This article originally appeared on Hornet. It has been reprinted here with some modifications with permission.
This January, Hornet announced the launch of the LGBT Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to harness the power and potential of blockchain technology — alongside other technology — for the global good of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
In other words, Hornet plans to release a cryptocurrency coin, like Bitcoin, that’s specific to the LGBT community. It’s called LGBT Token.
It’s hard now to even picture how a cryptocurrency coin that caters to the LGBT will manifest itself. What will it do? How could it possibly help the you and the greater LGBT community?
Right now, it seems like cryptocurrency really benefits only one group of people: “crypto bros” — straight, Silicon Valley techies, in their 20s and 30s. They are the only ones profiting from buying, trading, and investing in cryptocurrency.
The New York Times had an article last month that described the crypto phenomenon perfectly, “Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not.”
But the goal of the LGBT Token differs from previous ventures. It’s not to invest. It’s not to make you rich (sorry boys), but it’s to help the LGBT community in ways never thought possible before.
So here are three monumental ways an LGBT coin could impact the world.
One of the many ways crypto differs from traditional money is that it can be anonymous, and anyone who has a smartphone can access the crypto exchange quickly. There is huge potential with this technology to help LGBT people across the globe who need quick, anonymous access to money.
Take, for example, the recent wave of detention and torture of gay men in Chechnya. While you might have known that Hornet was at the forefront of helping the men in Chechnya, you might not know it provided behind-the-scenes work to help evacuate over 70 Chechen men to safety. Now imagine there was a way to send currency, anonymously, to these men with smartphones. Let’s say we could transfer the LGBT Token to these men through the Hornet App, which these men are already using. Then they could, anonymously, buy a plane ticket out of Chechnya, through airlines that accepted LGBT Token. These men, in theory, could be out of Chechnya within 24 hours.
You know how there’s a transaction fee with credit cards, usually 2–3%? Imagine if the transaction fees were less, say 1%, but all the money raised from those fees went directly to LGBT causes. Keeping with the Chechen example before, the money raised from the 1% fee could be used to help gay men flee Chechnya.
The money, however, could also be used for pretty much anything else relating to the LGBT community. Imagine if LGBT users of the Token were able to vote on which causes they wanted to donate the money to. This “fund” has the potential to be the largest dedicated LGBT social responsibility program in the world.
If the LGBT community were a country, it would be the world’s 4th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of 4.6 trillion dollars. Yet, so many places don’t cater to the LGBT community (or outright won’t serve/sell to us). The LGBT Token could change that by hitting companies where it hurts: their wallets. As Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS researcher Erik Lamontagne summed up succinctly, “In simple terms, the more homophobic you are, the more and more it will cost your economy.” Thus, LGBT people will be able to spend their money on organizations that support them. These organizations will also be able to then cater products to the LGBT community.
Exactly two years ago, researchers created “living,” functional body parts using 3D-printers, so I really think we can come up with things that cater to the LGBT community. When straight folks realize the amount of money they could make by tapping into this, everyone will win. Bottoms. Tops. The orgs. Everyone.