Blockchains for social good
While the revolutionary potential of blockchains has been largely tested (in the financial domain in particular), its possible applications in social domains and to address sustainability challenges have been explored far less.
The goal of the EIC Prize on Blockchains for Social Good was to recognise and support the efforts made by developers and civil society in exploring the decentralised applications of blockchains for social innovation. The Prize proposed to cover areas such as traceability and fair trade, financial inclusion, decentralised circular economy, transparency of public processes, participation in democratic decision-making, and management of public records.
The Prize sought to award a total of 5 million euros to the innovators that come up with the most promising Blockchain solutions in different social innovation areas. The areas and the winners are:
- Quality Content: WordProof (by Dutch SME WordProof B.V.) developed the WordProof Timestamp Ecosystem, to prove authenticity and to make information verifiable, which ultimately would be leading to more trust in internet content.
- Traceability & Fair Trade: PPP (by UK social enterprise Project Provenance Ltd) developed Proof Points to allow businesses to prove their social impact across the supply chains behind their business and products.
- Financial Inclusion: GMeRitS (by Finnish university Aalto) is conducting wide scale experiments with alternative economic structures, to evaluate various anti-rival compensation and governance structures.
- Aid & Philanthropy: the UnBlocked Cash Project OXBBU (by Irish Oxfam and French startup Sempo) pioneers a decentralized model to efficiently and sustainably deliver international aid to disaster-affected women and men.
- Decentralised Circular Economy: CKH2020 (by French cooperative Kleros) is a platform for resolving consumer disputes in e-commerce or collaborative economy, where both jury selection and rulings are regulated by blockchains.
- Energy: PROSUME (by Italian Prosume srl) is a platform providing a decentralized and autonomous digital marketplace for peer-to-peer energy trading, targeting consumers who are also producers of renewable energy.
Congratulations to all the participants and in particular to all the other finalists for their exceptional solutions.
The winners will be awarded at the NGI Policy Forum in September 2020 (to be announced soon).
The Selection Process
In November/December 2019, a Jury of 30 high level experts in blockchain technologies, innovation and social sciences made a preselection of the 178 received applications, according to the selection criteria defined in the Rules of Contest.
As a result, 23 finalists were selected and requested to answer written questions. They were also invited to a workshop in Brussels on 10 February 2020, for a formal hearings and to present their projects to an engaged audience.
€5 million, to be allocated in five awards of €1 million each (ex-aequo are possible in case of identical scores)
- pioneering decentralised solutions to global and/or local sustainability challenges
- generating positive social change by making available novel solutions for decentralising and disintermediating processes
- demonstrating the viability of solutions enabling a more even distribution and sharing of information and resources which respects privacy while providing levels of transparency
- stimulating the emerging community of developers and practitioners of "blockchains for social good" applications
Eligibility and award criteria
This contest was open to all legal entities (i.e. natural or legal persons, including international organisations) or groups of legal entities.
The prize is awarded to the contestant(s) who, in the opinion of the jury, demonstrates a solution that best meets the following cumulative criteria.
- Social impact: both potential and already achieved by the implementation of the solution (e.g. size of the community of users engaged by the actual implementation)
- Decentralisation and governance: improvements in transparency and accountability (while respecting privacy and/or anonymity)
- Usability and inclusiveness
- Viability at large scale: cost-efficiency (including energy consumption), scalability, security, and sustainability
- Clear added value of the demonstrated implementation for European citizens, in societal, economic or environmental terms
These criteria, scoring and the weighting methodology, as well as the detailed timetable and conditions for participation, are further defined in the Rules of Contest.
While entrants are free to commercially exploit applications and services based on the developed solutions, their source code is required to be released under an Open Source Licence.