Non-profit Firm Kiva Unveils Blockchain Powered Credit History Platform in Sierra Leone
In collaboration with the government of Sierra Leone, Kiva, a non-profit organization head-quartered in San Franciso, has unveiled a blockchain platform for credit history. Kiva basically facilitates crowd funding of loans for financial inclusion.
Kiva and President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio together unveiled the blockchain project in Freetown, capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. The blockchain platform will utilize biometric info, fingerprints for example, obtained by the government to validate the credit history of the country’s citizens.
Individuals who want to take a loan must have a crypto wallet and their transactions will be saved on a blockchain. The crypto wallet will be offered through an app and its associates will offer mobile wifi hotspots to guarantee that users have internet access.
As per the Information Ministry in Sierra Leone, more than 85% of the country’s population does not have access to internet. Furthermore, Sierra Leone’s central bank has stated that more than 75% of the population does not have a bank account.
Locals depend on unofficial institutions, including community banks. However, such institutions refrain from sharing credit data or charge high fees for the information.
President Bio stated that the government intends to have all banks and microfinance institutions in Sierra Leone to deploy blockchain systems by the end of 2019.
David Sengeh, the head of Sierra Leone’s Directorate of Science, explained the benefits of the system:
“Lack of identification, or an inability to verify that identification for credit purposes, increases the cost of business for everyone.”
During the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Bio revealed the collaboration with Kiva on the blockchain platform.
Notably, Share Internet Data Ltd (SID), an internet crowdsourcing enterprise, and LDJ Capital, a private equity firm, joined hands to launch an app LDJ Digital for blockchain-powered digital banking. The objective of the app is to offer banking services for all unbanked individuals.
The app is incorporated into the SID platform, a software permitting users to give temporary internet access to others through mobile gadgets, functionally similar to that of a wifi hotspot.