The Algorand Impact Summit, held at the beginning of this month, provided a forum for developers, founders, executives, policymakers, NGOs, investors, and thought leaders to come together and discuss how blockchain can help address social and environmental challenges. Over the course of the summit, a number of exciting new partnerships and projects were announced that are leveraging the Algorand blockchain to advance goals like sustainable agriculture, humanitarian aid, and economic empowerment. This blog highlights some of the key initiatives that emerged from the discussions and collaborations at the summit.
Staci Warden, CEO, Algorand Foundation, said: “The Algorand Impact Summit was a testament to the work that Algorand is doing in India. The Road to Impact, the AlgoBharat ‘Creating Impact!’ Pitch Competition, and the Impact Summit itself were a powerful showcase of innovation, collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of positive change.”
Anil Kakani, VP and India Country Head, Algorand Foundation, said: “The Algorand Impact Summit demonstrates what can be achieved when purpose-driven teams unite to drive progress. It was not just an event; it was the coming together, celebration, and launch, all in one, of a global community leveraging blockchain for transformative impact.”
CoinDesk, the event’s official media partner, live streamed select panels, providing a global audience with access to the insightful discussions taking place onstage. View the recording.
Key announcements at Algorand Impact Summit
- Algorand Foundation announced partnerships with TiE Bangalore, T-Hub, NASSCOM, Mann Deshi, and SEWA. Read the press release.
- Algorand Foundation our partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to develop the Algorand Blockchain Academy. Read the press release.
- Birina Handmade announced its launch on Algorand, as it will leverage blockchain to authenticate handmade materials (textiles, shawls), incorporate KYC, and ensure items are trackable.
- Sow & Reap announced its launch on Algorand. Thousands of farmers can use blockchain to track reduction of methane gas emissions.
- Payments solution platform Eko announced it is building a solution to tokenize open-source services on Algorand to develop and deliver more innovative products on its platform.
- Blockchain-based supply chain traceability platform Wholechain announced that it is partnering with HempStreet, a medical cannabis business in the Indian market with an emphasis on responsible dispensation and the requirement for traceability. Learn more.
- Algorand Ventures announced a strategic investment into payments platform HesabPay.
- Climate investing platform, URECA, announced it signed a MoU with the Mongolian Ministry of Environment & Tourism to help Mongolia achieve its climate change targets. Learn more.
- Folks Finance announced its listing of Meld's GOLD & SILVER. This is an important milestone not only for Folks Finance but also for Algorand DeFi, since it is the first real-world asset listing.
- Algorand Foundation announced the winners of the Creating Impact! Pitch Competition. Discover the winners.
5 projects spotlighted at the Algorand Impact Summit
The Gamosa handwoven cloth represents an article of profound cultural and traditional importance for the indigenous communities in Assam, India. The handloom weavers are mostly women who have inherited the art and skills of weaving the colorful rectangular cloths featuring intricate designs over generations. With the advent of machine-powered looms revolutionizing the textile industry in recent years, Assamese Gamosas are now being mass-produced outside Assam in machine looms that are destroying the eco-friendly history of Gamosas and the livelihoods of the women weavers. Birina Handmade is working to empower the weavers while preserving the heritage of the Gamosa with blockchain technology. By recording each original Gamosa’s provenance on blockchain, Birina can authenticate its origins and trace its journey directly from the artisan to the customer. Each beautifully handwoven cloth comes with a scannable QR code linking to the story of the woman who wove it.
Sow & Reap
Sow & Reap uses blockchain to allow farmers to track and verify methane production from their fields. First, the team educates farmers about the regenerative farming technique known as “alternative wetting and drying,” which enables them to reduce their methane gas emissions and gain access to carbon credits. The Sow & Reap team installs hardware to monitor water levels in the rice fields and guide farmers on when to water. Using geofencing and other digital solutions, the farmer captures key data to track irrigation patterns and soil moisture levels which are accepted predictors of methane gas emissions. This data feeds into calculations of greenhouse gas reductions, which are certified using the transparency and immutability of blockchain ledgers. Over 30,000 farmers across seven districts in the state of Telangana have already been onboarded. Beyond the future economic value of carbon credits, the farmers are already seeing the benefits of their regenerative farming practices through reduced usage of pesticide and fertilizer, and an increase in crop yields.
Since 2007, Eko has processed over $30 billion in transactions for nearly 50 million customers through 400,000 micro-entrepreneur cash-in points across India. Over 2,000 brands use Eko's platform and APIs to collect payment today. The centralized control of data gathered on transactions, micro-entrepreneurs, and customers, however, limits the ability to use it in developing and delivering more innovative products. To unlock new opportunities, Eko is now tokenizing open source services on Algorand to enhance the ability to access and monetize data. Tokenization will empower micro-entrepreneurs to customize offerings, develop new revenue streams, and gain access to previously unavailable credit. This shift aligns with Eko's mission of democratizing financial services through collaboration and innovation.
Wholechain has built a traceability solution that enables trust, coordination, and transparency in fragmented supply chains. Its desktop and mobile apps provide flexible data templates, diagrams, maps and offline functionality to simplify data collection and sharing for everyone, from first mile producers and processors to warehouse and brand managers. Wholechain automatically writes data onto the Algorand blockchain, providing customers with a record of verifiable traceability data that informs more responsible supply chain decisions. By providing irrefutable proof of a product’s origin, Wholechain gives consumers certainty that a product is sourced sustainably and complies with international norms, specifically those prohibiting child labor and worker exploitation. Aligned with global and industry-specific data standards, Wholechain seamlessly integrates with other data collection, management and traceability systems. Wholechain is trusted by Fortune 500 companies across the food and agriculture, beauty and cosmetics and manufacturing industries seeking to substantiate sustainability claims with real data. Wholechain is a partner of the UN Global Compact and winner of the U.S. FDA Traceability Challenge.
HesabPay, a fintech startup founded during the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, migrated to the Algorand blockchain in 2022 to digitize humanitarian aid delivery. The solution empowers aid organizations to disburse funds through digital wallets and a network of local agents, as an alternative to physical cash handouts. Available as an app on iOS and Android, as well as accessible to feature phone users via USSD or combined with a QR code card, HesabPay has quickly expanded its use cases and today allows users to buy airtime, pay electric bills, and send digital funds to other users. HesabPay’s ability to leverage the Algorand blockchain's decentralized attributes, such as censorship resistance, resilience and transparency, is helping solve the endemic challenges in humanitarian aid delivery. In addition, the United Nations World Food Programme is set to significantly expand in 2024 the number of beneficiaries receiving aid through HesabPay.
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