United Nations World Food Program Ditches Banks for Blockchain

blockchain world food

When major world organizations switch to blockchain-based payments to avoid traditional bank transfer fees, that is really saying something about the future adoption of cryptocurrencies.

UN officials heading the World Food Program have discovered they can potentially avoid millions of dollars in fees by switching to blockchain based payment systems. The World Food Program feeds as many as 100 million people across 80 countries, and regularly finds itself making large currency transfers across International borders, resulting in high fees. 

Robert Opp, a director for the World Food Program, explained the move to a distributed ledger based on Ethereum’s network, stating “We felt we could replace the services offered by banks with blockchain.” Opp added “Blockchain helps promote collaboration by providing enormous amounts of data.”

The United Nations World Food Program first began developing its blockchain in 2016 and is currently stress testing with 100,000 Syrian refugees who are receiving food assistance in Jordan. The program in Jordan alone could reduce fees by $150,000 a month, according to Bernhard Kowatsch, the program’s Head of Innovation Accelerator.

Such savings could seriously stretch the program’s budget, providing additional aid to countries that need it. Beyond this specific use-case, the fact that large organizations are seeing the potential in blockchain and cryptocurrencies spell well for future adoption. Let’s hope that the World Food Program starts a trend that has more governing bodies jump onboard the crypto and blockchain bandwagon.