The Red Cross Society of Kenya has launched a 2-year program to deploy blockchain-backed ‘local currencies’ to enable economic activity and spur trade in poor rural and slum communities in Kenya.
The program, in partnership with Grassroots Economics, is expected to reach over 320, 000 users. It will commence in Kenya and eventually get rolled out in Malawi, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Papua New Guinea in the next two years.
By using blockchain to support a local credit system, this is expected to increase transparency in how donor funds are used as it will offer near real-time view of how well the aid is working and if adjustments are needed along the way.
The Sarafu Network of Community Currencies is the most popular and active, and one of the first community currencies to switch to a digital blockchain-based model and make it work on the ground. So far, the network has over 4,000 users using the Sarafu Wallet with over 500, 000 Sarafu tokens being traded per week.
Community currencies have been shown to help plug a shortfall in credit needed for small and medium-sized businesses in developing world. The community currencies in Kenya are a classic example of how this is helping communities in impoverished neighborhoods get the needed relief.
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