UNICEF project to use blockchain to give schools internet access
Schools in Kyrgyzstan will soon gain access to the internet all thanks to blockchain technology. This will be made possible through the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF) who is working with the government of Kyrgyzstan to leverage the technology.
As reported by CoinDesk, this is part of UNICEF’s ongoing projects called Project Connect. So far, Project Connect has already mapped internet connectivity levels for over 150,000 schools around the world. Of these, 1560 schools are based in Kyrgyzstan
UNICEF wants to use a blockchain based solution to ensure that over 1500 local schools in Kyrgyzstan get an internet connection. The deputy representative for UNICEF Kyrgyzstan, Munir Mammadzade said:
“We are at the early stages of exploring a blockchain-based solution for the Project Connect initiative in Kyrgyzstan. The government is working with UNICEF and the private sector to connect every school in the country to the Internet and provide access to information and opportunity to all young people.”
According to Chris Fabian, a lead personnel of UNICEF Ventures the work is happening on “an accelerated crazy crypto timeline.” The project is still under a modular stage, and they are currently doing the mapping. Fabian stated:
“You can easily see where the blockchain layers would come in… If you want to pay as a donor for a whole section of the country to come online, wouldn’t you rather do that in a way that is authentic and real and accountable as opposed to just sending money somewhere and hoping two years later that something happens?”
Reportedly, there are a few blockchain tools that could be used to help facilitate UNICEF’s plans. Fabian explained that two blockchain based startups had received $100,000 each from the UNICEF Innovation Fund last year in December.
The first startup is called Utopixar which is located in Tunisia. It is working on a blockchain platform that allows communities to issue and exchange their impact tokens.
The second startup is known as W3Engineers. This is located in Bangladesh. The company focuses on how to dynamically allow individuals and companies to purchase and sell units of digital information.
The children’s organization has taken up other blockchain-based projects to help children globally. Last year, they turned to cryptocurrency mining to help children in Syria.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.
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