The blockchain is helping clean up the oceans. That’s thanks to the efforts of Plastic Bank, a non-profit that pays people in developing countries for handing over recyclable plastic using a cryptocurrency-like token system. The team has already been operating in Haiti for the past three years, and now tells Inverse they’re planning on expanding the concept to other countries.

“When we began the programming in Haiti, we knew that we needed to create financial inclusion, we knew that we needed to create a sense of security,” David Katz, CEO and co-founder of Plastic Bank, tells Inverse. “If you were to visit Haiti, you would more fully understand why it’s so critically important.”

The idea sounds like a gimmick at first, but using the blockchain has tangible benefits relative to more conventional compensation like cash. While the hype may have cooled off around Bitcoin since dropping from a high of roughly $20,000 per coin to just above $6,500 at the time of writing, developers are still finding new applications for the technology. Katz explained the blockchain is transparent, offers high security, and reduces many of the risks associated with handling cash. It also helps smooth out price fluctuations, creating a more sustainable economy. Continue reading


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