UNICEF’s Giga NFT to connect schools in developing countries to the Internet

Developed countries usually take the ubiquity of the Internet with no consideration. But the actuality is that roughly 2.9 billion individuals are nonetheless not related to the world broad net.

Figures supplied by UNICEF spotlight that the majority of this mass of individuals with out web dwell in underdeveloped countries and kids proceed to be harmed by the lack of web connectivity in native schools.

A UNICEF-led initiative tackles this dilemma in an modern method by way of a three way partnership with the International Telecommunication Union, which led to the creation of Giga in 2019.

Gerben Kijne, Blockchain Product Manager at Giga, outlined the firm’s Project Connect initiative at Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam. Giga has made progress in connecting schools to the Internet in developing countries round the world.

Gerben Kijne talks about Giga’s Project Connect and their Patchwork Kingdoms NFT fundraising experiment at Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam.

The first step in this course of was the mapping of schools and their connectivity by way of Project Connect. Giga makes use of machine studying to scan satellite tv for pc pictures to determine schools on an open-source map. To date, it has recognized over 1.1 million schools in 49 countries and connectivity knowledge for a 3rd of these schools.

Having recognized numerous schools in want of web entry, the subsequent step in the course of was to create a brand new fundraising initiative that leveraged the world of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Speaking to Cointelegraph after his keynote at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam, Kijne revealed Giga’s Patchwork Kingdoms initiative. With NFTs rising in recognition over the previous few years, Giga sought to capitalize on the craze with its personal NFT-led fundraising experiment in March 2022.

Giga has teamed up with Dutch artist Nadieh Bremer to launch a set of 1,000 procedurally generated NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The NFTs had been produced utilizing Giga faculty knowledge to signify these with and with out an web connection.

The NFT public sale raised a complete of about 240 Ether (ETH), valued at $700,000, which went immediately to connecting schools to the web. Keene acknowledged that the quantity raised was secondary to exploring a special kind of philanthropic fundraising.

“I believe NFTs additionally present a extremely fascinating use case. One of the issues we’re beginning to have a look at is what’s going to philanthropy appear to be for the subsequent technology of individuals? Because in case you go to UNICEF now and donate, I do not even know what you get, in all probability a “thanks electronic mail” or one thing.

Kijne believes that NFTs can present a better hyperlink to donations, emphasizing their use to observe the influence of donations by way of NFT possession of a particular faculty and monitoring when funds raised are “discounted” to pay for Internet connectivity.

Many classes had been discovered from the NFT-based fundraising initiative. As Kijne mirrored, constructing a neighborhood earlier than launch could have helped construct help. As seen in the NFT house, neighborhood members play a job, however opportunistic NFT traders are all the time current and on the lookout for an opportunity to revenue from new releases.

“I believe some individuals who joined us shaped certainly one of two camps. We bought the individuals we wished, Giga’s supporters. Many purchased their first NFTs. So the different group is individuals who suppose, “Oh, UNICEF’s NFT! Allow me this.

Despite this truth, the undertaking was deemed successful and supplies an intriguing use case for blockchain-based NFTs as a method of clear fundraising and neighborhood constructing. The public sale in March 2022 offered out in three hours and raised $550,000. An extra 20% of the funds raised got here from secondary gross sales to OpenSea.


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