The trust crisis frequently occurs in the public welfare industry. Can the blockchain become a "life-saving straw"?

Source: People's Network

Reporter: Pi Lei


In July 2016, Ant Financial cooperated with the China Social Assistance Foundation to launch a blockchain charity fundraising project "Rehearing Children with Hearing Impairment" on the Alipay Charity Donation Platform to raise funds for 10 hearing impaired children.

As of the end of June 2019, the donation data of more than 700 non-profit organizations and nearly 3,600 non-profit projects have been connected to the Ant Blockchain. The total number of donations has reached 1.1 billion and the total amount of donations exceeds 1.51 billion yuan. The “non-tamperable, traceable, and fully transparent” features guarantee the transparency and trust of public welfare.

However, the survey shows that the current "on-chain" proportion of the public welfare industry is still very low, and blockchain is still a relatively unfamiliar thing to the general public. Many people even think that the lack of credibility in the public welfare industry will not be completely solved by a brand new technology. Can the fast-growing blockchain solve the trust crisis facing the public welfare industry?

Let every donation be traced

On the morning of December 26, public welfare certificates were spread on the community and microblogs of many universities across the country. The certificate of merit records the number of charitable donations and charity projects that each person has helped in the past five years. Many netizens who received the awards marveled: "It turned out that I did so many good things when I chopped my hands!"

It is reported that all these certificates come from Alibaba's online version of the “Chocolate Party Recognition Conference”. All consumers and merchants who donate through the public welfare baby can receive their own exclusive charity certificates online. In 2019, Alibaba's "Public Welfare Baby" program has accumulated more than 9.8 billion donations throughout the year, including more than 470 million netizens participating in donations, 2.52 million merchants, and a total donation of more than 430 million yuan.

The development of Internet technology, especially the convenience brought by mobile Internet technology, has made it possible for everyone to contribute to public welfare, and public participation in public welfare and donations have become more flexible and easier to operate. In the early days, due to the trust of public welfare organizations and the enthusiasm for participating in charity, many people do n’t care much about the flow and end use of donations after the donation is completed, thinking “I am supporting public welfare, and my love and donations will definitely be Reasonable use. "

With the deepening of the public's understanding of public welfare and the ongoing crisis of trust, many netizens now not only check the progress of the project when they donate, but also track the use of donations in a timely manner, "to ensure that donations are used where they are needed ".

Thanks to the blockchain technology, problem solving becomes possible-the first landing scene of the ant blockchain technology in the public welfare field is public welfare donation.

A little boy named Hongfan was diagnosed with severe deafness at the age of 1 in Bajian Village, Fangshan Town, Heishan County, Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province. In order to treat the child, the parents gave up a few acres of land at home, went out to work to earn money, installed the child with a cochlear implant, and sent the child to a rehabilitation institution. But half a year later, family income is difficult to continue to support the child's subsequent rehabilitation costs. For the future of children, parents are both worried and worried: after interrupting learning and treatment, it will be difficult for children to integrate into society in the future.

Fortunately, a month later, in July 2016, Ant Financial cooperated with the China Social Assistance Foundation to launch the blockchain public welfare fundraising project "Hearing Impaired Children Regained New Voice" on the Alipay Love Donation Platform. Fund-raising for 10 deaf children. Soon, nearly 50,000 people raised 19,400 yuan, as the children's rehabilitation costs.

This is the first charity fundraising project supported by Ant Financial's blockchain technology. Different from previous projects, through this technology, users can clearly see that the good money flows from their Alipay account into the foundation, then enters the executing agency, and finally enters the entire process of the beneficiary's account. The good money is clear at a glance. The data shows that the fundraising time for public welfare projects using the blockchain is only half of the average project. "Trust improves the quality and speed of public welfare."

In essence, the blockchain is to reconstruct a trust mechanism by using distributed technology and consensus algorithms, and it is a "common trust" that helps "public trust".

After Ant Financial, different institutions and projects have also begun to try to introduce blockchain and explore the technical enhancement of public account ledger transparency. For example, in December 2016, the network mutual assistance platform Zhongtuobang announced the application of blockchain to public welfare scenarios; in October 2017, the Tencent Trusted Blockchain Research Institute officially launched the "public welfare tracing chain" platform; August 2018 , Aiyou Charity Foundation's blockchain rescue publicity platform is officially launched …

Blockchain greatly reduces trust costs

Studies have shown that since 2008, the commercialization of blockchain and scientific research have accelerated, and the commercial landing scenes of China's blockchain have been continuously enriched. There have been many explorations in areas such as helping the real economy, serving the people's livelihood, and digital economic innovation.

When the concept of "blockchain" was hot and ordinary people didn't know much about it, Jiang Guofei, the vice president of Ant Financial Services, gave an explanation. He said that the value of blockchain lies in solving social problems, and its technical charm lies in establishing trust and establishing synergy. "Every place where the process is complicated is a place where trust is lacking. And the blockchain after the bubble has disappeared is also returning to its core value: building trust. Its transparent and traceable, non-tamperable characteristics greatly reduce society. The cost of trust improves the efficiency of society. "

In the eyes of professionals, the emergence of technology is to solve specific social problems. At present, blockchain technology has played a huge role in the fields of justice, medical services, financial insurance and foreign trade. It can be said that many scenarios and people's livelihood services that are closely related to ordinary people have the shadow of blockchain.

Taking medical services as an example, on September 13, 2018, Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University and Ant Financial launched the nation's first electronic blockchain prescription-patients only need to open Alipay "Huashan Hospital Life Number" to see a doctor online The doctor prescribes the prescription remotely, and the patient sits at home waiting for the medicine to come. This technology can achieve accurate and non-tamperable prescriptions in hospitals, so as to solve problems such as repeating prescribing of patients who do not follow the doctor's order while holding a prescription.

In the public welfare field and the application of public welfare scenarios, the future value of the blockchain lies in that the whereabouts and uses of each donation can be traced, which may fundamentally solve the problem of trust.

During the "95 Public Welfare Week" last year, Alibaba released the "On-chain Public Welfare Plan", announced the creation of a transparent public welfare infrastructure, and announced that it was open to public welfare organizations on the platform for free. From the perspective of professionals, with the characteristics of decentralization, high transparency, and information that cannot be tampered with, blockchain technology naturally meets the needs of the public welfare field.

According to reports, this set of open platform with blockchain technology as the bottom layer can provide open and transparent systematic solutions for public welfare organizations and public welfare projects, so that funds can be chained, process certificates can be stored, information can be traced, and feedback can be touched. It can be reached by multiple parties. In the future, the system will be gradually opened to other social organizations, audit institutions and other relevant roles.

Public information shows that in the last fiscal year of 2019, the Alibaba economy has generated a total of 9.1 billion charitable donations and 440 million consumers participated in the donation. Hu Xiaoming, a partner of Alibaba and the president of Ant Financial Services, said at the conference site: "Behind each donation is the trust of the participants in the platform. It is our responsibility and mission to ensure openness and transparency, and live up to every trust. "

Compared with other donation platforms, the projects on Alibaba's public welfare platform have significant features such as variety, high complexity, and large donations. The public welfare projects settled on the Alibaba platform include fund-raising, material fund-raising, and voluntary services. There are more than 5,000 public welfare projects. In the next two to three years, Alibaba will continue to invest in exploring blockchain standardization schemes for different types of public welfare projects, and deposit them into the basic implementation specifications for various public welfare projects on the Ali public welfare platform.

All signs indicate that blockchain technology is getting more and more attention from the public welfare industry.

At the 2019 charity fundraiser conference, experts from different fields discussed the topic of blockchain and charity. Many experts have suggested that the current fund-raising problem lies in the crisis of trust caused by frequent negative events in the public welfare field, and blockchain technology can greatly change the production relations of public welfare charities in the future, and establish a close relationship between the charities , Thereby increasing the productivity of charity.

The industry also needs an acceptance process

But can blockchain really solve the long-standing trust problem in the public welfare industry? How does the public view the value of this technology in the public welfare industry?

Focusing on this topic, the Public Welfare Times has launched a survey-"Can blockchain help public welfare increase public trust?" The survey results show that currently more than half of netizens do not understand what a blockchain is; nearly 40% of netizens believe that blockchain technology cannot completely solve the problem of the flow of funds to openness and transparency. "The credibility issue will not be caused by a new technology. Completely resolved. "

Regarding the short board of "blockchain + public welfare", 42.2% of netizens thought that "information on-chain work is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and non-profit organizations need to pay a lot of energy"; 41% of netizens said "whether public welfare organizations upload and how The correct choice of application is a practical issue "; 22.9% said that users need a long acceptance process, and the blockchain technology must gradually mature.

Ant Haifu's blockchain engineer Zhu Haiwei said that the current focus of institutions and platforms is on fundraising, and the knowledge and investment in new technology is not high. "Sometimes we also see that the project is a good project and the real problem is solved, but the public participation is not enthusiastic and unsustainable. The root cause may be the issue of transparency and brand trust."

He talked:

"If more relevant departments and organizations in the public welfare industry can understand the changes that new technology may bring to public welfare, new changes may be ushered in." Perfecting public welfare supervision and feedback processes may better stimulate everyone's participation. Social atmosphere. "

Zhu Haiwei told reporters that, as far as he knows, many non-profit organizations are currently trying to “chain up”. However, some non-profit organizations have also taken into account the cost of "on-chain" and have some concerns, such as the relatively low level of institutional informatization or weak technical skills of personnel. "A popular word 20 days ago was 'online', and a popular word today is 'on the chain'. I think the most important thing is the issue of ideas. The idea has changed the organization's natural motivation to do it, and the platform will provide corresponding technical support. . "

However, judging from the current domestic public welfare organizations, the total number of projects and the number of institutions that have been “on the chain”, the popularity of blockchain technology in the public welfare industry still has a long way to go, but many people are still full of this. look forward to.

Jiang Guofei believes that the essence of blockchain is to build a trust mechanism, so future applications will also be pan-industry. Where data and value need to be transferred, where the efficiency is relatively low and the process is particularly long, its development speed is particularly fast.

He talked:

"We are fast entering the era of the digital economy. In such an era, the blockchain will build the infrastructure of the trust mechanism and provide a very good foundation for online asset circulation and transactions. In the future, the blockchain will change people like mobile payments. Production and life become the infrastructure of the digital economy; the blockchain will be like hydropower, coal, and full of productivity, means of production and production relations. "

Some time ago, some netizens broke the news that a well-known public welfare project was suspected of improving the use of funds without permission, which caused the public to pay close attention. Related public opinion and media reports once again impacted the public's trust in the public welfare industry. In fact, frequent “trust crises” in the public welfare industry have brought tremendous pressure on the credibility and brand building of public welfare organizations and the entire industry, and have put forward higher requirements for industry transparency and standardized operations.

Using technology to solve the trust problem facing the development of the industry has gradually become a solution, especially the advent of blockchain technology has given people hope. As early as July 2016, Ant Financial announced an attempt to apply blockchain to public welfare scenarios. Since then, it has officially announced that its Alipay love donation platform fully introduces blockchain technology and is open to public welfare institutions.