Episode 4: Blockchain for social good

Plastic Bank shares their vision


This week on the IBM Blockchain Pulse, your host, Matt Hooper, explores a totally unique use case of blockchain. He’s joined by his guest, Shaun Frankson, co-founder and CTO of Plastic Bank. Together with his co-founding partner and CEO of Plastic Bank, David Katz, they’re working on converting ocean plastic into currency.

They’re creating a reward system for people to earn and spend digital tokens — and they are using blockchain to realize this vision. This is a real-life, totally innovative example of blockchain being used for social good.

What Shaun and his co-founder David have created is a new system of value, and is that not what blockchain can be at its most exciting?

Tune in to learn about all the good that Plastic Bank has been up to in the past several years, the origin of their company, their mission statement and current goals, how blockchain is utilized in their company, and more!

Key Takeaways

[:01] About today’s episode.

[2:25] What is Plastic Bank? And how did Shaun and David come up with the idea to start it back in 2013?

[3:05] What is the root cause of ocean plastic? When did they recognize the opportunity it provided and the possible value exchange?

[5:39] Shaun further explains his early quote after co-founding Plastic Bank: “The entire idea almost starts with a metaphor that if you walked into the kitchen and the sink was overflowing … and all you had was a bucket and a mop, what do you do first? You turn off the tap.”

[8:23] Some of the first regions and communities they were first able to work with, and why.

[10:41] Join the conversation! Learn more about how leading innovators and humanitarians are using blockchain to create new models for change, advance collective knowledge, and solve what impacts us all.

[11:33] What were some of the first forms of exchange for ocean plastic when they first started up Plastic Bank?

[14:50] When was their eureka moment?

[16:57] When did they realize that blockchain would help them realize their vision at-scale?

[19:20] What is the specific nature of Plastic Bank’s collaboration with IBM?

[20:42] What “blockchain for social good” means to Shaun.

[23:42] Matt notes some of the key takeaways from this week’s episode.

Sources mentioned

Plastic Bank
The Ocean Cleanup
IBM Blockchain for social good

Follow-up with our guest

Shaun Frankson’s LinkedIn

Tweetables – For social media

“Plastic Bank was really based on just looking at that root cause of: how do we stop the flow of ocean plastic? … If we could just reveal the value in plastic, we could make plastic too valuable to enter the ocean!” — Shaun Frankson

“Plastic is opportunity. Plastic is hope. Plastic is a permanent, reusable thing that should be dealt with responsibly by the world.” — Shaun Frankson

“We’re not a blockchain company. We’re a company that uses blockchain because it solves so many of these things that are so important [to our mission].”
— Shaun Frankson

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