Istanbul Blockchain Week 2022
The Istanbul Blockchain Week 2022 conference took place from November 14-17, 2022 at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center. We attended the four-day Web3 conference, which included one day dedicated to NFTs. Our CTO participated in and won the Istanhack 2022 Hackathon, creating a Solana Web Wallet in 12 hours. Superteam sponsored the event, taking inspiration from the UNHCR.
The hackathon case study and problem statement:
About The UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), is a global organization. It is dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home. Since 1950, we have faced multiple crises on multiple continents. We provided vital assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people. Many of whom have nobody left to turn to. We help to save lives and build better futures for millions forced from home. Our protection, shelter, health and education has been crucial, healing broken pasts and building brighter futures.
Why Registration Matters
Access to registration is critical to the realization of the fundamental right to seek asylum. It should be available on a voluntary basis to all persons seeking international protection without discrimination. This excludes fighters and citizens of the country of asylum, who are not admissible. Registration should be physically, economically and socially accessible to all asylum-seekers and refugees within three months of their arrival on a territory, irrespective of their age, gender, race, religion national or ethnic origin, political or other opinion, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability or any other health or personal status. In addition, the registration processes must be free of charge. No fees should be charged for related activities, such as documentation or the taking of photos.
What is the Problem?
Globally, more than 1 billion people lack identity papers. In our modern world this excludes from services and socio-economic participation. It limits access, for example, to work, housing, a mobile phone and a bank account. In fact, the lack of a documented identity constitutes for vulnerable and already marginalized people a constant risk of transgressing the lines between legal and illegal. Most people affected by the lack of legal identity live in their own country and may have chances of obtaining identity documents if specific measures are put in place in their favor.
But what if you don’t live in your home area but abroad, if you are a foreigner, migrant, asylum seeker or refugee? In this situation, protection risks are high while chances of obtaining a legal and recognized identity and inclusion are low.
Given the above, what would be innovative ways to create a self-managed Digital Wallet for refugees and introduce Document Verification Registers (e-Registry and e-Apostille) of UNHCR’s Persons of Concern to implement its strategy on Digital Identity and Inclusion and contribute to offering new opportunities for refugees?
CBI provides persons of concern greater dignity of choice in meeting their needs. Experience and evidence highlight that CBI increases protection outcomes, facilitates inclusion and solutions, and improves efficiency and effectiveness in delivery of aids. As the preferred modality of assistance of persons of concern, CBI also contributes to the local economy and fosters positive relations with host communities. UNHCR has between 2016-2020 delivered some USD 3 billion in cash assistance to 25 million recipients in 100 countries. Most of UNHCR’s CBI (95 per cent) is disbursed without restrictions, giving the choice to the recipients on how best to meet their own needs
CASH-BASED INTERVENTIONS (CBI)
We are currently exploring the possibility of delivering USDC to internally displaced and refugees affected by the Ukraine situation. We have an MVP and are in the testing phase.
The Problem Statement:
Learning suggests that CBI implementation may be challenging in specific and fragile contexts due to political or other impediments. Still, significant opportunities exist to further expand the systematic and rapid use of CBI in UNHCR’s response while maximizing its impact on people’s wellbeing and protection, and opportunities for inclusion in national systems and solutions. Developments and innovations in CBI happen fast and regularly. UNHCR must continue to be ahead of the curve, maximizing new developments, partnerships and agile approaches building on continued investment in strong organizational CBI capacity.
Given the ethos of banking the unbanked and decentralizing financial access to ensure inclusion of different populations globally, how can Blockchain technology be used to deliver aid to different populations globally? (Keeping in mind the financial/technological literacy vs the complexity of current systems). Here we need to think of ways to generate large pay files to a significant number of individuals, have fast/cheap transactions and ensure secure ownership and custody of funds with possibility of spending/cashing out and transacting. Also, given the sensitivity of refugee identification, the requirements need to be as minimal as possible, ensuring anonymity and data protection. Finally, as a humanitarian agency we value accountability and traceability, remaining blockchain agnostic and focusing on the use of blockchain for good.
Solana Web Wallet Presentation
This is our Presentation on EZ Wallet: our Solana Web Wallet with Google Sign-in (SSO). PowerPoint and video excerpt are below:
You can read Steve’s blog posts on Medium. Restack.AI is a Web3 game and app development company based in Oslo and Lviv. We are technology-agnostic with most of our experience on the Solana, Polygon, Ethereum and Wax blockchains. Hence, we can easily adapt to new technologies.