The UNICEF Innovation Fund has announced that it will be investing $100,000 in six companies to deliver open-source blockchain applications that solve global challenges.
The six companies were chosen from a list of 100 applications from 50 countries that UNICEF received. The companies include Atix Labs (Argentina), Onesmart (Mexico), Prescrypto (Mexico), Statwig (India), Utopixar (Tunisia), and W3 Engineers (Bangladesh).
"These six companies will build prototypes and systems for global problems like transparency in health-care delivery, affordable access to mobile phone connectivity, and the ability to direct finances and resources to social-impact projects."
"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," said Chris Fabian, Principal Adviser, UNICEF Innovation. He went on to explain, "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."
The six companies are an addition to the 20 that are already managed by the UNICEF Innovation Fund. Other startups are working in fields ranging from "data science and machine learning, to virtual reality, to drones."
The search for blockchain solutions to solve global challenges is not a new one. Liberland, a small, seven-square-kilometer (7 km²) nation, located between Croatia and Serbia, is seeking blockchain solutions for both public and governmental use. In early November, the Liberthon (Liberland+Hackathon) took place with the goal of developing applications precisely for this purpose.