Blockchain and Digital ID finance for Argentinian poor may be on the way

Pilot project will be launched in the first six months of 2019 in two of Buenos Aires’ most vulnerable neighbourhoods to ‘develop a digital identity system aimed at promoting financial inclusion’

Posted 20 August 2018 at 8:49am by

Washington-based Non-Governmental organisation (NGO) Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is developing a digital identity system aimed at promoting financial inclusion for less well-off Latin Americans.

Working with Bitcoin Argentina and Accenture, it has announced a project it’ll launch in two of Argentinian capital Buenos Aires’ “most vulnerable neighbourhoods” in the first half of 2019.

The idea: use blockchain so that users can include information on personal secure data storage like their employment history, including informal trade or craft training, and even their profile in the cash economy.

Bitcoin Argentina Executive Director Rodolfo Andragnes told specialist blockchain site Coin Rivet that the Bank has put $1.15m into the estimated total of $2.75m needed for project with the rest coming from other partners, though apparently $750,000 is still being sought.

“By creating a digital identity system that puts people’s data on the blockchain, you make it easier for people to access many benefits they usually wouldn’t have,” he claimed.

The digital identity system will be expanded to the whole of Latin America, Andragnes added, if the pilot is a success, adding that the project aligns with four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN:

  • Access to economic resources and new technologies
  • Expansion of Access to financial services
  • Reduction in transaction costs
  • Positive economic and social linkage.

The project also includes the development of a blockchain system based on smart contracts for public biddings, which would be launched in Argentina, and then the rest of the region, if results were promising enough.

With a history dating back to 1959, IDB is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.