Blockchain and Philanthropy - “But you dunno mask go where leh?”

March 31, 2020 · Steven Mak homepage screenshot

Covid-19 and Surgical Masks

A few days ago, I found out that a close acquaintance of mine was supplying surgical masks to our local banking and hospitality business. The shortage of surgical masks due to Covid-19 infections has been a great concern, and it got me thinking that I should bulk purchase some of these masks to aid those who were in need of it.

While googling on where might require my help, I came across an article on two Singaporeans who have created a social program to enable those with spare masks to donate them.

Lifting from their website: “Your contribution will help those in the Voluntary Welfare Organisation, Non-Governmental Organization, medical institutions. Not forgetting, who are in the frontline (healthcare or other service staff, taxi/PHV drivers), and other sectors of the society who are in need, such as home bound patients, lower-income families.”

When I texted this site to a friend of mine, she replied, “but you dunno mask go where leh?”. Loosely translated to proper English: “but you won't know where the mask will be distributed to”. It was a Trust issue.

While a surgical facemask may not be a concern for most people, I do understand her concern. What if your donation amounted to large sums of money, or when you see an appeal of help on social websites, how would you really know where/who your donation will end up.

Blockchain and Philanthropy

Blockchain technology can improve the transparency and trustworthiness of philanthropy causes. Smart contracts put in place can activate when individual conditions are met including charitable organisation meeting performance goals.

I read that researchers at Stanford University have been compiling a Master List of Blockchain for Social Good Projects (there’s 240 entries as of this blog).

I won't be surprised that a blockchain application will be developed for our local philanthropy efforts, perhaps even using my company’s software.

But I digress.

In the meantime, I have decided to contribute to the program.

I trust the founders and their volunteers. My thanks to their good intentions and my sincere appreciation for their efforts. If you are interested, please join me and contribute to the program:


What’s currently playing on my Spotify:
Tomorrow (A better you, a better me) - Tevin Campbell / Quincy Jones