Ethereum and OmiseGO founder donates $1 million in crypto to refugees. Handling money in traditional bank accounts is difficult for millions of refugees and asylum seekers arriving in a new country. For people without proof of identity, it’s often downright impossible to even open a bank account.
While you might not automatically think of it, the blockchain is one system that could change all that. Now, organizations are taking advantage of the blockchain’s benefits for philanthropic endeavors. Fintech startup, OmiseGO (OMG) and Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, have used that decentralized power to skip the hurdles of large bank transfers and donated $1 million to refugee charity, GiveDirectly.
“OmiseGo, with an additional generous contribution from Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, is donating the equivalent of USD 1 million in OMG tokens directly to refugees living in extreme poverty, and GiveDirectly will deliver those funds,” Omise I, the parent company of OmiseGO wrote in a blog post.
OmiseGO is a public Ethereum-based financial tech firm enabling real-time cryptocurrency transfers over its systems. Give Directly is an organization that passes the purchasing power directly to refugees rather than deciding how to spend it on their behalf. As a result, more than 12,000 people will receive a grant in Uganda. The organization will send the grant directly to the recipient using mobile payments.
With a decentralized system, refugees can access the funds as and when needed, avoiding the barriers and regulations that traditional banks have in place. That’s the natural beauty of using the blockchain to help refugees financially.
The 65 million refugees worldwide already find re-entering the formal financial system difficult simply because they lack appropriate local documentation.
Refugees “are the people we wish to see benefit from the ‘unbanking effect’ that OMG is designed to create,” the post reads.
With OMG’s transfer system, transactions can be completed without any fees.
“The OMG team is working to decentralize the means to own and wield purchasing power by creating a disintermediated system for storing, transferring, and exchanging assets. Users can use these financial tools without going through centralized networks to use these financial tools, which can be difficult and cost extra money.
Organizations like OMG and Ethereum aren’t the only ones using tech to help refugees get money in their new country. Taqanu has made an app to help people seeking asylum verify their identities and open a bank account. The app gathers all of the digital information it has on the user and makes a “reputation network” that asks friends and family to verify that the person is who they say they are. They can also upload any documents they get from refugee camps using the app.