Starting today, the United Nations (UN) will begin distributing
funds to thousands of people in Jordan as part of a trial using the
For the next month, cryptographically unique coupons representing an
undisclosed number of Jordanian dinars will be sent to dozens of shops
in five refugee camps across the nation. Then, instead of using a
smartphone or a paper wallet to access to the funds, recipients will
rely on yet another emerging technology.
Eye-scanning hardware made by London-based IrisGuard, already in
place to verify the identity of some of the 500,000 recipients currently
receiving traditional aid, is being repurposed to grant access to
Multiple cashiers at each of the shops will then use technology
co-developed by the UN Innovation Accelerator, ethereum development
startup Parity Technologies and blockchain big data firm Datarella to
redeem the entitlements at the point of checkout.
From the ground up, the solution was designed to scale, not
just within Jordan, but beyond its borders to some of the 80 other
countries served by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).