Tech company Everest is joining forces with Indonesia’s government to prevent fraud and improve energy subsidy distribution to more than 50 million people.
According to Everest founder Bob Reid, the government distributes approximately $7 billion in financial aid every year. And of that, more than $1.3 billion went unaccounted for.
Consequently, this is the puzzle Everest will need to solve.
In a statement announcing the collaboration, Reid said that the technologically innovative approach to subsidy distribution would yield many benefits.
“The Indonesian government is modernising government service delivery, cutting down on leakage, and enabling banking services with enhanced financial inclusion.”
The San Francisco-based firm is combining identity with the blockchain, and has produced the popular EverestID and Ever Wallet. Their products use biometric authentication and blockchain ledger system to track transactions.
Indonesians receiving subsidies would be able to verify their identity quickly and accurately, to ensure that funds are not mismanaged or stolen. It’s an innovative solution to a serious social problem.
Past to Present
It’s a massive undertaking for the small start-up founded in 2017. But Everest’s 12 employees are trying to drive social change, and are up for the challenge.
In conversation with Forbes Magazine, Everest founder Bob Reid said the company’s goal is to stop human trafficking and reduce borrowing fees for low-income people.
This starts by getting everyone enrolled in a global identity service. If a child goes missing, parents would have the ability to flag their kid as missing. And if a low-income person is charged high interest-rates, they could prove their identity on the blockchain to secure lower fees.
Reid is also focused on modernising economies in under-developed countries — taking people from bartering to blockchain all at once.
“[I hope] to take people from the 9th-century economy to a 21st-century economy in one step.”
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Everest is at work to reduce the cost of transporting food, medical supplies and other goods. The company is partnered with impact investment firm 1000 Alternatives and looking for ways to improve quality of life in the region.
And what started as a transportation project has since expanded. Everest is behind a series of start-up incubators for African entrepreneurs and visionaries with ideas but no capital.
Everest is using blockchain “to elevate humanity.” To learn more, listen to this episode of the Crypto Street Podcast.
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Liz is a Canadian journalist and writer for Bitcoin Australia. Connect with her on Twitter @Elizabeth_Utley, or on Linkedin as Elizabeth Utley.