Summary of How Blockchain Is Kickstarting the Financial Lives of Refugees

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For refugees to make successful, lasting transitions in their new nations, they need access to financial systems and the ability to establish strong, traceable identities. Such challenges traditionally have been difficult to overcome. In The MIT Technology Review, associate editor Mike Orcutt outlines how Finland has partnered with start-up Moni to use blockchain technology to address this problem. Readers interested in issues facing the growing refugee population around the world should find this article informative and interesting.

About the Author

Mike Orcutt is an associate editor of The MIT Technology Review, focusing on the interface of technology and government.



Establishing an official and financial identity is one of the largest obstacles facing refugees in their new homes. Recognizing this challenge, the Finnish Immigration Service revised its customary refugee disbursement program in 2015 and replaced cash payouts with prepaid credit cards. Developed by Helsinki start-up Moni, these cards served the dual purpose of enhancing asylum seekers’ financial freedom and establishing traceable identities. The aim of the cards is to give refugees a foothold into a financial...

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