“Taking” Economy vs “Giving” Economy
If you’ve been in the blockchain and crypto space for a while, you must be familiar with the “taking” (sorry token) economy. Granted, Satoshi and Vitalik, founders of the two top cryptos, have/had noble intentions, particularly that of decentralization, which seeks to close the gap between the haves and have-nots. Unfortunately, with the hype and speculation, and everyone concerned only with becoming the next ‘Bitillionaire’, it’s easy to lose focus on the most important denominator: the underprivileged. Steering back this focus to a worthy cause is what Connie Gallippi is doing with her BitGive foundation.
Connie Gallippi – the Social and Environmental Justice Advocate
For over 14 years, Connie had worked with several environmental organizations in California, USA. She has spent a large part of her life offering these organizations her specialized skills in consulting, project management, policy and advocacy, fundraising and strategy development.
After attending a San Francisco Bitcoin conference in mid-2013, Connie began a new adventure on leveraging blockchain technology to achieve true decentralization by empowering the underprivileged and underrepresented. This led to the establishment of the first Bitcoin 501(c)(3) nonprofit, BitGive.
Decentralized Giving on the Blockchain
Never before has a new technology gotten so much attention from corporate, governments and individuals alike. As most of this attention is being taken away by the volatility of the crypto-market, the actual real world use cases, such as BitGive, stand out as one focused on giving back to the community.
Founded by Connie Gallippi, the BitGive foundation is a nonprofit “vastly improving philanthropic impact with blockchain technology.” As Executive Director of the foundation, she acts as a spokesperson for promoting the social value of Bitcoin and mainstreaming female participation in the space.
Bitcoin Brings Clean, Safe Water to Sub Saharan Africa
About a year after BitGive’s launch, Connie launched a campaign seeking to raise $10,000 in Bitcoin for a water well project in Kenya. The crypto community’s response was beyond expectations, as over $11,000 in bitcoin was raised for the water well project located in the western region of Kakamega, Kenya.
The water well in Kenya was set up in partnership with The Water Project that aims to bring clean and safe water to Sub Saharan Africa. The partnership came about after Peter Chasse, founder of The Water Project, announced they would now be accepting cryptocurrencies. First set of people to benefit were the Shisango Girls School and the more than 500 people in that locality.
In March, 2015, in recognition of her achievements through BitGive, and in celebration of World Water Day, Bitcoin Magazine asked Connie to share her experience building a water well in Kenya, in her own words.
BitGive – Doing A World of Good
Although the water well in Kenya happens to be BitGive’s most prominent project, the foundation has been involved in several other charity activities. Its first project, after set up, was leading the first Bitcoin Black Friday charity drive, which raised funds for “Save the Children” from the Philippines’ typhoon disaster.
Notable charity activities include campaigns to raise funds for tornado relief for US midwestern states; for stopping the spread of the ebola virus; and supporting TECHO in building homes in the favelas of Brazil. A more recent project is Medic Mobile, a platform that uses mobile technology to provide support to health-care workers stationed in remote communities of developing countries.
The Decentralization Movement Continues
As an advocate of true decentralization, by promoting the social side of Bitcoin and blockchain, Connie aims to keep utilizing Cryptos in a way that does a world of good. Alongside her Bitcoin nonprofit, BitGive, Connie still functions as a Board Member for California Urban Forests Council and also volunteers for several other social and environmental organizations.
One way to measure the success of a new technology is to check its impact on the community through real life use cases. It’s good to see organizations like BitGive, founded by Connie Gallippi, continue impacting lives through philanthropy.
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