Eight technology-focused companies from different emergent economies will be receiving a portion of Ethereum cryptocurrency (ETH) from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to assist in building various humanitarian initiatives.
As announced by UNICEF, this stands as its largest cryptocurrency investment to date. The funding will be geared towards startups dedicated to building projects to solve local and global challenges. The organisation is donating 125 ETH towards the eight companies (translating to almost $30,000 USD at the time of writing) to use towards prototyping their projects and scaling their initiatives over the next six months.
Humanitarian Initiatives Receiving Crypto Funding
The eight companies, working in fields across seven economies, are listed as:
- Afinidata, based in Guatemala, which is developing an artificial intelligence-based application which will provide parents with personalised early childhood educational activities.
- Avyantra, based in India, which is building further functionality of its health application which utilised data science in order to support frontline health workers in the early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis.
- Cireha, based in Argentina, which is growing the accessibility of its application across three different countries. The platform it’s building is focused on helping children with speech impairments improve their communication using symbols.
- Ideasis, based in Turkey, which is developing its features to WebVR. The programme is also developing new therapy scenarios to address anxiety disorders as a result of COVID-19 and isolation-related issues.
- OS City, based in Mexico, which is issuing blockchain-based government assets.
- StaTwig, based in India, which is testing its blockchain-based application in partnership with the Government of India. The programme is designed to help track the delivery of food for millions living in poverty.
- Somleng, based in Cambodia, which is building a low-cost Interactive Voice Response platform.
Utopic, based in Chile, which is developing its features towards WebVR. The platform is focused on providing teachers and educators with the right resources to assess, track, and help children’s reading skills from their homes.
Easy Worldwide Cryptocurrency Transactions
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency provide the unique ability to transfer funds across the world. Ethereum offers the additional benefit of speedy transaction times as well as minimal fees.
As UNICEF Ventures co-lead Chris Fabian stated:
“We are seeing the digital world come at us more quickly than we could have imagined – and UNICEF must be able to use all of the tools of this new world to help children today and tomorrow. The transfer of these funds – to eight companies in seven countries around the world – took less than 20 minutes and cost us less than $20. Almost instant global movement of value, fees of less than 0.00009% of the total amount transferred, and real-time transparency for our donors and supporters are the types of tools we are excited about.”