On October 17, 2016, international development consulting firm Chemonics and technology company BanQu established the Blockchain for Development Solutions Lab. The lab represents the first concerted effort by a development company to build, test, and scale blockchain solutions to reduce poverty and increase aid effectiveness.
“Blockchain technology represents a game-changing opportunity to alter the pace, scale, and impact of development and humanitarian assistance. Chemonics is excited to partner with BanQu, a blockchain technology company that shares our passion, values, and commitment to delivering meaningful change around the world, to test new applications for this technology,” said Josh Leland, director of Corporate Partnerships at Chemonics, who will manage the new Blockchain for Development Solutions Lab.
Blockchain is rapidly emerging as one of the most important technological innovations of the 21st century. Best known as the technology underlying the digital currency bitcoin, blockchain is a digital ledger that enables users to transfer digital assets cheaply, safely, and transparently without having to rely on a traditional intermediary, such as a bank, to verify or execute transactions. Blockchain can facilitate the cheap and safe transfer of virtually any asset, not just digital currencies.
Many have speculated about blockchain’s disruptive potential in international development. Luminaries like Bill Gates and others see potential for blockchain to deliver a host of improvements, including faster and cheaper remittance payments, increased end-to-end transparency in supply chains, and improved access to finance for people at the base of the pyramid. The Chemonics-BanQu partnership will focus on systematically building, testing, and scaling BanQu’s patent-pending, blockchain-based economic identity platform within Chemonics’ global portfolio of more than 80 long-term foreign aid programs.
“At BanQu, we are dedicated to ending extreme poverty. Our platform enables people anywhere in the world to build a secure and comprehensive economic identity on the blockchain, from a small business owner in Guatemala trying to get a microloan to a Syrian refugee desperate to have her skills recognized to rebuild her life. Having an economic identity puts people on the path to financial stability and equal participation in the global economy. We are beyond thrilled about this partnership,” said Ashish Gadnis, founder and CEO of BanQu.
Chemonics is an international development consulting firm dedicated to helping people live healthier, more productive, and more independent lives. Its projects span 70 countries and all facets of international development, from health care to financial inclusion.
BanQu is a technology company on a mission for good. It developed the first-ever blockchain platform designed to connect the world’s poor to the global economy.