“But where is the money going?"
“But where the money is going?” if you have been to any blockchain for good themed panel, this is will be a popular food for thought question as speakers slam charities for their expert emotional tactics to raise funds, only to fill it back into their pockets and restart this cycle of “giving”. And quite right to tackle this problem, there needs to be more transparency in how funds are spent, and accountability, and blockchain offers the means to make this happen.
But let’s shine this light back onto us, the crypto community. This year we have invested $6.3 Billion USD* into blockchain startups through ICOs. Where has all that money gone? How many of these projects, other than generate personal wealth, personal trading profit, really affect a positive change to society? Not as many as there should be, and why not?
From my experience, running the Blockchain For Good think-tank launched in 2015, and advising charities and NGOs, social impact projects depend on pro-bono services from lawyers, developers to marketing services to execute. The downside to pro-bono work is that there as these are unpaid projects: they are not on high priority, delay occurs, burn-rate is high, fundraising for a cause, becomes fundraising to keep the charity operating, the projects tank. Building a business on pro-bono is less efficient than running a well-funded agile startup. Especially when these ideas require to change the world and do the seemingly impossible: a shoestring budget isn’t going to get them very far.
When speaking at conferences, giving talks or moderating Blockchain For Good panels, although most conferences do now have a For Good panel [applause] they’re often placed at the quieter end of the schedule, and aren’t the most popular attended topics.
But perhaps there is less interest and attention on social impact projects from the crypto community, because it is a long-term investment with less fast, direct returns on your investment which was one of the benefits of trading in crypto, and why even institutional investors are getting into the game.
There are blockchain and non-blockchain startups out there that do put people and planet first and can still be profitable. But we need to give them airtime and spread the word. And to do this, we need a shift in the way we think. We need to create a movement.
We’ve opened our minds up to decentralisation, blockchain, and crypto-trading. But we need to collectively shift our minds, the crypto-community, to a new approach to investment. To re-invest our wins into projects that affect a positive change in society, which put people and planet first. These are highly valuable investments, with high returns, they have tangible value, that we can benefit from when we peel ourselves away from our screens. It’s a legacy we, the crypto-community can give back, to the generations after us.