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IOTA Foundation Enters Historic Partnership with Refugee Nonprofit

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:58 PM
Anthony Mandelli
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:58 PM

The IOTA Foundation, continuing to prove its forethought in establishing partnerships, is announcing a collaboration with nonprofit organization Refunite . This partnership, the first of its kind for IOTA and Refunite, marks a significant step forward in using distributed ledger technology for social good.

Standing United

Refunite is the world’s largest missing persons database, operating in over 25 countries, and serves as a means to help refugees of war or disaster ravaged countries find their loved ones.

Refunite co-founders Christopher and David Mikkelsen started the organization in 2009 after helping a young Afghan refugee reunite with his family after escaping from the Taliban.

Going through this experience, the two brothers recognized an immediate need for an interlinked data infrastructure that could function across borders and serve as a means to collect and distribute missing persons data, something the major international aid organizations had yet to create.

This missing element, a distributed ledger to record and verify information on refugees seeking to reunite with their families, speaks to IOTA founder David Sonstebo’s own philosophy on the growing global refugee population.

A Smarter Solution

As more people are displaced from their home countries, because of wars or conflict or disasters, “we create these refugee camps that last for decades and become cities,” Sonstebo explained to CCN.com, “and I thought there’s no reason why we shouldn’t make them smart.” Distributed ledger technology has significant untapped potential in identity verification and Internet of Things applications, two cornerstones of the growing smart city movement.

In all ways, our partnership with IOTA represents an opportunity to think through our separate but joint philosophies about helping people and the world through tech, and by empowering users, be they people or companies, through distributed ledgers and decentralized access to the knowledge economy, to build a more inclusive and exciting future. IOTA, being the first public distributed ledger that enables scaling and getting rid of fees, is a great match with REFUNITE.
-Christopher Mikkelsen

A Technological Fit

The Tangle, the unique IOTA distributed ledger network, is a natural fit thanks to its innovative handling of high transaction volume without the necessity of network fees. Refunite currently helps more than 700,000 refugees across three continents with finding their families and needed a network that was up for the challenge.

Seeking to use distributed ledger technology as a means to help people worldwide, IOTA’s partnership with Refunite helps a growing philanthropic organization but is the first step in deploying DLT for a major social good project.

Sonstebo added:

There’s definitely going to be a discovery phase, but we’re looking to jump right in and look at how we can help people around the world.

Expect more from this developing story.