Kiva, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, has released a blockchain platform along with the government of Sierra Leone for the simplification of credit history.
As reported by Reuters, the blockchain platform was launched jointly by representatives at Kiva and Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone’s President on 21 August in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone.
Credit History Simplified
The blockchain platform would make use of biometric data in the government records, fingerprints, for instance, to gain access to the credit history of the country’s citizens. This would help money lenders to get a record of the credit history of the people of the country. Money borrowers would be given access to a digital wallet to obtain loans and all their transactions would be kept updated on the blockchain server. The wallet can be accessed through an application.
Users without internet access would be provided Wi-Fi hotspots to process payment through the application. This initiative comes as a breakthrough in the country’s digital history. As per reports by the Ministry of Information, more than 85% of the country’s population has no internet access. The central bank has also released figures stating that over 75% of the people in Sierra Leone have no bank accounts. Instead, they hold their finances in unofficial organizations like community banks. These organizations are noted to not share the credit information of its users or will do so only after getting paid a hefty sum.
President Julius Maada Bio declared that the government of Sierra Leone is working to have all the banks and financial institutions to function on the same blockchain platform by 2020. The news of the country working in collaboration with Kiva was first announced by the President at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2018.