Introducing the Boost token

A New Tool to Encourage Positive Impact

UNICEF Ventures’ Blockchain Team
Students at a SURGE event fulfilling bounties to earn Boost tokens in Cape Town. ℅ UNICEF Innovation.
UNICEF Innovation
05 August 2019

“Incentivization” is a term frequently used in the blockchain space, but what does it actually mean and how exactly do you do it? There are many different tools and methods used to motivate and persuade people to perform certain behaviors, otherwise known as incentivization, and blockchain provides the unique opportunity to create digital “tokens”. The value of these tokens can be determined by the creator, community, and users, and can be deployed and issued as rewards for a defined set of actions - be it volunteering, donating a physical good and the list goes on. 

The Blockchain team, as part of UNICEF Ventures, has created the Boost token, a tool to encourage grassroots positive impact across the globe. 

What is Boost

Boost (BST) are digital tokens which represents an individual’s positive actions.  The token can be tracked here transparently using a block explorer. 

More specifically, Boost is a non-monetary, ERC20 token created by UNICEF Ventures, UNICEF France and The Bounties Network as an effort to experiment with tokenization, and incentivization meant to encourage the creation of digital public goods

 Properly digitally engaged individuals can make vibrant and sustainable communities. Boost seeks to encourage individuals and communities to contribute to the fulfillment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to earn tokens. These contributions can enable new solutions to be created, giving individuals access to new data or services that couldn’t be accessed before. 

How to Earn Boost

Learn & Earn 

As 2018 marked the kickstart of the Impact Track at ETHDenver, one of the largest blockchain hackathons, we were excited to present the Boost Token (BST) to a varied and exciting audience. This initial pilot was designed to encourage hackathon attendees to participate in a variety of bounties across the two days and make a positive impact within their community - both in the local and broader ecosystem. A similar model was used at ETHCape Town, and SURGE BKK. For Devcon V, the annual conference hosted by the Ethereum Foundation (EF), participants in the Devcon Scholars program received Boost once they fulfilled bounties related to their coursework and other pieces of program engagement.

Tracking Mentorship 

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is testing the exchange of Boost tokens between startups and mentors to track the exchange of value and transparently show progress. This is part of the Innovation Fund’s recent collaboration with the Gates Foundation in mentoring a cohort of vaccine companies over the next year. Read more here.


A screengrab displaying the Gates Mentorship page, where Boost is being used
UNICEF Innovation
A screengrab displaying the Gates Mentorship page, where Boost is being used

Using Boost

The Blockchain Team, in collaboration with other members of UNICEF Innovation, are continuing to prototype various ways to redeem Boost. Currently, we’re testing how Boost can make an impact through different models and trading mechanisms. Right now, 30 Boost tokens means a child in need receives a Plumpy’Nut bar, Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF); this follows the model of KidPower by UNICEF USA. Alternate ideas of how Boost can be used include receiving mentorship from different companies, early-bird access to certain events - it’s really about the ecosystem and economic model design.

Next steps

The ultimate goal of Boost is to stimulate individual contributions to improving communities locally and globally while accruing a digital public acknowledgment of their positive actions. One of the most powerful features about blockchain-based systems is the decentralized nature, meaning anyone can engage in a system, powering grassroots-style change. All that’s needed are the right tools to kickstart change.


You can see the many different ways Boost is being used here and for more information or to collaborate, please reach out to