In the heart of the Jordanian desert is a 15-kilometre-wide square surrounded by barbed wire.
Inside are rows upon rows of tin huts, which house thousands of refugees that have escaped the Syrian Civil War.
There is one supermarket between them, and the nearest sign of life is hours away.
It’s a bleak environment. But amongst the hustle and bustle of the Azraq refugee camp, a blockchain revolution is brewing.
The Building Blocks Project is a blockchain initiative created by Houman Haddad, the United Nations Food Programme adviser.
For months, aid payments had been delivered to refugees via banking middlemen. Due to the remoteness of the camp, the transaction fees were high, the transfers slow, and the delivery unreliable.
But no longer.
Through the Building Blocks blockchain, transactions are faster, cheaper and more secure.
Accounts of camp residents are stored on the ledger. So when a purchase is made at the supermarket, they are able to make a transaction via their unique blockchain code. And by unique, I mean biometric.
To verify their identity, the individual has to scan the iris of their eye. So the transaction can only be made with funds allocated to camp residents.
As the blockchain can’t be tampered with, this ensures that refugees will have a credit history, making it easier for them to transition back into society.
Aside from that, Building Blocks is also looking to upload complete identity records on the blockchain, removing the need for any physical documentation.
This would change the game for how refugees are processed.
For developing countries, the benefits of blockchain are far-reaching. The technology delivers increased efficiency and reliability to the people that need it most.
It’s a revolutionary innovation that is also making waves in the West.
Australians could be set to profit greatly from this tech revolution. More time, resources and manpower are being allocated to the development of blockchain. And numerous industries are realising that this tech is the way of the future.
And as crypto and blockchain expert Ryan Dinse reports, there are three key stocks that could rocket on the back of blockchain in 2018.
To learn more about how you could potentially make the most of the blockchain revolution, click here.
This week in Markets & Money
On Monday, Shae noted that the gold price had plateaued in recent months despite the surge in global volatility. In contrast, the price of bitcoin looks like a rollercoaster.
Yet, despite bitcoin’s volatility — and unlike gold — the price doesn’t indicate anything about the market. Instead, bitcoin’s value is decided by the people. And with the rapid increase in the bitcoin price witnessed this year, it’s clear people value cryptos above central banks.
For more on this story, click here.
On Tuesday, another retailer joined the long list of Aussie companies that have gone under in the past two years. With the rising competition of international retailers and the burden of sky-high rent prices, the Australian retail industry is feeling the heat. Luxury retailer OrotonGroup Ltd [ASX:ORL] is just the latest to fall victim to the merciless world of fast-fashion. However, a large reason it failed was because of its obsession with expansion at any cost. There is one key lesson to be learnt from Oroton: Know your consumer base before attempting to grow it.
To read the full story, click here.
On Wednesday, bitcoin appeared to be stealing the limelight from gold. Gold has had an uneventful year, barely moving despite all the global uncertainty. The gold price fell last week after North Korea fired a missile into Japanese waters. Bitcoin, on the other hand, jumped 5% higher. Does this mean cryptos are the new safe-haven for investors? Jason doesn’t think so. He believes that gold will move up when the time is right. And as Jason suggests, it’s worth monitoring North Korea to be ready when it does.
For more on this story, click here.
On Thursday, the big money was starting to make its way into cryptos. Next month, major exchanges will begin offering futures contracts on cryptocurrencies. If you thought 2017 was the year cryptos went mainstream, think again. Even with bitcoin’s stunning price rises capturing the attention of the masses, this development could see it skyrocket even higher.
But as crypto futures are unprecedented, there is a steep learning curve involved. So, as Shae advises, there is a particular method you should follow to benefit from them.
You’ll find all the details here.
On Friday, Christmas wasn’t the only thing Shae was counting down to. Because this Sunday, CBOE launches its first cryptocurrency futures contract. And not long after that, the Chicago Mercantile exchange will be following suit. Currently, the price of bitcoin looks set to break through U$15,000. But this may turn out to be a humble estimate after the big money pours in from the futures market.
For all the details on what this could mean for bitcoin, click here.
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