Serial investor Jing Sun is interested in creating a new way of charitable giving. Even though the industry has already changed a lot by way of websites that connect you with charitable causes and even social media campaigns that easily allow you to donate money, Sun wants to take it a step further by way of the blockchain.
She has created a project called IoTex that seeks to connect the physical world, block by block and is heavily focused on charitable ventures, the first of which being connected to the Ethereum Foundation. I recently spoke with Sun to learn more about why charity is a focus for her startup and how cryptocurrency fits within.
Why is use of cryptocurrency a good fit for the charitable giving industry?
Sun: The benefit of blockchain is that it cuts out the middleman as well as enables the transparency and accountability of charity and other NGOs about how the money is actually spent. Basically, cryptocurrency could cut down on corruption in the charity cycle.
Using cryptocurrency, all the transactions you made to the charity could be tracked and transparent to public. Also, an individual donor would have the ability to voice out if they suspected wrongdoing. Currently, the bottleneck is that most charities still don't accept digital currency.
How are specific charities and charitable efforts selected by IoTeX and what is the company's specific role with regard to facilitation and management of funds collected
Sun: Crowdsourcing as a way to fund a specific cause for a charity is not new, but IoTeX is doing it via "smart contracts" and redirecting the cryptocurrency hype to charitable causes. In IoTeX, we have demonstrated how much we value the exhaustive research conducted by the pioneers in blockchain technology industry, and support them through our charity program to ETH Foundation.
The primary reason for IoTeX to choose Ethereum Foundation as its first charity is due to the Ethereum Foundation's recent announcement on providing grants to help fund blockchain research. IoTeX strongly believes that we can advance the entire blockchain industry through rigorous research and collaboration, and we should financially support young professionals so they can focus on their research. The ETH Foundation does exactly what we value, which is why we chose them and asked our community to help us promote our cause.
All donations went directly to the ETH Foundation and promptly help the talents and the brightest minds continue their research without worrying about funding and give them a boost to discover the next breakthrough around the corner.
What is your business model (explained simply)?
Sun: IoTeX aims to bring privacy and interoperability to IoT (Internet of Things) so all devices and systems can work together autonomously, at scale, to realize the full value of IoT. The IoTeX blockchain supports a variety of IoT ecosystems such as the sharing economy, smart home, supply chain management, and device identity management.
What are the success stories to date and what charitable efforts are in the works?
Sun: Since we released the Charity Program announcement, we have received tremendous responses from the community willing to help fund the blockchain research. In just few hours, the charity program white list registration applications exceeded our goal of 3,000 applications, reached over 5,000 interested applicants. With gratitude we closed the sign up channel much earlier than planned.
After the verification process, there are about 2,500 participants approved to proceed with the donation process. During the 24 hours donation period, our smart contract has successfully supported 1,515 donors with total of 340 ETH donations to ETH foundation!