Edinburgh fintech backed by Coldplay musician unveils charity partnership

Edinburgh-based cryptocurrency exchange and platform Zumo has joined forces with waste-management charity WasteAid to support community-level action against plastics pollution across several developing markets.

WasteAid trainees in The Gambia managing waste safely and sustainably. Picture: contributed.
WasteAid trainees in The Gambia managing waste safely and sustainably. Picture: contributed.

Zumo – backed by Coldplay’s Scots-born bassist Guy Berryman – said it marks its first charity partnership in support of its ambition to bring the benefits of blockchain technology to the 1.7 billion adults who are estimated to remain without access to modern financial services globally.

The tie-up means Zumo users will be able to automatically donate funds to WasteAid every time they send, exchange, buy and pay with cryptocurrencies and fiat via the recently launched Zumo app. All funds raised will support WasteAid’s mission to share practical and low-cost waste-management expertise.

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Kaddyjatou Sowe, a graduate of WasteAid’s waste-management training programme in The Gambia, with Zoë Lenkiewicz from the charity. Picture: contributed.

The charity has recently launched an initiative to empower green entrepreneurs in South Africa, India and Vietnam, in addition to its existing work in The Gambia, Malawi, Kenya and Cameroon. It says its interventions prevent marine plastic pollution and climate change emissions, and provide people living in poverty with a sustainable source of income.

The fintech firm said developing markets are currently driving global consumer demand for its type of digital payments platforms, and by 2021 are expected to account for around half of all non-cash transactions worldwide.

Zumo founder Nick Jones said: “Although blockchain technology and waste-management appear to speak different purposes, in reality they share a common vision to empower communities and create long-term sustainable livelihoods for people globally.

“There is so much that developed markets can learn from the communities that WasteAid supports – from the seamless use of digital payments in everyday life that make access to modern financial services inclusive to taking better care for our planet. Our partnership with WasteAid is one of common values and we can’t wait to get started.”

Ceris Turner-Bailes, chief executive of WasteAid, said: “One in three people globally do not have a waste-management service and have to burn or dump their waste, leading to serious health problems and adding to marine litter and climate change. This partnership with Zumo will mean we can better support the communities that will benefit most from safe and sustainable waste management and together we can help tackle the issues right at the heart of global waste pollution.”

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