Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the company building Cardano, says it’s partnering with blockchain-based mobile network World Mobile Group to bring internet connectivity to people in Africa.
The initiative is starting in Tanzania, where it will give 100,000 people living in rural areas digital access to mobile internet, digital identity, and financial solutions.
The project aims to provide 5G internet access and give customers a blockchain-based platform they can use to verify their identity.
It also aims to bridge the gap between the unbanked and financial products like credit, insurance, and loans.
Says IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson,
“Taking a stakeholding in World Mobile Group is a further demonstration of our long-term commitment to the African continent…
Through our digital ID solution, Atala PRISM, people who were previously unable to verify their identity, complicating and often preventing access to vital services like healthcare will now be able to do so. Atala PRISM will also allow citizens to provide backup copies of important documents like qualifications or property ownership documents, which can allow returning refugees to reclaim their homes.”
The announcement follows IOHK’s deal with the Ethiopian government to provide a Cardano-based identity solution that can digitally verify grades and monitor the school performance of the nation’s 5 million students.
At Cardano’s Africa special event on Thursday, Hoskinson explained why the firm focuses on bringing blockchain solutions to the developing world as opposed to advanced economies.
“You always go where there’s a demand for the products that you build, and if you look at government technology, you look at the way that money works. If you look at the developed society, there’s not as strong of a demand for upgrading or changing in the United States or the European Union as there are in Eastern Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and other places…
Some other parts of the world aren’t moving as quickly, so you don’t do the same thing over and over again. That’s the definition of insanity. What you do is you take a step back, and you say, ‘Okay, how can we compete differently?’ So there’s a much broader set of things you can do, and everything is on the table: new voting systems, new property systems, new payment systems, new ways of identifying people, new ways of trading securities.”
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