How Blockchain Is Kickstarting the Financial Lives of Refugees
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
For a refugee in a new country, identity—at least in the official sense—can be among the hardest things to recover. And without an official ID it is nearly impossible to advance in society.
Finland, which like many European nations has recently seen a large influx of asylum seekers, is using a cryptographic ledger called blockchain to help them get on their feet faster.
For two years the Finnish Immigration Service has been giving asylum seekers who don’t have bank accounts prepaid Mastercards instead of the traditional cash disbursements, and today the program has several thousand active cardholders. Developed by the Helsinki-based startup MONI, the card is also linked to a unique digital identity stored on a blockchain, the same technology that underpins the digital currency Bitcoin.