June 22

U.N. glimpses into blockchain future with eye scan payments for refugees

Thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Azraq camp don’t pay for their food with cash but by a scan of their eyes.

Purchases are then recorded on a computing platform based on blockchain – the technology behind bitcoin.

Iris recognition devices at the checkouts of the camp’s supermarket authenticate customers’ identities and deduct what they spend from sums they receive as aid from the World Food Program (WFP).

The U.N. agency launched the futuristic system in May as a one-month pilot involving 10,000 of Azraq’s more than 50,000 inhabitants in a bid to explore blockchain’s potential to cut costs and bottlenecks.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

digital currency, migration, refugees, UN, World Food Program