A South Pacific Ocean nation is leveraging the ETH Blockchain for disaster relief payments. In a region that is susceptible to natural disasters, leaders are relying on blockchain technology to provide families with financial assistance.
ETH Blockchain & Disaster Relief Payments
Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation, is depending on Blockchain technology to help during natural disasters. The 80+ island nation has historically been vulnerable to national disasters such as volcanoes and cyclones. During these events, families in the region struggle financially, especially in an environment where COVID19 has halted tourism. According to a report by The Guardian, the country is now rolling out digital cash that is fueled by the Ethereum Blockchain. Vanuatu believes that digital cash is more efficient and less costly than traditional means.
In a push to assist families that are experiencing financial agony, Vanuatu is using Unblocked Cash, a cash and voucher program that is developed on the ETH Blockchain mainnet. In order to provide quick assistance, Vanuatu is funneling digital payments to tap-and-pay cards. These cards are very similar to debit cards, but they are funded extremely quick through the use of blockchain infrastructure. After having an available balance, families can use the card for daily essentials like groceries, medication, and food. Despite crypto assets not being used directly, Vanuatu is still relying on the ETH blockchain to tokenize and store transactions. In doing so, the network creates an environment where a cashless payment system can thrive.
How This Differs From The United States
Due to COVID19 causing the US economy to shutdown in 2020, the government was force to step in and support the market. Millions of Americans received their first ever “stimulus check” to help with expenses and other hardships. The process of dispersing these funds was a glorified nightmare. Not only was the US banking infrastructure not prepared to support such an event, the government was also sending stimulus checks to deceased people. The US still depends on legacy banking which creates all sorts of fundamental flaws. This was a wake up call to traditional banking, and explains why so many central banks such as Japan have been experimenting with central bank digital currencies.
Vanuatu Seeing Great Results
According to the report, the digital model being carried out by Vanuatu is saving the ocean nation nearly ~ 75% in costs. Before digital cash was deployed, they were paying $2 – $3 for every $1 they were handing out. It does not take a mathematician to see the inefficiencies there. Aside from digital cash slashing their costs, the process to get somebody registered for digital payments only takes 3 minutes. Under traditional methods, the enrollment process for financial assistance could take hours, which is the last thing these families need to deal with. Blockchain is transforming the way Vanuatu deals with disaster relief in a location where natural disasters occurs quite often. With the goal of becoming more disaster resilient, more than 35,000 people in Vanuatu are scheduled to register for digital cash in the next few months. New Zealand and Australia are collectively funding the project across the various islands.
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