Oxfam grapples with taking blockchain beyond pilots

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A blockchain trial in Vanuatu. Photo by: Oxfam Australia

CANBERRA — Oxfam Australia has completed testing the use of blockchain technology to transfer money from Australia to Vanuatu, and the use of post-paid cards to spend these funds at select local stores, within two communities.

Funded with a grant from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the aim was to test a cheaper, faster, and more transparent way for people in the Pacific to send cash transfers — particularly after an emergency event. For Sandra Uwantege Hart, Oxfam’s Pacific cash transfer and livelihoods lead in Vanuatu and the blockchain project manager, the results were exciting and confirmed that blockchain could be used to accelerate the cash transfer process.