UNICEF's Venture Arm Trials Ethereum Smart Contracts

The venture arm of the United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) is expanding its exploration of blockchain to include ethereum.

AccessTimeIconAug 8, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:48 a.m. UTC
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The venture arm of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is expanding its exploration of blockchain to include ethereum.

UNICEF, as previously reported by CoinDesk, has spent much of the past year weighing whether blockchain can assist in its mission of improving the lives of children across the globe. The agency's work with the technology forms part of a broader effort within the UN to apply blockchain in various use cases.

The latest trial, according to a recent blog post, is to test new ways of sending transactions, including the use of smart contracts – self-executing pieces of code that operate on top of a blockchain. More specifically, the focal point of the trial is on the use of multi-signature contracts.

The agency has also made public the ethereum address being used for the test, which reveals that the agency conducted a number of transactions over the weekend.

In the blog post, UNCIEF software developer Qusai Jouda provided some background for the project, writing:

"One way to re-shape online transactions is in lowering the 'cost of trust'; in effect, improving how parties transfer assets across the Internet. For UNICEF Ventures – where we assess and prototype emerging technology that can provide a portfolio of solutions to our organization as early-stage tech matures – this means testing ethereum-based smart contracts as a tool for improved efficiency, transparency and accountability."

The trial comes less than a year after UNICEF invested in its first blockchain startup.

As CoinDesk reported at the time, the organization invested roughly $100,000 in 9Needs, a company focused on creating distributed educational tools for children.

UNICEF image via Shutterstock

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