October 21, 2018
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This Mainer found a way to use the ‘shady world’ of cryptocurrency for social good

Stephen Betts | BDN
Stephen Betts | BDN
Nate Davis of The Steel House in Rockland.

With more and more types of cryptocurrency — such as Bitcoin — coming onto the world stage in recent years, Rockland-based software developer Nate Davis thought there was something missing from the platforms: an incentive to use it for social good.

During the past year, Davis has been developing the coding and technology behind the cryptocurrency, called DoGood, with a partner in Washington, D.C., who specializes in humanitarian work. If successful, the digital currency would incentivise projects that work toward achieving a broader social good rather than just a person’s financial standing.

Cryptocurrency is “sort of a shady world, in a sense, that a lot of people are not in it because of the social aspects, but to make a quick buck,” Davis said.

Davis is a co-founder of Steel House, a center for technology and design in Rockland. With a background in mathematical finance, Davis has worked in finance doing math modeling for options trading and stock trading. But during the past 10 years, Davis said he has become more interested in the social application of technology. Davis said the DoGood project is one of the most ambitious projects he has ever undertaken.

Davis and his partner have global ambitions for DoGood, though the project is currently in the very early stages of launching.

In December, the technology will be put to the test locally for an event involving the Knox County Homeless Coalition and Ada’s Kitchen, a Rockland restaurant.

Volunteers who participate in the homeless coalition’s holiday volunteer project Dec. 1 will receive crypto tokens through the DoGood app. They can then use these tokens for partial payment of their bill at Ada’s Kitchen later that evening.

Davis hopes to use feedback from that event to iron out any bugs and then gradually launch the technology.

“We do eventually want to make this a global project,” Davis said. But “like anything else that’s a new thing, it may work, it may not.”

If the project does take off, Davis is proud to have it rooted in Maine.

“I love the idea of new high-tech projects starting in Maine, in terms of trying to boost the state as a place where interesting technologies can start and develop,” Davis said.

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