Sierra Leone launches blockchain-based identity implementation platform

Friday 6 September 2019 10:43 CET | News

The government of Sierra Leone has launched a blockchain and decentralized identity implementation to address barriers to accessing financial services.

This initiative was created in partnership with Kiva, a US-based nonprofit microfinance fundraiser, as well as the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The national digital identity platform is powered by the Kiva Protocol, a biometric system that links a person’s thumbprint with her identity. This is the first implementation of the Kiva Protocol, but Kiva plans to expand its influence to additional countries in the future.

The platform in Sierra Leone, which US-based Rippleworks Fund supported with a grant of USD 5 million, is intended to offer financial services to the underserved, by providing citizens with a formal method for proving their identities, control over their credit history and access to digital financial services.

UNCDF endeavors to create opportunities for poor people in developing countries and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and other forms of investment capital. In particular, it focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia.

UNDP provides expertise, training and grants to developing countries with the goals of poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention, disease control and social development.

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Keywords: Sierra Leone, blockchain, digital identity, financial inclusion
Countries: World