Newsweek announces blockchain impact awards

newsweek awards

Earlier this week Newsweek announced the winners of its inaugural Blockchain Impact Awards designed to recognize entrepreneurs and companies using blockchain for social good. The awards went to Bitlumens, Chronicled, Grassroots Economics, Prescrypto and SimplyVital Health.


Bitlumens uses blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) to provide electricity to rural villages in Latin America. By leasing solar devices to women, the startup aims to tackle both low electrification rates and the high number of unbanked adults. The devices are sustainably sourced and the solar energy is used in place of hazardous fuels such as biomass and kerosene.

Women pay for the lease installments using Bitlumen’s own digital currency, BLS, allowing them to build a credit score and experience financial inclusion. Family members of the women can also buy tokens to contribute to the lease payments.

Bitlumen uses IoT to quantify each household’s carbon mitigation and particulate matter reduction, both of which can be converted into tradable instruments. In future, this will enable women to become carbon credit issuers.


Chronicled uses blockchain to create fully decentralized supply chain ecosystems.

The company is best known for its MediLedger Network, a pharmaceutical supply chain solution used to address US legal requirements for traceability of drug returns to ensure they’re not counterfeit. Members of Mediledger include high profile pharma companies such as Pfizer and Genentech.

But perhaps the main reason for Chronicled’s award is its involvement with startup Emergent Technologies. Together they’re developing the “Responsible Gold” supply chain which tracks the provenance of gold from the point of mining to ensure its ethically sourced.

Grassroots Economics

Grassroots Economics uses blockchain to enable businesses and individuals from marginalized societies, to create their own digital currencies to trade within their region or community. This has been achieved by working alongside Bancor.

Using Bancor’s network protocol, community currency users can both trade within their own communities and with others that use different digital currencies, facilitating more exchanges and economic prosperity between them. The organization has implemented 9 community programs across Kenya and South Africa with plans to launch another in Congo.

So far Grassroots Economics has helped more than 1200 small businesses and schools to use community currencies.

SimplyVital Health

SimplyVital Health’s product, ConnectingCare, helps improve data management for healthcare providers and their patients. Often a patient requesting care for a particular ailment has previously been treated at another hospital or clinic.

Traditionally, healthcare providers kept patient data in silos and struggled to communicate with one another which impacts the overall quality of care received by patients.

ConnectingCare leverages blockchain by creating secure audit trails of a patient’s entire clinical journey to enable multiple healthcare providers to see the patient’s history.


Prescrypto is a software application that enables clinics, doctors and pharmacies to create, send and track electronic prescriptions. The app uses blockchain to guarantee the security of prescriptions by encrypting the data and ensuring that the prescription is issued using the doctor’s electronic signature. Because activity is tracked on a blockchain, the prescription can only be used once.

The technology also improves the speed of distribution by removing the need for patients to collect the prescription from doctors and pass them on to pharmacies.

Prescypto uses its proprietary RexChain blockchain protocol.

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