Hybrid smart contracts combine an agreement codified on a blockchain with reliable, tamper-proof data proving off-chain events. With a growing array of use cases across decentralized finance (DeFi), insurance, sports, transportation and gaming, it’s impossible to talk about hybrid smart contracts without talking about their social impact.
Hybrid smart contracts fundamentally change the way people and entities form agreements. By removing middlemen, providing unparalleled transparency and executing based on math instead of human agenda, hybrid smart contracts are engineered to create a more efficient and economically fair world.
The Chainlink Community Grant Program was established to support researchers and developers accelerating Chainlink’s role in enabling more advanced use cases for hybrid smart contracts. Some of the most powerful use cases are seen in emerging economies, where decentralized insurance and financial products allow anyone with an internet connection to manage and protect their assets without relying on centralized governments and institutions.
As the leading decentralized oracle network, Chainlink has become notable for funding social impact projects such as Etherisc, which was awarded a Chainlink grant to build affordable blockchain-based parametric crop insurance that helps Kenyan farmers protect themselves from the effects of climate change. Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently praised Etherisc’s use of Chainlink oracles on the Lex Fridman podcast.
In February, the Chainlink Community Grant Program expanded its focus on projects creating positive social impact through hybrid smart contracts. The Spring 2021 Chainlink Virtual Hackathon awarded a $5,000 Social Impact Prize in partnership with the UNESCO Global Education Coalition to the Smart Scholarship for Social Impact project, which uses Chainlink External Adapters to reward academic performance based on verifiable off-chain data.
In May, Chainlink awarded a social impact grant to UNICEF’s Innovation Fund and CryptoFund, which support blockchain projects developing open-source solutions for the most serious issues facing children around the world. The grant will also fund a new cohort of seven startups developing decentralized financial instruments for the world’s large “unbanked” population.
Today, Chainlink announced it will expand social impact rewards through the Chainlink Community Grant Program to incentivize more hybrid smart contract applications that not only improve the lives of individuals and communities but protect the health of the entire planet.
“Beyond deploying significant resources to those advancing the Chainlink Network, the Chainlink Grants Program supports novel implementations, use cases, and new data sets for hybrid smart contracts that create meaningful social impact and unlock financial, insurance, and other products for people and regions where they typically weren’t available,” said Brett Brody, Grant Program Manager at Chainlink Labs.
Green World Campaign, whose hybrid smart contract application uses satellite data to reward regenerative agriculture, is one example of a project that received a Chainlink grant for its work on fighting the effects of climate change.
More advanced hybrid smart contracts will require infrastructure such as satellites, drones and IoT devices that can measure important environmental markers such as carbon and water levels. Chainlink social impact grants will also fund new, high-quality datasets necessary for regenerative agriculture incentives and other novel use cases.
Said Brody, “We’re excited to scale the social impact grant program, significantly increasing the number of nonprofits, communities, and projects we support in order to create a more sustainable and economically fair world.”