Gravity Develops Self Sovereign Identity Platform For Refugees

By Rishma Banerjee

According to reports, Gravity, a Nairobi-based startup has introduced a self-sovereign digital identity wallet that will enable everyone to build a trusted identity profile based on proper personal data. This might be of immense help refugees who don’t have any way of proving their identity.

The project was presented at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin along with a clear idea of how the blockchain can be used to enable refugees to access funds and how to improve their living standards. Gravity which was founded by Johannes Ebert, Laurent Salat and Paul Langlois-Meurinne has a system that allows personal digital data to be stored securely on its decentralized platform. The data can then can be used by NGOs working at refugee camps. The startup has already begun to test their platform in Kenya, ast Kakuma, a refugee camp with almost 80,000 people. The test run is to be conducted at three schools in the camp, which will enable the company to keep a track of the daily attendance of the students, along with their academic performance.

Johannes Ebert said that the rollout will be based on biometric data, and it will be the teachers who will be uploading performance and test data via a web app.

Ebert stressed:

“Everyone in the camps is basically an unknown person, so every piece of information known about them gains a lot of value. That could be tracking attendance in school or basic identity such as age, the number of kids in the household, languages are spoken, etc.

Gravity team has also introduced a technique which will allow third parties to validate the data about users. This will facilitate the better management and collection if data. Validators willbbe given incentives in the form of different rewards like lotteries or free mobile airtime.

Ebert also explains:

“Trust is built and identity is validated through the community, so being able to capture claims being made by, for example, a village chief is very interesting. How is this person connected in the network? How many people have validated them, etc.?”

With a network of validators within the camp, the company can then focus on the next stage which is to connect the platform to third-parties, such as financial services platforms. This will allow refugees to access banking and financial services. The company for now is looking for expansion opportunities focused on Africa.

Rishma Banerjee

Rishma is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and has a special place in her life for sifting through all sorts of random trivia, thank you very much.

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