Oxfam, a nonprofit group comprising twenty charitable organizations, has reportedly teamed up with ConsenSys( blockchain tech start-up ) and Australian blockchain platform Sempo to assist in relief efforts for the victims of disasters in Vanuatu. However, the caveat is that the aid is going to be in digital currency rather than cash.
Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation comprising of approximately eighty islands, has been ranked the world’s most disaster-prone country in an annual report by the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). More than ten percent of the population of Vanuatu struggles on a meagre two dollars ($2) daily.
The disaster victims of Vanuatu need cash more than any other humanitarian aid. However, the distribution of cash in these areas is expensive and full of risks. So, cryptocurrency is the best possible option, as it tends to eliminate these risks and prevents potential crimes. Moreover, the possibility of corruption is eliminated as well, as the transactions in digital currencies are transparent.
Furthermore, the payment cards were provided to two hundred residents of Vanuatu with fifty dollars each. An Ethereum address credited by Oxfam with fifty dollars worth Dai was linked with these cards. This enabled the residents to spend their Dai stablecoin on basic necessities like food, clothing medicines, and so on. Moreover, smartphones were provided to the shop vendors, and schools provided accept these cryptocurrency payments. During the trial, around two thousand transactions were recorded.
Nick Williams, Co-founder of Sempo, stated that this was the first time ever when aid was provided via stablecoin, he believes that cryptocurrency allows financial access to victims without any bank accounts and this will absolutely change the way aid is provided.