The donation was announced on Ripple’s website late last week and is the latest of over $150mln of investments made through the Ripple Impact campaign. Beneficiaries include NGOs, universities and industry partners that are looking to help the organization provide financial freedom to an estimated 1.7bln unbanked people around the world.
Driving monetary inclusion with blockchain
The partnership with Mercy Corps promises to make an impact in emerging economies that have a large population of unbanked people.
The NGO has experience in driving economic development in various countries, having reportedly improved the lives of over 28 million people using new technologies last year. It’s investment arm Mercy Corps Ventures is responsible for investing and partnering with local businesses and entrepreneurs to provide solutions to system problems like financial exclusion.
The NGO will partner with Ripple and its social venture support nonprofit Rippleworks, Mercy Corps will begin supporting solutions that use new financial technologies including blockchain, digital assets and cryptocurrencies to bring people in emerging markets into the global economy.
Three year pilot
The project will aim to do this over a three-year period with pilot projects being explored and potential startups identified as beneficiaries across South America.
Some of the funds have been earmarked to support the education of Mercy Corp staff on the ground in these regions. This would include education on the latest digital financial solutions – and Mercy Corps has reportedly set an ambitious goal of reaching more than 10 million people in the next ten years.
“The existing financial system is fragmented, antiquated, and exclusionary–leaving 1.7B people unbanked and disproportionately excluding women. Emerging fintech, crypto and blockchain technologies have the potential to radically transform it, but there are substantial risks for the world’s most vulnerable people if their needs are not taken into consideration as these new technologies are designed and deployed,” said Scott Onder, Senior Managing Director at Mercy Corps Ventures.