UNICEF to bring internet access to developing world with NFT fundraising initiative

UNICEF and Giga announced Patchwork Kingdom NFTs to raise funds to provide internet access to schools in developing nations.
September 26, 2022 - Cynthia Chung

The ubiquity of internet access is frequently taken for granted in the developed world. While almost 2.9 billion people in developing nations and their local school children continue to suffer from lack of internet access. 

To resolve this, UNICEF partnered with the International Telecommunication Union to create ‘Giga,’ to raise funds using NFTs. 

At the Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam,Giga's blockchain product manager Gerben Kijne described the progress his company has made in bringing internet access to schools.

Through Project Connect, mapping of schools and their connectivity was the initial stage in this process. Giga utilizes machine learning to search satellite pictures and locate schools using an open-source map. Over 1.1 million schools have been located in 49 different countries, with connectivity data available for a third of them.

After identifying the significant need for schools to gain internet access, the next phase in the process was developing an innovative fundraising drive that delved into the realm of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. 

Giga then created an NFT collection titled ‍Patchwork Kingdoms, in collaboration with Dutch artist Nadieh Bremer used data from machine learning to create the 1,000 NFTs. 

The NFT collection subsequently raised $700,000 to improve internet access in classrooms all across the world. When it first went on sale in March 2022, it sold out in three hours and brought in US$ 550,000 for the company. Since then, it has accumulated US$150,000 in secondary royalties, boosted by an unprecedented 20 percent creator's fee.

Bremer mentioned during the launch ‘The live maps from Giga guided my artwork, using its data to create 1,000 tiny fantasy art pieces while subtly trying to convey the importance of the project; there are still many schools not connected to the Internet, and many children excluded.’



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