Blockchain is kickstarting the financial lives of refugees

Signal of change / Blockchain is kickstarting the financial lives of refugees

By Emily Sharples / 27 Oct 2017

A Finnish start-up, Moni, has developed an idea to help refugees get on their feet faster. Often lacking official documents or permanent addresses, refugees find it challenging to establish themselves in their host countries. By using a cryptographic ledger called blockchain, Moni overcomes this barrier to provide refugees with prepaid cards, to carry the current cash payments of government benefits, which MONI says are neither cheap to deliver or safe. When the refugees eventually get jobs, their salaries can be paid to MONI accounts as well. The system is currently being tested by the Finnish Government. 

So what?

Like other European counties, Finland has seen a large large influx of asylum seekers. With estimates that asylum seekers arriving to the country could double from 50,000 to 100,000 next year. Through the pilot scheme the Finnish government is hoping that refugees can integrate into society more seamlessly. They can load money onto the card, which is then used like a normal debit card in shops, rather than using cash-handouts which are harder to track. The company hopes to expand this system to other displaced communities across Europe.

This is another interesting use of blockchain to provide ID and bank-type services for refugees.


What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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