As chairman and co-founder of the Social Alpha Foundation (SAF), Nydia Zhang has left a solid mark on the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, though, as a young art student at the University of Washington in 2011, blockchain was far from the direction she saw her life taking.
Zhang earned her bachelor's degree in art history in 2015 and spent the next few years carving out a career for herself in the field of art management. After working for several museums around the world, including Pearl Lam Galleries, Seattle Art Museum and Vermillion Art Collections in Hong Kong, she ended up at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she served as a research manager and board member.
In a recent interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Zhang explained how she got involved in the blockchain arena, what started the Social Alpha Foundation, what the company’s goals are and how the blockchain stands to affect global operations in the future.
Founded in 2017 in Hong Kong, SAF is a not-for-profit, grant-making platform that seeks to support blockchain education and outreach by empowering communities to utilize blockchain technology for social good. The organization offers no-strings funding to companies and projects that educate communities on blockchain technology for social change. SAF also provides grant money to non-commercial blockchain applications that focus on improving public health, education and the environment.
Successful applicants receive funds ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the size of their projects. Grants are typically offered in cryptocurrency from individuals and commercial platforms that have executed successful token sales, creating a channel for donors to adopt corporate social responsibility practices.
Zhang first decided to get involved in the blockchain space after sensing it could assist in future philanthropic efforts.