Impact Market

DAO Members Interviewed:

  1. Marco, Co-Founder
  2. Bernardo, Co-Founder
  3. Jessica, COO

Interviewer(s): Yvonne, Harsha and Deepa

What is Impact Market

Impact Market is a poverty alleviation protocol governed by a DAO distributing unconditional basic income in cryptocurrency (stablecoin cUSD) directly to people living in extreme poverty. Impact Market uses smart contracts (self-executing computer programs with contract rules written into lines of code) to distribute unconditional basic income (UBI). Funds are deposited directly into the wallets on the phones of people that are hard to access in places like Afghanistan, Venezuela, Congo, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Togo, Mali. Most of the countries on their list are war stricken, hyper-inflated economies where the dollar can make the most difference and have high penetration of smartphones.

“The same code works in any region. It’s beautiful. You don’t need to set up a subsidiary or a local bank account,” says Marco. “People think scalability is about the number of transactions. But a lot of people are constrained by the lack of a bank account and other logistics.” Whereas traditional fund distribution to distressed areas of the globe requires the use of costly intermediaries and on-the-ground auditors, the blockchain clears away such barriers.

Impact Market recently renamed their Poverty Alleviation Protocol to Human Empowerment to reflect their new ambitious vision of going beyond UBI to provide education through learn to earn, micro insurance and micro loans. They are also developing interesting new solutions to verifying identity and reputation of beneficiaries and have developed an inhouse crypto wallet that fits the requirements of their beneficiaries of low tech smartphones Their goal is to reach the poor without intermediaries and be 100% decentralized in their operations.

As a young organization founded in late 2020, Impact Market has had a tremendous impact. They have distributed UBI to over 40,000 people across 269 communities in 35+ countries. The UN WFP is partnering with them in many hard to reach places such as Afghanistan to get the UBI people via the phone

How Do They DAO

  • Launched as a DAO in late 2021 (a year after the protocol) with the idea of DAO and protocol controlled by the token holders. The implication is that donors can now participate in DAO governance matters. Anyone that donates to Impact Market earns a $PACT token that entitles them to governance matters of the DAO for instance which communities should Impact Market onboard next for the UBI, donors can now have a say as they are part of the organization.
  • Tokenomics to be self-sustainable with $PACT token providing both liquidity and serving as a governance token. ($PACT)
  • Collaborative decision making with the two co-founders at the helm for direction setting
  • Full time and part time contributors are paid in cUSD (Celo stablecoin) the currency used for UBI for the poor.
  • Tech stack comprises Celo blockchain, Valora crypto wallet, slack for collaboration, discord for community engagement, GitBook for documentation, Google Docs and CRM for data insights and relationships management.
  • Slow approach to decentralization. Even though Impact Market launched as DAO by introducing the $PACT token they are still on their journey to fully decentralize the organization with the goal to include all token holders in voting and governance matters.

For a deeper understanding on Impact Market and how they operate refer to the conversation with Impact Market builders

Interview with Marco, Co-Founder Impact Market