The following is a conversation between Niall Dennehy, the Co-founder and COO of AID:Tech, and Denver Frederick, the Host of The Business of Giving.

Niall Dennehy, Co-founder and COO of AID:Tech

Denver: AID:Tech’s platform brings transparency and traceability to the distributions of resources by governments, NGOs, corporations, and charities. And by using blockchain applications, they are able to bring access and inclusion to the underserved. 

Here to tell us about how this all works in practice, it’s a pleasure to have Niall Dennehy, the co-founder and COO of AID:Tech

Welcome to the Business of Giving, Niall! 

Niall: Denver, it is great to be here. Thank you so much, and I’m looking forward to the conversation. I’m a long-time fan, and I’m delighted to speak a little bit more about AID:Tech, what we’re doing, how we’re impacting the world today, and more importantly, what are the plans that we have for the future to change the way people give. So, thank you a very much. 

Denver: Well, thank you. AID:Tech was born in the Sahara Desert, of all places. What happened? 

Niall: Great story. It involves my good friend, my co-founder and the CEO of AID:Tech, Joseph. So, Joseph, very famously now… this is known around the world, ran a marathon called The Marathon Des Sables back in 2009. I know you, Denver, you’re an endurance athlete, but for people who aren’t familiar with the Marathon Des Sables, which I believe in French translates as the marathon of the sands, you ran the equivalent of six marathons in six days. He collapsed twice from heat exhaustion during the marathon. He got up, part-time lucky, just about finished. But the key thing was with Joseph – Joseph amazingly raised US $122,000 in the process. 

That, Denver, went to, as far as we know – and when I say, as far as we know, that’s I guess why we got started – but Joe gave the money to a charity in Africa, helping children suffering from facial disfiguration. But when Joe got back to Ireland and checked in a few months later with the charities to where the money went, we weren’t able to get a definitive answer… that gnawed away at our inner loins. And we thought, “That ain’t right.” We, to this day, we can’t definitively say if the funds went to the people they were intended to go to. 

But something amazing then happened, Denver, around the same time. We heard about this technology, which was primarily based on something called blockchain. And your audience might be familiar with Bitcoin. That was a new innovation that came about at the time. But one of the real big innovations with Bitcoin and with blockchain in particular, Denver, is that you can put a permanent immutable, indelible record on a ledger that can be seen by, theoretically, anybody in the world.

So, we had an idea. If you think about something that’s really important, that needs more traceability, it needs more transparency, that is international aid and funds that go to philanthropic organizations. So, to give you an example, with all that money that Joe raised, by putting that, as we’ve referred to, on a blockchain, it means that you can completely account for the funds from point A to B to C to Z. You can tell exactly where they go. 

So, I’ll give you one example, Denver. With a platform that we’ve built, which is called Transparency Engine, what we enable people to do is to pay money with a debit card, with a credit card. That will then in effect be going into what we call a pool of what are referred to as “digital assets”… that can represent a physical good. It can be a product. It could be a service. It could even be somebody’s time. 

But if you take the example of somebody in New York City making a donation, they can do a donation directly to an organization, or they can do a donation directly to an individual. And with that then, what happens is when that donation is spent by an individual, you as a donor back in your apartment in New York City, or New Jersey in your case, will get a notification to tell you that your donation was spent by a person to buy a product at a location down to that really granular level. 

And the really unique thing about what we’ve built, Denver, is that in that process, we enable the individual, the recipient, to completely control access to their data. So, it’s completely private. They don’t have to reveal their name. They don’t have to reveal who they are unless they choose to do that. But you as a donor have this complete record. 

And Denver, you may have heard of fintech, cleantech, healthtech, regtech. We thought, “You know what? We want to create a brand-new industry.” We called it AID:Tech and the mission of the company was to bring traceability to international aid. And the reason we do that, Denver, is that about 30% of international aid goes missing every year. That equates to about $50 billion. So, we decided we want to make an impact on that. 

So, for people that you work with across things like the New York City Marathon, if you were to use our platform today, you get to see where your money is really being spent. That was the genesis behind the company. Again, a confluence of people, technology, ambition, motivation.

We’re very much a mission-driven company. We wanted to make an impact. I’ve got to be very upfront about this. We are a for-profit. We do want to make money. We believe both of them can go hand in hand. And if anything, we think that it incentivizes people to be even more efficient and effective at what they do by tying profit to it; so that is one of the things that we bring.

Denver: That’s really interesting and great background. And it’s also one of the things that makes you wonder if that is going to be the thing that’s going to be able to move us, at least in this country, from 2% of GDP. We’re giving about $400 billion, and it’s been stuck at the same percentage for what seems to be decades.

But I do wonder – if I knew exactly where my contribution went and saw how it was being used, if that feedback loop might be the one thing that could change the dynamic, to have people give a lot more money. Remember that happened in the mutual fund industry when people were able to get that set of metrics and see that. All of a sudden, back in the early ’70s, mutual funds exploded. And this may be the same kind of catalyst from a fundraising point of view of having people give more. 

And after the Sahara Desert, I guess the first thing– and I’ve done a little bit of research on this. I don’t know if I’m right about this, Niall. But you work with the Irish Red Cross, and this was blockchain-based aid delivery to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. And from what I can tell, that was the first time this was ever done. Would that be correct? 

Niall: Totally, Denver. That would have been our claim to fame, if you want to put us on the map. It was a project that we did back in 2015. And again, the reason that we chose to do it with an organization like that is because first of all, we wanted to work with a trusted organization who’s got a great brand, like the Red Cross. 

Second of all, we thought – If we’re going to do this, and if we’re going to do it right, we have to prove that we can make the technology work in the hardest-to-reach places in the world. Because if you think about it, the people in those locations are by the very fact of where they are,  the hardest to reach. So, we thought, “Why not start off with making it really tough on ourselves?” 

At the time, the refugee crisis in the Middle East was at its zenith.  We started to see people migrating from there to Europe, and we thought, Look, if you think about it, one of the ambitions that we have too, Denver, is to bring identity to everybody in the world by the year 2030. We’re very much focused on the Sustainable Development Goals. One of those targets then is target 16.9 to bring identity to everybody in the world. 

But that project that you referred to there, Denver, that was effectively a double barrel shotgun approach in that what we were able to do was to give identity to the people on the ground who, if you think about displaced refugees, in a lot of cases, what we found was that they didn’t have any form of legal identity.  And that, in effect, meant that they’re legally, they’re socially, and they’re financially excluded from the formal economy.  

But what we were able to do is assign them an identity, which was what happened to be on a blockchain. Technically, that is decentralized, which is something perhaps we can pick up later in a more technical part of the interview.  But we were able to channel funding directly to those people on the ground via what is a digital identity; that then is connected to a blockchain. We were able to digitize money, and each individual was given USD $50 to spend as they like.  It was completely unconditional.

And to paint the picture, Denver, for your audience, what we found back then was: before we came along, a lot of these projects were and still are paper-based and that physical vouchers are given to people on the ground in those locations. And oftentimes, they suffer from fraud. 

So, we found from working with people on the ground there, that they said, look, typically anywhere between 20% and 30% of the product that we give out, unfortunately, there’s forgery, there’s fraudulent activity. But by assigning an identity, making that unique to that individual, and by moving value to them and putting it on a blockchain, we’ve found that we were able to solve the problem immediately of fraud, corruption, the lack of transparency. And again, that is why we created AID:Tech and how we started off. But that was the first thing that we did, Denver. 

We did a number of projects then that were loosely based on the same concept. And with the Red Cross, we deployed our platform that we’ve got called TraceDonate, and the whole idea behind that then is to make donations traceable and to get that real-time alert back to you to tell you that your money was spent to buy a product at a location by a person. But, as I keep– and I probably sound a little bit paranoid here, Denver. We’re all about protecting the identity of the individual and giving them complete ownership and control over their data. 

But that’s how we got started. It’s been the path that we’re on. We’re very much a mission-driven company. We wanted to make an impact. I’ve got to be very upfront about this. We are a for-profit. We do want to make money. We believe both of them can go hand-in-hand. And if anything, we think that it incentivizes people to be even more efficient and effective at what they do by tying profit to it; so that is one of the things that we bring. 

And what we’ve found, Denver, is working with philanthropic organizations and working with charities, et cetera, NGOs, they like the fact that we are a for-profit because we bring a lot of efficiencies that they seek. So, it’s a win-win for everybody. 

And we think that identity then is going to be the basis of all the interactions that you have, be it financially, socially, with what you’re doing. And we’re very much believers in the idea that when it comes to identity, that really, number one: it should be decentralized. And that the data that backs up your identity, all of your interactions with the internet should be completely within the permit of your own control. 

Denver: I don’t think the purity of the NGO nonprofit sector is what it was, so to speak. I talk to a lot of young people, Niall, and essentially, what they want is they want entities that are doing the greatest amount of good in the world. And the tax formation that you have is almost incidental to the impact that you’re having. And sometimes, for-profits can be more sustainable than nonprofits. So, it’s really six of one, and half a dozen of the other. 

I say this to my friends on the nonprofit sector, that “You better up your game because you have lost your exclusivity on having purpose-driven and mission-orientation because social good businesses can now do it.” 

I really find interesting what you said, Niall, about the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. I was just looking at something that Jeff Bezos had written. And he said that if you ever want to stand out in a company, take a job that nobody else wants, that’s the hardest job in the company, and do a fantastic job with it. And it sounds like that was the same principle that you took in terms of trying to build the business. “Hey, this is a tough one. If we can do it here, we will put ourselves on the map.”

Talk a little bit more about digital identity because it’s 2 billion people who don’t have it. And as you said before, they don’t have access to healthcare, legal protection, education. So, this is really a transformative thing that you are doing that impacts everything else. And I don’t think people appreciate the identity issue. We’re always looking at the programs that we need to fund. But this is so core and so essential.

Niall: You’re completely right, Denver. And I love the Jeff Bezos approach. And when we created AID:Tech originally, one of the things that we did was we talked about putting together effectively a press release to show what we’ve done at a location before. Hence, we thought into the future. We thought, “If we can do this in that hard-to-reach location with the nascent technology that’s still in its infancy, let’s work towards that vision.” 

And again, exactly, as you have mentioned, Denver, the fact that there were over 2 billion people on the planet today without any form of legal identity, we think that with the advent of these new technologies like blockchain, it’s relatively easy to assign an identity to them. We believe again, to quote somebody that you might be familiar with, with Peter Diamandis – “We believe we’re living in the age of abundance. We’re very optimistic and positive about the future.”

And we think that identity then is going to be the basis of all the interactions that you have, be it financially, socially, with what you’re doing. And we’re very much believers in the idea, Denver, that when it comes to identity, that really number one: it should be decentralized. And that the data that backs up your identity, all of your interactions with the internet should be completely within the permit of your own control. 

And when we think about identity, Denver, one thing we break down in a pretty formulaic way, we think that identity should be personal. It should be portable. It should be private. It should be persistent. By personal, meaning that it’s unique to you. By private, it means it can only be accessed by you. By persistent, we believe that it should stay with you from birth up until death. And portable means that you can take that with you wherever you go around the world.  That could be in the travel setting. That could be in a financial setting. That could be when you’re applying for credit, when you’re building up a credit profile. That can be when you are shifting between wallets; that can be within your phone.

And one of the things that we’re very focused on now, Denver, and we worked recently with Microsoft and a big partnership in the Philippines to do exactly this. And they publicized that big project that we did last week. But that was something that we’ve done in the Philippines with the backing of the Asian Development Bank, with Microsoft, and with the Japanese government, and with Save the Children. 

But to give you a concrete example of what we’ve been able to do there, in a very hard-to-reach region again, Denver, is assign identity to families. Those families then, through the funding that is being funneled by these massive multilateral organizations with the backing of Microsoft on their platform, Azure, for decentralized identity, we’ve been able to give entitlements to families and their children in a really tough-to-reach region.

But more importantly, a lot of the families we discovered, didn’t have any form of legal identity in the region that we were operating. And so, with our platform, effectively with three taps on a phone, with the wallet that we’ve created, they were able to apply for, we assigned a government-backed identity because of the need of the partners that we have. And with that, then they now have a platform upon which they can build up this data credit profile, and they can start to make their families more financially secure going into the future. 

Just to give you one more analogy, one more example of what you can do with this, Denver, now. What this means is if you think about a philanthropic situation, those people, they now have this form of decentralized global identity that’s put on the blockchain. They’re now reachable from anywhere in the world. 

So, if you think about the Filipino diaspora, for example, which… it’s the biggest remittance corridor in the world… is basically going from abroad back to the Philippines because of all the Filipinos around the world, that we’ve now put building blocks in place with the backing of government institutions and development banks, and one of the biggest technology companies in the world, a platform which makes it possible for diaspora to send digital remittances back to their loved ones. 

All of the good things like the money laundering is all checked out beforehand. They’ve got a legal form of identity, and more importantly, the amount that it takes to send, the cost is a fraction of what it can be. And the speed is significant. 

So, for example, we are working with a very famous blockchain company now. We would refer to them as an L1 player. They were created by an outstandingly brilliant Italian cryptographer. He’s a professor at MIT called Silvio McCauley. Silvio McCauley is the founder and the creator of the Algorand blockchain.

So, with them, we’re partnering to build what is referred to as a global wallet solution that’s going to be assigned to people on the ground in Southeast Asia. And what we spoke about there, remittances, lending, sending money to your family – that will all be available within the application. And we can settle as quickly as somebody like Visa can. We can bring the costs down to a fraction of what they were. And in the process, true to the mission of the company, we can assign identity to the people that we work with. 

So, we’re checking all of the boxes. And Denver, I guess what we do is anytime that we do a project, we build a piece of technology, we always bring it back to the mission,which is the mission of giving; and in short – do we check those boxes? 

And if I’m being completely honest at times, we’ve bypassed opportunities that may have been more commercial and in the financial interest of the company because they did not subscribe to the mission of what we’re doing. So, everything that we do… it has to check off those boxes.  

Denver: Fantastic. Great having that long-term vision like that because so often we do the expedient, and it really gets you. 

Let’s move on to a couple of the other projects you’re working on. Of the 1.4 billion people without basic banking services, the majority of those are women—about 55%. And further, there are 200 million more men than women who have access to the internet. Women are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone. 

So, with all that backdrop, you are working with the Women’s World Banking organization, and they’ve been on the program before. And you’re doing this particularly, Niall, around microinsurance solutions. Tell us a little bit about that partnership and what you’re doing with them? 

Niall: Delighted to, and Denver, we’ve got so many great partners. It’s not that you want a favorite child, but in terms of all of the organizations that we’ve worked with, the people at that organization of Women’s World Banking, are genuinely amazing people. 

Again, the mission of what they’re trying to accomplish and what they are accomplishing on a day-to-day basis is something that we take a lot of inspiration from. But we first met Women’s World Banking at a United Nations event in Singapore, and we heard about what they were doing. As you’ve rightly pointed out there, Denver, their belief, and it’s our shared belief now because we’ve been learning from them, is that if you lift women up, you lift up society.

And again, when I think about my own home life, when I think back to my mother, for example, everything that she did for our family, we were, again, blessed to have such a  great mother, really. And this is probably biased being a bit of a mommy’s boy, but if you think about the work that mothers do to nurture their kids, the family, society – that’s a trend that is not unique to Ireland and to my mother, but that is something- 

Denver: If there’s a glue of society, wherever you are, they really are. 

Niall: And we saw this firsthand, Denver. We’ve been out with Women’s World Banking in the field. And what they do amongst many other things is they will make loans available through their partners at a low cost. 

Oftentimes, they work with female entrepreneurs who may have something like a sewing business at the back of their house to keep the family going. It may be something agricultural-based. But what you mentioned there, Denver, is an amazingly powerful concept of microinsurance. 

And what I learned by working with Women’s World Banking is that in a lot of the countries that they operate in around the world, the concept of insurance is unknown. They’ve no idea what that is. What are the benefits that it brings? And in cases then where insurance is available in what one might call a developing country, it can be quite expensive. 

So, what these guys have managed to do with some very clever people, is architect a platform and architect a program called Caregiver. Caregiver, so far, has reached, I believe, in excess of 2 million women around the world. They’re on track to reach more than 10 million. We’ve partnered with them to create a platform based around decentralized identity, which enables them to extend the reach of this platform, make it scalable, make it global. 

And what they very cleverly do, Denver, is they bundle insurance with a loan because the loan is something that the female entrepreneurs are very familiar with. And when they pay back these loans, they have the double added bonus of getting insurance bundled in with that. So, when they’re paying back their loan, they’re paying back a small premium every month.

And it means that for example, if a female entrepreneur, if they are unfortunately hospitalized for whatever reason, they will then get paid up to 40 times the amount of money that they put in for every hospital night that they have. So, for example, if they spend 10 nights in hospital, which could be catastrophic for their business, by paying a small premium back each month, they can make a claim, and they can get back 40 times what they put in, and they can keep the business ticking over it. They can keep their family fed in the meantime. 

And when they get back out of hospital, et cetera, with this hospital cash program, which is based around the Caregiver program, in fact, the business can continue on, and they can keep doing what they do, and they can keep their family going and continue to lift society up Again, that’s what mothers typically do… and females. 

Denver: I also love what you just talked about, the behavioral science of that in terms of how they bundle things together. And it kind of gets into that opt in, opt out about organ donations. If you have to opt out, you’ll get 90% of people donating organs. You have to opt in and you only get 10%.

And this idea of bundling things along those lines, you make it easy for people. You make it seamless for people; you remove the friction. And you do something, which is in the enlightened interest of them, their family, and the society at large. 

So, let’s talk a little about these new technologies. You run into any resistance when you try to deploy a new technology? Whether it be in the developing world, whether it be in the developed world, whether it be people comfortable with the status quo, whether it be entrenched interests. So, we’re saying that this might be eating a little bit of my pie. I’d be curious as to what you encounter.

Niall: I guess with any new technology, Denver, that’s always going to be the case. There’s always a little bit of hesitancy by people to embrace something that’s innovative, that’s new. And especially, it can be quite disruptive.

So, if you think about the nature of the technology that we’re building on, it’s still really in its infancy. We believe that there’s another three to five years to go before that becomes mainstream. But if you look at any of the companies out there today that are large, they’re always doing something innovative and disruptive.

Jeff Bezos, we talked about him going up into space with Blue Origin yesterday. The bookstore analogy that everybody talks about. He came up against a lot of resistance. But again, if you truly believe in the mission of what you’re doing, and if you explain the benefits of what the technology brings, as opposed to what the technology is, and if you keep proving what you’re capable of doing. 

When we started the company, Denver, one of the mistakes that we made was saying that we are a blockchain company. In some cases, that can be a good idea. But if you think about blockchain, in its very nature is associated with cryptocurrency, which is quite mainstream at the moment. And if you think about one of the things that when you read about it every single day now, its volatility, upswinging, downswings, price, things like the transactions which are not traceable.

So, when we deal with people at the very top, the higher echelons of Fortune 500 companies, we find that there’s typically people who are well-informed beforehand; they’ve completed the research. And some people are laggards, and that’s more a reflection of the bigger organizations. 

But our mission really is to stay true to what we’re doing. Focus on the problem. We’re very much a product-driven company. We believe that good companies die and live based on the product that they create. And again, we tell people about the problems that we solve, as opposed to how we solve them. And every time we develop a new piece of technology, we really take a step back. We think about what’s the problem space. We don’t dive into the solution immediately. When you think about the target customer, what’s the underserved need? What’s the value proposition that we bring? Then we focus on things like the feature set, the technology, the UI, the UX. 

But I think, Denver, because internally we’ve got this culture of being a product-led company and we focus on the problem at hand beforehand, then as a natural byproduct of that, all the interactions that we have with the partners that we deal with, they sense that, and we don’t focus on buzzwords. We don’t go in too heavy about the technology. 

Even the word “decentralization.” We like to say that we KYA beforehand– we know your audience who we’re speaking to, and we judge it based on that. But there are things that we do encounter, but because we’ve got quite a good track record now, with all these awards that we’ve won over time, that was very strategic. We’ve got quite a few of them and we’ve established a real, heavy-hitting board.

We’ve got some really top-class investors, including an organization called Affinity. It’s part of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek. We’re backed by them. We’ve got some really other great people on our cap table. But we’ve established quite a bit of credibility in this space right now, and that will usually nip it in the bud. All the problems that we can encounter are really offset before they even encounter. So, knowing when to buy time.

We believe that society is becoming very much more an outcome-driven society. And if you can tell what the outcome is before you even make that donation, or you give something, you’re more likely to do it.

Denver: I’m glad you spend as much time as you do on the problem because that is not what we do in this society. We are all in such a hurry. We run to the solution. And we’re very often solving the wrong problem. And taking that time to really sit with the problem… and also I think getting other people involved to define the problem. 

We always talk about trying to get the beneficiaries or the people we are looking to serve, to hear their voice and ask them what would be the right solution. But I think that we need to take a step back and have them help us define the problem. And by doing that and spending the time on the problem, we really get going. 

So, look, there are a lot of listeners here who are probably working in a local nonprofit, maybe in New York City, maybe in Dublin. And they’re listening to all this talk and they’re probably saying to themelves, “Well, I’m just serving my local community here. Does any of this apply to me? Or will any of this ever apply to me? And is there anything that we should be thinking as an organization?” What would you say to them, Niall? 

Niall: I would say, Denver, I think if you look at the impact of technology is having on society and everything is becoming more digital. People in New York City, you mentioned before we jumped on, Denver, about the amazing work that you’ve done with the New York City Marathon, the philanthropic organizations that you work with.

I think if you make it easy for people to support these philanthropic organizations, that’s very basic, like using the right type of technology to make your donation, telling people beforehand that they can see where the donation is being spent. We believe that this technology is the game-changing one for all of those organizations that you would speak about. And we believe that an organization like AID:Tech. We’re ideally primed, and we’re in a great position that we can make, I guess, put the infrastructure in place for them to make it very, very easy to deploy all of this and to do it at scale. 

But I would say, Denver, that we think that you’re in the business of giving, which is the name of your podcast, and we believe that the future of giving is going to involve the technologies that we speak about. 

But if you look at the younger generations who are now, Denver, quite OK with and very familiar with cryptocurrency and with the benefits of blockchain, what that can do, there’s an altruistic streak that we see in society nowadays, that people are quite willing to give– And I’d love to hear your thoughts on this later on–once they know what the impact is beforehand. So, we believe that society is becoming very much more an outcome-driven society. And if you can tell what the outcome is before you even make that donation, or you give something, you’re more likely to do it. 

And again, back to blockchain, back to what that can bring– the benefits– the traceability, the transparency, the permanency, and the immutability. I would say people should definitely be looking at this. Make up your own mind if it’s a good fit for the organization that you work with. But I’ve yet to come across an individual who doesn’t want more traceability and more transparency in what their organization does. And if they do, then perhaps they’re not the right organization to be working with.

We believe that there needs to be a bridge from centralized finance to decentralized finance. And we believe that if you want to pass over that bridge, the ideal way to do that is by proving that you’ve got the credentials to do that. And the credential that you need to pass over that bridge is an identity with what are referred to as verifiable credentials. 

Merging identity with payments, taking your passport with your driver’s license. Bringing the two of them together. Using that then as a channel to issue both fiat and cryptocurrency in a safe, secure, and reliable manner. That’s where the future lies for AID:Tech.

Denver: That’s where TraceDonate comes in. That’s an absolutely great flagship that you have there. So you said, AID:Tech is well-positioned. I would say:  Well-positioned for what? And by that, I mean, what’s next for you guys? 

Niall: So, Denver, a lot of exciting stuff in the pipeline for us. We’re really focused on– we believe that crypto wallets and digital wallets, in general, are going to appear everywhere. We believe they will be part of what people do. And if you think about payments now, Denver, we believe that there’s something fundamentally missing in society today. And that we believe that if you fix identity, you fix payments. And we believe that what is going to happen, and this is the really, the deep tech part of what we’re doing. 

We are in the process of merging identity with payments. And a big trend that we see happening right now, Denver, as well as if you look at what we refer to as centralized finance, the traditional finance, the rails upon which centralized finance are built are typically quite rickety. They’re old, they’re crumbling. The infrastructure is not fit for purpose. 

It’s generally safe, but if you look at what’s happening in the space of decentralized finance right now, it means that you can effectively match up people with each other. People can offer each other loans at a rate that they would select. You can automate the whole process by bringing algorithms into play. You can gain what we refer to as yield on your digital currencies, which sometimes are stable, that can be pegged to a currency. 

We believe that there needs to be a bridge from centralized finance to decentralized finance. And we believe that if you want to pass over that bridge, the ideal way to do that is by proving that you’ve got the credentials to do that. And the credential that you need to pass over that bridge is an identity with what are referred to as verifiable credentials. 

So, we believe, Denver, that your credit card and your driver’s license will become one over time and that your government or your state-issued, it could be your driver’s license, will become a payment mechanism. And that if you think about it, then the next time we are hit by something like a COVID-20, which hopefully is not for a long time in the future. When that inevitably comes, we believe that to funnel money, things like UBI and welfare payments to people, that if you can be assured that the money is reaching the right recipient beforehand, and you’re not passing out paper checks to dead people, the ideal way to do that is by merging your identity with your bank account or your wallet. 

So that’s very much what we’re focused on. I could go into the weeds, Denver, but for your audience today, that might be more than enough. But think about merging identity with payments, taking your passport with your driver’s license. Bringing the two of them together. Using that then as a channel to issue both fiat and cryptocurrency in a safe, secure, and reliable manner. That’s where the future lies for AID:Tech.

And again, in terms of philanthropy, in terms of giving, in terms of the work that we do with charities, we believe it’s inevitable that that is how giving is going to take place in the future.

Denver: Listening to you, Niall, it becomes apparently clear that we are in that space between the two worlds – of the old economy and the new economy, the old world and the new world. And we haven’t arrived in the new world yet, but there’s that white space in between the two. And that’s what this decade is all about. 

Tell us about the AID:Tech website and some of the information visitors will find there.

Niall: Happy to do, Denver, and thank you so much for the platform. But you can find us at That’s our website. On Twitter, we’re @aidtechnology. You’ll find us on Instagram, on LinkedIn on Medium. We publish quite frequently. 

We are in the process of doing a rebrand at the moment. AID:Tech will remain there. But in terms of bridging that gap between centralized finance and decentralized finance, we are working on a brand refresh with one of the world’s leading brand agencies; that is to come. Perhaps we can talk about that in the future, but you can find us at 

Denver: I will be looking for it. And I want to thank you, Niall, so much for being here today. It was such a pleasure to have you on the show. 

Niall: Likewise, Denver, thank you so much. And thank you to your audience. Really appreciate it.

Listen to more The Business of Giving episodes for free here. Subscribe to our podcast channel on Spotify to get notified of new episodes. You can also follow us on TwitterInstagram, and on Facebook.

Share This: