Recently UNDP’s (United Nations Development Programme) Alternative Financing Lab in cooperation with Emercoin started testing whether blockchain can provide a more effective way of managing local UN office car fleet.
According to the press release, UNDP were inspired by a decentralized ride-sharing outfit in Israel, Lazooz and driver-owned car sharing startup Arcade City.
“When it comes to UNDP’s emergency response in employment, we have a hunch that blockchain could provide a more effective way of transferring and tracking funds, and shifting our strategy in line with what is happening in the field- this is a work in progress though but one we’re excited about,” the press release says.
ForkLog talked with Veaceslav Cunev, President of the Moldovan Association of ICT Companies, who attended recent Bitcoin Blockchain Conference Kiev 2016, to discuss the project details.
FL: Who initiated the project?
Veaceslav Cunev: The project is a UN initiative for innovative projects that creates startups within the organization. Any local UN office in each country can make proposals. In July we decided to create such a startup in the UN Moldova office using a solution jointly developed with Emercoin. We plan to complete this work by the end of 2016. The project itself is about tracking and accounting for car sharing by different UN organizations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, etc.
FL: In other words, it will be something like a corporate car sharing?
V.C.: It looks this way: UN organizations have their vehicles shared by different offices. And there are some problems involved such as placing a request or making sure the vehicle has been used, etc. There’s also a problem with order cancellations. Our task is to create an automatic and irrevocable blockchain-based system that runs internal transfers at a certain price.
FL: How would this system minimize costs?
V.C.: The UN expects it to have a significant economic impact, i.e. substantial cost reduction when it comes to ordering vehicles and their ineffective use within the entire organization. Additionally, there’s going to be a geolocation service so that they know whether the car is following the itinerary. Our task is to launch the pilot program by the end of 2016. The pilot itself will last for three or six months. If the project is successful, the UN might deploy it across all its offices.
FL: When can we expect the pilot to kick off?
V.C.: We think about January 2017. The system’s development has to be completed by the end of this year. Currently we’ve developed the concept, elaborated all business processes, and started implementing the project. However, at this stage it will be launched in Moldova only.
FL: What is the situation like with cryptocurrencies and blockchain in Moldova?
V.C.: Unfortunately, nothing worth mentioning so far. Our project is the only one using blockchain technology, which is pretty sad as the country has a pretty good infrastructure for such projects. We have really great mobile internet coverage, actually, Moldova is the world’s fifth best country in this regard.
There’s also a legitimate mobile digital signature in place in Moldova. This means, that you can have a SIM card with your individual digital signature recognized by all government entities. There are open API’s for basic registers, like country’s residents register or real estate register. Also there is Interchange, a system for data exchange between organizations. So, in terms of infrastructure, Moldova is quite ready to deploy such projects and my task it to make them start as fast as possible. Moldova is a small country, which could make things rather quickly.
FL: Do you have any info about Moldova’s cryptocurrency market, and the number of digital currency users in particular?
V.C.: No, I have no such data, and one of my intentions is to find partners to launch a local national cryptocurrency in compliance with Moldovan laws. This would not just be a great experience, but also would make sense financially.