TL;DR: The IOTA Foundation is a founding member of the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA). With a constant flow of new activities and outputs as well as increased public appearance, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that IOTA Foundation members have been up to lately as part of their work with the association. This blog post recaps some of the highlights of our work with INATBA during 2022.
The IOTA Foundation also participates in several of INATBA’s Working Groups, which represent areas in which INATBA promotes the adoption of blockchain. These include the Social Impact & Sustainability Working Group (SISWG), the Privacy Working Group (PWG), and the Finance Working Group (FWG).
2022 was a very busy year for our colleagues working with INATBA, and 2023 promises to be even busier – let’s have a quick recap of some of the highlights.
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IOTA and SISWG
The Social Impact and Sustainability Working Group (SISWG) had a particularly busy year, working on a definition of social impact for blockchain projects, a framework for social impact measurement, two important publications, and participation in a major new UN initiative.
- Defining social impact
Featuring several of the IOTA Foundation’s partner projects, the report found a lack of a standardized definition of social impact among its surveyed projects, as well as difficulties experienced by small and medium-sized projects when trying to showcase the social impact of their actions.
Why do we need a standardized definition of social impact? Without an agreed definition and set of measurements, blockchain projects and organizations working on social issues are hampered in their ability to align and generate greater social impact together. A lack of definition also makes it difficult for organizations that need to measure and report their social impact for purposes like raising funds or attracting stakeholders.
Any intentional or unintentional measurable outcome from actions implemented (or as a result of those actions) by individuals in the private or the public sector that affect the cultural and socio-economic environment of other individuals and communities in a positive way”.
- A framework for social impact measurement
Although several frameworks for organizations and companies to monitor their social impact exist, most of them aren’t feasible for small and medium-sized projects as they often are complex and demand more capacity and resources than such projects can allocate. The SISWG decided to address this challenge with a social impact model to guide blockchain projects in measuring the social impact of their work.
- Crypto for non-profits
Accepting investments or donations in crypto and digital assets opens the door to a world of opportunities for social impact organizations looking for funds. However, many social businesses, non-profits, and NGOs lack crypto experience and an understanding of the benefits and risks. Therefore, the SISWG created the guide to share the fundamental facts for accepting and holding crypto in a non-profit context.
- Blockchain for Climate Applications
- BC100+ Initiative
The main goal of BC100+ is to raise awareness about the potential of blockchain for social impact and sustainability. The initiative explores the potential of blockchain technology to address systemic issues such as inequality, poverty and climate change by rebuilding trust, empowering communities, asserting accountabilities, and re-distributing value on the global level. Currently, BC100+ is putting together a manifesto with the vision of the collective and soon it will be shared with partners to sign so they can join the movement.
Events and publications
During 2022, the SISWG also spread awareness of the potential of blockchain to tackle social issues and achieve the SDGs by participating in events and contributing to publications. The events, several of which featured the Working Group’s IOTA members, were organized by either SISWG or INATBA itself and focused on promoting the following:
- Developing Effective Solutions to Bridge the Adaptation Gap
- The Booming Power of DLT in the Agriculture Sector
- Sustainably Designed Blockchains and Incentivising Climate Action
- The Planet is Choking, What Can Supply Chains Do?
- Sustainably Designed Blockchains and Incentivising Climate Action
Finally, members of the SISWG presented their work of the Working Group at the following external events:
- Hablemos de IOTA y Shimmer
- Leaders of the Sustainable Future
- EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (watch from 05:56 on)
- Blockchain for Europe Summit 2022
- BC100+ (Blockchain for UN Values and Global Goals) Initiative Presentation at COP27 DIP
- Cardano Summit 2022
- 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference
It appears necessary to develop technical tools to assess the electricity consumption and carbon footprint of crypto mining at international level. International cooperation with standardisation bodies could provide the technical expertise needed to develop energy-efficient labelling for blockchains. International collaboration with standardisation bodies would put the EU at the forefront of any future global initiative to encourage sustainable blockchain technologies. This incentive should encourage the use of the more environmentally friendly consensus mechanisms and applications of blockchain technology, taking due account of other relevant aspects such as cybersecurity and financial and social impacts. This would need to be accompanied by awareness-raising measures in relevant settings (e.g. the Social Impact and Sustainability Working Group of the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA).”
IOTA and the Finance Working Group
IOTA and the Privacy Working Group
Looking ahead to INATBA in 2023
The IOTA Foundation’s INATBA members look forward to the rest of 2023, which is expected to be at least as busy as 2022. To date, the work plan of the SISWG for this year is focused on activities in line with the BC100+ initiative and participation in events promoting blockchain for social impact and sustainability, as well as other activities that bring awareness to these topics.
For 2023, the SISWG plans two completely new activities: a report on Latin American initiatives that address the SDGs with blockchain projects, and a podcast series with blockchain projects working on financial inclusion in different regions.
The Finance Working Group will continue its work on providing feedback to the European Commission regarding the update of the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC8), the new AML Regulation, and several initiatives regarding Web3.
Through the Digital Credentials Task Force, IOTA Foundation aims to contribute to the promotion of interoperability and mutual support for digital credentials across borders.
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