Blockchain technology can be leveraged for social impact projects bringing verifiable trust, transparency and external auditability. To promote such projects, Netta Korin, Orbs co-founder and Head of Hexa Foundation is one of 6 Israeli business executives attending the Economic Peace Conference.
The first stage of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan was launched Tuesday at a conference in Bahrain. Billed “Peace to Prosperity”, the conference is focused on economic initiatives. Under the plan, donor nations and investors would contribute about $50 billion over 10 years, with $28 billion going to the Palestinians for infrastructure and business projects.
While no officials from Israel or Palestine attended, a small delegation of six business leaders from Israel was invited by the US administration. Netta Korin stood out in the delegation as the only woman, but also because of her work: Korin is the co-founder of Orbs and heads our social-impact arm Hexa foundation. The Hexa Foundation is a not-for-profit organization focused on using blockchain to create social impact. At Hexa, we work on education initiatives and blockchain projects for social-good built on the Orbs blockchain.
Netta has a unique background that helps combine the policy, philanthropy, investment, and technology worlds together in a strategic manner. Netta comes to the Foundation following years of experience in business, government and non-profit industries. Most recently, Netta worked as a Senior Advisor in the Israeli Ministry of Defense to General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, Head of CoGAT, and has an in-depth knowledge of the socioeconomic problems in the Gaza Strip. Prior to that position, Netta worked as a Senior Advisor to Deputy Minister Dr. Michael Oren in the Prime Minister’s Office in Israel, focusing on Palestinian issues. Netta began her career on Wall Street in 1994 as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers. She later moved on to found her own hedge fund in 2002, at the time being the youngest woman on Wall Street to found a hedge-fund. Netta retired from Wall Street in 2009, and dedicated her time to philanthropic efforts, including serving as chair of IMPACT!, one of the largest scholarship programs in Israel and which has helped produce over 7,000 graduates and 4,000 students from low-income families.
As part of the Israeli business delegation to the Bahrain conference, Netta was invited to show the immense potential of blockchain technology has to solve some of the problems governments are facing in an efficient and transparent matter. Some of the projects the Hexa Foundation is working on include identification for refugees, credentials wallets, using blockchain to track aid funds and fund traceability for employment in politically unstable areas of the world. The proposed investment for the region by the Americans is sizable and requires the accountability which blockchain technology can help provide. One message that was very clear from the conference Netta said, is that there has been a paradigm shift in how the US and their international partners view economic assistance to the Palestinian people. Where the default used to be donations, the future will now be based on investments. To get the most value out of these investments, the solutions that are being sought after will be innovative and game-changing.
Now, no-one thinks blockchain technology can solve the conflict and bring peace to the Middle East. Still, it can be leveraged to alleviate some of the unique logistic hurdles governments and NGOs face. And blockchain might be the right innovation to solve some of the logistical problems hampering humanitarian and economic aid distribution in the Palestinian territories. While several years ago this concept would be novel for world and business leaders, Netta says that in every meeting she held in Bahrain, blockchain was a familiar subject and the idea of incorporating the technology to assist in project and funding efforts was a welcomed concept.
Specifically, Orbs as blockchain infrastructure is uniquely suited to working with governmental projects, as it was built from the ground up as a public blockchain for enterprise use.
The Orbs team is unbelievably proud of Netta, who sees how blockchain technology will play a major role in the region going forward and is designing projects that solve real problems on the ground. With the support of the entire Orbs team, Netta has been working with the different governments, local and international organizations for the past year on several projects, to that end, that are currently in stealth mode: "Blockchain is considered a disruptive technology. I came to the Americans with these solutions after realizing that for such projects to have a true impact, technology must work with governments, not just disrupt."
Orbs is a public blockchain infrastructure designed for businesses looking at trust as a competitive strategy. With blockchains as the new standard for impartial third-party source of verification, solutions can give strong guarantees that will make them more attractive to their users and ecosystem partners. To accommodate business needs, Orbs is pioneering a hybrid consensus architecture, keeping businesses in control of costs, governance and guaranteed performance, while still capturing the disruption of a truly decentralized Proof-of-Stake ecosystem with a permissionless validator pool. Founded in 2017, Orbs is being developed by a dedicated team of more than 60 people out of its offices in Tel Aviv, Israel; San Francisco, California, Singapore and Seoul, South Korea. Orbs was named Gartner's “Cool Vendor in Blockchain Technology” for 2018.