NFTs for Development in Asia

Provide your solutions on how can NFTs be used to support development and ADB's Strategy 2030 Operational Priorities in Asia.


In this challenge, ADB aims to find ways to use NFTs to address development problems applicable in Asian countries. 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital identifiers that cannot be copied, substituted, or subdivided, that are recorded in a blockchain, and that are used to certify authenticity and ownership (as of a specific digital asset and specific rights relating to it) of items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files.  

Recently, NFTs have attracted attention for the first tweet tweeted being sold for just under $3 million, a video by the artist Beeple being sold for $6.6 million, and the Nyan Cat meme selling for nearly $600,000 

Transactions recorded on blockchains are reliable because the information cannot be changed. Smart contracts can be used in place of lawyers and escrow accounts to automatically ensure that money and assets are exchanged and the agreement is being honored.  

Clearly, NFTs create opportunities for new business models that didn’t exist before around selling and owning digital items but what are the opportunities for development? Could NFTs solve the issues of land ownership and other inequality issues? Can they be used for climate action projects? Could they be used to provide food security? 

ADB wants to hear your proposals on how can NFTs be used to advance ADB's Strategy 2030 Operational Priorities in Asian countries.

Your innovative solutions are what we need to use NFTs for good in Asia!



Strategy 2030 sets seven operational priorities, each having its own operational plan. The operational plans contribute to ADB’s vision to achieve prosperity, inclusion, resilience, and sustainability, and are closely aligned with Strategy 2030 principles and approaches. This challenge is looking for solutions that target one of the following principles:
Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities

Supports the Sustainable Development Goal agenda to tackle poverty and inequality and leave no one behind.

Strategic Operational Priorities
  1. Human capital and social protection enhanced for all
  2. Quality jobs generated
  3. Access to opportunities increased for the most vulnerable

Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability

Thirteen of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are relevant to or will be impacted by actions on climate change, climate and disaster resilience, and the environment.

Strategic Operational Priorities
  1. Mitigation of climate change increased
  2. Climate and disaster resilience built
  3. Environmental sustainability enhanced

Promoting rural development and food security

Although significant progress has been made in meeting food security, in Asia and the Pacific, hunger and malnutrition persist.

Strategic Operational Priorities
  1. Rural development
  2. Agricultural value chains
  3. Food security

Accelerating progress in gender equality

Support for gender equality and women’s empowerment is also central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Strategic Operational Priorities
  1. Women’s economic empowerment increased
  2. Gender equality in human development enhanced
  3. Gender equality in decision-making and leadership enhanced
  4. Women’s time poverty and drudgery reduced
  5. Women’s resilience to external shocks strengthened

Making cities more livable

Cities in Asia and the Pacific have unprecedented opportunities to transform the well-being of their citizens and to catalyze economic development through increased urbanization by 2030.

Strategic Operational Priorities
  1. Improve access, quality and reliability of services in urban areas
  2. Strengthen urban planning and financial sustainability of cities
  3. Improve urban environment, climate-resilience and disaster management of cities

Strengthening governance and institutional capacity

Governance and institutional reforms are needed to sustain development momentum in the region and to ensure that the benefits of growth are equitably and widely shared.

Strategic Operational Priorities
  1. Strengthened public management and financial stability
  2. Enhanced governance and institutional capacity for service delivery
  3. Strengthened country systems and standards

Fostering regional cooperation and integration

Operations are expected to enhance connectivity and competitiveness, promote regional public goods, strengthen cooperation in the finance sector, and strengthen subregional initiatives.

Strategic Operational Priorities
  1. Greater and higher quality connectivity between economies
  2. Global and regional trade and investment opportunities expanded
  3. Regional public goods increased and diversified



    Until Oct 8 2021

    Create a team and share the idea of your vision.

    Shortlisting up to 10 teams (Oct 11 -  14)


    Oct 15 - 21 2021

    Connect with ADB experts to fine-tune your solution!

    Shortlisting up to 4 teams (Oct 22 - 26)


    Oct 29 2021

    Pitch your idea to our jury panel consisting of industry leaders and major decision makers.

What’s in it for you?

The selected solution will have potential to develop a proof-of-concept together with ADB with
USD 10,000 or more seed funding in the selected ADB's developing member countries.
The shortlisted participants will have access to networking opportunities and mentoring with ADB development practitioners and other experts.
Top projects will be highlighted during ADB Digital X ADB event.