Blockchain-based grant platform secures backing

Hong Kong-based social impact project funding platform is financed to expand operations, with grants available ranging from US$10,000 to US$100,000.

James Hayes | 1st Jun 18
Image of chains representing a newly launched nonprofit organisation set up to empower communities to utilise blockchain.

A nonprofit organisation set up to empower communities to utilise blockchain* technology for social good has received financial backing from a group of leading crypto-industry players.

Technology providers Kenetic, ICON, #Hashed, TLDR, Orbs, XSQ, and other anonymous donors, are among those that have committed to provide funding to take Hong Kong-based initiative Social Alpha Foundation forward.

Founded in 2017, Social Alpha Foundation provides funding to companies and projects that educate and connect communities on blockchain for positive social change. Social Alpha Foundation also provides financial grants to non-commercial blockchain applications that focus on improvements to public health, education and the environment.

Successful applicants will receive grants ranging from US$10,000 to US$100,000, with no interest charged and no repayment obligations. Funding for grants will be raised in cryptocurrency from individuals and commercial projects that have executed successful token sales, creating a channel for donors to adopt corporate social responsibility practices.

“Blockchain is a young and often misunderstood technology, and its benefits have not been fully demonstrated in the real world,” said Jehan Chu, Co-founder of Social Alpha Foundation and Managing Partner at Kenetic. “To realise its potential, we are making philanthropy part of the cryptocurrency and blockchain experience by providing funding to those who can imagine and realise a better future. This [will be] done by harnessing the power of early beneficiaries in the space.”

Chu cited early Social Alpha Foundation grantee, Amply, a South African-based digital project that utilises mobile technology and blockchain technology to improve early childhood development by empowering teachers and students.

“Amply uses blockchain technology to track student attendance via its digital identity protocol and interface, thus helping teachers easily and accurately submit required reports that ensure appropriate government funding and subsidies,” explained Nydia Zhang, Co-founder & Chairman at Social Alpha Foundation. “The goal is to help teachers secure the vital government support needed [for] child education.”

Social Alpha Foundation will also provide US$30,000 of prize money to winners of a ‘hackathon’ at the Impact Summit event that will take place in New York 1st-3rd June 2018. The event’s aim is to inspire social entrepreneurs by bringing together 350 computer science students to explore how they can leverage their technological talents for social good initiatives. Event speakers will include software engineers from the ACLU and Zenysis, and the heads of digital media at Charity: Water  and the United States Digital Service.

*CDN Jargonbust: A blockchain is a digital record of all transactions that have taken place in a cryptocurrency (e.g., Bitcoin) network. It also keeps track of new currency units as they are generated. With these two facts the blockchain is able to keep track of who has how much cryptocurrency money at all times.