Ripple, a San Francisco-based enterprise blockchain solutions provider, has announced a $100 million initiative aimed at supporting education and financial inclusion.
The initiative, Ripple for Good, will support mission-driven organizations and projects with the potential to expand financial inclusion worldwide, with a focus on STEM, fintech education, and financial literacy as key drivers of an inclusive global digital economy. To that end, the company will commit an initial $25 million to the effort, which is in addition to the more than $80 million in investments it has made so far this year. That includes $50 million to launch the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), which is focused on supporting academic research, innovation, and technical development in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments and encouraging broader understanding and adoption of the blockchain in business and finance, computer science, law and policy, and other fields.
Among other things, Ripple for Good will focus on supporting applications and real-world use cases with the potential for scalable social impact and will collaborate with RippleWorks, a nonprofit co-founded by Ripple co-founder and executive chair Chris Larsen and Doug Galen that supports social ventures in financial inclusion and education.
"We think remittances and micro-transactions can be faster, cheaper, and more secure," wrote Ken Weber, head of social impact for Ripple, in a blog post. "Microloans and financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises — especially those led by women — can be more accessible and affordable. More robust financial services for the poor can be offered seamlessly across borders, currencies, and banking systems. The global flow of information and capital for social and environmental good can be streamlined."
"We have to stop being self-righteous disruptors and instead focus on building things that solve real world problems," said Larsen. "If we focus the blockchain movement on that, over two billion underbanked people can become full economic citizens."
"When we reflected on the unique role Ripple could play from a social impact standpoint, we kept landing on the idea that the benefits of these new technologies should reach as many people as possible," said Weber in a statement. "If we are truly committed to transformative global change, we will work to help ensure that innovations in banking and global payments are available everywhere to everyone, among unbanked and underbanked populations and in economies and economic sectors that serve the greater good."