In a first for Taiwan, blockchain technology has been integrated into operations by an e- commerce company. The technology allows nonprofit crowdfunding platform Dodoker to render the use of its donations transparent.
Founded in 2014, Dodoker’s operations are receiving assistance from the Taiwanese Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).
The platform hosts projects aimed at improving the environment and public good. As soon as a project on the platform reaches its funding goal, operations begin. However, should a project fail to meet its target, all donations will be returned to the patrons.
Blockchain ideal for public fundraising
A core problem of nonprofit organizations relying on donations is the question of how to maintain integrity.
Blockchain allows Dodoker to ensure transparency and enhance public trust in the projects hosted on the platform. Referring to a 2011 survey from United Way, Dodoker co- founder Roger Chuang points out that 49% of Taiwanese want nonprofit organizations to specify how donations are being used. Another 45% are actually worried that their donations might be misused.
For large non-profit organizations in particular, managing donations via blockchain can increase their credibility and accountability. In short, blockchain technology is a network of records, the so-called blocks. Each block is timestamped and linked to the previous one, creating a database of transactions.
This database is then managed autonomously in a peer-to-peer network, creating an open and distributed record of transactions that is both transparent and accessible. Additionally, once a block is created, its content cannot be altered.
For donors, blockchain thereby provides an easy way of tracing the use of funds online and verify all actions relevant to a specific project. Patrons thus no longer rely on information provided by project coordinators. Rather, all of the information is immediately available and readily accessible.
Besides Dodoker in Taiwan, the Chinese Ant Financial Services Group, too, pioneered blockchain technology in a nonprofit crowdfunding project in 2016.
Proposing to help children with hearing impairments, the project used blockchain to record and keep visible for all the life
cycle of every single payment. Since donors could supervise these records, the project maintained a high degree of trust and achieved impressive success.
Giving good Samaritans a chance
Dodoker’s use of blockchain has gained it an impressive degree of public trust. As a result, many environmental and educative projects are being realized thanks to the platform’s crowdfunding venue.
For instance, recently exceeding its goal on the Dodoker platform is a teaching project for kids. With funding from Dodoker backers, the project’s coordinator Mr. Wang uses earthworms to teach children how to protect the planet and reduce waste through recycling.
Another successfully backed project on the Dodoker platform has a team of young people take care of elderly persons without any relatives. For instance, for the Dragon Boat Festival, the participants distributed dumplings in the countryside.
These and the numerous other success stories on Dodoker demonstrate how blockchain and crowdsourcing can help make a positive impact in the world. Thanks to the high level of trust and full accountability, Dodoker’s platform is changing the world for the better, project by project, and block by block.