Team ATL-NY Team members: Fanyun Peng, Zexin Liao, Zexi Yuan, Tong Jin, Xiaojie Yang

Challenge: Supply Chain

Problem: Auditing has become one of the most important tools in fighting against financial frauds and thefts in business and administrative both privately and publicly. The integrity of auditing in public sector is especially crucial as it measures how transparent public organizations process public budgets and funds. When it comes to non-governmental organizations, such as charities, the result of a clear audit trail with high integrity level is closely related to their reputes as well as public credits. However, normally crowd funding charities and small Kick starters do not have technical and financial abilities to conduct large-scale auditing. Some organizations rely on basic statistical software, such as Microsoft Excel and Google Drive, to manage their funds. This can lead to operational mistakes and organized frauds. Moreover, due to limited tracking and tracing features of those applications, it is very difficult and time-consuming to find out the source of mistakes and frauds during auditing processes. Therefore, it is necessary for small charities to adopt a more advanced structure that is highly traceable and strictly accountable. Our team believe that blockchain technology is a good solution.

Why: Our team focuses on using blockchain technology to eliminate potential mistakes and frauds during fund raising and management processes of small charities. We will be working on supply chain challenge. Our target organizations are kick starters and small charities. We believe that blockchain technology has congenital advantages to prevent fundraising frauds. First, blockchain prevents anyone from amending previous blocks. This eliminates unlawful changes before and after audit trail. Second, blockchain gives each participant a unique identity and such identity is not shareable. This allows participants to hold full accountability to their activities. Moreover, blockchain technology is highly efficient and affordable. This lowers financial barriers that prevent small charities from upgrading their structures.

With a significant growing market size of small charities, we believe that our application of blockchain for charity, compared to traditional trusted authority, is more trustworthy by adding transparency towards all donators. More and more people participate in online kick starting events via social media these days. A peer-to-peer network will give public more clearance to supervise and engage.

Current solutions: The standard way of fund management in small charities is to use a third-party software and hire an independent management company. For public auditing, charities cost considerable money to hire third-party auditors. This method is costly and very time-consuming. With a blockchain-based application, charities are able to manage their funds, to conduct public auditing and to increase civil engagement all at the same time.

9/14/2017

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Hackathon Week 1 End of Week Deliverables

Team ATL-NY Team members: Fanyun Peng, Zexin Liao, Zexi Yuan, Tong Jin, Xiaojie Yang

Challenge: Supply Chain

Problem: Auditing has become one of the most important tools in fighting against financial frauds and thefts in business and administrative both privately and publicly. The integrity of auditing in public sector is especially crucial as it measures how transparent public organizations process public budgets and funds. When it comes to non-governmental organizations, such as charities, the result of a clear audit trail with high integrity level is closely related to their reputes as well as public credits. However, normally crowd funding charities and small Kick starters do not have technical and financial abilities to conduct large-scale auditing. Some organizations rely on basic statistical software, such as Microsoft Excel and Google Drive, to manage their funds. This can lead to operational mistakes and organized frauds. Moreover, due to limited tracking and tracing features of those applications, it is very difficult and time-consuming to find out the source of mistakes and frauds during auditing processes. Therefore, it is necessary for small charities to adopt a more advanced structure that is highly traceable and strictly accountable. Our team believe that blockchain technology is a good solution.

Why: Our team focuses on using blockchain technology to eliminate potential mistakes and frauds during fund raising and management processes of small charities. We will be working on supply chain challenge. Our target organizations are kick starters and small charities. We believe that blockchain technology has congenital advantages to prevent fundraising frauds. First, blockchain prevents anyone from amending previous blocks. This eliminates unlawful changes before and after audit trail. Second, blockchain gives each participant a unique identity and such identity is not shareable. This allows participants to hold full accountability to their activities. Moreover, blockchain technology is highly efficient and affordable. This lowers financial barriers that prevent small charities from upgrading their structures.

With a significant growing market size of small charities, we believe that our application of blockchain for charity, compared to traditional trusted authority, is more trustworthy by adding transparency towards all donators. More and more people participate in online kick starting events via social media these days. A peer-to-peer network will give public more clearance to supervise and engage.

Current solutions: The standard way of fund management in small charities is to use a third-party software and hire an independent management company. For public auditing, charities cost considerable money to hire third-party auditors. This method is costly and very time-consuming. With a blockchain-based application, charities are able to manage their funds, to conduct public auditing and to increase civil engagement all at the same time.

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Hackathon Week 2 End of Week Deliverables

Who are your clients/users? (persona of your user)

Billion is a blockchain-based accounting application designed specifically for small to medium size charities and donors. It’s major clients are developing charities and emerging nonprofit organizations which do not have financial ability of supporting a comprehensive accounting system that is highly transparent and accountable. Many charities and nonprofit organizations rely on unprofessional and unsafe applications to maintain their daily operations and finances. Due to limited financial flexibilities and strict regulations, these organizations find it hard for them to apply advanced software and applications in order to increase efficiency as well as accountability. The Billion application gives them a solution by providing complete, accurate, highly transparent and immutable accounting applications. Thanks to blockchain technology, Billion allows organizations to manage funds without the oversight of third-party participants. This gives organizations a huge relief in both financial and structural aspects.

The target user of Billion includes all donors and partners. However, Billion is specifically targeting small frequent donors. Compared to major cooperation and individual donors, small frequent donors cannot comprehensively supervise the usage of their donations. They also are not able to hire costly third-party audits for their auditing purposes. Billion is here to alleviate their frustrations by offering a highly transparent accounting application for all related fund management.

What are their pain points?

For organizations, the major pain points contain the following issues: Low Transparency: to hold a high-level transparency, an organization must put a lot of efforts into its accounting structure, including training staffs, upgrading accounting software, hiring third-party auditors, allowing frequent civic monitoring and engagement. Most of these solutions are financially unsustainable, especially for small charities. However, a low transparency level can cause decrease of public trust and reduce of funds. Therefore, it is painful for organizations to mandatorily maintain a transparency procedure.

Potential Corruption: with limited accounting abilities, it is challenging for small charities to maintain a high-level accountability. This causes potential loopholes and corruptions, and eventually the loss of public trust.

For donors, it is very important for them to keep updated about the usage of their donations. Failure to get transparent and timely information can cause them to not continue donating. With the decrease of public trust, organizations can find it hard to develop sustainably.

What is your product's value proposition?

Billion has a significant value for nonprofit sector, including small charities. Nonprofit sector has a large market volume. The nonprofit sector contributed an estimated $905.9 billion to the US economy in 2013, composing 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). (Bureau of Economic Analysis) Nonprofit sector also has a large user group. In 2014, 1.4 billion people worldwide donated money to nonprofit organizations. (Charities Aid Foundation) Billion helps small charities and nonprofit organizations lower their accounting and auditing costs without sacrificing accountability and transparency. With this solution, organizations can increase their public trust.

What is your distribution and go-to-market strategy? Who can you partner with?

Our go-to-market strategy has three components:

Organization (recommendation) Users (reference) Social Media (campaign)

Billion will be partner with target organizations to create a pre-launch testing period. This means that Billion will first secure several small charities and organizations which are willing to replace their current accounting system with us. The second step Billion will take is to get users through recommendations of organizations and users’ references. Billion will also run various campaigns on social media.

Billion’s business model can be explained as follow. There are three participant groups in Billion’s business circle. At the upstream, there are target charities and organizations. By offering products to those organizations, Billion is able to cast influences to their donors, making them to donate more and more often. With the increase of funds, organizations are more willing to continue using Billion. With a typical C2O business circle, Billion can benefit donors while taking incomes from partner organizations.

What are the risks associated with your solution?

There are indeed several potential risks. First, a good C2O business practice requires heavy marketing and advertising at the beginning. This may cost extra budget and longer investment period considering its slow return pattern in nonprofit sector. Second, blockchain is a relatively new technique. Making people believe that it works takes a lot of efforts and is quite challenging. This requires continuous marketing, a solid user base, and the development of related technology fields, such as the IoT.

What is the impact of your solution? Dine your impact criteria. How will it be measured?

We believe that Billion is a promising accounting application for next generation nonprofit fund management. Potential impacts of our solution include a significant increase of fund base and numbers of participating people. It also includes the increase of public trust of nonprofit organizations. Moreover, Billion helps the whole auditing and accounting industry to change.

Possible impact criteria include social influences, social awareness, reputation, and fund increase.

Define the technical specifications and development roadmap

Billion will be developed in Python on Ethereum. In Billion, a charity will be defined as a blockchain recording all information and progress of this charity. When the blockchain is created, it holds the information, encrypted by cryptographic hash function, about the sponsor, the content, the time, and the purpose of the charity. Then, every donation on this charity and every usage of the funds will automatically update the blockchain. The blockchain is updated in discrete chunks called ‘blocks’, including information about donation or usage of funds, which are ‘chained’ together using hashes of the previous block contents. These ‘blocks’ can only be built by Billion users with ID created by public-private key cryptography. The ID will be unique because public-private key cryptography enable users to build encrypted ‘blocks’ with a public key that can only be decrypted by the private key and to sign information with their private key that can be verified by anyone holding the public key.

Roadmap :

  1. Build models of Billion (week 3)
  2. Define and Construct the Blockchain (week 4)
  3. Design UI of Billion (week 5)
  4. Test Billion (week 6)

9/23/2017

Fanyun Peng - pengf603@newschool.edu Zexin Liao - 16liao@gmail.com Zexi Yuan - yuanzexi63@gmail.com Tong Jin - jintong5@gmail.com Xiaojie Yang - yangx066@newschool.edu

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