We are always on the lookout for new ways of funding our conservation efforts, especially in the economically difficult times created by covid-19.
Lion Landscapes was recently approached by Wildcards, “an unconventional strategy that is able to harness funding for conservation while simultaneously providing entertainment and dare we say, fun. Gamification and conservation are an unusual marriage, but with cryptocurrency acting as their glue, they attract new audiences and offer a new way of funding conservation agencies who are making a real impact around the world.”
Wildcards is a technological platform which aims to connect global conservation organisations to the technology world of users. Social, gamified and transparent giving are all advantages of the new platform. Quite simply Wildcards is a trading platform for cards where users can become the guardian of various cool animals, earn badges and rewards, rank on leaderboards, and help support conservation on a global scale. Every wildcard represents an animal, with funds generated from this wildcard flowing toward the conservation organisation representing and protecting that animal.
Wildcards can easily be bought by anyone at any time. Whenever someone buys a wildcard, they are immediately required to set a selling price. Therefore, the wildcard can at any time be bought for that selling price, and is ‘always for sale’. The interesting economic dynamic is that the owner of the wildcard pays a percentage based fee on the selling price they set.
Each wildcard is accompanied by that animal’s history and contains interesting facts about the animal. Our first wildcard is Narok, our oldest monitored lioness. Felix and Jangili are soon to follow!
Transparency is at the core of Wildcards. At any point in time, anyone can instantly verify the movements of funds. Moreover, no one can cheat the mechanism and the flow of funds, because Wildcards uses blockchain technology. The beauty of blockchain is that it’s a decentralised database that’s distributed and duplicated on multiple computers at the same time, allowing interaction without the need for involving counterparties such as banks.
As new records — known as “blocks” — are added, the blockchain grows. Each block contains links to the preceding blocks and has timestamps, thereby forming a chain. As funds are in the form of Ether, a cryptocurrency, there are no international transaction fees when people from abroad donate to your agency. 1 Ether is currently worth US $452.90.
Instead of contributing to one big global fund, Wildcards is able to split its global giving to many small funds that each make a big difference on regional and local levels. Wildcards make sure that smaller conservationists aren’t left behind while globalisation and new technologies continue to change the world to favour large organisations.
If you want to know more about Wildcards, you can read their blog here.
As traditional fundraising events are cancelled and private donors experience donor fatigue, we are all anxious about what the future holds. We are particularly worried about the people who live in lion landscapes, as lack of tourism reduces local incomes and their ability to financially tolerate livestock losses to lions reduces significantly. Conservation organisations worldwide need to start looking for alternative funding and different approaches, to which Wildcard offers a great new opportunity.
How can I get involved?
Visit Wildcards, buy a Lion Landscapes wildcard, and start contributing towards Lion conservation.