Finland using blockchain for refugees benefits
10 May 2018 14:44 GMT

The Finnish Immigration Service is using a blockchain system, deployed via ethereum, that maintains a record of the financial transactions made by refugees using a pre-paid Mastercard.

This makes it easier for refugees to find employment and receive money from jobs, and also allows them to pay bills electronically - ultimately speeding up their process of becoming established in Finland, reported ReliefWeb.

The Finnish Immigration Service Migri first partnered with Helsinki-based startup MONI back in 2015 on the system, as part of a pilot project

While transactions are recorded in the blockchain, the authorities are able to monitor where refugees are spending money in an anonymised way, which offers a tool to the government to better understand the needs of asylum seekers and refugees.

A similar approach is being attempted in disadvantaged areas of the U.S., including in New York City's Bronx area, via a blockchain project app called Fummi.

The system is voluntary and Migri says that identities are always kept private.

"[There is a] privacy-preserving way that enables third parties sufficient proof of card program compliant identity without revealing our customers' true identity to any third party,” Jouko Salonen from Migri told MONI.