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Manila Residents Paid in Ethereum For Cleaning Up Philippines’ Polluted Beaches


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A decentralized application (dApp) based on the Ethereum (ETH) network will begin rewarding residents of Manila, the Philippines, with ETH for cleaning up a heavily polluted beach in the capital city of the nation.

Joseph Lubin, an Ethereum co-creator and the CEO of ConsenSys, the largest blockchain software development firm in the world, said:

“In Manila, participants will be paid in ETH for spending a few hours cleaning up one of the most heavily polluted beaches in the world. Bounties Network and ConsenSys Impact are proving a new model where people fund causes directly without intermediaries.”

Why the Philippines is a Great Place to Start

Bounty has been recognized as a viable application of blockchain technology because participants are compensated transparently using the public ledger of a blockchain network.

Bounties Network, a dApp on Ethereum, enables anyone on the platform to create bounties and reward participants with ETH, supporting various causes and initiatives.

Recently, ConsenSys Impact, a subsidiary of the New York-based ConsenSys, introduced a non-profit initiative called “Bounties for the Oceans: Philippines Pilot – Sustained, Verifiable Plastic Cleanups” to promote the usage of the blockchain in the country.

“Plastic pollution costs the lives of 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals per year. Fish eat plastic, and we eat the fish. Plastic causes $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year. With Bounties for the Ocean, we are asking people everywhere to submit verifiable proof of their direct plastic cleanup contribution as a way of fostering widespread and long-term behavioral shift. Do not depend on centralized organizations, go out there and do it yourselves,” the program read.

The initiative comes in a time during which the Philippines recently re-opened Boracay, a popular tourist destination in the country known for its crystal-clear seawater, acclaimed diving spots, and distinctive white sugary and powdery sand after the island suffered from heavy pollution.

The Philippines is considered an ideal region to kickstart non-profit blockchain-based initiatives because the country has adopted cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a legitimate form of payment and the central bank officially recognized Bitcoin as a remittance method.

As a result, the usage of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum has increased rapidly, facilitated by the work of local platforms like Coins.ph that have provided significant liquidity to local users.

Through partnerships with major commercial banks, remittance outlets, credit card companies, electric grid operators, and convenience stores, Coins.ph has allowed cryptocurrency users to deposit and withdraw digital assets through tens of thousands of physical locations. The platform, which remains as the biggest cryptocurrency application in Southeast Asia, now has over 5 million active users.

ConsenSys and Union Bank

In May, ConsenSys also secured a strategic partnership with Union Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in the Philippines, to conduct a real-time domestic retail payment system pilot test with five rural banks.

At the time, Union Bank technology and operations chief Henry Aguda said:

“With this [blockchain platform], they don’t have to spend anything. They just have to load the application i2i in their computers, tablets, or smartphones then they can transact bank-to-bank connected to blockchain.”

A large number of companies including Consensys and several high profile conglomerates in South Korea are working with individuals, businesses, and cryptocurrency ventures in the Philippines to help the local market sustain its exponential rate of growth.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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