Bank fees are easily avoidable by using blockchain instead of usual currency transfers, and international organizations are discovering that now, as the World Food Programme is expanding its blockchain-payments system.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. It provides food assistance to an average of 80 million people in 76 countries each year.
Their director, Robert Opp, said to Bloomberg that the WFP is expanding its blockchain-payments system, and that they expect to cut millions of dollars in bank transfer fees by switching to distributed ledgers based on Ethereum’s cryptocurrency network.
The WFP has an annual budget of USD 6 billion that they feel they could spend in better ways. “We felt we could replace the services offered by banks with blockchain. Blockchain helps promote collaboration by providing enormous amounts of data,” said Opp.
According to Bernhard Kowatsch, head of the WFP innovation lab in Munich, the blockchain program for around 100,000 Syrian refugees who receive food assistance in Jordan alone could save USD 150,000 a month and eliminate 98% of bank fees related to transfers. “We’re putting in place a financial infrastructure,” Opp said.