Blockchain Technology is Revolutionizing the Way People Migrate
The same technology that is behind Bitcoin has changed the way we transfer money, invest, and purchase real estate. A much less talked about sector that blockchain is also changing is the way people and businesses migrate.
There is currently an immigration crisis in Venezuela where as many as 600,000 nationals have gone to Colombia in recent months to escape food shortages, medical shortages, and a growing unemployment rate. Hyperinflation is rampant in Venezuela with estimates of the figure being as high as 4,000%. To put it in American standards, that would be like the price of a bottle of coca cola rising from $1.25, to $5,000.00 between the years 2015–2018.This is ridiculously hard to imagine.
Meanwhile, Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on earth.
As a result of this hyperinflation, some people have been turning to cryptocurrency, most notably the Petro coin (which you may have only heard of for the first time last week after President Donald Trump banned US residents from engaging in transactions related to the Petro coin).Trump isn’t the only one to ban the coin, Venezuela’s congress also banned it. However, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro fully supports it, or at least that’s what I gathered after he ordered several state companies to use the cryptocurrency.
President Maduro is using Petro to circumvent economic sanctions placed on Venezuela.
2. The US Department of Homeland Security has spread at least 2.5 million dollars in grants across several blockchain startups, including Digital Bazaar, Blockcypher, and Everynym. Officials from Homeland Security also considered allowing Bitcoin to be used as payment for services. However, that news was reported in May 2017, and I wasn’t able to find any other evidence pointing to a changing stance in one direction or another.3.US Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) is using blockchain technology to detect illegal transactions in which criminals used cryptocurrency. ICE said that cryptocurrency was used in the purchase of Fentanyl, a deadly substance partially responsible for an increased number of deadly overdoses.
4. As reported by MIT Technology Review, Finland has been helping the influx of refugees and asylum seekers by using blockchain technology. Instead of cash payments or a normal credit card, Finnish Immigration Service gave new migrants a preloaded car that they can use to pay for bills, buy groceries, receive paychecks, or really do anything you would otherwise use a preloaded card for.All of the transactions are recorded on a public ledger and shared with a network of global computers. The technology was developed by a Helsinki-based startup called MONI. Read about History’s First Public Ledger System Made of Stone5. Vanuatu becomes the first country to allow you to purchase honorary citizenship in Bitcoin for the equivalent of about $280,000.00. The government of Vanuatu itself does not accept crypto itself, rather, a center in Vanuatu receives and then converts BTC before handing it over to the government.
1. Soon after China increased regulations, Hong Kong saw a rise in businesses, and not just in the crypto industry. WeChat and Telegram both moved to Hong Kong three-fourths of the way through 2017. Exchanges, miners, and traders all took flight to escape the regulations that came down onto mainland China last September.
BNB Coin Week of March 20–26, 2018 from Coinmarketcap.com
2. Malta, the 122-square-mile-island just 50 miles off the coast of Italy has been attracting crypto businesses due to its open regulation. The most well-know player in the crypto space to do this so far has been Binance, whose coin, BNB increased from $9.00 to $14.65 after the move was announced late last week.
Andrew, A Founder of BountyBase, has been featured as a Top Writer in Medium in Venture Capital. He is also featured in the publications, The Startup and Data Driven Investor.