Idris Elba discusses his journey with Stellar in unlocking human potential - Interview.
Join Idris Elba and the Stellar Development Foundation as they embark on a journey to create tangible change in the real world using blockchain technology.
In a rapidly advancing technological world, driven by innovations like blockchain and AI, many regions are still grappling with longstanding challenges such as poverty, limited access to clean water and electricity, and financial exclusion. While progress has been made, particularly in alignment with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), certain areas, particularly in Africa and South America, continue to face these issues.
Map of poverty levels across the world in 2023. Source: WorldPoverty.io
Despite living in a highly digital age, the divide between the privileged and underprivileged appears to be widening. To address these real-world challenges, practical solutions are required. The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the growth of the Stellar network, is actively working to bridge this digital divide by offering tangible blockchain solutions to address the problems faced by impoverished communities, with a particular emphasis on providing accessible financial services. Through its support of the Stellar blockchain, the SDF is committed to bringing financial inclusion to unbanked and underbanked populations around the world.
The Stellar blockchain enables low-cost and nearly instantaneous cross-border transactions, which can be a lifeline for individuals in emerging economies. The Stellar network is not merely showcasing the potential of blockchain; it is applying this groundbreaking technology in ways that directly benefit people, especially those in disadvantaged communities.
Several companies and projects worldwide are already harnessing the capabilities of the Stellar blockchain to provide practical solutions to financial challenges. Arf, a global remittance platform, utilizes the Stellar blockchain to offer regulated financial services, ensuring same-day settlements for financial institutions, eliminating pre-funding and counterparty risks while maintaining transparency and traceability in transactions. Getpaid leverages the Stellar blockchain to enable seamless crypto payments, expanding global crypto payment options for various financial services. Félix, in collaboration with Bitso, offers a WhatsApp-based payment platform that facilitates quick and affordable remittances from U.S.-based Latino immigrants to their families in Latin America, solving traditional remittance challenges.
These use cases exemplify the Stellar network's ability to support real-world solutions for financial issues, showcasing its potential to redefine cross-border transactions, business payments, and remittances with blockchain technology.
Real-world Impact through Blockchain Technology
The essence of SDF's mission has resonated with Idris Elba, a well-known actor with a substantial humanitarian footprint. Elba's alignment with SDF represents a shared vision of using technology for real-world impact where it is most needed.
SDF's recent campaign, "Where Blockchain Meets the Real World," in collaboration with Idris Elba, underscores the technological potential of blockchain and highlights its ongoing real-world applications.
Elba, with his extensive humanitarian work, including his role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador and his foundation's efforts, embodies the principle that technology should, first and foremost, benefit humanity.
During the annual Meridian Conference in 2023, an event focused on networking and opportunities for blockchain developers organized by the Stellar Development Foundation, Elba and SDF's executive director and CEO, Denelle Dixon, provided insights in an interview:
Elba expressed his passion for humanitarian work, emphasizing the importance of using his platform to advocate for those who lack access to resources and opportunities. He highlighted his own journey from a modest background and how his experiences drive him to be a voice for others in need.
Idris Elba at the Stellar Development Foundation Meridian Conference 2023. Source: Stellar
Dixon elaborated on the mission of the Stellar Development Foundation, emphasizing their nonprofit status and focus on creating equitable access to the global financial system. The foundation aims to achieve this by leveraging new technologies and empowering builders to craft solutions to real-world problems.
Elba discussed his collaboration with Stellar, stating that the foundation's approach to blockchain technology and its focus on solution-based efforts aligned with his values. He appreciated how Stellar welcomed him into the world of blockchain and provided him with an education about the technology and its potential for good.
Elba shared an anecdote from Kenya, where farmers used Google Maps and weather data to predict rainfall, showcasing how technological advancements can empower people and address real-world challenges.
Dixon discussed the foundation's ongoing project, the Soroban smart contract platform, which allows builders to create decentralized apps (DApps) on the Stellar blockchain. She emphasized that the foundation's primary goal is to provide open-source tools to builders, enabling them to address real-world issues.
In summary, Stellar's mission to empower humanity through blockchain technology resonated with Idris Elba's passion for humanitarian work. The foundation's commitment to equitable access and its support of builders in solving real-world challenges align with Elba's vision of technology benefiting people in need. Stellar's ongoing projects and partnerships further demonstrate its dedication to making a meaningful impact on global financial accessibility.