My name is Nazri and Blockchain saved my life!

A true story of 21st Century success, developing in Africa right now.

Easter 2023 2023

You may have heard a lot about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, most of it bad; scams, gambling and the dark web – some of that is true.

But have you heard about charities, hospitals and businesses using blockchain and crypto for improving the lives of the extreme poor?

Nasri (above) is a young boy whose parents presented him to a hospital in Africa late last year, his clothes had caught fire whilst his mother was cooking – an all-too-common occurrence.

His pain was unbearable, his parents were distraught, his life was in the balance, and nobody would pay for his surgical treatment.

Nasri is 1 of 5Billion of the worlds 8Billion who do not have access to surgical treatment when needed. Global Surgery Lancet Commission 2015

Nasri lives in a country that in the last ten years has seen a similar take-up of mobile phones to wealthier countries but still has 40 times less doctors per capita than Australia. world bank 2023

What that means, is a parent now knows there could be help, but still may not seek it. Why? Well, it’s a 12-hour ride in pain to the nearest surgeon, at a bus ticket cost most can’t afford, with no guarantee anything will be done, unless you have the money or are lucky.

As you will hear Nasri was Blockchain lucky.

Before a Blockchain system, Nasri may have had three options.

  •  Die
  • Live an agonizing life with his skin contracting and his economic value negative or
  • Charity sometimes slow, expensive and ineffectual.

Graphic 1: showing the unconnected poverty systems of the past.

With Blockchain systems, it’s early days and never will they be a ‘miracle cure’ by themselves – but WOW they are enhancing supply chains, donor inputs and medical output systems. And it’s not just medical poverty, Blockchain is at the forefront of new solutions in refugee war zones, famine areas and the homeless.

Specifically, blockchain systems are bringing trust, efficiency, and cost savings into the world of philanthropy, through a proof of care computer code, which in turn is bringing more surgeries to the unbanked, the unheard and the unhelped, like Nasri.

Graphic 2: showing a proof of care blockchain system.

A crash course in Blockchain?

‘Imagine a giant digital notebook that cannot be changed, lost or destroyed. You just keep adding new information blocks along an unbreakable chain of digital code –that is block+chain.

This code is a digital ledger (think double entry accounting) that records transactions and stores data across a network of computers.

Instead of having one central authority like a bank or government or business in control, the transactions are transparent, verified and recorded by the network of independent stakeholders. Think less potential for institutional corruption as its decentralised!

The technology uses complex algorithms to ensure the security and privacy of the data stored on the blockchain. Mobile phones can now facilitate this into many remote areas.

Payments can be cryptocurrency, which is a digital currency that uses blockchain technology, operating independently of traditional banks.

Smart contracts are self-executing computer programs that automatically enforce the rules and terms of an agreement when certain conditions are met.paraphrased ChatGPT 2023 but mostly author

Now you’re a blockchain expert lets continue the fight for Nasri’s life.

Why hasn’t the issue of surgical child poverty been solved – after all, polio has been vaccinated out of existence and life spans in some African countries have increased 50% in 50 years. world bank 2023

Why? Because surgery is a difficult transaction – it involves many players, many intermediaries and sometimes many more who feel they are stakeholders, even when no direct involvement. graphic 1

In emerging countries these players do not have access to the institutions and markets of trust available in wealthier countries (such as legal, banking, health, education), nor the economic levers we take for granted to manage difficult multi-person transactions.

Unfortunately, better outcomes via improved legal, banking, health systems cannot suddenly occur just because more money alone is being “thrown at” an area of need – Aboriginal healthcare and some foreign aid has proven this time and time again. There must be more.

This is where Blockchain can shine and why it’s a gamechanger for so many, not just donors, it’s just as much a gamechanger for those who can benefit, the young and poor.

Blockchain has been specifically designed to deal with a lack of trust amongst dissimilar players involved in the same transaction, by turning the wheels with incentives and penalties, that work within tight, immutable, and pre-set parameters.

20th Century top-down government aid and charity money dumps with no clear target and no effective policing were open to inefficiencies (cost) and misunderstandings through culture, language and training differences. These directionless, open to fraud databases and policies helped those in need, like a leaky boat.

On the other side, 21st Century blockchain can (if done well) deliver on a poverty target in such a manner, that once it has been launched (through those smart contracts), it cannot be stopped until the outcome stated has been achieved.

Well directed blockchain systems now target and help like a missile for good!

With Blockchain you don’t need to wait. Donors with good intentions can begin helping, making a verifiable difference on the spot – NOW. Guaranteed! 

Find – Fund – Fix – Follow Up – Finish! Exactly as it happened for Nasri – he was found, funded, and fixed via a blockchain boosted health, community and donor system. Great job Blockchain!

Blockchain brought together three key disparate flows of effort and resource and connected into one.

  • Philanthropy
  • Medical
  • Community

Blockchain (when done well) means resources are being allocated to outcomes not proposals – a huge difference.

Blockchain delivered for Nasri on Results not Promises.

Five years ago, Nasri had a lot lower chance of survival. Is that his family’s or you as a donor’s fault? Why don’t they help themselves?

Five years ago, if a donation was given – how did you follow it up, how did you even hear it was needed in the first place. How do you know it was real, the doctor was qualified, the medicines weren’t fake. How did you know the money got there and if it did, how happy was the donor that 50% of the donation was already gone in indirect costs before some pre surgery tests were started?

The supply chain for a child in surgical need was completely fucked.

Children in emerging countries have traditionally been poorly treated by economics – demand and supply and price doesn’t function when there is no supply. Incentives are only incentives when they incentivize, meaning large grants to large organisations don’t incentivize at the grass roots, if nothing gets there.

A poor family cannot work their way out of poverty when there is no access to capital via nonexistent banking systems, no legal systems ensuring fair payments and no education on how to use limited resources more efficiently.

When transaction costs at a bank are 4 times greater for the poor than the rich. When a simple accident with a 2-week turnaround and back to work in Australia is a lifetime of disease and lower income in Africa. When anything good is still being exported for little return, then economics is not working for the poor. How can things change?

Blockchain is how. The economic and donor supply chain of mistrust is now being remodeled via technology, via a blockchain of trust.

As a donor it’s human nature to want to help, but your instinct overrides when fear of paying too much or not making a difference – lack of trust – comes to the fore. Blockchain facilitates trust with you.

A blockchain can be where your money is held in escrow, so you are more trusting and donate more and the doctors are more trusting and do more, knowing they will be paid for a quality outcome.

Graphic 3:

Multiplier Effect: As the number of outcomes grow, there is more in the pool for more education, equipment, more doctors and nurses.

And the cycle upwards for Nasri + 5Billion begins and accelerates.

In a nutshell blockchain multiplies help, as it multiplies trust to philanthropy and aid and it’s doing this because blockchain & crypto are 100% traceable, trackable and transparent.

As we finish and speaking of game changers: Blockchain uses game theories more so than economic theories to encourage co-operation and working together on Nasri’s behalf; meaning if you’re not the solution, you’re the problem and Blockchain immutably only rewards for Nasri’s pre-agreed solutions and penalizes for any malicious problems.

What to do and who to pay are made before, not after the event. Therefore, post outcome debate, syphoning and delays are replaced by those automatic smart contracts, speeding up and improving Nasri’s chance of survival, as now all parties trust what will happen.

There has to be a surgery, it has to be successful and there has to be a payment to certain players – or else it doesn’t happen.

This is what Blockchain is doing: bringing consistency, bringing certainty, trust and bringing better outcomes for the poor.

Blockchain may be all things bad to some – but to many like Nasri, a blockchain is all things good. A game changer that was needed. 2022 at operation time

A smile from Nasri yesterday at outpatients April 2023

“Thank you Blockchain you saved my life; you and a healthy dose of donor generosity from Jeremy and Jacqui and some great skills from local surgeon Dr Elibariki and others at Selian Hospital!” Nasri


Global Surgery Lancet Commission 2015

World Bank 2023

ChatGPT 2023

Why Nations Fail 2012 by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson