Bitnation Refugee Emergency Response (BRER) – A Stateless Solution the Refugee Crisis?
By Erin Lace
A decentralized project called Refugee Emergency Response (BRER) was recently launched by Bitnation to help resolve the current refugee crisis in Europe by registering undocumented individuals on the blockchain.
Tempelhof explained to CoinTelegraph:
“The refugee crisis in Europe is massive, and will last for years to come with millions of stateless people who can’t open bank accounts, or even take a job, legally. There’s a huge, and urgent vacuum to fill. The governments won’t do it, because they’re in a political deadlock when it comes to immigration. We’re proud at Bitnation to be able to help alleviate the challenges these people are facing, through providing IDs, greater financial mobility, and over time, we’ll be able to add things like our basic income protocol, etc. to help them live a slightly better, while they’re in limbo.”
This humanitarian project provides an identification system called Blockchain Emergency ID (BE-ID).
“We’re working to make the BE-ID comply to UN’s guidelines for emergency travel documents,” she added. “We’re participating in a hackathon in London this weekend, and that’s one of the goals of the hackathon.”
The BE-ID is already available here and allows a person to receive an ID recorded on the blockchain for those who can’t get other identification documents. With this ID, people would be able to receive social assistance and financial services.
“We’ve issued a bunch of IDs, Approximately 40 this week […] it’s all traceable on the blockchain, plus a bunch more that are not on the blockchain for people who just want the QR Code but not the timestamp. Since we’re still improving on the platform we haven’t started market it aggressively yet, but we’ll do so in the coming weeks, including organizing workshops in refugee camps, etc.”
Moreover, refugees can receive a plastic Bitnation Bitcoin Visa Debit Cards (BVDC) and register it to receive donations or pay bills without going through the bureaucratic process of dealing with banks. Donations in bitcoin and several altcoins are already being accepted here.
Bitnation is also seeking to establish working relations with NGO’s and others who would like to help. “We’re currently working on establishing more relationships with activists and NGO’s,” she added. “We don’t seek to work with governments or UN organizations since we’re independent.”
Tempelhof also expressed her gratitude to the organizations and individuals already taking part in the project. “It’s wonderful to see how everyone’s coming together around this cause, just individuals helping,” she said. “For instance, MaWo and Horizon donated 250,000 HZ so the refugees don’t have to pay the miners fees while using the blockchain, to make it easier and cheaper. And that’s not just within Bitnation, of course, all around Europe individuals are getting organized to provide shelter for refugees in their own homes, collect food and clothes, etc. It’s in the vacuum of government action where you see the true beauty of the humankind, and its ability to gather and help each other out.”
The blockchain-based Bitnation project has been touted as “Governance 2.0.” Anyone can record births, marriages, deaths, property contract and more on the blockchain using a unique “signature” to identify individuals. Therefore, intermediary officials such as civil-law notaries are made obsolete by the blockchain, on which transactions are processed and recorded.
Today, the European Union needs all the help available to accommodate over 120,000 refugees. More than 500,000 refugees entered the EU between January and September 2015, according to Frontex, compared to 280,000 through all of 2014.
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