Social Protection: Achieving social justice through blockchain technology

Born out of a desire to help the stateless Rohingya people, a Muslim minority who for decades have been illegally denied citizenship in Myanmar, the Rohingya Project is pioneering the use of digital identity cards (Rohingya Project, 2019). It is hoped that these will eventually allow the over 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing to Bangladesh to retain their identities, as few are able to take IDs and other forms of official identification with them (Thayer and Hern, 2018).

These IDs can then be used to access vital services such as healthcare, education and banking in the countries the refugees flee to. In a broader sense, if successful, the Rohingya project could spell the end of centralised authorities like governments or banks owning peoples’ identities, with these instead being stored independently on the blockchain and owned by the people themselves.