The combination of blockchains, oracles, and APIs offers society a new hybrid smart contract infrastructure, capable of hosting tamper-proof digital agreements that are fully integrated with legacy systems and reliably enforced without a central administrator. While hybrid smart contracts can improve efficiency and limit the counterparty risk of existing business processes, they can also support new technological solutions for social good that go beyond material gains. This is why the Chainlink Community Grant Program has launched a Social Impact Initiative centered around creating a more economically fair world using hybrid smart contracts, both to stimulate major technological leaps in emerging markets and drastically reduce systemic risk in developed markets.
In support of fostering social impact through hybrid smart contracts, we’re excited to award a social impact grant to the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC) and sponsor teams in its Decentralized Impact Incubator. As part of the grant, Chainlink will join BSIC as a coalition member, enabling us to support, mentor, and lend expertise to BSIC and the many development teams in its Decentralized Impact Incubator program using Chainlink to build blockchain-based solutions. Most notably, Chainlink can accelerate the overall education process for how to utilize oracle solutions in hybrid smart contract applications across social impact verticals.
Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC) is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organization that incubates, develops, and collaborates on blockchain products and solutions that address social and environmental challenges in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. BSIC aims to inspire, federate, and create bridges between NGOs, government agencies, foundations, impact investors, philanthropists, and technologists, with a focus on the following sectors:
- Financial Inclusion
- Supply Chain
- Identity & Vulnerable Populations
- Energy & Environment
- Human Rights
- Health and Wellness
BSIC participants and sponsors have included the World Economic Forum, World Bank, Human Rights Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Asian Development Bank, UNICEF, World Food Programme, Start Network, Microsoft, Consensys, Gitcoin, KPMG, UNDP, World Wildlife Federation, ABN Amro, RTI International, Celo, MakerDAO, and others. Some of its leadership/advisors include past SmartCon speakers like Yorke Rhodes, Co-founder of Blockchain at Microsoft, and Tegan Kline, Co-founder of Edge & Node (the initial development team behind The Graph).
BSIC runs the Decentralized Impact Incubator, a 3-week program—focused this year on NFTs and their impact—aimed at ideating and prototyping blockchain-based solutions to global social and environmental challenges. During the program, participants from around the world gather to form teams, design business models, draft proposals, and code. Teams are required to pass through weekly checkpoints and are guided by mentors throughout the process. Winning projects will receive grants to support continued development. Past cohorts involved 1200+ participants from 55+ countries, and included the formation of more than 150+ teams and participation from 60+ judges.
Given the importance of oracles in expanding the functionality of blockchain-based smart contracts, particularly by giving them access to real-world data and advanced computation, Chainlink can help increase the scope and lessen the development time of projects in the Decentralized Impact Incubator. Establishing a foundation where developers can build hybrid smart contracts using any type of external resource will be critical in furthering the social impact that these projects can have across a variety of use cases and in many regions around the world.
For the upcoming Decentralized Impact Incubator, oracles can be used to create dynamic NFTs that are augmented by real-world data like the weather or randomness—already demonstrated by UNICEF crypto fund program startup Treejer, where each NFT sold represents a real tree planted, and over time the NFT will change based on data around its growth and carbon sequestration.
Support for BSIC is just one of the many social impact initiatives powered by hybrid smart contracts that are supported by the Chainlink Grant Program. Past grants for social impact projects include helping smallholder farmers get crop insurance, incentivizing regenerative agriculture, bringing CO2 and N2O data on-chain to support climate-focused markets and reporting frameworks, enabling parametric insurance for natural disasters, and more.
Through the Chainlink Community Grants program, we look forward to continuing to empower more and more Chainlink ecosystem teams, researchers, and social impact projects who are both researching and building key tools and infrastructure that accelerate the development of universally connected smart contracts, secure oracle networks, and impactful technology that improves the world. We will continue supporting the community as a key driver of Chainlink’s rapid growth, because only together can we make universally connected smart contracts into the dominant form of digital agreement.
About the Chainlink Grant Program
The Chainlink Community Grant Program provides resources to the many development teams and researchers building a more functional, accessible, and socially impactful Chainlink Network. We encourage talented individual developers and development teams to apply to the grant program here, or if you are a researcher and want to collaborate, contact us. Chainlink Community Grants are provided in cash and/or LINK.