The United Nations (UN) is in the final stages of what could be one of the most epic blockchain projects of all time.
After successfully using the ethereum blockchain to transmit Pakistani rupees to 100 people earlier this year, the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) is arranging extra security to ensure it safely executes the next stage of its work.
A pilot test, scheduled to begin in Jordan on 1st May, will see the WFP sending an unspecified number of dinars to more than 10,000 recipients in need of financial support and extra food, with the goal of expanding the number of recipients to 500,000 people by 2018.
To protect the privacy of the recipients, the exact amount to be dispersed is not being revealed. But the technology being developed is part of an even bigger push to make the UN’s services so resilient that they could survive even the destruction of the UN itself.
The secret to such a design, according to WFP financial officer Houman Haddad, could be to remove the rupee altogether as a means of distributing funds – along with any other state-issued currency.
“At the moment we’re paying out in normal currencies, so-called fiat currencies,” said Haddad, who also works with both the WFP’s treasury and financial risk management divisions. “That is mainly because a lot of the places in which we work don’t accept either bitcoin or ether.”
He told CoinDesk:
“However, the ideal would be that if they do, then we could just transfer the cryptocurrencies. It gets rid of the post-payment altogether.”