On August 21, a nonprofit called Kiva launched a blockchain platform for credit data. This will be a partnership with the leaders of Sierra Leone. Kiva is based in San Francisco and crowd funds loans for financial inclusion. Kiva and Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio launched the initiative together in Sierra Leone's capital.
The platform will use biological data, such as fingerprints. It will use that data to access the credit history of the nation's citizens. Its purpose is to provide a way for lenders to get a citizen's credit history.
A person who wants to borrow money would have a digital wallet for the loan funds. Their transactions would be tallied on a blockchain. The digital wallet would work through an app. Its partners would have mobile WiFi hot spots in order to provide internet access.
The Sierra Leone Information Ministry stated that more than 85 percent of the nation's citizens don't have internet. The nation's central bank noted that more than 75 percent of the citizens do not have a bank account. Citizens rely on informal community banks, but those institutions do not share credit data on a routine basis. If they do, they charge a high fee.
President Bio said that the nation aims to have all banks within the blockchain system by the end of 2019. The head of Sierra Leone's Directorate of Science said that a lack of identification and inability to verify identification for credit checks ups the cost of lending.
Bio initially said that the government would work with Kiva on the blockchain project during the last meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in 2018. In the past, internet sourcing firm Share Internet Data Ltd and a private equity firm called LDJ Capital launched an app called LDJ Digital for blockchain-based banking on a digital basis. The goal of the app was to offer banking services for people without a regular bank account. The app uses a SID platform. That platform is itself an app that allows the user to set up temporary internet access to others on a mobile device.