This week, in light of the global outrage about the fires in the Amazon Rainforest, the Rainforest Foundation NGO published an open letter to the crypto community, asking for help with their charitable efforts.
While the publishing of this letter does come at a time of global outrage about deforestation in the Amazon, this is something that the Rainforest Foundation has been working on for over five years.
In May of 2014, the foundation began developing their own cryptocurrency, a PoW/PoS hybrid crypto called Bitseeds. The foundation did not consider that initial project to be successful, but they continued to explore new ways that they could incorporate this new and powerful technology with their cause.
The open letter, addressed to "cryptocurrency hodlers," the foundation explained that the new blockchain project will work with the Regen Network to reward local communities who are preserving the rainforest. The letter reads:
"Today, we are developing a blockchain transparency pilot with Regen Network, allowing donors to track our work in the Amazon Rainforest and reward local communities who are protecting their forests with crypto. We have long been a part of the crypto team but now we need you on our team."
The foundation is calling on holders of cryptocurrency to donate to the cause, and appealing to crypto businesses to sponsor their efforts. They are also asking crypto media to spread the word.
Suzanne Pelletier, Executive Director at the Rainforest Foundation, says that the cryptocurrency community has the power to change the world in many positive ways. She said:
“Business as usual has gotten us to this point. Philanthropy as usual won’t get us out. We need innovative solutions, and no one is more innovative than cryptocurrency users.”
The project will also reportedly be developing a method to stop illegal logging and mining using smart contracts
According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, the Amazon rainforest saw an 80% reduction between 2006 and 2012. In 2018, deforestation levels rose to the highest in a decade, with a 13% increase that year alone. Researchers are expecting 2019 to be even worse.
Brazil’s part of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Jair Bolsonaro became president in January, according to a government agency that tracks deforestation. Last month, 80% more forest was lost compared to June 2018. https://t.co/b7X1VMkytF pic.twitter.com/8z7FY55FgA— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 28, 2019
According to a Yale study, cattle ranching is responsible for roughly 80% of the Amazon’s deforestation, and much of the beef that is produced in the region is eventually shipped off to Europe and North America. Gold mining and logging also contribute to a significant amount of the deforestation in the region.
Since the early days of Bitcoin, donating to charitable causes and using blockchain technology to help people in need has been a top priority for many crypto enthusiasts, despite the popular hype surrounding “lambos” and “moons.”
From building schools in Africa, to helping deliver supplies to the demonstrators in Hong Kong, blockchain technology has been a close ally of socially conscious movements and organizations for much of its existance.