Top Five Blockchain Businesses Promoting Social Good
Blockchain has a variety of exciting applications. In addition to helping create successful businesses, the new technology can be used to tackle social issues around the globe. There are blockchain startups that stand out from the rest when it comes to positive social impact. These companies operate in different industries, from agriculture and clean energy to finance, governance, and healthcare. Here are the top five blockchain companies to consider for those interested in social impact.
Founded in 2013 by Luis Mancias, GrainChain is a Blockchain payment platform created to simplify the distribution of farming goods. It raised 2.5M USD in funding in December of 2018 with goal is to provide software ecosystem that empowers farmers around the world. The software eliminates intermediaries from the daily transactions by providing a safe platform for the direct sale and purchase of bulk dry commodities, which currently include corn, soybeans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, sorghum, coffee, cocoa, and sand. GrainChain is presented as a tool that helps farmers engage with more customers and improves the overall trust and transparency through the value chain. All participants using the software can access detailed information about the quality of the commodities. Through GrainChain, farming transactions should become simpler, faster and more profitable, which in term is expected to lead to improvement of the agriculture.
GrainChain is using blockchain technology. The two systems that enable its operation are HarvX, the logistics system, and SiloSys, which is used for the data tracking to the origins of the seeds and other commodities. Also, there are smart contracts that enable the sale of product. Today, there are around 1,500 active participants in the GrainChain network, almost 85,000 transactions completed, and more than 5,000,000 pounds of commodities processed since the launch of the system.
VERV is a UK-based company founded in 2009 by Peter Davies, working mainly in the countries of the European Union. By now the company has accumulated around $16M through different types of funding. VERV’s main focus is the implementation of intelligent home hubs that enable a detailed control of the energy usage. VERV uses patented AI technology that analyses the electricity data and usage in the households, displaying the real-time cost and consumption for each of appliances at home.
VERV promotes environmental sustainability through solar power and allows self-generated power sale to low-income residents. The transfer of energy from generator to consumer is simplified thanks to the blockchain system, allowing lower costing transactions and cheaper solar energy. VERV conducted the first peer-to-peer trade of energy in England through blockchain back in 2018. The trade was completed for the social housing project in London with VERV installing hubs in 40 flats to provide green energy for the residents. At this moment there are more than 1,500 VERV hub users and the number is projected to reach at least 10,000 at the end of next year.
BITPESA was founded in 2013 by 3 entrepreneurs: Elizabeth Rossiello, Amy Ludlum, and Charlene Chen. Owned by the AZA Group and reaching total funding of over $30M, BITPESA presents banking possibilities for African countries and its businesses. Bitpesa is the Blockchain-based digital exchange and payment platform that enables fast transactions and exchanges at a significantly lower rate compared to the traditional banking services. The main goal of the company is basically, banking the unbanked.It’s estimated that approximately 2.5 billion of the world’s population doesn’t have access to any banks or financial institution, which in today’s world significantly cripples the financial prosperity. Africa contributes to almost 400 Million adults to that unfortunate number, making 4 out of 5 people in Africa Unbanked. This is where the Bitpesa comes into play.
Bitpesa ensures the wholesale crypto liquidity for both individuals and institutions across Africa. With the support of blockchain system, the company boasts vast options in cryptocurrencies, fast transactions and lowered prices, coupled with state of the art security. Over half a billion dollars have been already traded through the product of AZA Group.. Bitpesa charges around 1-3% per transaction on average, compared to the standard 10% charged by traditional financial institutions for international transfers. Currently Bitpesa is being used by more than 26,000 users, that have conducted more than million transactions so far across 85 countries.
OS City is a data platform designed to improve the communication, transparency and trust between governments and residents in the Latin American countries. This Blockchain solution was founded in 2016 by Jesus Cepeda and Lucas Jolias. The main goal of the software is to enable the creation of Smart Cities, where blockchain systems will improve government efficiency, aiming towards a more sustainable future for the community. OS City is currently being implemented in several cities of countries like; Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. According to nonprofit poling company Latinobarometro operating in Chile, in 2018, 48% of the 20,000-people interviewed in the country preferred democracy as their type of government, with corruption cited as the main reason for public distrust towards the leaders. OS City addressed this issue, by designing software platforms that verify government operations through absolute transparency. The Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology provides the tamper-proof records of all the deals and operations conducted by the government, which in term creates greater public trust.
Two of the most significant impacts that resulted from implementation of OS City have happened in 2 Mexican Cities; Guadalupe and Tlalnepantla. The first city increased citizen participation 24 times, through shortening response time for government institutions from 2 weeks to instantaneous. The second City went from being 84th in the country to 1st in public service delivery ranking. Examples like these enabled OS City to receive recently formed support and recognition from organizations like UNICEF.
The main idea of CoverUs is presented straight away when visiting its website; “You shouldn’t have to be wealthy to be healthy”. Co-founded in 2018 by Andrew Hoppin and Christopher Sealey, the company harnessed around $1M to make their vision into reality. The CoverUs App strives to enable people to control their personal data in order to earn money and save on health costs. The app safely secures user’s privacy while matching people with relevant and most affordable offers from healthcare industry. It’s estimated that around 37% of Americans can’t afford a $100 medical bill, while at the same time, 64% of are delaying their health treatment until they have enough funds to pay for it. This results in poor health outcomes and higher national health costs. All this translates into lack of patient data, which is crucial for healthcare industry marketing campaigns and research/development costs being lower. The objective of CoverUs is to enable a mutually beneficial relationship between both entities.
$3 Trillion is spent annually on healthcare in the United States, with 3rd party data brokers making billions on buying and selling patient information without their knowledge. Other than cutting those huge costs, CoverUs seems to be offering a possibility of earning money through the sale of personal information. According to the company, highly engaged members will be able to earn as much as 1750 USD per year, which is enough to cover average medical bills for approximately 43 million citizens of America.