Bounties for the Oceans: Philippines Pilot by Robert Greenfield

Embarking on the first pilot for our social impact bounty project to prove feasibility and replicability

Looking towards decentralizing the social impact space, we started considering ways in which Bounties could help incentivize and organize positive global action across key UN initiatives. Having considered mechanics and usability, we launched the first bounty-based social impact project in partnership with MakerDAO back in June 2018, on World Oceans Day.

What is it?

The original bounty is very simple: pick up trash wherever you are, submit verifiable proof that you have done so, and receive 10 DAI as a reward.

Here are the key requirements of the original bounty:

  • Upload a photo of yourself with trash you have cleaned up from a park, beach, street, riverbank etc.

  • The photo must be at the cleanup site, with the day’s newspaper, a piece of paper with the date on it or camera date stamp

  • Live tweet your image, tag @MakerDao and @ethBounties using #bountiesfortheoceans and upload a screenshot

Check out the full details of the bounty and how you get started if you’d like to get involved.

The DAI bounty is still up and you can submit your cleanups. Specifically for the Philippines pilot, we recreated the bounty with an ETH payout in order to simplify the flow and enable a smooth coversion from ETH into Philippine Piso for the participants wanting to do so.

How Did it Do?

Since its launch in June, we have seen cleanups happen across the world, from the US to the UK, from Canada all the way to Venezuela and even Tasmania.

Screen Shot 2019-01-25 at 11.06.44 AM.png

Most of the people participating in our initial bounty were new to the blockchain space when fulfilling the bounty. It is this power of activating and empowering individual action that is most appealing about the model.

Philippines Pilot

The video below was shot on #WorldEnvironmentDay 2018 by Ian Redmond OBE, Ambassador for the UN Convention on Migratory Species, at Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat & EcoTourism Area in Manila Bay. The footage shows a volunteer cleanup happening in June this year and the need for further action is plain to see.

Our goal with the bounty-based cleanup in Manila is to re-engineer the flow of money and its distribution patterns, bridging the gap between social entrepreneurs, non-profit/NGOs and the general public. Fostering widespread and long-term behavioral shifts on a global scale will directly benefit communities, like Manila, that are intensely and increasingly affected by plastic waste. This new mechanism could also help create new jobs andvastly reduce the burdensome administrative costs afflicting most charity models today.

The overall plans extend far beyond this one project however. Imagine a borderless decentralized social impact contribution network — not only would a network like this drastically reduce the friction involved in global impact projects, but it would give individuals and organizations the tools to incentivize and activate millions of hours of human capital to collaborate towards positive social and environmental outcomes.

Contribute to the bounty or sign up as a volunteer

As part of the pilot, we are also partnering with on the ground so that the people participating in the cleanup can exchange their ETH into Philippine Piso and use the money to pay bills or buy groceries. The importance of having the full money flow loop is key when it comes to bridging the gap between crypto and the current financial setups. also offers cardless cash out from a wallet at any Security Bank ATM nationwide in the Philippines — a key requirement for working with the unbanked segment of the local population.

Here’s how you can join us & where:

Pilot Location

Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat & EcoTourism Area
Manila, Philippines

Date & Time

December 1, 2018: 8:00 AM — 5:00 PM
December 2, 2018: 8:00 AM — 5:00 PM

Reinventing Social Impact

As this is a time to create, test and improve, we will be documenting the pilot experience and results to try and understand what the implications and effects of running social impact projects on Ethereum are.

Our goal is to demonstrate feasibility, and hopefully, kickstart a powerful world-changing trend where blind trust is no longer a concept. Proof of action is.

Blind trust is no longer a concept. Proof of action is.

The second phase of the project will be the recycling & manufacturing of a product out of cleaned up plastic. Another cleanup in another region would see the bountied plastic be transported to a facility capable of turning plastic into fibre. Ideally this facility would be local to the cleanup area to limit carbon footprint.

The fibre would then be used to produce an item of clothing/footwear and be sold through a retailer. The funds raised would be put towards more social/environmental impact projects on the blockchain.

We are committed to collaborating in finding solutions for improving the world together so please join us, contribute to the bounty or sign up as a volunteer!

Become a part of our Bounties Slack community, sign up to our emails andfollow us on Twitter to follow all Bounty-based social impact progress.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone on our fully remote, fully collaborative, team and to everyone taking part in this initiative.

Building with Bounties: Co-dependent Social Impact by Robert Greenfield

Blockchain for Social Impact    in the Philippines with Waves for Water Building Filters

Blockchain for Social Impact in the Philippines with Waves for Water Building Filters

Recently, I had the opportunity to explore social impact opportunities in the conservation, luxury fashion, and banking industries in Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. However, what started as a focused trip on developing large social impact partners transformed into a reinvigorated understanding of poverty, people, and humanity’s hierarchy of needs.

Blockchain Can’t Solve That

After exploring the vibrant and developing social impact ecosystem of Manila, our team flew down to Cebu, a southern Philippine state. We ventured off to Inayawan Dump site to distribute goods to village people in the area, collaborating with Glory Reborn, a nonprofit that focuses on providing compassionate and holistic care to marginalized moms and babies within the region.

We trudged through garbage, polluted streams, and swarms of flies only to come to the conclusion that there was no distinction between the landfill and the village itself. Humanity’s hierarchy of needs became evident — food, health, and access to education far outweigh the novel use of cryptocurrency and blockchain alone.

But how could we better identify where technology could be useful in the supply chain to provide the most basic needs in a more efficient, transparent, and accountable way? Oftentimes local and federal government agencies fall short of providing the services impoverished communities need, simply due to resource and budgetary constraints (and occasionally due to for profit business models).

In this brief, I investigate which needs may be best attended to in ecosystems starved of every basic necessity, and foolishly attempt to answer the question, where does blockchain fit into this devastating reality?

Previous Proposals for Bounties Use

In an early proposal made by the Bounties Network, we explored the way in which blockchain-based bounties can reinvent our social impact systems and incentivize action across local networks of nonprofits (and even the affected community members). Advents like Bounties Network, which enable users (individuals and/or organizations) to offer a reward to accomplish a specific task on-chain, have the potential to decentralize charitable incentives for nonprofit entities by requiring a proof of action in exchange for donated funds.

Development of Economic Zones by Activating Community Partners

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 11.11.39 PM.png

Partners Sharing a Platform

The most feasible strategy would be to ‘crowdfund’ resources in support of impoverished communities is to develop local partnerships between organizations that provide different services in the region. Intra-nonprofit communication is lacking within westernized and emerging economies alike. The non-standardization of aid cycles, education around the aid being provided, and programmatic expectations of the communities being serviced can create an inconsistent support experience for those attempting to form some sort of productive constancy in life.

We need to increase the commonality of social impact consortiums likeBlockchain for Social Impact at a local, working group level around the same platform of services. When stakeholders are aligned around a few set of communities (initially starting with one community), the hierarchy of needs of that society can be more consistently attended to. The issue with only disbursing food and water is that those needs only partially attend to community health discrepancies, and don’t attend to aspects of increased social mobility at all. Essentially, villages are kept in a pseudo-reliant state of social immobility, through which mere survival seems to be the glorified outcome.

The shared “platform” can be a standardization of aid cycles, the sharing of data across services to establish working identities for their clients, and even the standardization of aid education when services are rendered. Most likely however, these focuses will only truly align when funding is attached to co-dependent outcomes across nonprofits serving a similar area.

Co-dependent & Hyper Transparent Philanthropy

So what could this platform look like and how could Blockchain better attend to higher priority needs? To better align incentives across local nonprofits servicing a similar region of beneficiaries, co-dependent Bounties developed to efficiently coordinate collaborative & hyper-localized aid. By using payment mechanisms like DAI, nonprofits could receive their philanthropic rewards in a stable form of payment that is still beholden to an automated, escrow-like system, ensuring impact accountability for all organizational participants involved.

More accountable philanthropic disbursement across nonprofit consortiums servicing a locality can hopefully support better outcomes, empowering beneficiaries to climb out of poverty, rather than be supported during a life in it without end.

Developing these nonprofit consortiums by setting up co-dependent, locally focused bounties can potentially ensure

  1. Hierarchy of needs are met by organizations that focus on different categories of aid (food, clothing, water, housing, internet, etc.)

  2. Education is provided in tangent with aid, so that communities are left empowered and not dependent

  3. Aid is hyper-local by requirement of the bounty

Incentives for Better Communities

Once the initial needs are met (food, clothing, water, & housing), providing better infrastructure for the use of Internet can be prioritized. When reliable Internet services are available in under-resourced communities, social entrepreneurs can attend to a different set of problems via blockchain-enabled, user applications.

Models like Service-Backed Tokens become more applicable, as you help beneficiaries learn how to manage their resources and lead their communities by individualizing the benefits of aid. Of course, many other models may fit the mold as well. Individualized bounties within under-resourced communities could work as well, where members are incentivized to keep their localities clean, etc. Of course, the user experience of applications that interface community members would need to be exceptionally intuitive, well tested, and well researched.

Start with Nonprofits First

In the end, we must admit that blockchain alone does nothing for those in need of food and clean water — at least not directly on a day to day basis. What it can do is facilitate better coordination around the strategic funding and disbursement of aid, by first attending to a community’s hierarchy of needs.

By focusing on various tiers of need in a co-dependent fashion, we may be able to include under-resourced communities into our collective vision of a decentralized, cashless, and service-based economy sooner than we think.