“Blockchain for Social Good”, the European Union awards WordProof
“Blockchain for Social Good”, the European Union awards WordProof
Blockchain

“Blockchain for Social Good”, the European Union awards WordProof

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 1 Jul 2020

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The Dutch startup WordProof received 1 million euros as a prize in the “Blockchain for Social Good” competition, directly from the European Commission.

The aim of this challenge was to develop blockchain-based projects that will have a significant impact on social change.

WordProof won the award by presenting the best project in terms of content quality. The European Commission was particularly impressed by the Timestamp Ecosystem, a plugin for the WordPress CMS. 

WordProof’s technology renders the information authentic and verifiable. The aim is to guarantee the authenticity and truthfulness of the news. Moreover, the Timestamp allows users to verify changes. 

The endorsement from the European Union will add new value to the project. The founder of WordProof, Sebastiaan van der Lans, is convinced of this:

“With the recognition and financial support from Europe, we can roll out the Timestamp Ecosystem at a higher pace and make WordProof grow even faster as a company. This will enable Europe to define the standard for a reliable Internet for consumers and organisations”.

This is a major success for the company, only one year after its foundation. Now WordProof intends to move forward with the project, becoming even more ambitious. 

In fact, the plugin has a use case already, that of DPG Media (a Dutch publishing house) which used the Timestamp for the contents of its Indebuurt website.

As its founder explains:

“We expect search engines and social media platforms to recognize that DPG claimed ownership of its articles through timestamps. Visitors searching the web can see DPG-publications at the top of search results and not another platform that happens to be larger than the local website”.

It seems that search engines reward the proof of the authenticity of content, fully reflecting WordProof’s vision: to fight fake news and restore credibility to the Internet

The Timestamp Ecosystem is part of this project. 

WordProof, after having received financial support from Block.one, the company behind the EOS blockchain, can now continue its mission with even more enthusiasm.

Not only WordProof: who won the Blockchain for Social Good award

The competition of the European Union has seen 176 contenders from 43 countries, including 19 from outside Europe. There were 5 million euros up for grabs, 1 million for each of the five categories of the competition.

After an initial screening, only 23 projects were invited to the final audition before a jury of experts. 

Ultimately, six projects won the prize instead of the original five, as there was an ex-aequo.

This is the list of winners:

  • Content quality: WordProof with the Timestamp Ecosystem project.
  • Traceability and Fair Trade: PPP with the Proof Points project, which allows companies to prove the social impact of their supply chain.
  • Financial inclusion: GMeRitS, a university project that is experimenting with alternative economic structures that can contribute to financial inclusion. 
  • Aid and philanthropy: OXBBU, a Franco-Irish project developing a decentralized model to bring international aid to troubled areas.
  • Decentralized circular economy: CKH2020, French platform that resolves e-commerce disputes
  • Energy: Prosume, a DLT platform which is a digital marketplace for exchanging energy. 

Blockchain for growth

For the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Maria Gabriel, the competing projects demonstrate how much good the blockchain can accomplish:

“I warmly congratulate all the winners. The proposed solutions show how blockchain can create positive social change by supporting fair trade, increasing transparency in production processes and e-commerce and contributing to financial inclusion by exploring decentralised economic structures. I hope that this award can help upscale these outstanding ideas and inspire many others innovators”.

The concept was also reiterated by Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton:

“Participation from 43 countries in the Prize on Blockchains for Social Good has shown us the potential to address local and global challenges with blockchain technology that offers decentralised, trusted and transparent solutions. Europe has to fully recognise and support European technological innovations to address both industrial and sustainability challenges”.

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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