A former Griffith University student is combining forces with a senior lecturer on a game-changing project with the potential to transform the not-for-profit sector.

Co-founder of Gold Coast start-up Little Phil and Griffith Business School (GBS) alumnus Josh Murchie is working with Dr Craig Cameron, a Senior Lecturer in Corporations Law with GBS, to make the use of Blockchain technologies more accessible to charities.

Non-profit micro philanthropy platform Little Phil started in 2017 to bring transparency to the charitable sector by enabling donors to track their donations from start to finish and prevent third-party fundraisers from taking a large share of the funds raised.

Dr Craig Cameron from Griffith Business School

Using Little Phil as a test case, Dr Cameron is conducting research on how a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) – an online organisation controlled by its members and operated according to rules, typically code in smart contracts recorded on a blockchain – can be a potential new organisational template for charities – completely transforming the current business model.

“DAOs are a mechanism for organising like-minded communities, with many potential applications for transparently supporting charitable causes,” Dr Cameron said.

“This includes the community voting on the distribution of digital tokens following a charitable donation made using crypto, fiat money, or even property contributed by the community – with the technology then allowing them to direct to a specific cause(s) that best aligns with their objectives.

“A new DAO can also be quickly created for a specific event like the 2019/2020 bushfires, or a DAO can be established to only focus on a specific region – the usage applications are extensive, and the potential social impact is very positive.”

Dr Cameron’s current work focuses on the legal issues within the Australian context around crypto-assets, DAOs and crypto-philanthropy in the not-for-profit sector, as well as legal reform which recognises DAOs and facilitates crypto-philanthropy in a legislative environment where technology is fast outpacing existing law.

Josh Murchie, who is currently a Social Entrepreneur in residence at Griffith’s The Yunus Centre, says this work is critical given Little Phil’s position as one of the country’s first DAOs, specifically working with charities and within the not-for-profit sector.

“Our partnership with the Griffith University Yunus Centre – a unit within Griffith Business School that focuses on impact-led business – and Craig, has been absolutely vital in us understanding the existing and evolving legal framework for us to work within as one of the country’s first charitable DAOs,” said Mr Murchie.

“Our goal is to disrupt the not-for-profit sector using Web3.0 technologies such as DAO’s as we see its strengths in community building, transparency, flexibility, and connectivity as absolutely vital in effectively taking on the social and environmental challenges facing us as a country and planet.

“We have been at the forefront of applying Blockchain technology to charitable causes, but Craig’s work has ensured that we are at the forefront of working within the new legal frameworks that are beginning to emerge.”

Web 3.0 for business

Dr Craig Cameron will host an upcoming Griffith University webinar ‘Web 3.0 for business’ at which Josh Murchie will also present. The webinar will cover three key aspects of the Web 3.0 environment–Blockchain, Digital Assets, and the Metaverse.

Register for this exciting May 26 lunchtime event online.

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