NEC, IDB Lab and NGO Bitcoin Argentina to deploy a Blockchain-based ID system in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tokyo, Japan and Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 23, 2019 - NEC Argentina S.A., the Civil Association DECODES (NGO Bitcoin Argentina) and IDB Lab, the Innovation Laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the Blockchain-based Digital Identity for Inclusion Project, which aims to improve the access to quality goods and services for inhabitants of Buenos Aires through a portable, safe, transparent and self-sovereign digital identity.
According to figures provided by the Buenos Aires City Government (GCBA), 16.2% of the city's inhabitants live below the poverty line. The high levels of economic vulnerability of these residents are associated with the "poverty penalty" concept, which refers to the relatively higher cost shouldered by the poor to access certain goods and services. Although there are several causes of the poverty penalty, one of the main ones is the existence of imperfect information. Absent information regarding the identity and behavior of the most economically vulnerable either prevents the market from including them or includes them at a much higher cost than for the average population.
To tackle these issues, this partnership aims to provide a digital identity to all residents by incorporating Blockchain technology, which enables reliable and safe registration of information on an individual's activities, while also preserving their privacy and allowing them to control their own data. For example, this digital identity will receive information inputs generated by a digital wallet for unbanked individuals, allowing them to access financial services, such as storing digital money, and making payments, transfers, and remittances while building a transaction history.
The project, which has a duration of four years, will first be introduced in Barrio 31 and is expected to be expanded to two other economically vulnerable neighborhoods in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires. NGO Bitcoin Argentina, an NGO that is responsible for executing the project, is also being supported by IDB Lab, Accenture and IOV Labs (RSK). With the signing of this agreement, NEC Argentina S.A. joins as the main technological partner, contributing directly to the development of the digital identity solution, as well as the integration into third-party projects, public and private, that maximize the contributions of the project to the benefit of the community.
According to the President of NGO Bitcoin Argentina, Rodolfo Andragnes, "One of the main objectives of this project is to demonstrate with concrete cases that the Blockchain represents a radical change in the management of trust, of relations between the inhabitants of a community, and also enhances the efficiency of processes."
"NEC, as a social value provider, is pleased to collaborate and support initiatives for social inclusion around the world through the application and integration of innovative technologies, such as Blockchain and Biometrics, that will enable a safe, secure, efficient and equal society," said Jorge Vargas, Head of RCoC NEC Latin America.
"By consolidating trustworthy, accessible, and relevant digital identities, the project ultimately aims to increase access to goods and services for the residents of vulnerable neighborhoods, thus allowing them to improve their opportunities for socioeconomic inclusion in the fourth industrial revolution," said Erika Molina, Project Team Leader at IDB Lab.
About the NGO Bitcoin Argentina
The Civil Association DECODES (NGO Bitcoin Argentina) is a pioneering entity in supporting the development of the blockchain ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean and promoter of the use of blockchain technology for social and economic impact. Since 2013, the organization has promoted the understanding and exploitation of the technological potential represented by blockchain, advising state agencies, banks and private companies on the use of this technology. The NGO also contributes annually in the organization of LaBITConf, the most important blockchain conference in Latin America, which brings together the experts and the most relevant sector companies from the international blockchain ecosystem.
About IDB Lab
IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group, the leading source of development finance and know-how for improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, by mobilizing financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create solutions capable of transforming the lives of vulnerable populations affected by economic, social or environmental factors. Since 1993 IDB Lab has approved more than US $2 billion in projects deployed across 26 LAC countries. As of October 29, 2018, IDB Lab is the new identity of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). www.idblab.org
About NEC Argentina S.A.
NEC Argentina S.A., as the Argentine subsidiary of NEC Corporation, is strongly engaged with the modernization of local communities, using technology as the development vector. Looking to accomplish one of corporation goals "Technology as a social value creator", deploy several technologies join with local government agencies in Smart City and Biometric ID projects, with an extended list of success cases focused in disruptive technologies as Blockchain, IoT, Facial recognition, AI and Video Analytics. For more information, visit NEC Argentina at https://ar.nec.com.
About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. The NEC Group globally provides "Solutions for Society" that promote the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Under the company's corporate message of "Orchestrating a brighter world," NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow. For more information, visit NEC at https://www.nec.com.
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