Another Etheruem use case? Let’s clean the beaches…
The Philippines is more accepting of cryptocurrency and blockchain companies than most nations. The Philippines already has adopted digital currencies including Bitcoin as a form of payment recognized by their Central Bank. The Central Bank of the Philippines touched on Bitcoin as a technology saying “It’s like any other monetary instrument [and even] an investment instrument. There are risks but essentially, it can be managed. If you want something that is fast, near real-time and convenient then there’s the benefit of using virtual currencies like bitcoin.”
Coin Telegraph’s Ana Alexandre reported that in April of 2018 “the Philippines government announced it will allow 10 blockchain and crypto companies to operate in the Cagayan Economic Zone.” The Philippine government recognizes the potential innovation taking place with blockchain technology and does not want to stifle it. On top of this, the 10 blockchain companies are expected to generate employment for local residents in exchange for tax breaks. The Philippines welcomes this technological innovation as they realize it will bring employment and economic power to the region.
While it is clear the Philippines have taken more steps than most nations in terms of adoption and acceptance, the Philippines are also using Ethereum to reward citizens for cleaning up the polluted beaches. Ethereum co-creator and CEO of ConsenSys, Joseph Lubin, stated that “In Manila, participants will be paid in ETH for spending a few hours cleaning up one of the most heavily polluted beaches in the world. Bounties Network and ConsenSys Impact are providing a new model where people fund causes directly without intermediaries.”
The devastation of the polluted beaches has been terrible on the surrounding ecosystem. According to the statistics presented by the United Nations, plastic pollution costs the lives of over 1 million seabirds and over 100,000 marine animals. On top of this, 80% of pollution in the ocean comes from people on land. Bounties Network is a decentralized application built on the Ethereum blockchain. The Bounties Network application enables anyone using the platform to create a bounty for a task, which then rewards the participant in Ethereum upon completion. Bounties Network has over 300 monthly users and a monthly Ethereum volume of over 200 ETH. On top of this, according to “State of the Dapps” Bounties Network activity has increased +371% over the past 30 days, indicating that this initiative taken by the Philippines to start cleaning their beaches may be gaining some local traction.
ConsesnSys recently created a non-profit organization named “Bounties for the Oceans: Philippines Pilot – Sustained, Verifiable Plastic Cleanups” to show and promote the convinces and innovation that blockchain technology can bring to all parts of the world. In the program paper, it states that “With Bounties for the Ocean, we are asking people everywhere to submit verifiable proof of their direct plastic cleanup contribution as a way of fostering widespread and long-term behavioral shift. Do not depend on centralized organizations, go out there and do it yourselves.”
I think the message there from the program paper is inherently positive, with the encouragement of people to take initiative on their own, rather than doing so after they are being instructed to by a central authority. The Philippines recently re-opened Boracay, which is an extremely popular tourist designation due to its beautiful beaches and crystal clear water. Boracay is also a popular diving spot and is a beach known for its soft white sand. Borocay is one of the locations that the Philippines is hoping to clean up and restore so tourist can enjoy it again.
In May of 2018 ConsenSys secured a partnership with Union Bank, which is one of the largest commercial banks in the Philippines. Operations Chief of Union Bank, Henry Aguda, stated that “with this [blockchain platform], they don’t have to spend anything. They just have to load the application in their computers, tablets, or smartphones and then they can transact bank-to-bank.”
Exposing new nations and people to the convinces of blockchain technology will be imperative to any sort of mainstream adoption. In terms of current adoption, the Philippines is progressively working to be sure they do not stifle any blockchain innovation that may occur and are welcoming new companies to operate in their borders. On top of this, the Philippines is taking steps like rewarding their citizens in Ethereum for cleaning up their beaches. Through doing this, many new users are potentially exposed to Ethereum and the power of modern blockchain technologies.
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