On August 26, it was announced that Buenos Aires would be partnering with three tech-based companies to create a blockchain-based digital identity platform for the capital of Argentina. The announcement came from NEC’s website, as they will be partnering with DECODES (NGO Bitcoin Argentina) and IDB Lab to help develop the platform.
The new platform will serve a variety of purposes. This starts with helping to improve the access to quality goods and services for residents of the city, as there are growing concerns about the increasing level of poverty in Buenos Aires. In a recent study by the city government (GCBA), it was found that 16.2% of the inhabitants of the city live below the country’s poverty line.
The study concluded that there is an increased vulnerability for residents, as they not only have limited access to certain goods and services but are more likely to be exploited. It is hoped that having more detailed information that is easily and securely stored will enable government officials to create a more efficient system to assist those in the city suffering from extreme poverty.
In a statement, Erika Molina, the Project Team Leader from IDB, explained, “The project aims to increase access to goods and services for the residents of vulnerable neighborhoods, thus allowing them to improve their opportunities for socioeconomic inclusion in the fourth industrial revolution.”
This new platform will also help to alleviate the “poverty penalty” that many of the poorest in Argentina endure. This penalty refers to the fact that the vast majority of people below the poverty line do not have the proper paperwork and identification necessary to acquire assistance or gain employment or housing. Because of this, they are shut out from the very assistance that was designed to help them get out of their current state.
This is a four-year project, that will not only develop blockchain technology to be used in acquiring data, but it will also be used to assist government officials to develop programs to assist in overcoming and alleviating poverty in the country’s capital. The use of this technology will first be employed in Barrio 31 but will be expanded to other “economically vulnerable” areas in the city over the next four years.
For the tech companies, this is an opportunity to make a real difference using their technologies. Explained the President of NGO Bitcoin Argentina, Rodolfo Andragnes, “One of the main objectives of this project is to demonstrate with concrete cases that the Blockchain represents a radical change in the management of trust, of relations between the inhabitants of a community, and also enhances the efficiency of processes.”
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