asia, India, and Nepal were the others selected, which should obligatorily use blockchain technology in their innovations. Each company will receive up to US$100,000 in seed funding, with five companies electing to receive a portion of this in Ethereum.
“Supporting female-led companies is ‘smart investing’ and more important than ever as we accelerate our efforts to support underrepresented communities. We’re thrilled that this new cohort of investments is composed of a strong group of companies, of which the majority are female-led,”Shared UNICEF Ventures Lead Sunita Grote in a statement.
She added, “COVID-19 has impacted children and their communities, and many around the world will continue to see their lives disrupted significantly. We can see how important inclusive and affordable digital solutions are, including those that open access to financial systems and services.”
In the case of Argentina, it was noteworthy that UNICEF chose a financial education startup to receive the aid. In other words, the intention is to encourage the use of cryptocurrencies in the country, teaching children and young people to handle the new technology and escape the high regional inflation.
UNICEF invests US$100,000 in Ethereum in Argentina’s financial education startup
Xcapit is one of those contemplated by UNICEF Innovation, a program created in 2016 to accelerate businesses that can help in the future of children living in vulnerable countries.
“In Latin America, high inflation and very low financial education are common. Small savers do not have access to professional solutions to invest their capital, they need to have a bank account and minimum capital to start.”
To mitigate the damage caused by reality, the company created a teaching platform, using the blockchain and artificial intelligence. With the tool, in addition to easy investments, users will be able to learn more about finance and cryptocurrencies.
On its official Twitter account, UNICEF celebrated the company’s arrival in the innovation program in emerging countries.
Blockchain app with smart contracts to assess credit in Mexico
In Mexico, the startup BXSmartLabs was contemplated by the UNICEF initiative to support the local economy. This company’s application promises to create innovative solutions with blockchain technology to facilitate borrowing, which is known in the country as “tandas”.
“Our solution is based on a system that we in Mexico know as “tandas” that allow people to access interest-free loans from their own network. This system is also known as ROSCA (Revolving Savings and Credit Association) is also used in communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. It is based on savings circles, in which participants make payments to each other in the same amount on a pre-agreed date until everyone receives their payment and the cycle is completed or a “tanda is closed”.”startup BXSmartLabs
As the administration of tandas are activities that not everyone is willing to carry out, the solution uses smart contracts to manage this malicious process. That is, the technology will be implemented to facilitate a popular loan in the country.
t is clear that this amount that UNICEF will invest in startups in Latin America, which will be made in Ethereum, shows the potential use of cryptocurrencies in the region.
These companies will receive the US$100,000 in Ethereum, but…. who receives what?
Xcapit, a company in Argentina, is developing a gamified savings application. Their solution enables low- and lower-middle-income families to improve their economic situation through easy access to financial services.
Somish Blockchain Labs, a company in India, is working on a protocol for decentralized governance with a flexible toolkit to governance models for decentralized applications (dApps). The product, called GovBlocks, essentially creates decision-making structures for Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) and allows for the exploration of how to engage communities in decision making. They are one of five female-led startups in the cohort.
BX Smart Labs, a company in Mexico, is developing a decentralized app for saving circles. Savings circles run by small groups of relatives, friends, or neighbors are a common practice worldwide and provide a way for people to loan and save money even when they can’t access traditional banking and credit card accounts. They are one of five female-led startups in the cohort.
Leaf Global Fintech, a company in Rwanda, is creating a lending platform and virtual bank. They’re working on a low-tech solution to open new pathways for those without internet access to connect to banks and other roadblocks. Over 6,000 transactions have already taken place on the platform. They are one of five female-led startups in the cohort.
Rumsan, a company in Nepal, is developing a Digital Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) management system that uses mobile-based blockchain tokens, ensuring faster fund transfers to beneficiaries, even those in the most hard-to-reach areas. They are one of five female-led startups in the cohort.
Grassroots Economics, a company in Kenya, is developing a digital token platform. It is an open-source pan-African response and recovery relief platform that allows aid workers and fragile communities to receive payments digitally, create and trade digital tokens, remotely track KPIs, and access risk communications.
KotaniPay, another company in Kenya, is developing a platform for transfers/remittance, savings, withdrawals, loans, and payments. It serves as a frictionless bridge between cryptocurrency and fiat currencies and enables users to access the blockchain via USD.
In another news, last week El Salvador legalized Bitcoin as a legal tender, but the trend is that other countries also enter the so-called cryptoeconomy with solutions that make life easier for the population.