UNICEF Giga NFTs to connect schools in developing countries to internet

Please fol­low and like us:
Pin Share

Devel­oped coun­tries often take for grant­ed the ubiq­ui­ty of the inter­net. But the real­i­ty is that some 2.9 bil­lion peo­ple still don’t have con­nec­tiv­i­ty to the world wide web.

Data pro­vid­ed by UNICEF high­lights that the major­i­ty of this inter­net-less mass of peo­ple reside in unde­vel­oped coun­tries, and chil­dren con­tin­ue to be dis­ad­van­taged by the lack of inter­net con­nec­tiv­i­ty at local schools.

A UNICEF-led ini­tia­tive is tack­ling this dilem­ma in a nov­el way through a joint ven­ture with the Inter­na­tion­al Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Union that led to the cre­ation of Giga in 2019. 

Ger­ben Kijne, blockchain prod­uct man­ag­er at Giga, out­lined the firm’s Project Con­nect ini­tia­tive at the Blockchain Expo in Ams­ter­dam. Giga has made strides in con­nect­ing schools to the inter­net in devel­op­ing coun­tries around the world.

Ger­ben Kijne speaks about Giga’s Project Con­nect and its Patch­work King­doms NFT fundrais­ing exper­i­ment at the Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam.

The first step in this process was map­ping schools and their con­nec­tiv­i­ty through Project Con­nect. Giga uses machine learn­ing to scan satel­lite images to iden­ti­fy schools on an open-source map. To date, it has pin­point­ed over 1.1 mil­lion schools across 49 coun­tries and con­nec­tiv­i­ty data for a third of these schools.

Hav­ing iden­ti­fied a huge num­ber of schools in need of inter­net acces­si­bil­i­ty, the next step in the process was cre­at­ing a nov­el fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive tap­ping into the world of blockchain, cryp­tocur­ren­cies and NFTs.

Speak­ing to Coin­tele­graph after his keynote address at the RAI Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Ams­ter­dam, Kijne unpacked Giga’s Patch­work King­doms ini­tia­tive. With NFTs surg­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty over the past cou­ple of years, Giga looked to make the most of the craze through its own NFT-led fundrais­ing exper­i­ment in March 2022.

Giga teamed up with Dutch artist Nadieh Bre­mer to launch a col­lec­tion of 1000 pro­ce­du­ral­ly gen­er­at­ed NFTs mint­ed on the Ethereum blockchain. The NFTs were pro­duced using Giga’s school data to rep­re­sent those with and with­out inter­net connectivity.

The NFT pub­lic sale raised around 240 Ether (ETH) in total­i­ty, val­ued at $700,000, which went direct­ly to con­nect­ing schools to the inter­net. Kijne con­ced­ed that the val­ue raised was sec­ondary to the explo­ration of a dif­fer­ent kind of phil­an­thropic fundraising.

“I think NFTs also pro­vide a real­ly inter­est­ing use case. One of the things that we’re start­ing to look into is what does phil­an­thropy look like for the next gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple? Because if you go to UNICEF now and you donate, I don’t even know what you get, prob­a­bly like a ‘thank you email’ or something.”

Kijne believes that NFTs can pro­vide a clos­er con­nec­tion to dona­tions, high­light­ing their use to track the impact of dona­tions through the own­er­ship of a spe­cif­ic school’s NFT and mon­i­tor when the funds raised are ‘cashed in’ to pay for inter­net connectivity.

Many learn­ings were tak­en out of the NFT-based fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive. As Kijne reflect­ed, build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty before the launch may well have helped boost sup­port. As has been seen in the NFT space, com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers play a role, but oppor­tunis­tic NFT investors are always present and look­ing for a chance to prof­it from new launches.

“I think quite a few peo­ple that sort of joined us, they formed one of two camps. We have the peo­ple we were aim­ing for, Giga sup­port­ers. Many bought their first NFT ever. Then the oth­er group is peo­ple who are think­ing, ‘Oh, a UNICEF NFT! Let me get on that.’”

Despite that fact, the project was deemed a suc­cess and pro­vides an intrigu­ing use case for blockchain-based NFTs as a means of trans­par­ent, com­mu­ni­ty-build­ing fundrais­ing. The pub­lic sale in March 2022 sold out in three hours and raised $550,000. The addi­tion­al 20 per­cent of funds raised came from sec­ondary sales on OpenSea.

Source link

Please fol­low and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.