‘The Big Issue’ Newspaper Launches Blockchain Platform to Promote Impact Investing

The Big Issue, a street newspaper sold by the homeless in the U.K. and other countries, is launching a blockchain-driven platform to promote impact investing, The Financial Times reports Monday, Nov. 18.

Three investment companies — UK Standard Life Aberdeen, U.S. Columbia Threadneedle, and AllianceBernstein — will join The Big Issue as founders of the platform dubbed The Big Exchange. According to the FT, it will offer 30 to 40 social and environmental impact funds, and is set to start working within six months.

The potential investors will be charged a minor fee to use The Big Exchange. Once registered to the platform, they will be able to choose between several sets of proposals awarded a gold, silver, or bronze score based on their correlation with the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.

The minimum investment is expected to be $640, but Nigel Kershaw, chairman of The Big Exchange, is planning to reduce it down to £2.50 ($3.20) — the same price as The Big Issue.

As per the FT, the platform has already raised about $1.3 million from three of its founders and London-based fintech company FNZ. In the following five years, The Big Exchange expects to attract as much as $3.8 million.

Blockchain is widely used for social needs, especially in the field of charity. As Cointelegraph previously explained, crypto-related technologies, and in particular blockchain, could help increase transparency for donations and international transactions, reducing the fees on money transfers at the same time.

For instance, major crypto exchange Binance has recently managed to raise $1.41 million in various types of ERC20 tokens for those who suffered from devastating floods in Japan in mid-July.

Moreover, blockchain solutions have been used to promote social activity. The manufacturer of household cleaning supplies SC Johnson and environmental organization Plastic Bank partnered in October to open several plastic recycling centers in Indonesia, offering locals tokens for waste collection.