Providing Basic Identity and Economic Independence
The Blockchain Border Bank project aims to rapidly prototype an integrated business, legal and technical approach to provide valid, usable identity and access to enduring economic independence for those who need it most. The prototype will be a tool for testing the potential of blockchain technology to meet the challenge of Article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which proclaims "Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law." and Target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) which resolves "by 2030 [to] provide legal identity to all, including birth registration." Critically, this must include the >20M refugees worldwide.
The prototype design is intended to support and extend the Community Bank located on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, set up Banco ADOPEM and co-developed with Caitlin Stilin-Rooney in 2013 to give traditionally marginalized groups such as displaced populations, refugees, undocumented persons living under the poverty line access to financial services.
The majority of the Community Bank's members do not have legal government documentation. Given their lines of credit, we believe that there may be a way to address banking and identity issues on the blockchain.
- Between Sept 15 - Oct 15 we will refine use cases, identify Web/Blockchain tools and resources and prototype an app that can be customized and tested with members of this Community Bank and other key stakeholders.
- MIT Students enrolled in the fall semester Digital Currency Initiative class will learn about this project from a presentation by Caitlin Stilin-Rooney and Dazza Greenwood and will have an opportunity to collaborate on one or more aspects as a hands-on class project.
- People interested to help design and develop user inteface and experience, cryptosystems and blockchain integration, training and support materials for users, testing and success evaluation criteria and other aspects of the project will have an opportunity to join a Hackathon-styled event at or around the MIT Media Lab, planned for the October/November.
Update: The Blockchain Border Bank project poster created for "Member Week" at the MIT Media Lab was saved to our GiHub repository on October 26, 2016