HumanVenture provides a dignified, everyday solution for financial support to over a thousand poverty-stricken families and children across Austria and Russia. For these families, this pioneering blockchain-based innovation allows them to regularly purchase groceries and essential supplies, providing vital breathing room in the battle against food insecurity.
As HumanVenture prepare to relocate their base of operations to the UK, I'm honoured to be able to join them in bringing their fully transparent donation system to Britain.
"If Bitcoin is secured with energy/electricity, then Fiat is secured by war" -
co-founder and CTO.
When you think of Bitcoin and blockchain, charity is not usually the first thing to mind. Despite Elon Musk's baseless claims about environmental impact, the human impact of blockchain and distributed ledger technology is far more significant than most realise.
And I mean this in the most positive way possible.
Besides noble philanthropic examples I could name from Binance Charity, BitHope or GiveTrack, there are some really god-darn heart-warming anecdotes out there.
Take fellow Brit and infamous Twitter troll @CryptoCobain, and his stream @UpOnlyTV, for example. Out of sheer for the hell of it niceness and humanity, they've given over $2m worth of cryptocurrencies to various individual causes. A 6-year-old child currently battling leukaemia was on the receiving end of one of these random acts of charity, as thousands of viewers on Cobie's stream donated $800,000 worth of crypto for his treatments.
The Trussell Trust State of Hunger report, released in May, paints a scary picture.
On paper, Britain is the 5th richest nation in the world. Yet, somehow more than 20% of the population had fallen below the poverty line in 2018. And then, well, we all know what happened next.
The COVID-19 crisis has escalated poverty and inequality to new levels. Between February 2020 and April 2020, the number of emergency food package requests seen by UK Food Banks jumped by some 80% plus.
When the UK is quite clearly not shy of resources and disposable income, why does this injustice persist? Food banks help those in desperate situations, no doubt, but they are the last resort, depriving them of choice and self-worth.
Surprisingly, this crisis isn't due to a lack of willingness, effort, or donations. Deep-down, we all want to live in a fairer society. There are hundreds of charities in the UK and abroad trying to tackle the humanitarian consequences of poverty. They do fantastic work, but they struggle in several key areas; Trust, efficiency, administrative costs, and topping the bill, transparency.
It's safe to assume most of us would be happy donating to charitable causes more often if we could verify where those donations go. I refer you again to the Crypto Cobain example above for proof of this. Blockchain and DLT bring transparency and disclosure, and with these bonds of trust come the joys of altruism.
Where does the HumanVenture solution enter the UK picture, and more importantly, what are the benefits?
"When everyday people use blockchain, they won't even know they're using blockchain."
At an end-user level, the system itself is as simple as using a supermarket loyalty points card. They just purchase applicable goods as they usually would and use the HumanVenture card to pay for their purchases at the till.
The tokens on the card are equivalent to stable coins, usable only within the HumanVenture ecosystem. The cards are pre-loaded with a sufficient amount of TON Crystals to cover blockchain transaction fees in the background (which are, by design, ultra-low on Free TON). Finally, private keys are stored by HumanVenture, who maintain control of the individual wallets meaning technological literacy is of no concern.
Compared to using a Food Bank, there are obvious advantages. They save time, gain choice, and importantly, take back dignity in their personal circumstances. By detaching themselves from the stigma of being a food bank user, mental burdens are alleviated, and their chances of a brighter future increased.
As mentioned, the product is tried and tested, with integration with the Free TON blockchain well underway. Since its full launch in November 2020, the system has been helping over a thousand families in need. And trials have been so successful, Magnit, the second-largest retailer in Russia, is set to roll out another 2000 cards next month.
As all transactions become embedded in the eternal memory banks of the blockchain, they are 100% verifiable and transparent. Every donation recipient is assigned an anonymised identifier, preserving their dignity and rights. This allows transactions of the anonymised identifiers to be viewed in real-time. In this way, donors, be they corporate or private, can quite literally watch 100% of the aid they give going to the right hands.
Aside from Magnit, other partners have also given glowing reviews:
Put simply, the HumanVenture solution lowers the cost of business for charitable organisations. Administrative costs are slashed, accountability increased, and real-world impact sky-rocketed.
While the relocation is underway and various grants are applied and approved, my personal mission for HumanVenture is as simple as the solution they offer.
1) Raise awareness.
2) Find partners willing and able to pilot the solution.
Partners could include (but aren't limited to); Charities, organisations working to solve food insecurity, homelessness, poverty, local community impact and improvement schemes, and almost all other types of philanthropic enterprises.
And your mission? Well, if you know a charity/organisation/enterprise which may be able to benefit from the HumanVenture solution, get in touch!