Watch / Blockchain from the bottom up: Lessons from creating financial empowerment in remote pacific-island communities

Blockchain from the bottom up: Lessons from creating financial empowerment in remote pacific-island communities

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Blockchain from the bottom up: Lessons from creating financial empowerment in remote pacific-island communities

Duration: 00:22:24

Speaker: Sandra Uwantege Hart, Nick Williams

Type: Breakout

Expertise: Beginner

Event: Devcon 5

Date: Oct 2019

For as long as the technology has existed, Blockchain has promised financial inclusion and empowerment for underserved communities. For the most part however, this promise is yet to be realised - projects to date have largely served people living in wealthy countries. If blockchain will truly create positive impact for those who need it most, we need to start working deeply with underserved communities, having real conversations to discover their dreams, aspirations and the challenges they face. In early 2019, international NGO Oxfam and social impact startup Sempo collaborated to launch the first stablecoin-powered humanitarian cash assistance program. Working alongside communities in the highly remote and disaster prone pacific nation of Vanuatu, we used vouchers collateralised by Dai to empower over 200 vulnerable people to buy what they needed, from local vendors, on their terms. The entire project was delivered working with communities with limited access to smartphones, banks, and where internet would go down for days. This talk is a joint presentation between Oxfam and Sempo. We will cover how we addressed the challenges we faced working in such an extreme environment, what the project meant for the people participating, and our vision for the future of financial inclusion.
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