Polygon and Ethereum are the most popular chains for building solutions in emerging markets of Africa, LatAm, and Asia, a recent ecosystem report by Mercy Corps has revealed.
The most popular chains included:
* Polygon – 41%
* Ethereum – 39%
* Celo – 29%
* 44% – multi-chain pic.twitter.com/kAWVSd59bx
— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) May 16, 2023
61% of founders who applied to Mercy Corps Ventures’ Crypto For Good Fund (‘C4G2’) are from Africa, as crypto and blockchain technology continue to be used to address some of the most pressing challenges on the continent.
Now on its second edition, Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV), the impact investing arm of Mercy Corps, launched the ‘Crypto for Good Fund’ in 2022 to support uses of blockchain and crypto among low-income communities given that both funding and development targeted high-income communities and often towards speculative projects.
“From the outset, we’ve seen that crypto and blockchain present tools to address core challenges in the financial services and climate adaptation landscape. But it’s taken time and tenacity to find startups and protocols developing products with real-world application and low-income users at the center,” said Scott Onder, Managing Director, Mercy Corps Ventures
Launched in Febraury 2023, with marketing support from BitKE and Kenyan WallStreet, the second ‘Crypto For Good Fund’ has received 200 applications from 50 countries around the world (the application window closed in March 2023), MCV announced.
The top 3 represented countries are African, as are 4 of the top 8. Kenya dominated with 57 applications. pic.twitter.com/oM0K81Xy4i
— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) May 16, 2023
In a survey of these applicants, MCV reveals that:
- The African region accounted for 61% of applicants
- 95% came from emerging markets in Africa, LatAm, Asia
- Kenya is the source of most of the applications at 57
- Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana in the top 5
- Additionally, more African countries are seeing projects, including South Sudan
- 75% of applicants are building for low-income users, smallholder farmers and MSMEs
- Solutions for women, youth and refugees account for an additional 21% of proposals
- Credit for under-banked (27%), nature-based solutions for climate resilience (20%) and crypto wallets for under-served users (16%) were the top-3 focus areas
Builders are building on 30+ chains, with:
- Polygon (41%)
- Ethereum (39%)
- Celo (29%)
- 88 (44%) are building a multi-chain solution
Up to 10 enterprises will receive up to $100,000 in grant funding to test their pilot projects. Startups will receive grant funding, mentorship, impact measurement advisory, access to partnership opportunities, knowledge exchange, and brand exposure.
In 2022, 6 pilots were launched including decentralized finance (DeFi) lending in Kenya for smallholder farmers and MSMEs and tokenized government bonds in Cameroon.
"The hype around #Web3 has often exceeded reality, with many projects and initiatives failing to make a real impact. We’ve also seen that much of the available funding has been going towards less-impactful, speculative projects rather than initiatives that address real-world… pic.twitter.com/olTqmC9wv8
— BitKE (@BitcoinKE) May 17, 2023
“Winners of this iteration of the Fund will be announced in the coming months,” MCV said.
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