West African country Sierra Leone is going to build a blockchain-based ID system together with two of the United Nation’s (UN) wings for its seven million people.
The UN Capital Development Fund (UNDCF) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have formed a partnership with a nonprofit financer, Kiva. Under the partnership, Kiva will lend its institutional protocol of the same name for the implementation of the “Credit Bureau Of The Future.” The system after completion will allow the citizens of the African country to have a secure and complete unique identity much like the assets on the blockchain.
For over last 13 years Kiva was working without blockchain. And even without any kind of distributed ledger, the organization managed to crowdfund nearly $1.2 billion in loans for the people across 80 countries. Its Kiva Protocol is a step towards enabling advance banking access to the unbanked, starting with Sierra Leone, which is in most need of such a system.
Agreeing to it, Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCDF said, “Through this implementation, Sierra Leone is setting out to build one of the most advanced, secure credit bureaus,” and, “It could serve as a model for both developing and developed nations in the future and has the potential to change the landscape of financial inclusion radically.”
Till date, nearly 80% of Sierra Leone citizens don’t have any access to a formal identification system. This stands as a problem for those who are seeking to start their own business and are in search of financers to launch or expand their services. In absence of a standard identity system and credit history, it’s very difficult for them to access mainstream financial systems.
The government of Sierra Leone’s efforts to minimize these problems are n’t very effective on the ground. And they are hoping this new blockchain based system will bring stability to the sector.
Kiva CEO Neville Crawley said, “ With this partnership in Sierra Leone, we hope to carve a path to a system of global identity and federated credit history,” adding, “This can unlock for the populations who need it most, allowing lenders to massively increase services and the flow of funds to the world’s unbanked.”