How Smashboard is the use of blockchain tech to push social innovation, sell equality, combat returned in opposition to sexual violence and provide a virtual community for women.
Blockchain is possibly the hippest element in tech nowadays. From getting used to kickstart the cryptocurrency revolution, to programs in finance, accounting, coverage, supply chain and even for natural world conservation, blockchain generation is everywhere.
The immutable assets of blockchain lends itself beautifully to tactics and operations that rely upon an actual record of activities and transactions. And that also includes factors in which traditionally society has relied on non-tech solutions.
As voices towards sexual violence and feminism advantage prominence within the u . S ., it opens a brand new opportunity for blockchain. Yes, like transaction information and records of producing, blockchain may be used to track, authenticate complaints about sexual attacks, map the regions most impacted and additionally assist in legal proceedings that quickly comply with.
That’s the goal at the back of Smashboard, one of the few blockchain structures operating in the social innovation zone in India.
Speaking to CFT, founder Noopur Tiwari stated that patriarchy and social norms have made existence extra tough for sufferers of sexual crimes. In truth, Tiwari believes that that is a democratisation of the blockchain tech, for the reason that normally girls are frequently stereotyped as being not tech-savvy.
“Technology doesn’t do some thing on its very own. But it's far something that needs to be formed for and through girls and feminists of all genders. It’s now not that women aren’t tailored to tech. It’s that tech is too dominated via male people.”
Smashboard Founder Noopur Tiwari
She brought that the small percentage of girls who input the tech enterprise are more geared closer to building a career, than making a distinction. Tiwari, who founded Idea Chakki in 2013 which changed into funded through Ratan Tata, is based totally in Paris, France however told us the corporation is looking at India gives a digital video menu for eating places and allows clients to present food and beverage experiences internationally.
Other administrators at Idea Chakki which include names like Gunjan Mehrish, Balkishan Sahni and Monica Narula also are contributing to the Smashboard assignment.
Tiwari instructed us that at the same time as the startup is registered in France, it would be incorporating separate entities in every geography it enters as this would keep the decentralised aspect of blockchain.
Social Innovation Through Blockchain?
Started in November 2019, Smashboard calls itself a feminist social media application with blockchain-driven capabilities for survivors of sexual attack and violence. Tiwari told us the idea is to carry human beings seeking to combat rape subculture and sexual violence collectively and to create a space wherein the ones looking for and those in a role to offer assist can come together.
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Smashboard facilitates restore one of the most acute pain points in the aftermath of sexual assault crimes. Not being capable of formally report instances of assault because of embarrassment and ambiguity about the manner are the foremost reasons why sexual attack victims refrain from coming forward to raise their voices.
Smashboard — aimed at humans of all genders fighting in opposition to patriarchy, gives a dashboard to users with diverse functionalities. Users are given access to intellectual fitness experts, lawyers and reporters who can be reached in case of emergencies or observe-ups. The utility claims to keep the user identity pseudo-anonymous and also affords them with an encrypted non-public area to record time-stamped evidence.
Tiwari informed CFT, “We are providing the aid we felt we didn’t have. Being able to use pseudo-anonymity in preference to come to be martyrs and divulge ourselves for the voyeuristic pleasure of individuals who don’t certainly care is one factor we make possible.”
She brought that Smashboard is likewise making it less complicated to get admission to and collate alternatives for felony counseling, recommendation from a network, intellectual fitness care, coverage tailored for ladies and those of non-normative genders. “Survivors are exhausted and we don’t need all people to be isolated due to the fact systemic violence cannot be fought by individuals on my own. We all should pitch in. So we are constructing a digital area that has both social and tech features.”
Given this intention, Tiwari stated the usage of blockchain appeared like a natural choice. “We saw blockchain as a terrific opportunity to different methods of report-maintaining, specially considering that our implementation is heavily geared in the direction of zero-information proof.”
Smashboard Blends Feminism With Blockchain
Tiwari added that Smashboard wanted a way to undoubtedly link anonymised artefacts and files to the right person at any factor, regardless of whether they have got chosen to lift their pseudo-anonymity or now not. And blockchain supplied a manner for the crew to try this.
The organisation is using the general public blockchain to begin with, and is exploring private permissionless chain for a few precise use-cases relying on how large this gets and the way soon it's going to need to scale up. “But that we are able to’t recognize in the mean time. Our developer is doing his high-quality to maintain the tech and the feminist aspects tied in collectively.”
Being a former journalist, Tiwari stated that even as blockchain is being touted as a perfect platform to tackle faux information, a whole lot of faux information dissemination happens thru closed networks with the aid of members who are extra than willing to spread such statistics, no matter knowing the news is faux. She introduced that at the same time as blockchain has its blessings, the industry needs to look the actual ability of the generation for social innovation, before it will become a feasible device for social effect.
The #MeToo motion in India may not have had the same sizeable impact on enterprise and society as it has completed in Western international locations, however it has tested that there are masses of organisations, startups and those inclined to paintings and combat for survivors. Smashboard attempts to head a step beyond and also desires to create a digital community each at the worldwide and hyperlocal degrees to cope with more acute problems that the movement delivered to mild.
She further brought “Of path, blockchain will not forestall a few human beings from claiming that allegations are made up or fake. Smashboard fills gaps that as survivors and feminists combating patriarchal violence are needed.”
It’s no longer a magic wand but it has a large ability to grow to be an extremely empowering and empathic area.
Creating An Online Safe Space
On commercial enterprise version and investment, Tiwari says that Smashboard isn't just a blockchain startup with the social issue of the app being its actual energy. The startup’s cutting-edge business model is freemium, providing a simple carrier for free and with expert services, reachable via payments or subscriptions. It additionally offers access to one-of-a-kind content material and news tales from around the sector, highlighting the struggle that women throughout are combating.
Tiwari stated that they will be releasing primary functions inside the first version with extra features and languages regularly. Smashboard plans to release in Europe a few months down the line, she delivered.
Smashboard is presently funded with the aid of friends and own family however is actively looking at seed funding. Tiwari instructed CFT, “We wanted to visit buyers and funders with a most treasured participant proposition, a solid marketing strategy and also be able to expose that people need this. We have achieved that now.”
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As a non-profit startup, Smashboard aims to generate sales in the destiny to place lower back in the commercial enterprise and grow its presence, Tiwari instructed us. The crew is running on various fashions to acquire that purpose but the implementation will take time. “The reason of setting up the application will no longer be dissolved because of the revenue approach,” Tiwari brought. She stated that greater than 50% of the services will remain unfastened whilst the relaxation would be to be had on a fee in due path of time to draw high-quality steering specialists. She brought that to offset the fee of prison and other services in the future, a number of specialists might nominate pro-bono time with survivors who cannot manage to pay for to pay for the offerings.
Being a social media platform, the two most outstanding factors that come into play is the growing penetration of mobile phones and the internet, but Tiwari is asking at the addressable base of ladies cellphone customers, in an effort to be the startup’s center audience.
“The number of month-to-month active social media users is predicted to attain around three billion by means of 2021, that is around a 3rd of the sector’s entire population. Social media platforms are in large call for as they connect human beings on the basis of shared interests—making all types of work and exchange less difficult. Smartphone customers–162.Seventy two Mn girls use them in India. And if 1 in three lady faces sexual violence, we would really like to endorse the app to these kind of human beings.”