Giga Token: An Investtools project to incentive connectivity to schools around the globe
Originally published on UNICEF Innovation Fund's Blog.
Investtools seeks to understand how innovations in the blockhain world can improve the lives of ordinary people.
Its history with blockchain began when it understood how the transparent and decentralized nature of the technology could be used to subvert an almost global status quo: the lack of traceability of social investments.
In 2021, the company developed a solution based on issuing tokens linked to the Brazilian currency. As a result, when a certain public body makes a financial transfer, its sum would be registered in a decentralized blockchain system. This would allow monitoring of all resource movements: destinations, origins, and values. With this very high degree of transparency, the risk of misspent public resources would be reduced. The solution contributed to the strengthening of auditable governance, even being encouraged by BNDES, the main development bank in Brazil, to increase transparency in the bank’s investments.
In close collaboration with Giga, the Investtools team will develop a blockchain marketplace where government stakeholders provide non-monetary incentives (i.e. tax breaks), ISP stakeholders sign contracts to give connectivity to schools in exchange for a certain amount of tokens, and the number of tokens assigned to each school is guided by the "connectivity score" calculated by Giga. The ISPs can later redeem their tokens for the non-monetary incentives provided in the marketplace. The expected result is a marketplace that incentivizes ISP provider to improve connectivity of underprivileged schools, with at least one school connected as proof of concept. The project will support Giga's mission of bringing connectivity to all schools globally, supported by the transparency that comes with blockchain.
“In many countries, some schools are remote and hard to reach and remain without internet connection. Moreover, in many cases, connecting such schools is not profitable for ISPs since the new infrastructure needed cannot be monetized through other costumers. For these reasons, we want to explore the development of an incentive-based system, which can run in parallel to traditional procurement”, said David Gibbin from Investtools.
Connected by a goal
Digital transformation is not only in the company’s solutions but intrinsic to how it operates. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, InvestTools already had a team connected remotely, with a goal of bringing together employees from all regions of Brazil - including those outside the Rio-São Paulo axis, where the biggest investments in technology and finance are located.
This was only possible because the main criterion for joining the team was having an unbridled passion for technological innovation. When working with frontier technology, creativity is the greatest virtue: being inventive is a daily challenge. Which is why the company believes that diversity contributes to the formation of a rich and conducive environment for the emergence of new ideas and initiatives.
The future demands of blockchain
When there’s talk about blockchain, people still ask the team: what do you think about NFTs? What about Bitcoin? And they always answer: more than being attentive to speculative movements, it is necessary to understand and master the underlying technology. Above all, it is here to stay.
Blockchain is a highly secure technology and its full potential is still far from being fully realized. Many great discoveries take time to gain people’s trust and be truly understood. The world is just now understanding the universe of possibilities that blockchain is capable of revealing.
UNICEF’s support can help safely prove and establish the importance of transparency when it comes to investments in social development.
The know-how around blockchain is still insufficient to meet the demands of the international community. For this reason, the company considers being part of the UNICEF Venture Fund investment, - and above all, representing a country whose low investment in technological development offers a challenging scenario for research - a great honor and opportunity.
With UNICEF’s global reach, it hopes to be able to create awareness for suppliers and potential collaborators.