Cryptocurrency helps refugees


For people who fleeing oppression and persecution, the ordeal doesn’t end anytime soon even after they are accepted as refugees. Stripped of most of their personal wealth and possessions, refugees face a daunting task in securing their daily needs and establishing themselves in a new land. They often lack legal status and other rights enjoyed by citizens. Finding work, paying for amenities and transferring money can become uphill struggles compounded by the lack of access to financial services. While most refugees have smartphones these days,, almost none have a bank account. Fortunately, cryptocurrencies and crypto-services are here alleviate some of the problems confronting refugees.

For instance, the United Nations’ World Food Program used Ethereum, a cryptocurrency, to transfer funds directly to ten thousand refugees in Jordan in 2017. This program, if expanded, could help refugees by sending funds directly to them without corrupt (and inefficient) intermediaries and by doing away with cumbersome, time consuming bank processes.

The program’s financial officer has expressed hope that the project could be expanded to cover more than half a million refugees in 2018. That cryptocurrencies can be used with just a mobile phone and the fact that most refugees own and use phones means that cryptocurrency solutions, means this move could prove to be more cost effective than traditional banking systems. Refugees can also seamlessly remit money to dependents back home without being heckled by costly third party services.

Cryptocurrencies are also helping people pushed into poverty by inept and corrupt government establishments worldwide by connecting them with the global economy and facilitating access to international markets, capital and loans. For example, distressed economies of countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe are finding an economic anchor in cryptocurrencies as people take to cryptocurrencies to bypass troubled domestic currencies.


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