SmartCash was invited by the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs in New York to present at The Humanitarian Blockchain Summit, hosted by Fordham University in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technology on the 10th November.
The Humanitarian Blockchain Summit brought together experts in technology as well as scholars and humanitarian practitioners to discuss the future of blockchain technology in humanitarian operations. The goal of the event was to find recommended policies for using blockchain technology in specific humanitarian interventions in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
SmartCash was part of two workshops during the event. The first being 'Case Study From Venezuela: A Grassroots SmartCash Initiative' in which Aaron and Ricardo discussed how the SmartCash governance system funded the proposal for the Venezuela Food Project and how blockchain technology is being used to find solutions for the problem of the "last mile" of humanitarian work in Venezuela currently.
In humanitarian work, the problem of the last mile or, “how can you assure that your products reliably go the last mile all the way to the beneficiary?”, can be a big obstacle to overcome. The beauty of BlockChain technology is that cryptocurrencies like SmartCash allow anyone to provide funds to people in need, instantly. Beneficiaries don't even need to have a bank account to receive those funds, meaning that cryptocurrencies can also play a vital role in providing support to the world's unbanked.
Aaron and Ricardo utilised their workshop to talk about the power of the SmartCash governance system in giving all users a voice and a vote, to propose ideas such as the Venezuela project, and receive funding to put those ideas into concrete actions. They also discussed the many features of SmartCash that lend themselves to the solution of the last mile problem in humanitarian work, such as the accessibility advantage to users through the Web Wallet, the fast transaction time between sender and receiver, and the traceability of funds through the Block Explorer, which would allow humanitarian organisations to see if their funds were being used appropriately.
Ricardo, backend developer for SmartCash and also known as rlamasb in our slack channel said, "It was great to see that with such small solutions SmartCash can have a really big impact and it was amazing to be among some of the biggest names in the humanitarian work space."
SmartCash were then invited to attend a second session in the day, a Humanitarian Think Lab Workshop in which they discussed Priority Mining of Humanitarian Transactions and the role of Technology in Humanitarian Work, helping to further connect SmartCash to some of the bright minds attending the event.