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UNICEF Will Invest $100M into Blockchain Startups to ‘Solve Global Challenges’

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
UNICEF Will Invest $100M into Blockchain Startups to ‘Solve Global Challenges’

UNICEF is investing $100,000 in blockchain projects, aiming to address the global problems within the finance, healthcare, and other sectors.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund, the UN’s charity for children, has announced it is going to invest in six blockchain startups, thus supporting research in the blockchain market. The $100,000 investment is part of the Fund’s program that already supports 20 tech startups operating in data science, virtual reality, and other sectors.

First launched in 2016, the UNICEF Innovation Fund is aimed at financing early-stage open source technology projects to improve the lives of children all over the world. It supports startups across artificial intelligence, data mining, machine learning, data processing, and other fields, to solve  challenges faced by children around the globe.

Within the next 12 months, the startups, which were selected from over 100 applications, will develop open source prototypes of applications using the blockchain technology. They include Indian startup Statwig, Argentinian software company Atix Labs, Tunisian startup Utopixar, the Bangladesh-based web apps development company W3 Engineers, and Mexican tech startups Onesmart and Prescrypto.

“Blockchain technology is still at an early stage – and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we see how, and where, we can use this technology to create a better world,” Chris Fabian, principal adviser at UNICEF Innovation, said in a press-release.

“That’s exactly the stage when UNICEF Innovation Fund invests: when our financing, technical support, and focus on vulnerable populations can help a technology grow and mature in the most fair and equitable way possible.”

Apart from finances, UNICEF will provide startups with product and technology support, assistance from a network of experts, and business growth support.

“These investments are part of UNICEF’s larger blockchain explorations of using smart-contracts for organizational efficiencies, creating distributed decision-making processes, and working to build knowledge and understanding of distributed ledger technology both in the United Nations and in the countries where UNICEF works,” the press-release reads.

Other Cryptocurrency Related Projects by UNICEF

Earlier this year, UNICEF asked gamers and anybody with powerful computers to mine Ethereum and donate it to help raise funds for children in Syria. Called Game Chaingers, the project was aimed at improving the lives of Syrian children by providing access to water, healthcare, education, and other services.

In May, UNICEF Australia launched a similar project.  It allowed users to donate their personal computer’s processing power by visiting the organization’s website The Hopepage.  The funds generated by UNICEF Australia were used to provide children in poorest regions with food, water, medicines, and other supplies.

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