UK Social Advocacy Newspaper “The Big Issue” Starts ‘The Big Exchange’ Blockchain Investing Platform
A UK-based newspaper called The Big Issue is diving into blockchain investing by launching its own investing platform. The newspaper is launching an investment platform called The Big Exchange.
The Big Exchange is being launched as part of a partnership between three UK-based investing companies, including UK Standard Life Aberdeen, AllianceBernstein, and U.S. Columbia Threadneedle. The three institutions are teaming up with The Big Issue to launch the platform.
The founding team has raised $1.3 million already, although it’s expecting to raise a total of $3.8 million over the next five years.
As reported by The Financial Times, The Big Exchange will feature 30 to 40 social and environmental impact funds.
The platform is scheduled to go live within six months.
Investors will pay a small fee to use The Big Exchange. After registering on the platform, users can choose between different funds. Funds will be ranked on their correlation with the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals. Funds will receive a gold, silver, or bronze score based on their adherence to those rankings.
The Big Exchange was initially expected to have a minimum investment requirement of $640. However, Nigel Kershaw, chairman of The Big Exchange, plans to reduce the minimum investment to £2.50 ($3.20), which is the same price as The Big Issue newspaper.
The platform is built on blockchain technology, which is expected to lower costs and boost efficiency. It’s not clear, however, exactly how blockchain will be used within The Big Exchange.
We’ve seen blockchain used in other charity organizations, where it boosts transparency while reducing hefty middleman costs.
SC Johnson, for example, recently partnered with environmental group Plastic Bank to launch a blockchain-based plastic recycling system in Indonesia where locals receive tokens in exchange for recycling their waste.
The Big Issue was founded in September 1991 and has grown to become one of the UK’s leading social businesses. One of the key distinctions between The Big Issue and other newspapers is that it’s distributed by homeless people. The newspaper was motivated by Street News, a newspaper sold by homeless people in New York.
Clearly, The Big Issue continues to be motivated by social issues. The latest blockchain-based investing platform allows ordinary consumers to choose the best impact funds based on the UN’s sustainable goals. Stay tuned for the launch of The Big Issue’s The Big Exchange within the next six months.