A startup in South Africa is turning to blockchain technology to help solve the youth unemployment problem in the country.
South Africa is a beautiful country filled with lush landscapes, picturesque coastlines and an abundance of wildlife. However, it is also a land battling high crime statistics, government-level corruption, and rising unemployment rates.
Using Blockchain to Foster Employment
In fact, according to Business Insider, the youth unemployment rate in the country is sitting at just over 50%. There is a range of reasons for this, one of them being that old employment conundrum – applying for your first job to gain experience only to be told that you can’t be hired due to a lack of said experience. Zlto hopes to change this with the help of blockchain technology.
The South African-based startup wants to encourage the youth to perform community services to hopefully show potential employers that these job seekers are ready and capable to do any task set before them. Users of the platform will take before and after pictures of whatever project they’re working on, be it cleaning up an environmental space or even painting a building.
The youth are then rewarded in Zlto’s native currency which can actually be used practically in the country. This is because the platform is collaborating with a range of partners including Shoprite, Africa’s largest food retailer, and Mr. Price, a popular and affordable retail group selling clothing and homeware.
In addition to spending their zlto at these stores, the deeds of these volunteers will be recorded on the blockchain allowing prospective employers to view their successful projects. According to the platform:
It’s been nearly 2 years since Zlto went mobile and in that time we’ve seen over 25,000 young people register, becoming intentional about impacting their communities and being the change they wish to see in the communities.
Plans to Grow
However, the platform isn’t just making a name for themselves locally. Zlto was a recipient of $250,000 courtesy of Google’s Impact Challenge. The tech giant aims to use this initiative to invest in platforms that use technology to make a difference in society.
While currently just operating in Cape Town, Zlto plans to use the funds to expand to the rest of the country.
While Bitcoin and the like are, of course, battling price woes, it’s heartwarming to see that virtual currencies and blockchain technology are really impacting and changing the lives of the people out there who, arguably, need it the most.
Do you think that disruptive technology could be the missing link when it comes to increasing employment rates in developing countries? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Pixabay.