The Polygon blockchain network has partnered with Mercy Corps’ investment arm, Mercy Corps Ventures, to bring blockchain solutions to marginalized and low-income communities in developing regions.
Partnership to build blockchain solutions for the marginalized
Polygon announced the new alliance, which aims to offer blockchain and Web3 solutions to “traditionally excluded and marginalized areas,” in a blog post on March 2.
Per the announcement, the partnership will focus on several goals, including providing money for blockchain pilots to open up the financial system to unbanked populations.
The partnership will also fund hackathons for tech developers servicing customers in emerging markets and establish blockchain boot camp roadshows in places where Mercy Corps is active.
The new partnership comes only weeks after Mercy Corps Ventures unveiled its Crypto for Good Fund II. The organization established the fund to create blockchain-based projects to promote global financial inclusion and increase climate resilience.
The fund’s initial version started in 2022 and had around 200 applicants.
Crypto comes to the aid of disaster victims
Mercy Corps was also involved in several fundraising initiatives from the crypto community to offer help in the wake of the recent earthquake that ravaged areas of Turkey and Syria.
The organization declared it had received a 50/50 split of the roughly $60,000 in total donations made at the time by Binance.
The World Bank estimates more than 1.6 billion people globally lack the most rudimentary checking, savings, or mobile money accounts. Additionally, they need help accessing financial services like insurance, loans, or mortgages.
The cost of financial exclusion is high. It affects people’s quality of life, stops them from saving for the future, gives them few protections if they become ill or lose their source of livelihood, and leaves them open to usurious and unscrupulous lenders.
Seven of the United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reference financial inclusivity as a crucial component for enhancing the lives of marginalized people.
Leveraging Web3 for financial inclusivity
According to Polygon and Mercy Corps, blockchain and Web3 solutions have generated a lot of hype, but underbanked populations have yet to feel their impact.
Although some actual use cases exist, most need more quantifiable results to make a commercial case for the technologies. For that reason, Mercy Corps says it is piloting web3 solutions to test and develop the evidence base for promising blockchain innovations that can build financial resilience in underprivileged people and communities.