May 4, 2018
by Sharon Moran
Blockchain has been hailed as a technology that can end global poverty. From providing the world’s unbanked with freedom and access to life-altering resources to helping establish a property rights system, the decentralized ledger system known as blockchain has the power to transform the lives of the billion-plus people who live in poverty worldwide.
In bitcoin’s genesis block, Satoshi Nakamoto quoted a relevant newspaper headline at the time, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This article was written following the infamous bank bailouts of 2008, and including this message in the genesis block reinforced the need for a trustworthy, decentralized system free of intermediaries.
In fact, since 2008 U.S. banks have relied on taxpayers to provide them with massive support in order to avoid collapse. It’s precisely this unfair redistribution of tax dollars that created an ideal climate for bitcoin to flourish. It’s why bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been able to gain traction. Big banks can argue that they paid back money they received during the massive bank bailout, yet how often do ordinary citizens receive interest free loans at their own whim for essentially failing at their jobs?
While it will take at least a decade or more for blockchain technology to bring an end to global poverty, UNICEF is currently utilizing cryptocurrency mining right now to help impoverished individuals. UNICEF has set up a page to enable users to offer processing power to help mine cryptocurrency for charity.
UNICEF set up The Hopepage, and currently over 9k people have donated. Full disclosure, you should probably be at least computer-savvy enough to determine how much of your computer’s processing power you can safely devote to cryptocurrency mining. The Hopepage says, “The cryptocurrency is automatically donated to UNICEF Australia and is turned into real funds that reach children through life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines.”