Wednesday, 8 June 2016

POST Can Bitcoin Technology Solve the Migrant Crisis?

No.

Could bitcoin technology help to ameliorate the conditions for some refugees in some circumstances? Well, that’s a very different question, and some people think yes.

With a blockchain distributed database, when a Syrian refugee arrives in Greece, border authorities could check her identity on their copy of the ledger housing her ID and even her biometric data.

From Can Bitcoin Technology Solve the Migrant Crisis? - WSJ

So could anyone check her identity in this way? People traffickers? Warlords? Mafia hit men? Vigilantes searching for people who have posted rude comments about the King of Thailand? I presume not, which means this has to be a permissioned blockchain. But what would this permissioned blockchain store? Let’s continue thinking about loud about identity…

The refugee is picked up by an NGO, NGO97. They take some biometric and register her in their database, unless she is already in it. The refugee now has a database entry REFUGEE97. The NGO writes a record to the NGO LEDGER saying we have REFUGEE97.

The same refugee is now picked up by another NGO, NGO1. They take some biometrics and register her  in their database, unless she is already in it. The refugee now has a database entry REFUGEE1.

Now, let’s imagine there is a food ration or something else that the refugee needs to show an identity for me. She turns up and claims to be REFUGEE1.ze2000

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