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Banking Tech Awards
4th December 2024
Royal Lancaster Hotel

Banking Tech Awards 2023 Finalist: Unbox the Universe

Unbox the Universe, has been selected as a finalist in the FinTech for Good category for their pioneering project, Unbox Addiction in the Banking Tech Awards 2023.

Unbox the Universe

Unbox Addiction presents an innovative digital wallet that offers financial incentives to opioid patients participating in recovery therapy programs. It aims to address the persisting opioid crisis in the United States by distributing a portion of SAMHSA's funding through its platform. This service facilitates swift, transparent, and trackable distribution of incentives, thereby promoting financial inclusion, especially for the unbanked. Moreover, it uses a proof-of-presence technology to verify patients' attendance at therapy sessions, improving recovery outcomes and providing real-time data for federal agencies. The platform protects patient privacy using cryptographically secure self-sovereign identity management, while blockchain technology ensures traceability of funds. Unbox Addiction's initiative improves recovery rates, stimulates local economies, and contributes to societal improvements such as reduced healthcare expenses and increased productivity.

About UNBOX THE UNIVERSE: Unbox Addiction

Unbox Addiction offers an innovative digital wallet solution designed to financially incentivize opioid patients for their active participation in therapy programs. The opioid crisis continues to be a pressing public health concern in the United States, having profound implications not only for individuals and their families but also deeply permeating the broader community. In 2020, opioids were implicated in 75% of the 91,799 drug overdose deaths.

The escalating impact of the opioid epidemic is evidenced by a considerable rise in deaths involving synthetic opioids in recent years, notably those related to illegally manufactured fentanyl. Consequently, the total number of drug overdose deaths surged by almost 30% from 2019 to 2020. Since 1999, more than 932,000 Americans have succumbed to drug overdoses.

In response, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) allocated nearly USD 1.5 billion to bolster initiatives confronting the opioid crisis and supporting recovery efforts. Yet, despite these steps, research suggests that over 90% of rehab program participants relapse after discharge.

The primary challenges associated with such significant funding are the sustainability of therapy and the traceability of funds. Approximately 60% of patients relapse within a week, and the suffering communities seldom reap medium to long-term benefits from the injected funds. In addition, there exists a recognized need for enhanced monitoring and transparency of funding allocation.


Contingency management (CM) is comprised of behavioral interventions that provide rewards quickly in response to at least one measurable behavior towards recovery. Research has shown it results in significantly enhanced retention in treatment, with 49% of the contingency management groups completing 12 weeks of treatment vs only 35% the standard care groups.

A significant hurdle in addressing the opioid crisis has been the banking access issue for patients without a fixed address — about 5.9 million households were unbanked in the U.S. in 2021. Any incentives offered to stimulate participation and attendance in recovery programs must be given in cash or kind, thus failing to address the issues of relapse, traceability, and local economic stimulation.

NGOs have attempted to tackle some of these issues by providing essential supplies like food to the participants and building an ecosystem that ensures the funds provided by SAMHSA are utilized within the local community. However, the problems of traceability versus privacy, patient dignity, stigma, and financial efficiency of these incentives persist.

Unbox seeks to confront this issue at a substantial scale, leveraging technology to better serve the community. They pledged to utilize their platform for the distribution of USD 500,000 of SAMHSA funding to boost recovery rates, combining local knowledge and resources to incite tangible and enduring positive change in affected communities across the U.S.

Unbox's digital wallet provides these patients with the financial access they need in a way that they are comfortable and willing to adopt. Leveraging innovative and advanced fintech technology ( ), Unbox aims to help address the opioid crisis in the U.S. by facilitating swift and transparent distribution of incentives.


Gary is one of the hardest hit areas in the Mid-West, previously ranking murder capital of the world, and currently has the lowest life expectancy in the United States. Unbox have supplied FaithWorks with the technology to solve the current limitation and issues allowing them to scale their contingency management efforts.

Unbox's wallet

Our platform enables financial inclusion for the unbanked, allowing individuals with no fixed address or financial footprint to securely receive and transact funds. Patients on our platform can receive Ucoin tokens, which can be programmed with a specific RuleSet dictating how they are earned and spent. However, these tokens only carry purchasing power within a closed-loop system, rather than storing value like traditional currency, thereby promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

The wallet's embedded proof-of-presence technology confirms an individual's attendance at recovery programs, thereby incentivizing patients to engage in their treatment. This leads to improved recovery outcomes and aligns with Unbox's philosophy of behavioral nudging. This also enables real-time data reporting of recovery program participation, which the federal government desperately needs.

Unbox's wallet, by nature of the RuleSets that are assigned to the tokens, ensures targeted funding, directing federal funds and donor contributions to the local businesses that need them most, rather than large multinational corporations. By leveraging web2 and web3 technologies and infrastructure, we ensure complete traceability and transparency of government funding and financial transactions. With our pre-audited, post-funded funding disbursement approach, we reverse the traditional cashflow mechanisms.


To protect individuals' privacy, our wallet employs cryptographically secure self-sovereign identity management (MyUnbox -, ensuring that with full traceability of funds and transactions, individuals' privacy is not compromised. We have paid special attention to accessibility, ensuring that even users with limited financial or technological experience can navigate the platform.

Our initiative focuses on improving recovery success rates through incentivization. Patients are motivated to participate actively through financial rewards, leading to enhanced treatment outcomes. The method in which this reward is distributed on our platform will have a significant economic impact on the hardest-hit areas by keeping funds within the economy they were meant for, creating a positive ripple effect on the community's prosperity.

Secondary benefits include reduced healthcare expenses, increased productivity, decreased street drug use, fewer instances of sleeping in parks, improved criminal justice costs, and more. Through Unbox's advanced digital wallet, financial inclusion, incentivized recovery programs, and targeted funding allocation are achieved, leading to tangible community benefits, and fostering enduring positive change.

Furthermore, the product's functionality, including validation of action/presence (proof-of-X), the RuleSets given to transferable tokens, and self-sovereign identity, enable the solution to be used for other aid applications. This will be deployed globally in our humanitarian projects ( ), allowing funds to be rapidly distributed to individuals in need, whether they are displaced and moving across borders out of warzones, have suffered from natural disasters and require purchasing power immediately but are unbanked, or are subject to exploitation in refugee camps due to crime and corruption perpetuated by traditional cash systems.

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