On UN Day, October 24, Binance’s charity arm led the charge toward more transparent donations with a new blockchain-based tracking platform unveiled at the WIF 2018.
Binance’s Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF) introduced a new blockchain donation portal, enhancing our commitment to using blockchain for social good. Binance CEO CZ unveiled the solution during the Blockchains for Sustainable Development session at the UNCTAD World Investment Forum, held at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
CZ revealed that Binance will cover all operational fees on the new BCF blockchain donation portal, ensuring that 100% of donations will go directly to end-beneficiaries — the ones who need it the most. He also shared the results of our donation drive for flooding victims in West Japan: we raised US$410,000 in crypto donations just 7 days after CZ called for support via tweet, and all donations are transparent and tracked on the blockchain.
During his keynote presentation in front of more than 700 forum attendees, including representatives from the European Union, Malta Stock Exchange, Bancor, UNICEF, IBM, Hyperledger, ConsenSys, and various government agencies, CZ spoke on how blockchain brings transparency to charity endeavors worldwide. In light of BCF’s ongoing commitment to helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, CZ said:
“For the 17 SGDs, there is one underlying problem we’re trying to solve: transparency.”
Why are we doing this? It is best to first answer basic questions about blockchain and its synergy with social good.
What is Blockchain for Charity?
The main theme of blockchain technology is the effective transfer of value in a decentralized manner. Few use cases of blockchain have more immediate social impact than implementing for charity. For us at Binance, we have an innate sense of responsibility to do our part in using blockchain for good. And this core value is expressed through BCF.
“BCF will leverage blockchain technology to help fill the UN SDG funding gap and directly empower over one billion people living in poverty. We believe poverty is not a destiny,” said Helen Hai, the UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador for Industrialization in Africa who joined us as Head of BCF this year.
Even before Binance committed to donating listing fees to charity, BCF has done amazing work setting up partnerships and infrastructures for blockchain-powered charity. In a span of a few months, BCF has brought on board Malta President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca as Chair of its senior advisory board, and established remarkable alliances with the United Nations Development Programme, among others.
“Blockchain is one of the tools in tech that we can use for achieving social good. Moreover, there is no good tech or wrong tech. At the stage of technology is looking for applications, leadership and entrepreneurship matters, we need industry leaders who have the entrepreneurship spirit to drive the right path to use the tech for good cause. I am glad Binance is one of the first ones in [using] blockchain [for charity].”
— Helen Hai, UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador for Industrialization in Africa and head of BCF.
Why is Blockchain Great for Charity?
Blockchain solves two crucial problems in charity: accessibility and transparency. Having discussed the transparency benefits earlier, we now emphasize the impact blockchain has on making aid more accessible.
The rise of cryptocurrency as an ongoing financial revolution in the storage and transfer of value uncovers a great opportunity for a better giving system. In times of hardships and disasters, the most vulnerable people lose access to money, further hampering their conditions. An efficient charity system, one powered by blockchain, makes it possible for the $200 billion in cryptocurrencies to be mobilized quickly to allow people to use money even when traditional money systems may be down.
Our blockchain-based system is the first step towards equipping more people, particularly the unbanked, with access to cryptocurrencies, providing an alternative finance system for them in times of need. Our system launched with initial support for Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC), and Ether (ETH), with more features to come soon. With our donation system, we aim to be a key player and industry leader in charity, by doing for cryptocurrency giving what we did for trading and exchange. This is all part of our bigger goal of being the world’s main blockchain ecosystem.
“For the 17 SGDs, there is one underlying problem we’re trying to solve: transparency.” — Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao
How Do We Use Blockchain for Charity?
CZ first outlined his vision for a blockchain-powered charity more than four years ago. We have since employed a multi-prong approach in building an ecosystem for blockchain charity.
On the infrastructure side, we use our in-house blockchain expertise to set up a system that will allow for three- to four-layer donstion tracking system, with each layer dedicated to a subset of charity participants — donors, charity programs, charity partners (optional), and ultimate beneficiaries. “Conceptually, it is easy to track the flow of funds through the layers and we can make this 100% transparent,” CZ said during his speech.
Beyond technology, we use our platform as a major participant in the blockchain industry to act in our own capacity and to call for action wherever aid is needed. Building on what we did and learned during the West Japan donation drive, we are opening a donation channel to support victims of the floods and landslides in Eastern Uganda.
Furthermore, we recognize that it takes an alliance for blockchain-powered charity to have a great impact. We appreciate teams and individuals who stand with us in our mission, like Tron Foundation, which pledged an initial amount of US$3 million to BCF for advancing blockchain efforts for charity. But regardless of where you are or what you do in the crypto industry (or even out of it), you too can make a difference. Let’s get together in making charity more direct, accessible, and transparent for the ones that need it the most. To donate and learn more about BCF, visit https://www.binance.charity.